Asus ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3050
The green team has finally rolled out the graphics card to the masses, promising good performance at an affordable price. The latest card from the 3000 series is based on the Ampere architecture (GA 106) and responds to the name RTX 3050 (full code name is GA 106-150-KA-A1). The specification is promising, so the mentioned card comes with 8GB of GDDR6 RAM connected via a 128-bit bus. It has 2560 CUDA and 80 Tensor cores and communicates with the rest of the system via 8-PCIe lines.
Compared to the RTX 3060 series, the weaker chip has 20 SM blocks and the same number of RT cores. NVIDIA states that the consumption is 130W, and for regular operation, you need to provide one 8-pin connector from the PSU. However, you can expect excellent performance in 1080p from this weaker variant of the 3000 series, but it is also decent in 1440p resolution.
The specific model in the test was the Asus Rog Strix GeForce RTX 3050. The Asus model is a top card in terms of build quality and implemented cooling. The Strix series is always a top gaming class, so I didn’t expect it to disappoint this time. The robust cooler is longer than the PCB of the graphics card, and it has four heat pipes with a lot of aluminum fins. It has three 95mm fans, which rotate in opposite directions due to more efficient static pressure on the cooler itself and less turbulence.
Physically, the heatsink rests directly on the chip, memory, and power section, which means all critical elements will be well-cooled. When installing in your case, count on the cooler to take up three slots, a feature of only more expensive and powerful GPUs.
Asus ROG Strix RTX 3050 Spec
Asus ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3050
11.81 x 5.26 x 2.11 inch
Asus model has a special BIOS button on the graphics card to select quiet and performance mode. Fortunately, you will not hear much noise even in the performance mode, and during testing, the temperature didn’t exceed 58° C.
The RTX 3050 should reach a 1.78 GHz boost in the reference edition, but the ROG Strix pushes this value over 1.86 GHz right out of the box. Overclocking can increase performance by up to 8%. Regarding gaming, expect excellent performance in 1080p, although 1440p gaming is also good depending on the specific game title. If you want to include Ray Tracing and DLSS, you will get modest performance close to the older RTX 2060 for RayTracing.
And now, the dark side of the coin is in terms of price. The MSRP for this card is $ 250, which is realistic but challenging to achieve on the market. You will be happy to purchase the new RTX 3050 for twice the recommended price. Unfortunately, looking at the current market situation, the price is dangerously close and equal to the better RTX 3060 model.
Asus TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT
Due to the well-known situation with the lack of capable graphics cards for decent gaming, AMD tried to give gamers a glimmer of hope with the RX 6500 XT. The general craze for cryptocurrency mining has also led to much higher prices than MSRP, so the appearance of the RX 6500 XT seems like the right time to enter the dry mainstream gaming market. But is everything that good?
On paper, the specification of the youthful 6500 XT looks promising. It’s a graphics chip based on the new AMD RDNA 2 architecture, with fast InfinityCash memory for speedier transport of data from video memory (4GB GDDR6). In this way, an optimal balance of consumption and performance is achieved, which is essential for entry-level severe gaming graphics cards, which in the case of RX 6500 XT is about 100W. You need to provide one 6-pin connector from the PSU for regular operation.
Asus TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 Spec
Asus TUF Gaming RX 6500 XT
Navi II (Navi 24 - RDNA 2)
AMD Infinity Cache
9.76 x 5.78 x 2.12 inch
The chip contains 16 CUs, 1,024 shader units, 64 textures, and 32 raster units. This specification, in practice, means that the RX 6500 XT is about 75% weaker than its older and stronger brother, the RX 6600 (without the XT suffix). So very modest performance for today’s notions of good card graphics, which AMD is trying to make up for with the high operating frequency of the GPU. The operating frequency is over 2.6 GHz, with a boost over 2.8 GHz as memory runs at around 2.2 GHz.
Asus has equipped the specific TUF model RX 6500 XT with a massive cooler with two 95mm fans and four heat pipes. This type of cooler will provide good cooling, proven in practice. The temperature per load rarely exceeded 70° C with slight noise even in performance mode. You should expect not much from overclocking, a few percentages of increased performance, but a noticeable increase in noise.
Not for miners
As we can see from AMD’s specification, the RX 6500 XT isn’t interesting for miners, but gamers also have no reason to rejoice. The weakest Navi 24 chip will be attractive to buyers who don’t want to take risks with used graphics cards from a mine. Realistically, any old NVIDIA GTX 1060 or AMD RX 580 are faster and more powerful graphics cards, and if you already have them, there’s no reason to switch to the RX 6500 XT. 4GB of memory on a 64-bit bus will be tight even for gaming in 1080p.
RTX 3050 vs. RX 6500 XT Gaming Performance
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 5800X, PBO Max Enabled
- MB: NZXT N7 B550, BIOS P1.50
- RAM: G.SKill Trident Z Neo 16GB DDR4-3600 Mhz (2x 8GB)
- Storage: Samsung 980 Pro 1TB
- Cooling: NZXT Kraken X63
- PSU: EVGA SuperNova 750 G6, 80+ Gold
- Case: NZXT H510 Elite
- OS: Windows 10 Pro-64bit, 21H2 (November 2021 Update)
You can see that the NVIDIA RTX 3050 is a far more powerful GPU than the AMD RX 6500 XT. AMD envisioned the RX 6500 XT as a replacement for older GTX 1060 or RX 580 graphics cards, but performance doesn’t promise even in 1080p.
The graphics acronym with a 4-PCIe line, 4GB of video memory, and a 64-bit bus is undoubted of limited usability in the future, and the actual performance lags behind graphics cards a few years older. Unfortunately, the shortcomings aren’t over. Support for AV1 decoding is also missing (a big drawback if you are streaming), and H.264 and H.265 encoding, which means limited usability in new games.
If you need a gaming card, I think it’s better to buy an AMD Ryzen 5 5600G, which has all the usable graphics until a better time. On the other hand, if you don’t want integrated graphics, get a used GTX 1060, RX 570, or RX 580 that will blow the new RX 6500 XT.
As for the RTX 3050, it’s difficult to recommend this graphics card with a two to three times higher price than the MSRP. In a dynamic market environment, it’s worth considering the RTX 3060 or even the RTX 2060, which are better purchases.