Zotac GeForce RTX 3050 Twin Edge OC Review: An Overpriced Overclock

A big price jump for a minor OC

Zotac GeForce RTX 3050 Twin Edge OC
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

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We weren't expecting a lot from the minor overclock Zotac applied to the Twin Edge OC, and we weren't disappointed. Actually, we were disappointed, but it was fully expected.

Most of the add-in card manufacturers are making at least two different models of the RTX 3050. One has reference clocks and has a nominal MSRP of $250, while the other comes with a typically minor factory overclock and a much higher price. As we said at the start, there's little reason to expect a large supply of reference clocked cards when most GPUs will easily handle the 1–3% overclocks of the more expensive cards, which means the card manufacturers will prioritize supply of the expensive models.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

On the one hand, that seems bad, but realistically the RTX 3050 was never going to be sold in anything more than token quantities at $250 when slower GPUs are going for nearly twice that much right now. While we continue to wait for supply to catch up with demand — and there are signs and reports that it's at least heading in the right direction — just know that any reasonable graphics card will likely cost at least 50% more than the official AMD and Nvidia MSRPs.

In days of yore, it used to be that a company like Zotac would have a barebones reference clocked card priced at Nvidia's official MSRP, or maybe even $10 below it. Then there would be a nearly identical card with perhaps slightly better components and a factory overclock selling for a minor $20 price premium. I bought a GTX 970 card from Zotac way back in the day for $330, and it served me well — I still have it. Over seven years later, the general design hasn't changed all that much, but now the overclocked model is being sold for a premium. If you don't like it, don't buy it. It's as simple as that. Because things will improve at some point, and you'll either get a faster and newer GPU for a similar or lower price, or else you'll be able to pick up the same GPU and only pay a bit more than Nvidia's $250 target price.

Apparently patience is still a virtue, and if you choose to forego patience, the typical eBay price sits at around $535 right now, more than twice the MSRP, though that includes all RTX 3050 variants. Frankly, that's ridiculous, as AMD's RX 6600 can be had for around $505 off eBay. The RTX 3050 might have a slight edge in ray tracing games, and DLSS is still worth a thought, but the AMD card was typically 30–40% faster than the RTX 3050 in standard games.

It's been said countless times over the years that there's rarely such a thing as a truly bad product, only bad prices on products. The Zotac RTX 3050 Twin Edge OC lands squarely in that second category for the time being — along with pretty much every other GPU released in the past several years. The RTX 3050 would be a great card at $250, a good card at $300, and perhaps at least acceptable at $350. Unfortunately, at $400, it's simply too much, and the eBay prices are straight up laughable. Keep waiting, and eventually things will finally get sorted out.

Jarred Walton

Jarred Walton is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on everything GPU. He has been working as a tech journalist since 2004, writing for AnandTech, Maximum PC, and PC Gamer. From the first S3 Virge '3D decelerators' to today's GPUs, Jarred keeps up with all the latest graphics trends and is the one to ask about game performance.

  • Exploding PSU
    Checked the local store here right when it finally arrived (this exact model), 810 AUD. I think I'll just wait it out
  • Agera One
    The Twin Edge OC model from Zotac on the RTX 3060 had one extra heat pipe than the non-OC model, so the cost increase may be because of hardware changes too. Their 3050 web pages doesn't show any hardware changes though.
  • Old Molases
    is it worth buying?