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Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Specifications

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 was the final "real" addition to the Nvidia Ampere family, unless you want to count the belated RTX 3090 Ti or the recently added RTX 3060 8GB. It's also one of the least desirable of the RTX class of cards, failing to outperform the previous generation RTX 2060 in most situations — check our GPU performance hierarchy for the full details.

The idea behind the RTX 3050 seems sound enough: Bring RTX features to a new, lower price point. The RTX 2060 bottomed out at $299 for a while, though you can now buy RTX 2060 for just $269, and we've seen it go for as little as $219. The RTX 3050 meanwhile has continued to sell for $299 or more. That would be bad enough, but the AMD competition for the best mainstream GPU is fierce, and the RX 6600 at just $219 walks all over the RTX 3050. Okay, maybe not in ray tracing games, but that's about the only saving grace for the 3050.

We'll eventually get an RTX 4050, but the 3050 is less than a year old so it's not due for replacement for another year. And if foolish people keep paying $300 or more for the card, Nvidia won't be in any hurry to push the Ampere cards to end of life status. Anyway, let's hit the specs.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Specifications
Process TechnologySamsung 8N
Transistors (Billion)12
Die size (mm^2)276
Streaming Multiprocessors20
GPU Cores (Shaders)2560
Tensor Cores80
RT Cores20
Boost Clock (MHz)1777
VRAM Speed (Gbps)14
VRAM Bus Width128
L2 Cache2
Render Outputs48
Texture Mapping Units80
FP32 TFLOPS (Single-Precision)9.1
FP16 TFLOPS (Sparsity)36 (73)
Bandwidth (GB/s)224
Total Board Power (Watts)130
Launch DateJanuary 26, 2022
Launch Price$249

The RTX 3060 comes with 8GB of VRAM, but it's on a 128-bit interface and that means total bandwidth is less than on the previous generation RTX 2060. There are a few edge cases where the extra VRAM may overcome the bandwidth deficit, but you'd be better off dropping your settings a bit to fit a game into the 2060's 6GB.

Raw compute comes in at 9.1 teraflops, compared to 6.5 teraflops on the 2060. However, that's a bit misleading as the Ampere teraflops are shared between FP32 and INT32 while the Turing generation has dedicated INT32 SIMD units. Also, it's 224 GB/s of bandwidth for the 3050 versus 336 GB/s on the 2060, which might be the bigger issue.

TBP does come in below the 2060's 160W, with the 3050 only requiring 130W. But let's also not forget the 132W RX 6600 with 8.9 teraflops of compute and 224 GB/s bandwidth paired with a 32MB Infinity Cache. Bottom line: AMD's RX 6600 easily wins any meaningful comparisons, unless you only play games that support DLSS (but not FSR2).

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