The NVIDIA RTX 3050 graphics card is NVIDIA’s latest GPU, and it’s coming in the near future to present as a well-rounded and powerful entry level GPU for consumers. The 30-series RTX graphics cards from NVIDIA are highly sought after hardware for consumers building a gaming PC.
And it’s understandable given they’re the latest offerings from NVIDIA right now. And because, well, they’ve been incredibly hard to get a hold of since launch. So many people are still looking for one. Even more than a year later.
Heck, I personally had to wait 9 months on a waiting list before I was even able to buy a GPU from the 30 series. And even then, I wasn’t able to get my hands on anything other than the 3060. As the 3070, 3080, and 3090 continued to be out of stock everywhere.
We can’t say for a certainty that the RTX 3050 will present any more of a different experience for buyers. And in all likelihood, it’ll be just the same. But if you’re curious to know more about the new RTX 3050 from NVIDIA, you’ve come to the right place.
This handy guide will attempt to break down everything you need to know about the upcoming GPU. Including price, release date, specs and more.
When is the NVIDIA RTX 3050 GPU releasing?
NVIDIA released the RTX 3050 graphics card on January 27 through a number of its retail partners. This means that will be the first day you’ll be able to purchase the card.
The trick is, finding out where to buy the GPU. We can help with that as well. In regards to where you can buy the cards, you should be able to find stock at places like Best Buy, Newegg, Amazon, Microcenter, and maybe even GameStop. There will surely be others too.
In our experience trying to buy one yesterday morning, we could only find stock at Newegg. Which sells the cards through the Newegg Shuffle. This puts prospective buyers in a raffle so you can’t just snap up ever unit in stock.
What might be a challenge for some is deciding which place they have the best chance at securing one. Stock was unsurprisingly highly contested and in demand from both those looking to make the purchase for themselves and resellers trying to gouge on pricing.
The best tip we can give consumers looking to buy the RTX 3050 when more stock shows up is create accounts on the retail website where you think you might buy the card. Then have all of the payment and shipping information saved so you shouldn’t have to enter all of that information. Ultimately saving you time in getting to the checkout page.
On top of that, be ready to hop in and click add to cart before the release time for each re-stock. The initial stock went live the morning of January 27 at 6AM PST. So expect future drops to be the same. Having said that, each retailer will do things a bit differently. So you may also want to branch out and follow the socials of any retailer you plan to buy from. That way you stand a good chance of seeing when new drops happen.
How much will the GPU cost?
The prices will vary some based on the model you buy. NVIDIA will have Founders Edition versions of the card, and those will retail for the MSRP of $249.99. At least, coming from NVIDIA.
RTX 3050 cards coming from other brands could cost more. Though they likely won’t be too much more. So keep an eye out for all models at the retailers you’re going to be visiting. It wouldn’t hurt to do some research on the other 30-series cards from these brands either. As it could give you some insight on which ones have been favored by consumers, and then use that information to decide which 3050 model you want to buy for yourself.
In short, if you can secure a card for its suggested price, you should expect to spend between $250 and $300.
We might suggest looking into the RTX 3050 XC series from EVGA. EVGA’s GPUs are usually some of the best ones. I have the RTX 3060 XC Black in my PC and so far it’s been great. We’d also suggest putting yourself on any waiting lists you see pop up. Just in case.
What will performance be like?
We can’t guarantee what exactly performance will be like with this new GPU, but NVIDIA has posted details that compare performance of the 3050 to the GTX 1050 and GTX 1650. The two cards which it most lines up with in terms of equivalency.
According to NVIDIA’s graph, the RTX 3050 provides a massive boost in performance compared to the other two cards in games like Control and Minecraft. And it appears to boost performance in Borderlands 3 by almost half.
Naturally, the card will also provide users with RTX specific features such as RTX ON, Ray Tracing and more. Obviously the people to see the biggest performance gains will be those on older entry-level cards. If you’re coming from an RTX 2060 or newer, you’re probably going to get better performance with the card you have.
What brands will be making the GPU?
Interestingly enough, the list for brand partners creating these cards is smaller than you might think. While there are more than a few brands so far confirmed to be making RTX 3050 models, the list isn’t incredibly long.
