NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 30 Series of desktop graphics cards is about to get even more convoluted based on the latest rumors shared by industry insiders.
According to a report from Igor Wallossek shared today, NVIDIA is preparing to release a another version of its entry-level graphics card, the GeForce RTX 3050, with a different GPU. The current model leverages the GA106 GPU, but the new model will use the GA107 GPU—a change that was apparently facilitated for supply reasons. NVIDIA’s new GeForce RTX 3050 is also said to feature a lower TDP, 115 versus 130 watts.
Wallossek doesn’t seem to mention this anywhere in his report, but an update to TechPowerUp’s GPU database suggests that the new GeForce RTX 3050 will feature just 4 GB of memory instead of 8 GB. This would put it in line with the memory specifications of its mobile variants (i.e., the GeForce RTX 3050 and GeForce RTX 3050 Ti mobile GPUs).
The two faces of the GeForce RTX 3050 8GB – different chips and different thirst | Leak (Igor’s Lab)
- All cards available at launch relied on the GA106-150, a chip slimmed down from 30 to 20 SM, which had probably accumulated in heaps due to the poor yield rate of Samsung’s 8 nm process and of course still drops. Hence the slimming down to the 2 GPC with the 20 SM, 2560 shading units, 80 TMUs, 32 ROPs, 80 tensor cores and 20 RT cores.
- In this context, it is of course also interesting that the chip, which is actually connected with 16 PCIe 4.0 lanes, was artificially cut to 8 lanes shortly before the launch. The question of why this was done was also quickly answered. This is because NVIDIA wants to keep all options open with this model and also be able to reach for the GA107, which only offers 8 lanes out of the box (and also offers 20 SM and 2560 CUDA cores), in case of a lack of salvage chips of the GA106.
- The only thing was that they were afraid that customers would then revolt due to different specifications for the bus. Bad press for different configurations has been a “good” experience since the GT 640 at the latest, which even made it to the market in five (!) versions (and 3 more OEM versions as GT 645). Pure confusion, then.
Nvidia May Launch a GeForce RTX 3050 4GB For $199 (Tom’s Hardware)
- The TPU database entry says the new 4GB card will feature the GA107 GPU, as used by its mobile brethren, but with the much higher GPU/memory clocks that a desktop card can put out, thanks to the improved power/thermal characteristics of the desktop form factor.
- The established 8GB desktop card uses a cut-down version of the GA106 die; however, to scale up production, it will be much more economical in silicon terms to have a smaller die for these entry-level RTX gaming cards.
- Perhaps more critical than die size and economics to end users will be the difference in CUDA core counts between the desktop RTX 3050 4GB and 8GB models. It won’t be the first time we see graphics cards from Nvidia with basically the same name and tweaked VRAM quotas, offering different CUDA core counts.