MSI GeForce RTX 3050 Gaming XJanuary, 2022
PriceTBA ($249 US MSRP)
Keeping their tradition alive of launching a new graphics architecture every two years, NVIDIA introduced its Ampere GPU. The Ampere GPU is built upon the foundation set by Turing. Termed as its biggest generational leap, the NVIDIA Ampere GPUs excel compared to previous generations at everything.
The Ampere lineup offers faster shader performance, faster ray tracing performance, and faster AI performance. Built on a brand new process node and featuring an architecture designed from the ground up, Ampere is a killer product with lots of numbers to talk about. The fundamental of Ampere was to take everything NVIDIA learned with its Turing architecture and not only refine it but to use its DNA to form a product in a completely new performance category.
Today, we will be taking a look at the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 8 GB graphics card which is a major launch considering that it is aimed at the mainstream segment and is also the cheapest Ampere card in terms of MSRP.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series Gaming Graphics Cards - The Biggest GPU Performance Leap in Recent History
Turing wasn't just any graphics core, it was the graphics core that was to become the foundation of future GPUs. The future is realized now with next-generation consoles going deep in talks about ray tracing and AI-assisted super-sampling techniques. NVIDIA had a head start with Turing and its Ampere generation will only do things infinitely times better.
The Ampere GPU does many traditional things that we would expect from a GPU, but at the same time, also breaks the barrier when it comes to untraditional GPU operations. Just to sum up some features:
- New Streaming Multiprocessor (SM)
- New Turing Tensor Cores
- New Real-Time Ray Tracing Acceleration
- New Shading Enhancements
- New Deep Learning Features For Graphics & Inference
- New GDDR6X High-Performance Memory Subsystem
- New 2nd Generation NVLINK Interconnect
- New HDMI 2.1 Display Engine & Next-Gen NVENC/NVDEC
The technologies mentioned above are some of the main building blocks of the Ampere GPU, but there's more within the graphics core itself which we will talk about in detail so let's get started.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series Pricing Per Segment
NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 30 series is made up of a diverse portfolio of graphics cards. Starting today, the lineup starts at the GeForce RTX 3050 with an MSRP of $249 US and goes all the way up to higher-end configurations starting at $499 US for the GeForce RTX 3070, $599 US for the GeForce RTX 3070 Ti, $699 US for the GeForce RTX 3080, $1199 US for the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti and $1499 US for the GeForce RTX 3090. NVIDIA themselves call the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti the flagship graphics card and not the GeForce RTX 3090.
The RTX 3080 & RTX 3070 are both priced well and in line with their predecessors but the GeForce RTX 3090 goes all out with a price of $1499 US. Even the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti has seen a price hike compared to the MSRP of the RTX 2080 Ti ($999 US vs $1199 US). NVIDIA calls the GeForce RTX 3090 the "BFGPU" and as per the terminology, it seems like this is a new marketing name for the Titan graphics card. It is likely that we could see a Titan-based card under the Quadro branding with faster specs out of the box but the GeForce RTX 3090 is purely a gaming graphics card first with all the horsepower for intense professional and workstation workloads.
With that said, the GeForce RTX 3080 replaces the RTX 2080 SUPER at the same price point and the GeForce RTX 3070 replaces the GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER at the same price point. Given this trend, we might see the more mainstream variants cost just as much as their RTX 20 SUPER series cards but with a higher performance out of the box.
