RTX 3050, Nvidia’s new entry range and how it fits in a market dominated by the RTX 3060


Nvidia put all the meat on the grill last year with the alder lake launch, at least for the near future. However, much has been said about how the American company has moved away from the input range of graphics cards in its family of RTX graphics. If we look at their strategy, the 2060 and 3060 were considered the “little ones” of their family, but they do not compare to what the 10 series input ranges at the time.

Now, after participating in CES 2022, Nvidia rescues the RTX 3050 from laptops – the true low-end of the 30 series, although with very limited access – and turns them into a graphics card for desktop with a tremendously competitive price: 250 euros in our territory. We talked about the possibility of making access to computers more accessible gaming to most users in a very unusual situation within the world of PC components.

RTX 3050 vs RTX 3060, the low range that never was

RTX 3050 TI

rtx 3050

RTX 3060 ti

rtx 3060






Beautiful clouds





clock frequency

1200 MHz / 1740 MHz

1550 MHz / 1780 MHz

1410 MHz / 1665 MHz

1320 MHz / 1777 MHz





12 GB DDR6

memory width

128 bits

128 bits

256 bits

192 bits

ray tracing cores

16 ray tracing cores

20 ray tracing cores

38 ray tracing cores

28 ray tracing cores

tensor nuclei

64 tensor cores

80 tensor cores

112 tensor cores

152 tensor cores


80 W

130 W

200 W

170 W

Keep in mind that the RTX 3050 comes out of a very special niche, that of laptops, so NVIDIA has had to apply a overwhelming boost to the model to place it in the current market of components for desktop PCs. This places it, in a peculiar graphics card chart, as the low-end alternative to the RTX 3060 despite the graphics memory difference.

We are talking about a GPU that does not fall short, even though it does not reduce distances as much as it would like with its immediately superior model. Thanks to the Ampere architecture and a memory width of 128 bits, leaving out the low-power 64-bit models, make it the best graphics card in the entry range which can be achieved in a long time.

The RTX 3050 works under the chip “GA106“, and while this one physically has 3,840 CUDA cores, solo 2.560 of them are enabled on this GPU. For its part, the RTX 3060 makes use of the same NVIDIA chip, although it does not reach the maximum either, with 3,584 cores. Also, the 3050 can even work with a 6-pin PCIe connector, a small change if we look at the 8-pin Nvidia standard.

The funny thing is to see how the RTX 3050 does not find its closest competitor in the Ti model of the RTX 3060 —you know, that very light revision of the RTX 3060 that arrived on the same dates in December 2020— With a fairly similar clock frequency, even exceeding it in maximum speed, and despite equating GDDR6 memory to 8GB, is more like a decaf version of the RTX 3060 model despite having it with 12 GB of VRAM.

Both models from the same family go head to head on the gaming performance battlefield, with a modest share of the RTX 3050. We must bear in mind that we are facing the best entry-level range on the market and despite the fact that NVIDIA wants to differentiate and give priority to its new GPU, still behind of both top models.

Nvidia RTX 3050

Image: Nvidia

Performance is expected to be similar to its laptop version albeit with a superior performance in AAA games at 1080p resolution and high graphics settings. Despite this, we are talking about the RTX 30 family, so it should make good use of Ray Tracing, especially after NVIDIA’s estimates at this year’s event. However, the width of the memory and the power can limit their performance.

In most AAA games like Metro Exodus or Shadow of the Tomb Raider that make use of Ray Tracing, the RTX 3060 runs stably at a high quality above 60 FPS. Of course, we must bear in mind that we are talking about a 1080p resolution, at higher resolution the 3060 suffers much more than the RTX 3070 or 3080. If we look at the RTX 3050 -we are talking about approximations putting on the table the estimates of Nvidia and its version of laptops-, this GPU will need “support” technologies like Nvidia DLSS and even then its Ray Tracing performance will be somewhat uneven.

We are talking about a GPU prone to speculation

But, the biggest issue for the RTX 3050 comes from the current component market. The price will be 250 euros, about 80 euros cheaper than the RTX 3060 model at launch. However, as we have seen with all the RTX 30 released late last year, it is unlikely that the RTX 3050 will be available for long in the market, and we are talking about a GPU prone to speculation.


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