The brand partners that are currently confirmed to be producing NVIDIA’s new GPU include ASUS, PNY, EVGA, MSI, Colorful, Gigabyte, and Zotac. There may be more partners down the line but at the moment these are the only ones that have confirmed any upcoming products for this lineup. At least that we’re aware of.
It should also be worth noting that this doesn’t include any manufacturers for the RTX 3050 Ti laptop GPU.
What features will the NVIDIA RTX 3050 have to offer?
In addition to Ray Tracing and RTX ON, the NVIDIA RTX 3050 will include a ton of features to enhance gaming. NVIDIA Reflex, support for the NVIDIA Broadcaster app, DLSS, NVIDIA Encoder, NVIDIA Studio, and constant updates for game ready drivers are all going to be available to RTX 3050 owners.
While some of these will be on numerous NVIDIA GPUs from over the years, a few are only available on more recent cards.
Additional benefits include access to ShadowPlay, DirectX 12 Ultimate support, NVIDIA G-Sync, NVIDIA Ansel, and Resizable BAR.
What are some RTX games that can take advantage of the RTX 3050 benefits?
There’s quite a few games that utilize the power of the RTX cards. But some of the latest games include Cyberpunk 2077, Minecraft, Battlefield 2042, Marvel’s Guardians of The Galaxy, Dying Light 2, Call Of Duty Warzone, Red Dead Redemption II, Fortnite, DOOM Eternal, Icarus, Rainbow Six Siege and more.
What are the specs of the NVIDIA RTX 3050?
The RTX 3050 is packed with specs to ensure a great gaming experience. It won’t be on par with the mid-tier and high-end cards in most scenarios, but it will be closer than current entry-level offerings.
NVIDIA has designed the 3050 with 2,560 NVIDIA CUDA cores, a boost clock of 1.78GHz and a base clock of 1.55GHz, 8GB of GDDR6 RAM, and 128-bit memory.
In terms of technology that the card supports, the RTX 3050 supports 2nd generation Ray Tracing cores, 3rd generation Tensor cores, and it’s built on the NVIDIA Ampere architecture.
Further support includes Microsoft DirectX 12Ultimate, NVIDIA DLSS, NVIDIA Reflex, NVIDIA Broadcast, PCI Express Gen 4, Resizable BAR, NVIDIA GeForce Experience, NVIDIA Ansel, NVIDIA FreeStyle, NVIDIA ShadowPlay, NVIDIA Highlights, NVIDIA G-Sync, Game Ready Drivers, NVIDIA Studio Drivers, NVIDIA GPU Boost, Vulkan RT API/Open GL 4.6, NVIDIA Encoder 7th Gen, and NVIDIA Decoder 5th Gen.
When it comes to display support, the specifications are as follows. The RTX 3050 can support up to four monitors. So if you have a multi-monitor setup, this card can support connecting all of them up to that point.
For connections, you can use HDMI and up to 2 DisplayPort connections. It also supports HDCP 2.3 and it has a maximum digital resolution support of 7680 x 4320.
Thermal & Power specs
Before you make a decision on buying a new GPU, you might want to know what the thermal and power specs are. Well, we have them for you right here. Based on NVIDIA’s own website, the maximum GPU temperature is 93. The graphics card power (W) is 130, and required system power (W) is 550. Lastly, the card uses a PCIe 8-pin connector.
Now, one last thing to keep in mind with the specs is that these are based on NVIDIA’s Founders Edition card. The specs for cards from third-party manufacturers may very well differ. And likely will. So you’ll need to check on the specs for those manufacturers individually.
How do I know if my current hardware is compatible with the RTX 3050?
Obviously, if you’re considering a new GPU you want to be sure that your current hardware will support it. While we can’t tell each and every person whether or not their hardware will support the new GPU, there is an easy way to find out.
We would recommend using a website called PCPartPicker. Using this tool, you can easily plug in all of the hardware you currently have in your PC and the site can tell you if the RTX 3050 card will work with what you’ve got. Chances are for most people, it will. But we still recommend using this page to be absolutely certain.
This is the tool I personally used for my own gaming PC and it took no more than a few minutes. If you already know your PC setup will work, then disregard this segment. But if you need to check, you can find PCPartPicker here.