Nvidia brings ray tracing to budget gaming with RTX 3050 and RTX 3050 Ti

Nvidia has announced its new budget gaming graphics cards – the RTX 3050 and RTX 3050 Ti.

These two GPUs have been added to the RTX 30 series below the previous entry-level RTX 3060, and are claimed to offer twice as fast performance as their predecessors, accelerated by Nvidia’s DLSS technology.

Last month, Samsung announced its Galaxy Book Odyssey as the first of many laptops which would feature the new budget GPUs.

With a weight of 1.85kg and thickness of 17.7mm, the Galaxy Book exemplifies the compact design that these cards will enable.

However, more compact laptops usually see manufacturers lowering the total graphics power (TGP) – a key determinant for performance – of the graphics cards to suit their design needs.

The RTX 3050 and RTX 3050 Ti have TGP ranges of 35W to 80W, and laptops able to make the most of the performance tend to be slightly thicker than those striking a balance between power and mobility.

Aside from the lower TGP, the cards also have fewer tensor cores, ray tracing cores, and video memory than the rest of Nvidia’s RTX 30 line-up.

Despite this, Nvidia claimed they delivered 60 FPS performance at 1080p in games like Call of Duty: Warzone, Minecraft, Watch Dogs: Legion and Control all with ray tracing on.

The graph below shows Nvidia’s benchmark results for these titles – which were recorded with ray tracing on and graphics at medium settings.


Utilising Nvidia’s Reflex Low Latency mode, competitive gamers can get over 144+ FPS and sub-25ms system latency in titles such as Overwatch, Rainbow Six Siege and Valorant with the RTX 3050 Ti.

The release of the new cards is similarly good news for content creators as it is for gamers, as the specs outlined by NVIDIA is adequate for power-demanding workloads such as video and photo editing, whilst also featuring Nvidia’s hardware encoder and decoder for improved rendering.

These cards will be increasingly featured in new laptop releases throughout the coming months, with ASUS, Dell’s Alienware and Lenovo already having confirmed upcoming releases with the RTX 3050 and RTX 3050 Ti cards.

Prices for these laptops will start at $799 (R11,270) in the US.

The table below shows the specifications of the RTX 3050 and RTX 3050 Ti compared to the RTX 3060.

Specifications RTX 3050 RTX 3050 Ti RTX 3060
CUDA Cores 2,048 2,560 3,840
Tensor Cores 64 80 120
Max Boost Clock 1,740MHz 1,695MHz 1,703MHz
Memory Interface 128-bit 128-bit 192-bit
Interface Support HDMI 2.1, DisplayPort 1.4a HDMI 2.1, DisplayPort 1.4a HDMI 2.1, DisplayPort 1.4a
TDP 35-80W 35-80W 60-115W

Now read: Sony warns PlayStation 5 shortages will last until 2022

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Nvidia brings ray tracing to budget gaming with RTX 3050 and RTX 3050 Ti