Nvidia RTX 3050 6GB could launch in February – but if the spec and pricing rumors are right, it’ll be a disappointing budget GPU

Nvidia RTX 3050 graphics card
(Image credit: Future)

We’ve just heard more about the rumored RTX 3050 variant Nvidia might be cooking up, and the word is that this graphics card may debut in February.

Wccftech flagged up that the RTX 3050 with a cut-down 6GB of VRAM (from 8GB) has been talked about on the Board Channels forums (over in China – a source of more sketchy rumors, so add some extra seasoning).

Whereas previously it was thought Nvidia was planning to launch this RTX 3050 6GB in January, the new rumor insists it’ll be February, and we’ve also been given a purported price.

That price tag is $179 (in the US – with pricing to align with that elsewhere), which was the lower-end estimate from the previous chatter on the grapevine.

As per the previous rumor, we’re told that the CUDA core count could be dropped by 20%, as well as that VRAM reduction (and the memory bus will also be dropped to a 96-bit affair). On top of that, Wccftech reports that the base clock speed will be reduced by almost 20% compared to the 8GB model, too.

Analysis: A flop of a budget GPU?

If Nvidia does drop the core count and clock speed of the RTX 3050 6GB substantially, as predicted, as well as shedding 2GB of VRAM (and downsizing the memory bus), it’ll be a pretty nerfed product compared to the RTX 3050 8GB as it stands.

If this is correct, or at least near the mark, the refreshed RTX 3050 doesn’t sound very appealing.

Frankly, the RTX 3050 8GB wasn’t all that tempting a proposition from the get-go, and we don’t see how a hobbled version, at the rumored price point, can compete with the likes of AMD’s Radeon RX 6600. That Team Red card represents tough competition in the arena of the best budget GPUs right now.

It’s possible that either the purported spec, or pricing, of this refresh might be wrong – maybe even both. Time will tell, but it does seem likely that the RTX 3050 6GB could be inbound, given that we’ve also heard that Nvidia is planning to scrap its venerable GTX 1650 and 1630 graphics cards. So, the refreshed RTX 3050 could be a good fit to replace the GTX 1650 in theory – we shall see.

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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).