Nvidia plans to replace its widely-panned RTX 3050 budget graphics card with an even weaker version that reduces its RAM by 2GB, Tom’s Hardware reports.
The publication spotted a leak on the Chinese forum Board Channels, which revealed Nvidia planned to stop making the card with 8GB memory and switch to a 6GB variant.
The leak also suggested that Nvidia plans to shrink the memory interface’s width from 128-bit to 96-bit.
Although it is possible that the company could use faster GDDR6 memory that runs at higher clock speeds to make up for these downgrades, Tom’s Hardware speculated it was unlikely for such a low-end card.
The publication explained this move was unusual because Nvidia typically replaced outgoing GPUs with slightly more powerful versions if it planned to discontinue a preceding product — like the RTX 2070.
Alternatively, it makes a lower-end variant of an outgoing model to be sold alongside a more powerful card — like when it released the GTX 1060 3GB as an alternative to the RTX 3060 8GB.
The RTX 3050 — first released in 2022 — has generally received bad reviews from reputed publications.
While Nvidia focused heavily on its performance against the GTX 1650 and GTX 1050 in marketing materials, those cards were also heavily criticised.
Gamers Nexus even went so far as to call the card “irrelevant” among gamer’s potential choices of GPUs priced between $200 to $300 in 2023, recommending competitors from AMD and older Nvidia cards instead.
In its testing, the older RTX 2060 generally performed better than the RTX 3050, while 2019’s GTX 1660 Super offered around the same performance.
To add further insult to injury, Gamers Nexus said that 2016’s GTX 1070 card, which can now be found for around the same or cheaper prices than the RTX 3050, also nearly equalled its performance.
The RTX 3050 is available from tech retailers in South Africa, starting from around R5,000. Pricing on the much more capable RTX 3060 starts at around R1,000—R1,500 more.
We also found several secondhand models of the RTX 3060 Ti and RTX 3070 selling for the same price as the latter on Bob Shop at the time of publication.