MSI GeForce RTX 3050 Gaming X 8 GB Graphics Card Review – Almost RTX 2060 Performance

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PRODUCT INFO

MSI GeForce RTX 3050 Gaming X

January, 2022
Type Graphics Card
Price TBA ($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.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 40 ‘Next-Gen Gaming’ Graphics Cards Featuring Ada Lovelace GPUs Rumored For Early Q3 Launch

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:

NVIDIA Ada Lovelace ‘GeForce RTX 40’ Gaming GPU Detailed: Double The ROPs, Huge L2 Cache & 50% More FP32 Units Than Ampere, 4th Gen Tensor & 3rd Gen RT Cores

  • 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

Graphics Segment2014-20162016-20172017-20182018-20192019-20202020-20212021-2022
Titan TierTitan X (Maxwell)Titan X (Pascal)Titan Xp (Pascal)Titan V (Volta)Titan RTX (Turing)GeForce RTX 3090GeForce RTX 3090 Ti
GeForce RTX 3090
Price$999 US$1199 US$1199 US$2999 US$2499 US$1499 US$1999 US
$1499 US
Ultra Enthusiast TierGeForce GTX 980 TiGeForce GTX 980 TiGeForce GTX 1080 TiGeForce RTX 2080 TiGeForce RTX 2080 TiGeForce RTX 3080 TiGeForce RTX 3080 Ti
Price$649 US$649 US$699 US$999 US$999 US$1199 US$1199 US
Enthusiast TierGeForce GTX 980GeForce GTX 1080GeForce GTX 1080GeForce RTX 2080GeForce RTX 2080 SUPERGeForce RTX 3080 10 GBGeForce RTX 3080 12 GB
Price$549 US$549 US$549 US$699 US$699 US$699 US$999 US
High-End TierGeForce GTX 970GeForce GTX 1070GeForce GTX 1070GeForce RTX 2070GeForce RTX 2070 SUPERGeForce RTX 3070 Ti
GeForce RTX 3070
GeForce RTX 3070 Ti 16 GB
Price$329 US$379 US$379 US$499 US$499 US$599
$499
TBA
Mainstream TierGeForce GTX 960GeForce GTX 1060GeForce GTX 1060GeForce GTX 1060GeForce 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
$349 US
$279 US
$229 US
$219 US
$399 US
$329 US
$399 US
$329 US
Entry TierGTX 750 Ti
GTX 750
GTX 950GTX 1050 Ti
GTX 1050
GTX 1050 Ti
GTX 1050
GTX 1650 SUPER
GTX 1650
GTX 1650 SUPER
GTX 1650
RTX 3050
Price$149 US
$119 US
$149 US$139 US
$109 US
$139 US
$109 US
$159 US
$149 US
$159 US
$149 US
$249 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.

via NVIDIA

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 NameNVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 TiNVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 TiNVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 12 GBNVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti 16 GBNVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 TiNVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 TiNVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050
GPU NameAmpere GA102-350?Ampere GA102-300Ampere GA102-225Ampere GA102-220?Ampere GA102-200Ampere GA104-400Ampere GA104-400Ampere GA104-300Ampere GA104-200
Ampere GA103-200
Ampere GA106-300Ampere GA106-150
Ampere GA107-300?
Process NodeSamsung 8nmSamsung 8nmSamsung 8nmSamsung 8nmSamsung 8nmSamsung 8nmSamsung 8nmSamsung 8nmSamsung 8nmSamsung 8nmSamsung 8nm
Die Size628.4mm2628.4mm2628.4mm2628.4mm2628.4mm2395.2mm2395.2mm2395.2mm2395.2mm2 (GA104)276mm2276mm2 (GA106)
Transistors28 Billion28 Billion28 Billion28 Billion28 Billion17.4 Billion17.4 Billion17.4 Billion17.4 Billion (GA104)13.2 Billion13.2 Billion (GA106)
CUDA Cores10752104961024089608704614461445888486435842560
TMUs / ROPs336 / 112328 / 112320 / 112280 / 104272 / 96184 / 96184 / 96184 / 96152 / 80112 / 6480 / 32
Tensor / RT Cores336 / 84328 / 82320 / 80280 / 70272 / 68184 / 46184 / 46184 / 46152 / 38112 / 2880 / 20
Base Clock1560 MHz1400 MHz1365 MHzTBA1440 MHzTBA1575 MHz1500 MHz1410 MHz1320 MHz1552 MHz
Boost Clock1860 MHz1700 MHz1665 MHzTBA1710 MHzTBA1770 MHz1730 MHz1665 MHz1780 MHz1777 MHz
FP32 Compute40 TFLOPs36 TFLOPs34 TFLOPsTBA30 TFLOPsTBA22 TFLOPs20 TFLOPs16 TFLOPs13 TFLOPs9.1 TFLOPs
RT TFLOPs74 RFLOPs69 TFLOPs67 TFLOPsTBA58 TFLOPsTBA44 TFLOPs40 TFLOPs32 TFLOPs25 TFLOPs18.2 TFLOPs
Tensor-TOPsTBA285 TOPs273 TOPsTBA238 TOPsTBA183 TOPs163 TOPs192 TOPs101 TOPs72.8 TOPs
Memory Capacity24 GB GDDR6X24 GB GDDR6X12 GB GDDR6X12 GB GDDR6X10 GB GDDR6X16 GB GDDR6X8 GB GDDR6X8 GB GDDR68 GB GDDR612 GB GDDR68 GB GDDR6
Memory Bus384-bit384-bit384-bit384-bit320-bit256-bit256-bit256-bit256-bit192-bit128-bit
Memory Speed21 Gbps19.5 Gbps19 Gbps19 Gbps19 Gbps21 Gbps19 Gbps14 Gbps14 Gbps16 Gbps14 Gbps
Bandwidth1008 GB/s936 GB/s912 Gbps912 Gbps760 GB/s672 GB/s608 GB/s448 GB/s448 GB/s384 GB/s224 GB/s
TGP450W350W350W350W320W~300W290W220W175W170W130W (GA106)
115W (GA107)
Price (MSRP / FE)TBD$1499 US$1199$999 US?$699 US$599 US?$599 US$499 US$399 US$329 US$249 US
Launch (Availability)29th March 2022?24th September 20203rd June 202111th January 202217th September 2020Cancelled?10th June, 202129th October 20202nd December 202025th February 202127th January 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.

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