Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3050 Gaming OC GPU Review

"Great entry point but still quite expensive"

Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3050 Gaming OC GPU Review

NVIDIA’s new RTX 3050 might be a baby in comparison to the rest of the lineup but it is far from weak. This new $249 or R11,4999 card aims to become the entry point into the 30 series range and pack all the features you can expect from the hardware. This means it comes packed with NVIDIA Ampere tech, 3rd Gen Tensor Cores, 2nd Gen RT Cores and 8GB of GDDR6 128-bit memory. The model I have spent the last week with is Gigabyte’s RTX 3050 Gaming OC GPU. Like all OC models, this GPU packs slightly higher clocks speeds than others while also boasting Gigabyte’s fantastic cooling system.

This means this RTX 3050 card features a base clock of 1550MHz and a boost clock to 1780Mhz. However, the Gigabyte Gaming OC GPU comes out of the box with a base clock of 1822MHz already. In comparison, the card is able to output 9.11 teraflops of FP32 horsepower which is double the power compared to say, the GTX 1650.

Watch our Gigabyte RTX 3050 review below

As for the memory, the RTX 3050 packs 8GB of GDDR6 memory at 14Gbps across a 128-bit wide bus interface. This totals 224Gb/s of bandwidth. As for the asking price, here in SA the Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3050 Gaming OC will set you back R11,499. Elsewhere, it starts at $249.

Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3050 Gaming OC Design

There’s nothing much going on when it comes to the overall design of the Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3050 Gaming OC. The card packs a similar design to most Gaming OC GPUs with a silver and black shell. This 3050 uses only one single 8-pin connector and you can see by the card that the business is all kept to one section of the hardware. The rest is mostly for cooling.

Keep in mind that my older card, the GTX 1080 Ti was a giant piece of hardware so having this 3050 in my case took some getting used to. Even when I first plugged it in, I was looking for the other connector ports and remembered it didn’t need it. Speaking of installation, it is simple and follows this same install process as most GPUs. Thanks to its smaller size, the GPU doesn’t need a bracket or anything fancy. I simply took my older card out and put this one in.

Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3050 Gaming OC GPU Review

The only lighting you will find this Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3050 Gaming OC is on the logo. It can also be synced up with RGB Fusion 2.0 so it looks awesome alongside your other Gigabyte hardware. My PC is now officially a fully-kitted out Gigabyte build so thanks to the brand for being supportive and letting me play with all the things.

When it comes to cooling, the card features Gigabyte’s popular and effective Windforce cooling system. It packs three 80mm blade fans but the difference with this system is that the middle fan spins in the opposite direction. This helps push the heat to the back of the card which then improves airflow and pressure. The fans are also active meaning they don’t turn on unless they need to. It all sounds great and it is but this tech isn’t much different from other Gigabyte cards on the market. Still, it is nice to have.

Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3050 Gaming OC GPU Review

The tech in the RTX 3050 is quite small in comparison to other cards which means there’s more space for the heatsink. The GPU features a screen cooling section that pushes all the air to the far end of the heatsink and out of the card. While this all sounds great, we need to put it to the test to see if it actually makes a difference.

Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3050 Gaming OC Performance

NVIDIA’s big push for the RTX 3050 is 60FPS gaming at 1080p on maxed-out settings. So I really wanted to test this out. I also wanted to tech out the typical benchmarks like Firestrike, Timespy and more. My current PC build includes the following hardware:

  • Motherboard: Gigabyte B550
  • GPU: Geforce RTX 3050
  • CPU: Ryzen 5 3600x
  • Cooler: NZXT Kraken X62
  • RAM: Gigabyte Aorus 16GB DDR4
  • Storage: Gigabyte 1TB PCIe 7000S SSD
  • PSU: Gigabyte 850W PSU
  • PC Case: NZXT H510 Elite

Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3050 Gaming OC GPU Review

Gaming Benchmarks

I ran a handful of gaming benchmarks across a variety of games. This includes the ones I usually test and some new games like God of War on PC. Here are some of the results:

