Nvidia will release the GeForce RTX 3050 desktop graphics card on Thursday, but performance leaks have been pretty thin on the ground so far. Nvidia's laughable official performance comparison graph (opens in new tab), pitting the GeForce RTX 3050 against the GTX 1650 and GTX 1050, induced some hilarity on Twitter (opens in new tab), so it was pleasing to see VideoCardz (opens in new tab) share some 3DMark results today.
Just like busses, leaks tend to come in twos after a long wait, and a member of the Bilibili (opens in new tab) video sharing community in China has outed some crypto mining performance scores for the GeForce RTX 3050. However, please remember that both the leaks outlined below are unconfirmed, and thus you should add a sprinkling of salt.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Desktop in 3DMark
Nvidia's upcoming entry-level Ampere gaming graphics card for desktops, the GeForce RTX 3050, looks like it will quite easily outclass the recently released AMD RDNA 2 GPU aimed at a very similar audience, the Radeon RX 6500 XT.
The leaked benchmarks for the GeForce RTX 3050 include 3DMark's most popular tests; FireStrike 1080p, TimeSpy, and TimeSpy Extreme. Additionally, the source compared the GeForce RTX 3050 test results against stablemates such as the GTX 1660 Ti and RTX 3060 and AMD's newest RDNA 2 GPU.
To sum up the performance of a GeForce RTX 3050 in one sentence, you could say it is like a GTX 1660 Ti but with DLSS potential. The 3DMark scores are uncannily like the aging GTX 1660 Ti, but the old-timer has a slight edge here of approx 5%. However, if a game uses modern Nvidia graphics tech like DLSS, the newer card will be highly preferable, as will its improved future-proofing with 8GB (vs. 6GB) of VRAM.
Fleshing out and adding context to the tests unearthed by VideoCardz is the RTX 3060 and the RX 6500 XT. The former is between 30% to 50% faster than its brother, and the latter is about 5% to 20% slower. Given the performance differences, it is interesting to see Nvidia has built the RTX 3050 desktop using the same GA106 GPU like the RTX 3060, with various cuts to the spec. You can read our report on precisely how Nvidia trimmed the GeForce RTX 3050 here. It leaves room for an RTX 3050 Ti for desktops, should Nvidia have the spare dies and feel the need.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Desktop in Cryptomining
There is undoubtedly a segment of the readership who will be eyeing the launch of the GeForce RTX 3050 with interest in its crypto mining potential. Unfortunately, the news from the Bilibili source isn't excellent for those folks.
According to the Bilibili user, called Hipster, the Ethereum hash rate that the new GeForce RTX 3050 is capable of is 13.66 MH/s, and in attaining this performance, the GPU runs at 57W. It compares poorly against the GeForce RTX 3060 LHR, which can hit about 33 MH/s, and of course, the original unrestricted RTX 3060 approaches 50 MH/s (135W).
The RTX 3050 is new, of course, so there is room for optimizations within the mining community, and as with any LHR card, there will be techniques to recover some of that artificially lost performance.
Launch Price Context
Before signing off on this story, it is worth reminding readers that Nvidia has put an official launch price on the RTX 3050 of $249. It is hard to know whether we will see a repeat of the type of price/availability action we just observed with the AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT, but we hope not. If supplies are good and cryptocurrencies continue to get harder to mine and fall in value, we could see an encouraging trend begin next week.