Nvidia RTX 3050 is about the finest budget addition to their RTX graphics card lineup. Launched in January 2022, the card started out with a price of $249 and sold out like cheese on a patty. The stocks emptied soon, sales went up, and well.. the prices have been high ever since. Even today a good RTX 3050 costs about $300 and more. The question begs at this point if RTX 3050 is worth it. Here’s what we mean –
Setting up a comparison scale to judge and verdict – Is RTX 3050 worth it?
- Nvidia boasts of the low-end but high-tech ampere technology in which the RTX 3050 floats in. Interestingly it is based on the same GA106 silicon used by RTX 3060, it’s the big daddy.
- While definitely lower-performing than its granddaddy RTX 3070. The few GPUs that come close for comparison include the GTX 1650, GTX 1660 Super, RX 6500 XT, RTX 3060, and RX 6600 XT.
We will cut off these names one by one and see which one would be a better alternative than the RTX 3050 if there even is any. We will also keep it light so that even the most GPU-savvy ones can enjoy this while ensuring that hardware noobs who don’t know anything other than “VRAM in a GPU” can get the gist.
An easy overview of RTX 3050 Specs
The RTX 3050 packs a lot of things. But the only spec relevant to you might be that it comes with 8GB of VRAM, a PCIe x8 bandwidth with PCIe 4.0 compatibility, four display outputs, AV1 Decoding, and a hardware encoding engine.
Now to make it easier, let us assume that –
You’re someone who owns a GTX 1650, 1660, and Any similar GPU
Nvidia’s –50 (RTX 3050 For Example) has been the industry standard for naming entry-level cards. RTX 3050 is definitely costlier than the earlier GTX 1650, a famous entry-level consideration for most PC Builders.
- The GTX 1650 originally came at a price of $149, some $100 less than the RTX 3050. The closest AMD card to GTX 1650 Is RX 5500 XT costing around $169. Both AMD and Nvidia’s entry levels are far below the RTX 3050 in performance, with an obviously lower price also.
- My point here is not to recommend these as alternatives, but only to give you a gist of how much better is the RTX 3050 for its 100$ extra price than the ones mentioned above. And it’s quite better, to be honest.
The RTX 3050 is worth it if you’re coming from GTX Series
- When comparing GPUs, we must compare the last two digits. The RTX 3050 must be compared with GTX 1650, the RTX 3060 with GTX 1660, and so forth and so on.
- Now the RTX 3050 is some 72% more effective than the GTX 1650. It even slightly outmatches GTX 1660 And 1660 Super.
That’s huge and totally worth the $100 upgrade. So if you’re someone climbing from the GTX series to RTX ones, and you’re really tight on budget, then the RTX 3050 isn’t bad at all. Now what about RTX 3050’s AMD equivalent, should you go for that over this one?
Should you buy AMD RX 6500 XT over Nvidia RX 3050?
- To cut one of the names from above off, AMD’s RX 6500 XT is a good GPU. But it’s only priced 25% lower than RTX 3050 at its MSRP. The budget-friendly Raedon is good, but almost any and all gaming benchmarks will put it out of the list of comparisons.
So if you’re planning on buying a new gen budget-oriented graphics card, do not choose the AMD RX 6500 XT over RTX 3050.
Should you buy RTX 3060 over RX 3050?
The RTX 3060 was launched at $329. And to shorten the entire race to you, it isn’t. The RTX 3060 TI is a groundbreaking innovation, totally worth its value. But that costs over $400. The RTX 3060 is not even worth its value, which is now over $350. For comparison, the street price of the RTX 3050 is now around $300 presently. The jump from RTX 3050 To 3060 is very minimal and definitely not worth the $50-$100 difference.
is The RTX 3050 Worth it at all?
No. It isn’t. Simply because of one reason – one simple freaking reason. And that reason is the heroic existence of this one card that whoops even the RTX 3060 out of its bed and even costs less than the RTX 3050. What the heck Rhytham, is there even such a thing? The RTX 3060 costs over 129$ more at the MSRP of RTX 3050, and there’s a GPU that can beat even 3060 And cost less.
RX 6600 XT should be your choice over RTX 3050
Launched at $379, but now has dropped to about $280, AMD’s RX 6600 XT is the king of the AMD 6000 series. Although it is slightly better than 3060 at ray tracing, 32 ray accelerators ensure that ray tracing can be turned on.
Whereas the RTX 3050 just gets by with Ray tracing on. Nvidia’s 3060-Ti only headlines around 30% faster than the 6600-XT whilst street prices for the 3060-Ti are around 100% higher.
Radeon RX 6600 XT fosters AMD’s breakthrough RDNA 2 gaming architecture, AMD Smart Access Memory, 32MB of Infinity Cache, and fine-tuned software features such as AMD Radeon Boost, AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution, and AMD Radeon Anti-Lag to provide an exceptional gaming experience.
The RX 6600 XT is a 1080p gaming king and can handle 1440p just fine while staggering in 4k. But in every benchmark, the RTX 3050 will underperform.
P.S I personally own an RX 6600 XT and it is fabulous. The only thing I regret is that I bought it for 600USD, which is about what it was selling at that point.
Long story short it, isn’t. At least not currently when the article is being written. Will it remain as such? maybe, maybe not. The thing with GPU prices is that they hike and spike every alternate month. The RX 6600 XT launch was during the end of the peak of GPU price hikes. Given how the supply-chain shortage crisis is improving, GPU prices should drop.
It is weird Nvidia hasn’t followed suit with RTX 3050, but should do soon. If it drops very down to its MSRP ($249), and the AMD RX 6600 XT ever goes close to its MSRP ($379), then the answer would be very different.
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