Nvidia’s RTX 30 series mobile graphics chips today added two new members: the GeForce RTX 3050 Ti and 3050. They sit below the GeForce RTX 3060 in terms of specifications and performance, with less video memory (4GB) and less dedicated Tensor AI and RT cores available to perform ray tracing and deal with AI enhanced effects such as DLSS.
Despite this, Nvidia says the RTX 3050 Ti is capable of going beyond 60fps in games such as Call of Duty: Warzone, Outriders, Check, Watch Dogs: Legion, and Minecraft – all with ray tracing settings on. That’s pretty good considering it will hit a gaming laptop starting at $ 849. The RTX 3050 will appear in laptops starting at $ 799. We already know that Samsung’s new Galaxy Book Odyssey will include these graphics chips starting at $ 1,399.
There are caveats. For starters, Nvidia’s benchmark measured this level of performance with graphics set to medium, with medium ray tracing settings enabled, and with DLSS on and set to quality mode. It’s entirely possible that many games set to high graphics settings (and minimal or no ray tracing) will also perform well with the RTX 3050 Ti, but this graphics chip seems best suited for those who don’t mind using Lower number of quality settings to ensure smooth gameplay.
The RTX 3050 Ti serves as yet another flex of Nvidia’s DLSS feature that, using its AI cores, can run games faster than the hardware normally could. It does this in supported games by lowering the resolution and then using a trained AI model to instantly improve picture quality without any discernible (in most cases) difference in how the game looks. It promises big performance improvements with few downsides unless you’re really parsing pixels.
Again, this is a great argument for these two GPUs, but it will only work if your games are patched to support DLSS. Checksupports DLSS, for example, but its performance without the feature turned on takes up nearly 50 percent, at about 35 frames per second at average settings, according to Nvidia’s testing. That’s playable, but not particularly smooth, and it could be indicative of the kind of experience you might have playing graphics-intensive games that don’t support DLSS.
The performance charts Nvidia shared with us only showed performance data from the RTX 3050 Ti, not the RTX 3050. Considering the RTX 3050 is a notch lower than the RTX 3050 Ti in terms of specs, you can probably expect that the performance reflects that. Still, it should deliver good performance for the expected starting price of $ 799 for laptops it will be built into.
It is also important to remember that, as with all other RTX 30 series mobile graphics chips, OEMs are free to tune the total graphics power (TGP) of any RTX 3050 or RTX 3050 Ti in terms of wattage and clock speed on their design goals. The TGP range for these chips can be between 35W and 80W.
Finally, it is reasonable to expect less powerful variants in thinner laptops. Conversely, thicker models ensure that graphics cards often reach their highest possible power level. That’s why you might want to keep that in mind when looking for a gaming laptop equipped with one of these new chips.