NVIDIA GeForce GPU Segment/Tier Prices
|Titan Tier||Titan X (Maxwell)||Titan X (Pascal)||Titan Xp (Pascal)||Titan V (Volta)||Titan RTX (Turing)||GeForce RTX 3090||GeForce RTX 3090 Ti|
GeForce RTX 3090
|GeForce RTX 4090|
|Price||$999 US||$1199 US||$1199 US||$2999 US||$2499 US||$1499 US||$1999 US|
|Ultra Enthusiast Tier||GeForce GTX 980 Ti||GeForce GTX 980 Ti||GeForce GTX 1080 Ti||GeForce RTX 2080 Ti||GeForce RTX 2080 Ti||GeForce RTX 3080 Ti||GeForce RTX 3080 Ti||N/A|
|Price||$649 US||$649 US||$699 US||$999 US||$999 US||$1199 US||$1199 US||N/A|
|Enthusiast Tier||GeForce GTX 980||GeForce GTX 1080||GeForce GTX 1080||GeForce RTX 2080||GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER||GeForce RTX 3080 10 GB||GeForce RTX 3080 12 GB||GeForce RTX 4080|
|Price||$549 US||$549 US||$549 US||$699 US||$699 US||$699 US||$799 US||$1199 US|
|High-End Tier||GeForce GTX 970||GeForce GTX 1070||GeForce GTX 1070||GeForce RTX 2070||GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER||GeForce RTX 3070 Ti|
GeForce RTX 3070
|GeForce RTX 3070 Ti 16 GB||GeForce RTX 4070 Ti|
|Price||$329 US||$379 US||$379 US||$499 US||$499 US||$599|
|Mainstream Tier||GeForce GTX 960||GeForce GTX 1060||GeForce GTX 1060||GeForce GTX 1060||GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER|
GeForce RTX 2060
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER
GeForce GTX 1660
|GeForce RTX 3060 Ti|
GeForce RTX 3060 12 GB
|GeForce RTX 3060 Ti|
GeForce RTX 3060 12 GB
|Price||$199 US||$249 US||$249 US||$249 US||$399 US|
|Entry Tier||GTX 750 Ti|
|GTX 950||GTX 1050 Ti|
|GTX 1050 Ti|
|GTX 1650 SUPER|
|GTX 1650 SUPER|
|$149 US||$139 US|
In addition to the specs/price update, NVIDIA's RTX technologies are being widely adopted by major game engines and APIs such as Microsoft's DirectX (DXR), Vulkan, Unreal Engine, Unity, and Frostbite. While there were only three RTX titles around the launch of the RTX 20 series cards, NVIDIA now has at least 28 titles that utilize their RTX feature set to offer real-time ray tracing with more coming soon.
In addition to that, with the upcoming consoles confirmed to feature ray tracing, developers can also make use of the RTX technology to fine-tune future games for the GeForce RTX hardware. Currently, NVIDIA has 13 game engines that are leveraging their RTX technologies for use in their upcoming and existing games while both Vulkan and DirectX 12 Ultimate APIs are part of the RTX ecosystem on the PC platform.
So for this review, I will be taking a look at MSI's latest GeForce RTX 30 Gaming X series graphics card which includes the GeForce RTX 3050 Gaming X 8 GB.
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 8 GB Graphics Card
Just like the GeForce RTX 3060, the GeForce RTX 3050 will also be featuring the GA106 GPU but a cut-down configuration. The card will feature 20 SM units and 2560 CUDA cores with a TGP of 130 Watts. The graphics card will feature a base clock of 1550 MHz and a boost clock of 1780 MHz but do expect custom models to feature higher factory overclocks. At its stock speeds, the card will be able to output 9.11 TFLOPs of FP32 horsepower. That's more than 2x the TFLOPs compared to the GTX 1650 SUPER.
The GeForce RTX 3050 is built with the powerful graphics performance of the NVIDIA Ampere architecture. It offers dedicated 2nd gen RT Cores and 3rd gen Tensor Cores, new streaming multiprocessors, and high-speed G6 memory to tackle the latest games. Step up to GeForce RTX.
The entry-level graphics card will also rock 8 GB of GDDR6 memory clocked at 14 Gbps and will be running across a 128-bit wide bus interface for a total of 224 GB/s bandwidth. Already, the card is looking like a much better deal for just $50 US over the Radeon RX 6500 XT which has an MSRP of $199 US but packs a 4 GB memory. The card will rock a single 8-pin connector to boot.
As for its feature set, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 8 GB graphics card rocks all the modern NV feature set such as the latest NVENC Encoder and NVCDEC Decoder, support for the latest APIs, 2nd Generation ray-tracing cores, 3rd Gen Tensor cores. Considering that this is an entry-level solution aimed at eSports gamers heavily, it packs all the modern features such as DLSS, Reflex, Broadcast, Resizable-BAR, Freestyle, Ansel, Highlights, Shadowplay, and G-SYNC support too.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series Graphics Card Specifications
|Graphics Card Name||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 12 GB||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 OEM|
