Best RTX 3050 graphics card in 2022

We help you make the best choice for your budget friendly card

best 3050
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After AMD’s release of their low-end RX 6500 XT, Nvidia is bringing out their own budget competitor, and we find the best RTX 3050. The next-gen card is meant as an entryway into ray tracing and low-end performance with comparisons being made between it and the 1650 and 1050. Supposedly giving you a third more performance and along with DLSS can even perform with ray tracing.

If you’ve been waiting to upgrade from your older hardware or have been waiting to build your first budget PC then the RTX 3050 release may be the one for you. However, with a new release, there’s a whole range of choices and it might be difficult to know which one to buy.

To make it a much easier choice for you, we go through all the available AIB choices and compare, evaluate, and test the range to choose the best one available. With availability from six different manufacturers, there are at least 20 options the 3050 so we bring you just the top few to choose from.

Our Top Picks

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WePC Awards Best In Class
The best RTX 3050
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Best Zotac RX 3050
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Best white and unique RTX 3050

How we choose the best RTX 3050 GPU

Choosing the right products for our best of guides is a long and intense process. With so many options, we make sure to choose only the best options for you.

We take hours researching each of the products, go through product benchmarking, and user reviews where possible. With all of these together we make sure to form the best conclusion for you. 

We’ve amassed plenty of knowledge throughout the years and with that have got to know AIBs and releases very well. Now we want to pass on all we know especially to those who may not know their way around graphics cards.

best nvidia graphics cards

How we test

Testing is an integral part of the selection process. It is a key part of any GPU, making sure it not only performs as well as it claims but all other features it possesses. As well as making sure it is the best and has an advantage over its competition. 

Most products recommended by us, go through a rigorous testing process. It involves price comparisons, performance, efficiency, and design. Each is pushed to the limit and beyond to check how well it does and if it is enough to take the spot.

What is a GPU stress test and which ones are best

Considerations

Even though it may be the low-end option, the RTX 3050 options are still worth deciding and choosing. The market is all over the place so as budget-friendly as the MSRP suggests, sellers may not have the same idea of price. Every penny counts and so we want to make sure we take the most things into consideration. So here are the main things when considering the best 3050.

Performance

One of the key features of a graphics card is how well it performs. It’s important to know how much framerate you can expect. Now the 3050 is on the lower end of the performance in Nvidia’s lineup so it’s not the most powerful thing.

The manufacturers get one card with its specifications and build their designs on top of it. So even though you might expect the same performance there will be some variation, with different cooling solutions and overclocking there will be differences.

The factory overclock raises the boost clock from 1777MHz up to 1807MHz. However, it doesn’t stop you from pushing it any further as long as there’s good design to allow for it. This will then mean you can expect some change in performance between the cards.

Cooling

Each manufacturer designs its own cooling solutions so they won’t perform all exactly the same. This will make sure your GPU keeps performing as well as it should throughout any stresses and workloads. 

If the GPU goes over its specified temperature it will throttle down and give worse performance to preserve its useability and not destroy itself. So having a competent cooling solution for longevity and performance is an important factor to consider.

GPU fans not spinning

Price

Also, a key factor in decision-making is how it will cost you. Graphics cards are usually the most expensive part of a build so it’s best to spend some time considering which one to get so you get the best for your money.

The RTX 3050 comes with an MSRP from Nvidia at $249, so even though it may be less than other cards it’s still not cheap. Although in today’s market we can expect these cards to sell for even higher it’s best to keep the comparisons contained to the 3050s to know what to expect.

Size

Sometimes size can be an important factor for some people with how big a GPU is. If you’re looking to fit a card into a small case you need to look around for something that might fit in. Or if you have a more compact case and don’t want a three fan one that doesn’t fit then you need to be certain the card fits.

Along with dimensions there is also a slot number manufacturers provide. This is how many back IO slots the GPU will cover to more easily display how much space the card will take up.

Best RTX 3060TI Size

Understanding the specs

Graphics card specifications may have a lot of hard-to-understand terms and jargon. It may seem daunting, but we will tell you what they mean and which of them are important. 

