Finally, a modern fanless GPU: Palit RTX 3050 6GB reportedly in the works

Palit GTX 1650 KalmX
(Image credit: Palit)

According to VideoCardz, Nvidia partner Palit is getting ready to ship a new RTX 3050 6GB KalmX graphics card that will appeal to silent and fanless users. Details on the card remain slim, but it appears to be a successor to the GTX 1650 KalmX, which was also passively cooled. While the RTX 3050 isn't one of the best graphics cards for high performance gaming, this new card could be the perfect upgrade for media enthusiasts that want a quiet GPU for their HTPC.

Sadly, there's incredibly little information on this new card, there aren't even any pictures of the new GPU. However, what we can gather is that this new card will probably sport a new heatsink design that will be more dense and/or bigger than the GTX 1650 and GTX 1050 Ti KalmX models that preceed it. Both of Palit's older card's came with virtually the same heatsink, since both GPUs featured identical TDPs of 75W — even though the 1650 model is newer.

The new RTX 3050 6GB is expected to arrive with a 115W target board power rating, which is 50% higher than the TDP on the older 1650/1050 Ti cards. That would necessitate an improved cooling solution to cope with the additional heat generated from the GPU. It's also possible Palit might power limit this specific RTX 3050 6GB, but that remains to be seen.

Passive cooling is rarely seen on modern GPUs, but it can provide a lot of benefits that you won't see on actively-cooled cards. The biggest one is noise, obviously, as passively cooled GPUs don't have any fans at all. Outside of any potential coil whine, such cards should be 100% silent in all conditions. That makes such cards a great choice for anyone who wants a truly silent PC.

Passively cooled cards can also be more reliable. Since there are no moving parts, the card should be practically maintenance free — no fans means no dust accumulation. Alternatively, the card's cooling performance can be boosted via airflow from other fans. One or two low RPM case fans can dramatically improve system temperatures and would allow a card like the KalmX to perform beyond its advertised specifications — no modding required.

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RTX 3050 Specifications
Graphics CardRTX 3050 8GBRTX 3050 6GB*
ArchitectureGA106GA106 or GA107
Process TechnologySamsung 8NSamsung 8N
Transistors (Billion)1212 or 8.7
Die size (mm^2)276276 or 200
SMs / CUs2020
GPU Cores2,5602,560
Tensor Cores8080
RT Cores2020
Base Clock (MHz)1,5521,042
Boost Clock (MHz)1,7771,777
VRAM Speed (Gbps)1414
VRAM Bus Width12896
TFLOPS FP32 (Boost)9.19.1
Bandwidth (GB/s)224168
Board Power (Watts)130115
Launch DateJanuary 2022February 2024
Official Launch MSRP$249 ?

Once it arrives, the RTX 3050 6GB KalmX will be one of the fastest passively cooled cards on the market. Nvidia is expected to launch the RTX 3050 6GB soon, probably at CES 2024. It's expected to feature identical specifications to the existing RTX 3050 8GB, save for the obvious 2GB memory reduction and a slight 13% reduction in power draw.

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.

  • Joseph_138
    I'm assuming this is going to be the GA107 variant, since fewer transistors, produce less heat, and need less cooling.
  • thisisaname
    Due to every 40** card being bloody expensive?
  • usertests
    This would probably be a performance upgrade for one of my systems, but I should really be aiming for RTX 3060 12 GB or RX 6600/6700 instead.

    Let's talk $100 (any model) and I *might* care.