Nvidia's new RTX 3050s come with an even lower TDP

MSI RTX 3050
(Image credit: MSI)

Building a new PC in this day and age can be an incredibly expensive endeavour, especially with the cost of GPUs. I hoped with the great GPU shortage mostly over we'd stop seeing ridiculous price mark-ups but I hadn't counted on new MSRPs still being so unreasonable. Assembling a high-end machine is still too costly for many of us, but there's some good news in that entry-level cards are seeing some love.

The Nvidia RTX 3050 GPU is a fairly solid choice for an entry level card, especially with this new upgrade. VideoCardz has spotted new MSI RTX 3050 GPUs that launch with 15W lower power draw, which will be the third variant of the 3050 to release, and it's looking to be the best one yet.

The first desktop 3050s were running an older GA106 processor which while having 2560 CUDA cores wasn't using Nvidia's Ampere processor to the full effect. The second lot of 3050's had fewer cores but ran a more recent Ampere-compatible processor. Now we're onto the third generation which is back up to 2560 cores and a new processor, so it should be the best of the lot by far. 

MSI's Ventus 2X 8G OCV1 is the first model of this style of 3050 to show up online, boasting that full compliment of 2560 CUDAs and 8GB 14Gbps 128-bit memory. Plus there's that 15W drop of power consumption over the previous OV model, so definitely make sure you're getting the right one. As VideoCardz notes, that drop in power draw is achieved with this slight change to the GPU, so it's looking like a fairly efficient package. 

Cooling off

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This is great news for anyone out there planning a mid-tier lower power build, though we would love to see the price on these cards drop a bit further. As it stands they remain a little expensive for what you're getting, but if you're wanting to run a banging 1080p ray tracing rig, that lower power draw does make these 3050s more tempting than before. 

This is definitely inline with the kind of thing we want to see from PC gaming hardware in 2023. Over here in the real world most of us can't afford the newest hotness when it comes to PC parts and are instead looking for affordable, economical, and even environmentally friendly options. If a lower power draw RTX 3050 kicks off a trend in more efficient entry-level GPUs then 2023 might be looking brighter than I thought. 

Hope Corrigan
Hardware Writer

Hope’s been writing about games for about a decade, starting out way back when on the Australian Nintendo fan site Vooks.net. Since then, she’s talked far too much about games and tech for publications such as Techlife, Byteside, IGN, and GameSpot. Of course there’s also here at PC Gamer, where she gets to indulge her inner hardware nerd with news and reviews. You can usually find Hope fawning over some art, tech, or likely a wonderful combination of them both and where relevant she’ll share them with you here. When she’s not writing about the amazing creations of others, she’s working on what she hopes will one day be her own. You can find her fictional chill out ambient far future sci-fi radio show/album/listening experience podcast right here. No, she’s not kidding.