|GPU Name||Ampere GA102-350?||Ampere GA102-300||Ampere GA102-225||Ampere GA102-220||Ampere GA102-200||Ampere GA104-400||Ampere GA104-300||Ampere GA104||Ampere GA104-200|
|Ampere GA106-300||Ampere GA106||Ampere GA106-150|
|Process Node||Samsung 8nm||Samsung 8nm||Samsung 8nm||Samsung 8nm||Samsung 8nm||Samsung 8nm||Samsung 8nm||Samsung 8nm||Samsung 8nm||Samsung 8nm||Samsung 8nm||Samsung 8nm||Samsung 8nm|
|Die Size||628.4mm2||628.4mm2||628.4mm2||628.4mm2||628.4mm2||395.2mm2||395.2mm2||395.2mm2||395.2mm2 (GA104)||276mm2||276mm2||276mm2 (GA106)||276mm2 (GA106)|
|Transistors||28 Billion||28 Billion||28 Billion||28 Billion||28 Billion||17.4 Billion||17.4 Billion||17.4 Billion||17.4 Billion (GA104)||13.2 Billion||13.2 Billion||13.2 Billion (GA106)||13.2 Billion (GA106)|
|TMUs / ROPs||336 / 112||328 / 112||320 / 112||280 / 104||272 / 96||184 / 96||184 / 96||152 / 80||152 / 80||112 / 64||112 / 64||80 / 32||TBD|
|Tensor / RT Cores||336 / 84||328 / 82||320 / 80||280 / 70||272 / 68||184 / 46||184 / 46||152 / 38||152 / 38||112 / 28||112 / 28||80 / 20||TBD|
|Base Clock||1560 MHz||1400 MHz||1365 MHz||TBA||1440 MHz||1575 MHz||1500 MHz||1410 MHz||1410 MHz||1320 MHz||1320 MHz||1552 MHz||1510 MHz|
|Boost Clock||1860 MHz||1700 MHz||1665 MHz||TBA||1710 MHz||1770 MHz||1730 MHz||1665 MHz||1665 MHz||1780 MHz||1780 MHz||1777 MHz||1760 MHz|
|FP32 Compute||40 TFLOPs||36 TFLOPs||34 TFLOPs||TBA||30 TFLOPs||22 TFLOPs||20 TFLOPs||16 TFLOPs||16 TFLOPs||13 TFLOPs||13 TFLOPs||9.1 TFLOPs||8.1 TFLOPs|
|RT TFLOPs||74 RFLOPs||69 TFLOPs||67 TFLOPs||TBA||58 TFLOPs||44 TFLOPs||40 TFLOPs||32 TFLOPs||32 TFLOPs||25 TFLOPs||25 TFLOPs||18.2 TFLOPs||16.2 TFLOPs|
|Tensor-TOPs||TBA||285 TOPs||273 TOPs||TBA||238 TOPs||183 TOPs||163 TOPs||192 TOPs||192 TOPs||101 TOPs||101 TOPs||72.8 TOPs||64.8 TOPs|
|Memory Capacity||24 GB GDDR6X||24 GB GDDR6X||12 GB GDDR6X||12 GB GDDR6X||10 GB GDDR6X||8 GB GDDR6X||8 GB GDDR6||8 GB GDDR6X||8 GB GDDR6||12 GB GDDR6||8 GB GDDR6||8 GB GDDR6||8 GB GDDR6|
|Memory Speed||21 Gbps||19.5 Gbps||19 Gbps||19 Gbps||19 Gbps||19 Gbps||14 Gbps||19 Gbps||14 Gbps||16 Gbps||15 Gbps||14 Gbps||14 Gbps|
|Bandwidth||1008 GB/s||936 GB/s||912 Gbps||912 Gbps||760 GB/s||608 GB/s||448 GB/s||608 GB/s||448 GB/s||384 GB/s||240 GB/s||224 GB/s||224 GB/s|
|Price (MSRP / FE)||TBD||$1499 US||$1199||$999 US?||$699 US||$599 US||$499 US||$399 US||$399 US||$329 US||TBD||$249 US||TBD|
|Launch (Availability)||29th March 2022?||24th September 2020||3rd June 2021||11th January 2022||17th September 2020||10th June, 2021||29th October 2020||October 2022||2nd December 2020||25th February 2021||October 2022||27th January 2022||2022|
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 8 GB Graphics Card Performance
In terms of performance, the GeForce RTX 3050 8 GB graphics card will offer over 60 FPS at 1080p in several AAA titles and further extend the performance rating through the use of 2nd Gen RT and new Tensor cores, marking a big leap over the GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card.
Surely DLSS and RT cores will prove to be a major uplift in titles that support them so we can expect the card to easily be faster than the GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER though the numbers provided by NVIDIA so far don't showcase that exactly. So we have to wait for independent reviews that are expected to go live one day early prior to launch day.
Something that's easy to overlook within these benchmarks is the fact that only one game in the bar chart above has numbers for the older generation cards while the other two games are tested with RTX On, a feature that isn't available on the former options.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 8 GB Graphics Card Price & Availability
As for price, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 8 GB graphics card is said to feature an MSRP of $249 US which looks very attractive over the $199 US of the Radeon RX 6500 XT 4 GB if you take into account all the extra features available on the GeForce RTX 30 series cards. With that said, you have to keep in mind that the current market situation won't allow the card to ever hit MSRP prices so we are realistically expecting the 3050 8 GB to land in around $350-$450 US. That's $50 US more than the retail prices for the RX 6500 XT which is in line with the MSRP difference of both cards.
In case you want to read our full NVIDIA Ampere GPU architecture deep dive and GeForce RTX 30 Founders Edition review, head over to this link.