3D Mark Benchmarks

TimeSpy

  •  6598 Overall 
  • 6508 Graphics
  • 7161 CPU

Firestrike 

  • 14112 Overall 
  • 16 232 Graphics
  • 19 428 Physics 
  • 5905 Combined

Gaming Benchmarks

HD Gaming Benchmarks

GAME

DLSS Performance 1080p Max

DLSS Quality 1080p Max

1080p  Max DLSS Off

Far Cry 6

93FPS Max / 42FPS Average /21FPS Min

84FPS Max / 40FPS Average / 29FPS Min

45FPS Average / 30FPS Min

God of War

67FPS Max / 67FPS Average /  45FPS Min

56FPS Average / 67FPS Average /  48FPS Min

59FPS Average /  52FPS Min / 42FPS Min

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

244FPS Max / 138FPS Average / 102FPS Min

167FPS Max / 103FPS Average / 7FPS Min 

206FPS Max / 116FPS Average / 84FPS Min

Watch Dogs Legion

101FPS Max / 53FPS Average / 32FPS

92FPS Max / 52FPS Average / 23FPS Min

30FPS Max / 16FPS Average / 6FPS Min

4K Gaming Benchmarks

GAME

DLSS Ultra Performance 4K Max Settings RT On (where app) 

DLSS Quality 4K Max Settings (RT On) 

4K Max Settings 

Far Cry 6

53FPS Max / 48FPS Average / 45FPS Min (FSR Enabled – Performance) 

38FPS Max / 33FPS Average / 19FPS Min (FSR Ultra Quality)

40FPS Max / 34 FPS Average / 20FPS Min

God of War

47FPS Max / 46FPS Average / 38FPS Min

39FPS Max / 32FPS Average / 26FPS Min

23FPS Max / 22FPS Average / 18FPS Min

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

76FPS Max / 49FPS Average / 35FPS Min

46FPS Max / 29FPS Average / 20FPS Min

70FPS Max / 47FPS Average / 38FPS Min

Watch Dogs Legion

90FPS / 52 Average / 32FPS Min

30FPS Max / 16FPS Average / 28PS Min

58FPS Max / 31FPS Average / 25FPS Min

You can see from the test results that the RTX 3050 is clearly aiming to be a 1080p card if you want to max out your games and enable raytracing. With DLSS enabled, the card gets a boost across games by a few frames but it is all dependent on your setup and the game you’re playing. When testing out 4K games, as long as RTX was disabled, or at times on medium and low, these titles performed quite well. Watch Dogs Legion, for example, pumped out around 50 – 60FPS with DLSS on ultra-performance and RTX on low.

The RTX 3050 doesn’t want to be a 4K ray-tracing card. Instead, these tests show a different story. They show a GPU that performs well at 1080p and 1440p with a few tweaks here and there to your RT setup. If you don’t mind 30FPS gaming, which I know many people do then you’re best off leaving settings on 1080p for most current releases. But there’s a nice sweet spot on this GPU for even 1440p games.  So this means your HD monitors as well as your QHD ones will benefit the most from the RTX 3050.

Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3050 Gaming OC GPU Review

When it comes to cooling, this RTX 3050 handled itself well. I actually struggled to heat the card up above 73 degrees celsius. The card maxed out at 2155MHz on the GPU Clock while playing God of War and stayed at around 70-degrees celsius. At the max performance, the card was pulling 130W of power.

This fluctuated between 128W and 130W. Similar to the RTX 3060 Ti and 3070, the RTX 3050 features 8GB of GDDR6 memory, an ample amount to play the latest titles at 1080p and 1440p. You can get away with 4K, but some sacrifices in ray-tracing and game settings need to be made to achieve this.

Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3050 Gaming OC GPU Review

In the end, the RTX 3050 is a decent entry point for gamers looking for 1080p card that is versatile enough to get even QHD gaming in. It doesn’t break the bank that badly in comparison to other models on the market and the power requirements might fit into your dream PC build too. I am sure it is going to beat the AMD 6500XT which is meant to be this card’s direct competitor. I know it is still expensive, especially here in SA but at least it adds a new tier of options to look at when upgrading from a 20 series or even looking at a new build.

This review is based on a Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3050 Gaming OC GPU sent to us by Gigabyte. You can pre-order and purchase the card starting at R11,499 in SA.

Note – We published this review during our trial run of our new “star” review system. The original score was 4/5 stars. We have since reverted back to the 10-point system so the review score shown below accurately reflects this. 

Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3050 Gaming OC GPU Review
  • Cooling - 9/10
    9/10
  • Performance - 8/10
    8/10
  • Design - 8/10
    8/10
  • Value - 7/10
    7/10

Summary

The Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3050 Gaming OC GPU is a great starting point for users looking at the 30-series hardware. It is still expensive but offers great value

Overall
8/10
8/10

Pros

Fantastic cooling

Decent performance

Premium build

Cons

Still very expensive

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