Nvidia's reportedly prepping an even more rubbish RTX 3050 GPU

Nvidia graphics cards on a black background
(Image credit: Nvidia)

Imagine an even more rubbish modern Nvidia GPU than the RTX 3050. Tricky, isn't it? Well, according to rumours Nvidia dares to dream. Allegedly, there's a new 3050 in the works with a smaller memory bus, lower clockspeeds and less VRAM than the existing RTX 3050.

That's right, a new RTX 3050, not a new RTX 4050. The OG RTX 3050 was released in January 2022, nearly two years ago. So, you might wonder why we're talking about an RTX 30 GPU at all, what with Nvidia having now launched a top-to-bottom RTX 40-series family of GPUs—with the notable exception of an RTX 4050 for the desktop. Though, weirdly, there has been an RTX 4050 mobile GPU for laptops released.

Anyway, cost is probably a factor. Maybe Nvidia has a pile of RTX 3050 GPU dies it needs to shift. This revised RTX 3050 would presumably come in under the existing RTX 3050, which can currently be had for around $229 on Newegg.

So is power consumption a factor. According to WCCFTech, the new low-spec RTX 3050 has a TGP of just 70W. That means is doesn't need an external power connector and draws all its juice from the PCIe slot. That's genuinely useful in terms of building very small, low-power systems.

For the record, the OG RTX 3050 runs a 128-bit memory bus and 8GB of VRAM. This rumoured cut-down GPU makes do with a 96-bit bus and 6GB of memory. Yuck. The clock speed also reportedly dips from 1,777MHz to 1,470MHz.

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What's not clear is whether the CUDA core count also drops, further compromising performance. Arguably, it doesn't matter. We wouldn't recommend you buy a standard RTX 3050 for gaming. So, an even slower version is hardly more appealing.

It could just about make sense in something like a compact home theatre PC or similar. But even then, this 'new' GPU won't be available until early 2024.

It might just about make sense as a poverty spec GPU for very light gaming if it's cheap enough, too. Reports suggest Intel's long awaited Arc A580 may be priced under $200, though that's likely aimed at the RTX 3050 itself. Maybe a cut down RTX 3050 for $150 wouldn't be the absolute worst thing ever? Maybe. I mean, it's going to have to be really, really cheap to get our attention.

Jeremy Laird
Hardware writer

Jeremy has been writing about technology and PCs since the 90nm Netburst era (Google it!) and enjoys nothing more than a serious dissertation on the finer points of monitor input lag and overshoot followed by a forensic examination of advanced lithography. Or maybe he just likes machines that go “ping!” He also has a thing for tennis and cars.