Leadtek Readies GeForce RTX 3050 With Blower-Style Cooler

Leadtek GeForce RTX 3050 Classic
Leadtek GeForce RTX 3050 Classic (Image credit: Zed Wang)

Leadtek has launched a GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card with a blower-style cooling shroud. It is the first Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 we have spotted with a blower cooler unearthed by Twitter user Zed Wang (opens in new tab). This cooler style is sometimes frowned upon by PC gamers and enthusiasts, but they can have attractive qualities for small form factor and server systems.

The Leadtek GeForce RTX 3050 Classic has reference specs for an Nvidia retail partner card – 2,560 CUDA cores, a base clock of 1,552 MHz, and a boost clock 1,777 MHz, plus 8GB of GDDR5 14 Gbps memory on a 128-bit bus. In addition, it uses one 8-pin power connector, which is plenty for its 130W max power draw.

Nvidia didn't produce a reference design RTX 3050; it left it to its AIB partners to rustle up whatever they fancied. As a result, most just used the same coolers on near neighbor cards like the GeForce RTX 3060 or GTX 1660 Super. And this is the case with the Leadtek GeForce RTX 3050 Classic.

If you look at Leadtek's product pages, you will see the new GeForce RTX 3050 Classic nestled among similar cooler-equipped cards like the RTX 3060 Classic, RTX 3060 Ti Classic, and RTX 3070 AI Blower. Predictably there are Leadtek GeForce GTX 1660 / Super / Ti Classic cards. They all look pretty much the same, and every model was two slots wide at 35mm, and just a little taller than the bracket height at 111mm, though lengths varied a little. The new Leadtek GeForce RTX 3050 Classic is 253mm long.

There are some excellent reasons to choose a blower-style cooler. For consumers, probably the best and most relevant reason to opt for a blower will be to use a PC case with little space inside or that features a component or other add-in-card that blocks GPU fans. The blower design is attractive in this situation as it takes its hot air and jets it out the back of the slot area. Recent blower designs aren't as noisy as when this cooler style first became established in the graphics card market; however, we haven't had a Leadtek in the labs to vouch for its cooling fan noise properties.

If you read our review of the GeForce RTX 3050 from January this year, you will be aware that it only scrapes into the top 12 of the Best Graphics Cards for Gaming in 2022. Nevertheless, it might fit your needs, and you may notice one at an irresistible price. GeForce RTX 3050 graphics cards come in a wide variety of cooler types. Some of them seem overkill, like the triple fan Aorus Elite, but most AIB products are dual fan designs, with Asus and MSI providing single fan versions. As for this blower cooler card from Leadtek – it is always good to have options.

Mark Tyson
Freelance News Writer

Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.

  • hotaru.hino
    I'd be curious to see how well this design works compared to video cards that have the axial fan style, at least in cramped conditions where circulating the air in the case may not be the best idea.
    Reply
  • plateLunch
    Curious too. What are the pros and cons of axial vs. blower cooling for a video card?
    Reply
  • geofelt
    plateLunch said:
    Curious too. What are the pros and cons of axial vs. blower cooling for a video card?
    Love the blower coolers.
    GTX1080tiFE was one of the best.
    They get the hot graphics air out of the case directly.
    It seems entirely appropriate for a 3050 class card.

    Axial fans can get heat off of the gpu better, but then you need good case ventilation to remove that heat out of the case.
    Larger axial fans can run at lower rpm than a typical blower, resulting in quieter operation.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    geofelt said:
    Larger axial fans can run at lower rpm than a typical blower, resulting in quieter operation.
    Maybe in an open-bench setting. If low noise is a high priority, you should use a noise-dampening case with the strict minimum of ventilation holes and those are usually better at attenuating higher-pitched noises.
    Reply
  • Phaaze88
    plateLunch said:
    What are the pros and cons of axial vs. blower cooling for a video card?
    Radial
    +Excels in narrow/limited space, and stacking multiple gpus.
    +The waste heat is pushed out the rear of the gpu, and not inside the PC.
    -The design isn't very efficient.
    For the best effect this type requires high(er) or maximum fan curves, but the noise may stop some users. The single fan needs to be able to push - maybe ram is a better word - cool air down the entire length of the gpu and out the back. The air pressure kind of drags across if the fan's rpm is low enough.


    Axial
    +Cooler design is more efficient than radial; can achieve better cooling at lower noise levels than radial.
    -Doesn't do as well in narrow/limited space, nor stacking multiple gpus. These fans need a little more 'face space' than radial.
    -Dumps its waste heat inside the PC, some of which the cpu cooler has to cope with too... with the exception of front mounted AIO/custom loop rad. For top mounted AIO or air cooler, the alternative is the user over-provisioning on cooler size, if possible.
    Reply
  • hotaru.hino
    Phaaze88 said:
    -Dumps its waste heat inside the PC, some of which the cpu cooler has to cope with too...
    Part of me wonders about this last point about axial fans. The issue I see is most heat sink fins are oriented towards the sides of the case, so most of the air gets channeled out that way. If the heat sink fins were oriented towards the front and back, I'd image that it would channel at least half the air out , but I also imagine it wouldn't be hard to make it so most of the air gets channeled towards the back.

    And then there's NVIDIA's cooler design for the RTX 30 cards.
    Reply
  • Phaaze88
    hotaru.hino said:
    The issue I see is most heat sink fins are oriented towards the sides of the case, so most of the air gets channeled out that way. If the heat sink fins were oriented towards the front and back, I'd image that it would channel at least half the air out , but I also imagine it wouldn't be hard to make it so most of the air gets channeled towards the back.
    There aren't many cards out there with that orientation, but for the ones that do:
    -some air blowback at the support bracket at the rear. The grille on the AIB models don't look, and probably aren't, as porous as the ones on the AMD Reference(none on 6000 series) and Nvidia FE models.
    -turbulence between the fans on front to back style fins? Take a dual fan cooler, for example: <air | fan | air> ? <air | fan | air> ? < front chassis fan(s)
    It looks less efficient than the one aimed at the sides. Then there's the PCIe slot guards - they impede airflow a little.
    Some of the air likely gets recycled by the cooler too... IDK, too much speculation = o_O


    And then there's NVIDIA's cooler design for the RTX 30 cards.
    The cooler design for the 3070Ti FE and up was great. I wish the AIBs had gone with it, but nope... most are still taking a dump inside PCs.
    Reply