Nvidia reportedly releasing a new and weaker RTX 3050 6GB to replace the already anemic 8GB variant

GeForce RTX Graphics Card
(Image credit: Nvidia)

A report from the Board Channels forum leaked details of a completely unexpected move by Nvidia related to the GeForce RTX 3050. The report unveils that Nvidia will cancel the RTX 3050 8GB outright in favor of a lower-capacity 6GB variant. 

Typically, Nvidia will replace an outgoing GPU with a slightly more powerful one if it plans to discontinue the previous product (like the RTX 2070). Or it will build a lower-end variant of an outgoing model that will co-exist with its more performant sibling (like the GTX 1060 3GB and RTX 3060 8GB).

If Nvidia's plan comes to fruition, the RTX 3050's VRAM capacity won't be the only thing that will get cut down; memory bandwidth will also see a reduction. Due to this, the RTX 3050 6GB will most likely have a 96-bit wide memory interface, resulting in a 25% bandwidth reduction compared to the 8GB variant (which has a 128-bit wide interface).

Nvidia can always counter this downgrade by implementing faster GDDR6 memory chips that run at higher clock speeds, but it is doubtful for such a low-end product as the RTX 3050. Nvidia could also reduce the CUDA core count, similar to the GTX 1060 3GB, but that would be a worst-case scenario.

Which RTX 3050's are getting cut, and why is the RTX 3050 8GB going away? 

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 GeForce RTX 3050 115WGeForce RTX 3050GeForce RTX 3050 OEM
GPUGA107GA106GA106
CUDA Cores2,5602,5602,304
Tensor Cores808072
RT Cores202018
Base Clock (MHz)1,5521,5521,515
Boost Clock (MHz)1,7771,7771,755
FP32 Performance (TFLOPS)9.0989.0988.087
Memory8GB GDDR68GB GDDR68GB GDDR6
Memory Clock (Gbps)141414
Memory Bus128 bit128 bit128 bit
Memory Bandwidth (GBps)224224224
TDP (W)115130130

There are multiple sub-versions of the RTX 3050 on the market right now, including the fully-fledged RTX 3050 8GB, the low-powered RTX 3050 8GB 115W, and the OEM RTX 3050 8GB. The 115W variant, in addition to its reduced power requirements, features a GPU die swap from GA106 to GA107. The OEM variant features the same TDP as the standard model but a 10% core count reduction from 2560 to 2304.

In a best-case scenario, Nvidia might only cut the standard RTX 3050 8GB and OEM versions, leaving the 115W variant alone. Logically, this would work out because the RTX 3050 8GB uses the larger GA106 die (found in the RTX 3060), while its 115W variant features the smaller GA107 die found in the mobile RTX 3050. Due to the way GPU manufacturing works, smaller dies are cheaper to manufacture than big ones. So, killing off the GA106 RTX 3050 would enable Nvidia to save money by reducing production costs. 

But realistically, Nvidia will probably cut all three GPUs because the original report did not specify which RTX 3050 8GB models were getting cut. Hopefully, Nvidia chooses the former rather than the latter, but if this report is true, the RTX 3050 8 GB original version will go away.

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.

  • -Fran-
    Dang. Looks like nVidia knew Tom's Hardware was making a '5 worst GPUs of all time' from them and rushed out the news.

    Regards.
    Reply
  • BX4096
    Because that's what a trillion dollar company with its stock up 221% from last year and tons of free "AI" money coming in for at least a decade to come needs. To "save on production costs" by screwing the poorest of its customers, many of whom don't know better, even further.
    Reply
  • Eximo
    If it is cheap enough we can finally have some competition for the A380, doubtful though.
    Reply
  • Eximo
    BX4096 said:
    Because that's what a trillion dollar company with its stock up 221% from last year and tons of free "AI" money coming in for at least a decade to come needs. To "save on production costs" by screwing the poorest of its customers, many of whom don't know better, even further.

    More like they have piles of bad dies and not enough demand from the mobile market to make a SKU there, and there is always a market for 'good enough' discrete graphics.

    GTX1630 was certainly the silliest in recent memory.

    If they can drop 115W to 75W, that might be worthwhile for example.
    Reply
  • -Fran-
    Eximo said:
    More like they have piles of bad dies and not enough demand from the mobile market to make a SKU there, and there is always a market for 'good enough' discrete graphics.

    GTX1630 was certainly the silliest in recent memory.

    If they can drop 115W to 75W, that might be worthwhile for example.
    Considering the reported information talks about "replacing", I think what you're hoping for has a very slim chance of happening.

    This is nVidia after all. The Way You Are Meant To Be Played.

    Regards.
    Reply
  • why_wolf
    Feels like they should just release a 3040 then. At least that way it would be less deceptive.
    Reply
  • Eximo
    Considering they have yet to launch a 4050, got to have something down there.
    -Fran- said:
    Considering the reported information talks about "replacing", I think what you're hoping for has a very slim chance of happening.

    This is nVidia after all. The Way You Are Meant To Be Played.

    Regards.
    I expect the price to be high, since that seems to be the way they like to launch their low end cards.

    GTX 1650 is sitting at $160, RTX3050 at $230. So they'll probably try to squeeze it in at $200. It will be the worst price to performance out there, as usual, but as long as it has an NVENC encoder and is low power enough, it has a purpose.

    A380 is $120 right now though, certainly not going to be priced that low.
    Reply
  • Metal Messiah.
    The specs are already confirmed by IT-HOME Chinese news outlet. The card sports the same GPU die featured on the MOBILE "refresh" RTX 3050 6GB SKU.

    It will use the "GA107-325" GPU die, along with 6GB VRAM on a 96-bit wide memory bus, with lower clock speeds. The TDP would be 75 Watts, and the card won't require any external power connectors.

    Although the RTX 3050 Mobile Refresh 6 GB sports 2560 cores, there is also a 2048 cores SKU in the works as well according to one AIB brand.

    https://www.ithome.com/0/737/353.htm
    Since the RTX 4050 is pretty much MIA at this point, and the RTX 4060's 8GB sales are being impacted by the previous-gen RTX 3050 cards, that's the main reason for releasing this cut-down SKU (reason cited by one of the board partners, GALAX).
    Reply
  • ohio_buckeye
    Man glad I didn't get nvidia this go around. Just caught a deal on a 6800xt I think this will hold for a while for me. Sad part here is the people with the least money and possibly least knowledge of PC's will be the people buying those new 3050's.
    Reply
  • hotaru251
    more waste of sand.

    the 4060 was already a 50 tier card & this new one is basically a 30 tier card with that gimped bus.
    Reply