Today we reviewed MSI’s premium, top-of-the-line NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 GPU-based MSI GeForce RTX 3050 GAMING X 8G video card. The GAMING X represents MSI’s premier video card based on the GeForce RTX 3050 which is built for gamers, built for enthusiasts, built for overclockers, and brings performance, low-noise efficiency, and aesthetics.
The MSI GeForce RTX 3050 GAMING X video card utilizes MSI’s TWIN FROZR 8 thermal cooling solution and TORX 4.0 fan design. It’s an appealing shroud, with two capable, but quiet fans and the video card also has a full backplate that isn’t just for looks. The entire video card has a premium feel and construction, with ample cooling for the GeForce RTX 3050 GPU with plenty of power delivery via the 8-pin power connector and VRM configuration. Since this is the GAMING X model, it is clocked at a boost clock of 1845MHz, which is higher than the reference 1777MHz.
In our performance testing, we focused on the 1080p gameplay experience, tried out DLSS and FSR, and even threw Ray Tracing at it. The performance is going to depend on the game and the game settings. For the most part, this video card is capable of High-Ultra game settings at 1080p.
Dying Light 2 is a very demanding game, but the MSI GeForce RTX 3050 GAMING X is capable at 1080p, as long as Ray Tracing is kept off. The game is playable at Ultra settings, but if you want even better performance drop the game settings down one level to High, and the game performs really great. Or, another option is to utilize DLSS at Ultra and you get Ultra quality at the performance that is 60FPS with DLSS!
Forza Horizon 5 performed really well as well, at the maximum game settings the game was playable in the 50 FPS range. If you enable CAS you get some extra performance, and with overclocking it’s even better. Else, if you drop the game to the “Extreme” preset or just one setting lower, you get phenomenal performance without having to use CAS or overclocking.
Far Cry 6 performed really well on the MSI GeForce RTX 3050 GAMING X at 75FPS and that’s with HD Textures turned on. Thank you 8GB VRAM. FSR further improves performance if that just isn’t enough for you, but the point is you don’t have to lower game settings in this game on this card. Even with Ray Tracing enabled performance wasn’t too bad, with FSR it was really good with Ray Tracing.
Cyberpunk 2077 is demanding, as usual, and so it is no surprise that Ultra wasn’t playable. Therefore you will have to lower game settings in this game to at least Medium for it to be really playable. However, you do have another option, enable DLSS. DLSS at Ultra provides near 60FPS, and performance is very smooth. This means you can enjoy the game with all the graphics features enabled, with DLSS. What you probably won’t do though is a lot of Ray Tracing, it’s just a bit too much for this game. Only the Low Ray Tracing option is playable, and only with DLSS.
Microsoft Flight Simulator played remarkably well on the MSI GeForce RTX 3050 GAMING X and overclocking brought performance up to the competition. Finally, in Watch Dogs Legion the game was somewhat playable at 1080p and Ultra until we enabled DLSS, and then it was at 60FPS. Therefore, without DLSS you’ll probably find yourself lowering the game down a couple of notches to get it playable. Ray Tracing will be out of the question unless you are at eh lowest RT level with DLSS enabled.
When it comes down to it, DLSS is a real bonus for the GeForce RTX 3050 and gameplay performance. It can make rough situations, well, not rough. It can be the thing that allows you to play at “Ultra” settings at 1080p. Else you will end up having to lower to High or Medium to be playable in some demanding games. In the games that support FSR, which is also an option, it equally can help with performance. We saw a big performance boost in Far Cry 6 and with Ray Tracing enabled it made a big difference.
We were impressed with the overclocking ability on the MSI GeForce RTX 3050 GAMING X and the ease with which it overclocks. It’s just a no-fuss situation, load up Afterburner and just crank it up. It overclocked well, +170 on the core which took us to very high 2150MHz+ frequencies on the GPU. The memory is also overclocked very well. The performance increases were around 6-8% depending on the game and situation. When you tie this in with DLSS it can mean some larger gains in the gameplay experience.
We never felt like we were being held back by the cooler on the MSI GeForce RTX 3050 GAMING X. In fact, though we ran at 100% fan speeds, it wasn’t necessary. You can actually enjoy a quiet overclocking experience. That is, you can overclock and keep the fan on automatic for a very quiet operating noise level while overclocked.
If you are in the market for a good 1080p gaming experience right now, pricing is kind of a mess in 2022, as it has been for the last year. You may be tempted to pick up the cheaper Radeon RX 6500 XT. However, we can clearly say that the Radeon RX 6500 XT is really a joke here, and should be avoided.
The MSI GeForce RTX 3050 GAMING X is on the pricy side of things right now. However, it offers a lot of good things that benefit gamers and the gaming experience. The 8GB of VRAM capacity is a big plus for the 3050, it keeps it from bottlenecking in many situations. The MSI GeForce RTX 3050 GAMING X also has DLSS, and this can make a big difference. It provides better performance and great image quality. Ray Tracing performance is better on the MSI GeForce RTX 3050 GAMING X and with DLSS is useable in some games.
The MSI GeForce RTX 3050 GAMING X may be an expensive beast in today’s market, but it does offer a gameplay experience advantage. It also offers a lot in terms of build quality, design, and overclocking ability. Hopefully, prices will drop over time to something more reasonable. Already the price for this particular video card has dropped closer to $400 now, which is an improvement from where it started. Therefore, if the price continues to drop you will want to keep your eye on this video card since this is a video card that has a lot more value closer to its MSRP.