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.