Clock speeds

One of the big numbers and terms being thrown around in there is clock speed. Sometimes there are multiple numbers stating the core, boost, or game clock. These terms are for when the GPU is under different situations as it doesn’t have to run full speed the whole time.

But clock speed/rate is how fast the microprocessor is operating. So how quickly the GPU manages to chews through the instructions to bring the graphics to your screen. For GPU releases, the cards will come with a stock frequency, and then overclocking and boosting from different AIBs may give different results.

VRAM

An important factor when games are getting more quality intensive and at higher resolutions. It is the GPUs RAM (random access memory) and so gives it fast volatile storage. It allows important data to run the game to be stored and given out more quickly to make sure it is performing well. So with more VRAM, you can make sure even at higher resolutions and quality you still get the framerate.

TDP

TDP is the thermal design power of the GPU. It refers to the maximum amount of heat a GPU is producing under intense stress. This factor will be what the cooling solution of the card will need to get rid of to make sure it’s performing throughout the most intense cases.

Is a RTX 3050 good for gaming?

For its cost, the RTX 3050 is a decent card. It offers great 1080p performance at an entry-level cost. Especially with the additional features, you get with Nvidia software.

You can even push the resolution up to 1440p and achieve around 60 FPS. So it is worth the purchase for low-end performance.

Can the RTX 3050 run 4K?

The RTX 3050 is more of an entry-level card focused on 1080p gaming. So although technically possible to run it at 4k it isn’t recommended. It’s a straining resolution and won’t get you a large framerate. Although if the game has DLSS cranking that to max might get you a good enough experience.

Best RTX 3050 graphics card 2022

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In-depth Review

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The best RTX 3050
WePC Awards Best In Class
asus rog logo

ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3050 OC

ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3050 OC

Core Clock Speed

1890 MHz Boost

CUDA Cores

2560

Memory Size

8GB GDDR6

Dimensions

300 x 133.6 x 53.5 mm (2.7 slot)

PSU Required

550W

Editor's Rating
5.0/5
Pros

RGB personalization

Great build quality and design

Solid performane and overclocking

Quiet thermal design

Cons

More expensive option

Our top spot for the best RTX 3050 goes to the ASUS ROG Strix RTX 3050 OC. The card has the classic Strix design that features strong materials a great build quality. With that sort of build, you can expect longevity out of both the die and the card.

The 2.7 slot design of the card along with three fans gives the card great cooling to keep up the great performance as well as longevity of the card. The efficient design keeps the card cool and quiet so you can expect both great performances as well as not hearing it. Also helped with the cutout backplate to allow the airflow through for better cooling.

With that cooling, there’s plenty of overhead for more overclocking, as the card already comes factory overclocked. This gives it the edge in performance and quality over the other options. However, it is a larger 3 fan card is the bigger option being 300 mm long, so it may not suit everyone as well as ending up more expensive.

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Best Zotac RX 3050
Zotac Logo

ZOTAC GAMING RTX 3050 Twin Edge OC

ZOTAC GAMING RTX 3050 Twin Edge OC

Core Clock Speed

1822 MHz OC boost, 1777 MHz boost,1552 Base clock

CUDA Cores

2560

Memory Size

8GB GDDR6

Dimensions

224.1 x 116.3 x 39.2 mm (dual slot)

PSU Required

450W

Editor's Rating
4/5
Pros

Solid build quality

Options for both overclocked and not

Efficient heatsink design

Cons

Lower specs than other offerings

The Zotac option provides the usual quality and design and at a better cost offering. The specifications do suggest that this card only has an 8x PCI express lane compared to the x16 that everyone else offers. However, with the lower-end performance of the card, they won’t use that much or it is just an error on their website.

The card also provides a great cooling solution with a large heatsink and three heatpipes to redistribute the heat out more efficiently. The two fans also make sure that the airflow through the solution is enough to keep the whole card cool and keep up the performance. While also providing the same features of four display outputs while keeping the design to just two slots.

