NVIDIA launched the RTX 3050 Ti (mobile) earlier this year to replace the wildly popular GTX 1650 Ti. However, according to reviewers, it’s a phenomenal disappointment. The primary allure of the 3050 Ti over the 1650 Ti is support for ray-tracing and DLSS which the latter lacks. However, looking at the below benchmarks, it seems that the 3050 Ti performs rather poorly in RT titles.
In Battlefield V, the RTX 3050 Ti (80W) is a whopping 118% slower than the RTX 3060 (115W), followed by 79% in Control and 74% in Cyberpunk 2077, and 64% in Watch Dogs: Legion. This is probably due to two reasons. Firstly (and more obviously), the limited RT core count on the RTX 3050 Ti (20 vs 30 on the 3060). Secondly, ray-tracing tends to be bandwidth-intensive. The RTX 3050 Ti has a bus width of just 128-bit resulting in a bandwidth of 192GB/s. (Valium) In comparison, the RTX 3060 with its 192-bit bus has a bandwidth of 336GB/s: 75% higher.
There’s also the matter of the desktop variants of the RTX 3050 and 3050 Ti. The fate of these cards has been in limbo, with no word on when to expect the first sub-$300 RTX GPUs for the DIY market. While the component shortages are obviously a factor, it’s more likely the result of slim profit margins.
We have already seen this with the RTX 3070 Ti and 3060 Ti. However, in those cases, NVIDIA didn’t delay the launch date, only limiting the supply. It’s been over a year since the Ampere lineup first debuted and we’re yet to see a budget option. I reckon NVIDIA is waiting for the stocks of the GTX 16-series cards to clear out to make steady demand for a budget GPU in the DIY market.
AMD has also delayed the launch of its Radeon RX 6600 series, and we’re told to expect it at the end of Q3 at the earliest, with possible delays to Q4 also possible. If history is any indication, NVIDIA should launch the RTX 3050 Ti around the same time.