Nvidia RTX 3050 rumor gets gamers excited about a powerhouse budget GPU

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070
(Image credit: Future)

Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3050 has popped up online, or at least the spec of this rumored graphics card has been highlighted on Twitter.

Prolific leaker kopite7kimi is once again the source of this Nvidia-related speculation (who also recently aired details on the purported RTX 3060 and RTX 3050 Ti GPUs).

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Apparently the RTX 3050 will use the GA107 GPU, the model down from the GA106 which will power the RTX 3060 and RTX 3050 Ti according to the rumor mill – but it’s still an RTX card, meaning it will support ray tracing.

In other words, theoretically there will be no GTX flavors with the Ampere range, and even the lower-end Nvidia GPUs will have ray tracing capabilities.

The RTX 3050 will purportedly run with 2,304 CUDA cores, compared to 3,840 CUDA cores for the RTX 3060 (and 3,584 for the 3060 Ti). That represents a considerable boost compared to lower-end Turing GPUs (the GTX 1650 Super offers 1,280 CUDA cores, the 1660 – and Super variant – have 1,408, and the 1660 Ti has 1,536).

Power consumption for the RTX 3080 will sit at 90W, but bear in mind that this all remains speculation. Furthermore, obviously we don’t have a full picture of purported specs yet, with clock speeds and memory configuration details missing, in terms of trying to guess at exactly how powerful the supposed RTX 3050 will be.

Also, as Videocardz, which spotted the above tweet, points out, Nvidia doubled the number of CUDA cores per SM (streaming multiprocessor) with the Ampere architecture, meaning of course that comparing performance across Nvidia’s GPU generations isn’t quite as simple as it scaling linearly with more cores.

Exciting times?

So in short, it’s a complex picture with bits missing, but that hasn’t stopped folks on Twitter getting excited about the prospect that this 3050 could give us something like the power of the RTX 2060 – the baseline card for ray tracing in the 2000 series – for hopefully a lot less cash. But as we’ve said, it’s way too early to be leaping to any conclusions (although we can but hope).

Nvidia’s RTX 3060 Ti will supposedly be the next Ampere GPU to be released, theoretically landing in December, with the vanilla RTX 3060, and both the RTX 3050 and its Ti version expected to arrive early in 2021 (the rumor mill reckons all three of those graphics cards will be here by the end of February, but take that with even more salt than the info in the rest of this story).

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).