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Best white and unique RTX 3050
Colorful logo

Colorful iGame RTX 3050 Ultra W DUO OC

Colorful iGame RTX 3050 Ultra W DUO OC

Core Clock Speed

1822 MHz OC boost, 1777 MHz boost,1552 Base clock

CUDA Cores

2560

Memory Size

8GB GDDR6

Dimensions

253 x 129 x 45.6 mm (over two slot)

PSU Required

550W

Editor's Rating
4.5/5
Pros

Colorful and unique design

Overclocked with plenty more potential

Has easy button for overclocked mode

Plenty of personalization with software

Cons

More expensive choice

Requires more unique build to fit in

Most GPU offerings are very much similar in color and design. With black being the main offering and not much variety in between just different cooling and branded shrouds. So you may be looking for something different and more colorful. Or if you’re looking for the final piece for that whiteout build then Colorful has the choice for you.

With a white shroud with highlights of purple and blue, it definitely stands out from the crowd. And it doesn’t just rely on the design to be the better option but does also come with great performance. It has an overclock button so you can easily choose in what mode to run it in without having to pick which one before you buy.

Along with a great cooling of two fans and a large heatsink, it makes sure it keeps performing as well as it can. It also gives you the opportunity for personalization with software allowing you to change the color of the RGB to best fit into your system.

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Best budget friendly RTX 3050
PNY Logo

PNY RTX 3050 8GB UPRISING Dual Fan

PNY RTX 3050 8GB UPRISING Dual Fan

Core Clock Speed

1777 MHz boost, 1552 Base clock

CUDA Cores

2560

Memory Size

8GB GDDR6

Dimensions

259 x 127 x 42 mm (dual slot)

PSU Required

500W

Editor's Rating
3.5/5
Pros

Better cooling than smaller offering

Cons

Lower quality build

No overclock even at bigger design

Sometimes you may not be looking for anything too flashy or the biggest performer. So going for the cheaper option may be the better option for you and get the best out of what you’re getting. But even with that, it will still be performing up to scratch with the base performance of the RTX 3050.

It does mean that the card doesn’t have the best build quality. Made from plastic materials rather than solid metal than the other options. It will still get the job done and does still have two fans and great cooling for keeping up the performance. And then you still could try overclocking the card.

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Best small form factor option
PNY Logo

PNY RTX 3050 8GB XLR8 Gaming REVEL EPIC-X

PNY RTX 3050 8GB XLR8 Gaming REVEL EPIC X

Core Clock Speed

1777 MHz boost, 1552 MHz clock

CUDA Cores

2560

Memory Size

8GB GDDR6

Dimensions

170 x 125 x 40 mm (2 slot)

PSU Required

500W

Editor's Rating
3.5/5
Pros

Compact card able to fit smaller builds

Fully featured even for a small card

Has a splash of RGB

Cons

Minimal cooling may affect performance or longevity

No room for overclocking

Lower build quality

Some builds have a lot smaller space to try to fit in cards. So with graphics cards growing ever bigger finding ITX or smaller cards is becoming more tricky without sacrificing that much performance. However, PNY has a great choice for a small form factor offering.

The single fan card has the same performance of a non OC card and so will provide the same great experience. As well as offering the same four displays out so you will not be missing out on anything. However, with such a small cooling solution you may not get a quiet performance. The fan will be working harder to keep it cool but will get the job done.

Final Word

There is our choice for the best RTX 3050 currently available and a selection of other choice options. There are a lot of choices out there in the market so it can be confusing and hard to pick the right one for you. So we hope we have helped with your decision, especially for an entry-level card, it can be a good way to get into PCs and not spend too much money on a GPU.

The Author Who Worked On This Article

Product Benchmarker and Writer
at
WePC
After taking apart and tinkering with the home PC and other electronics, Seb went to study Mechanical Engineering at the University of Manchester to try and explore everything in parts. After he graduated he realised how different the adult world was and decided to pursue work in the tech industry after spending too much time playing games (mostly CS:GO), keeping up with everything tech, and being everyone’s go-to for PCs.

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