MSI GeForce RTX 3050 Gaming X Review 2022 – MSI’s GeForce RTX-3050 Gaming X is the company with the most premium version of the GeForce RTX-3050.
NVIDIA announced the GeForce RTX-3050 at CES, Las Vegas just a few days ago. Earlier in this week, the review embargo has lifted, but the MSI RTX-3050 Gaming-X was stuck in customs for another day. The GeForce RTX-3050 is the most affordable desktop graphics card based on “the Ampere architecture” and meant for 1080p gaming with fairly high detail.
Ray tracing is very much possible but you will need to tone down the settings or make it good use of the DLSS feature. A section of the market will see this more as an affordable Ampere meant for 1080p in gaming, particularly esports.
The RTX-3050 is based on the same 8nm GA106 silicon as the RTX-3060, but with a huge differences in specifications. While the latter nearly maxes out the GA-106, featuring 3,584 out of 3,840 CUDA core’s present on the chip, the RTX-3050 is carved out by disabling a third of the streaming multiprocessors(SM), resulting in 2,560 CUDA cores, 20RT cores, and 80 Tensor cores.
Keeping with the theme of “two-thirds,” the RTX-3050 only gets 8 GB of memory compared to 12GB on the RTX-3060. The memory bus width is proportionately narrowed to 128bit and uses slower 14Gbps memory chips (compared to 15Gbps on the RTX-3060).
The most remarkable difference in specifications between the RTX-3050 and RTX-3060 has to be the PCI-Express bus width, which has been halved into PCI-Express 4.0×8. The GA-106 very much does support 16lanes, and every custom design board, including this one, has rudimentary PCB traces for all 16lanes, but only 8lanes are enabled.
NVIDIA explains this by stating that “dropping to 8PCIe lanes improves supply. It allows us to source a wider variety of chips for the life of the products.” In other words, the company is currently consuming all the GA-106 inventory that did not make the cut for the RTX-3060, and in the future could carve RTX-3050 cards out of the smaller GA-107 silicon, which physically has 3,072CUDA cores, a 128bit GDDR6 memory bus, and, more importantly, an 8lane PCIe Gen 4bus. Such a switch should result in no change to performance.
MSI has paired the RTX-3050 Gaming X with a large dual-fan, and triple-slot cooling solution. The card draws power from a single 8pin PCIe power connector. Display outputs include three Display-Port 1.4a and an HDMI 2.1. The Gaming-X is overclocked out of the box, to a rated boost frequency of 1845MHz, up 68 MHz from the 1777MHz NVIDIA baseline.
In terms of pricing, the card comes at an MSRP of $380, a significant increase over the NVIDIA RTX-3050 MSRP of $249. Currently, the card is listed for $415, out of stock, but Europe has a some cards, at €500. We expect a market price of $499 or above.
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