RTX 3050 Ti Laptops Deliver Questionable Performance

Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti and RTX 3050
(Image credit: Nvidia)

According to independent benchmarking from Jarrod'sTech on YouTube, the mobile RTX 3050 Ti could prove to be one of the worst mobile GPUs in Nvidia's 30-series lineup—along with the RTX 3050 it would seem, since that will basically be just as bad. Thanks to some lackluster specifications, the 3050 Ti is around 35% slower than the RTX 3060, with just a 10% difference in price.

In Jarrod's tests, he used two identical XMG notebooks equipped with an Intel Core i7-11800H and 16GB of 3200MHz memory (running at JEDEC speeds). The only difference between the two is the GPU, one running an RTX 3050 Ti, and the other an RTX 3060.

There's also a difference between the power limit for each GPU. The RTX 3050 Ti runs at a maximum of 80W while the RTX 3060 runs at 115W. These power targets are the maximum allowed limits set by Nvidia for these specific GPUs, so we are looking at a best-case scenario for both mobile Ampere products.

In testing at 1080p and maximum settings, the RTX 3060 was found to be a whopping 50% faster on average than the RTX 3050 Ti, with the worst outliers being Battlefield V, Control, and Cyberpunk 2077 which had anywhere from 74% to 115% higher performance with the RTX 3060. Actually, that's also eliminating Assassin's Creed Valhalla, which due to its high VRAM requirements ran 600% faster on the 3060.

The only saving grace for the 3050 Ti is that lowering image quality significantly can close the gap. Jarrod tested the GPUs a variety of settings, and running both on the lowest quality presets in all titles resulted in much closer performance.

Doing this, the RTX 3050 Ti closes the gap on the RTX 3060, being just 25% slower than its bigger brother on average. Some outliers like Control and Cyberpunk 2077 were still 57%-76% faster with the 3060, but these results are significantly better than the benchmarks with ultra quality prests.

The large differences in performance comes largely thanks to the RTX 3050 Ti's rather low 4GB of GDDR6. With ultra-quality textures and detail models, the 4GB frame buffer simply cannot keep up and is getting maxed out. We've seen the same thing in our own testing of desktop GPUs, where 4GB simply isn't sufficient to run some of the latest games at higher quality settings.

Cyberpunk RTX 3050 Ti Benchmark

(Image credit: YouTube: Jarrod'sTech)

Things get even worse if you enable ray tracing and DLSS, as the RT cores need quite a bit of VRAM to function well. This is a serious issue in games like Cyberpunk 2077, where frame rates with RT enabled fall well below 30 fps, with minimums down in the single digits. That makes the game effectively unplayable at these settings—and this is with DLSS enabled, mind you.

Usually, lackluster performance like this can be understandable on an entry-level GPU like a 50 series product, but pricing for this GPU remains relatively high. XMG notes that the RTX 3050 Ti version of its notebook only costs 10% less to make compared to the RTX 3060 variant. That's an absolutely terrible price to performance value if you opted to go for the RTX 3050 Ti variant (which XMP notes they don't actually make).

We haven't reviewed any RTX 3050 or RTX 3050 Ti laptops yet, but hopefully we'll see some better values going forward. Then again, buying at the bottom of the product stack often results in poor compromises like this.

Aaron Klotz
Freelance News Writer

Aaron Klotz is a freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US, covering news topics related to computer hardware such as CPUs, and graphics cards.

  • logainofhades
    Unacceptable that this only has 4gb of VRAM. That seems to be the theme of most of the 3000 series lineup, subpar ram amounts.
  • watzupken
    logainofhades said:
    Unacceptable that this only has 4gb of VRAM. That seems to be the theme of most of the 3000 series lineup, subpar ram amounts.
    This is how Nvidia play this game all the time. On the budget or low power side, you usually get between 2 to 4GB of VRAM. But truth to be told, anything below a RTX 3060 is not exactly gaming grade in my opinion. You can play games on it for sure and it runs a lot better than any integrated graphics, but I certainly am not expecting to run it at high graphic settings even at 1080p for graphically intensive titles. There is no bad product, only bad pricing. The RTX 3050 Ti is just poorly priced.
  • InvalidError
    watzupken said:
    The RTX 3050 Ti is just poorly priced.
    GPU pricing in general is completely out of wack. The 3050Ti as a discrete product wound be fine around $160 just like the 1050Ti, maybe push it to $190 for 6GB/192bits.