Not long ago, NVIDIA announced the launch of the GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card. ASUS was one of the first to implement it, creating the ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3050. Aimed at gamers who play in 1080p resolution, as well as “sensible” gamers who don’t want to spend a fortune on a high-end video card, the RTX 3050 promises a lot. Especially considering that graphics cards these days are sold at double the recommended retail prices. We’ve tested and played with the ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3050 for a while, and, in this review, we’re going to show you what it can do and how it compares to AMD’s latest entry-level graphics card, the AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT:
The ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card is the one you should get if you want:
- A GPU that offers excellent performance for 1080p gaming
- Support for ray tracing and DLSS
- To save some money and get a graphics card that offers a good bang for the buck
There are a lot of good things to say regarding the ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3050:
- Its performance is excellent in 1080p gaming
- It comes with support for ray tracing and DLSS
- It has 8GB of fast GDDR6 RAM
- It stays cool and quiet in all circumstances
- It’s much better than AMD’s entry-level option (Radeon RX 6500 XT)
Unfortunately, there are also downsides to consider:
- You probably won’t be able to get it at the recommended price
- The ray-tracing performance is average
ASUS’ ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3050 is one of the best graphics cards based on Nvidia’s RTX 3050. The performance you get in 1080p gaming is top-notch, even at the highest settings available in games. This model, in particular, received ASUS’ full-body care, being made of only high-quality components and equipped with a premium cooling system. The result is a well-made graphics card that you should definitely look for if you want excellent performance for a (theoretically) reasonable price. Compared to AMD’s Radeon RX 6500 XT cards, we’d choose NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 3050 any time of the day.
The ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3050 is a large graphics card, and its box is too. That means there's plenty of available printing space, and ASUS used it all for showcasing the GPU in pictures, as well as sharing a lot of details about its specs and features.
Inside the box, you will find the RTX 3050 graphics card together with a ROG velcro tie, a welcome note, and the user manual. There aren’t that many accessories you can bundle with a graphics card, but it’s nice to see that ASUS paid attention to details when packaging the ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3050.
The ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3050 is the so-called entry-level video card from the RTX 3000 family. Nonetheless, it offers quite a lot of performance. It’s based on the Ampere GA106 GPU, also used for the RTX 3060, and it packs 12 billion transistors, 2560 shader cores, 20 raytracing cores, and 80 tensor cores. Furthermore, it’s equipped with 8GB of GDDR6 on a 128-bit bus width and runs on PCI Express 4.0, using eight lanes (x8) for a bandwidth of 224 GB/s.
Like all the other cards in the Nvidia RTX 3000 series, the RTX 3050 supports ray tracing and DLSS. Ray-tracing improves lighting effects, shadows, and reflections in real-time, but that requires a lot of processing power. Though this card can render ray-traced effects, it’s not as powerful as the other RTX 3000 models. Thus, Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) is even more important on the 3050.
For the GeForce RTX 3050, Nvidia set a recommended retail price of about 250 USD. Unfortunately, it’s near impossible to find it at this price. More often than not, street prices are at least double the recommended ones. ASUS’ ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3050 is a premium implementation of the standard GPU, and it’s sold at a higher price. We couldn’t find the recommended price for the non-overclocked version, but we know that the overclocked one should be found on store shelves for about 489 USD. Will anyone be able to buy it for that price?
Regardless, its main competitor in the entry-level graphics cards sector is AMD’s Radeon RX 6500 XT. But, the specs and the benchmarks you’ll see in the next section of this review, tell us that the RTX 3500 is much better than the RX 6500 XT. The RTX 3500 practically has double of everything that matters most: 8 vs. 4GB of memory, 128-bit vs. 64-bit bus width, and x8 vs. x4 PCIe slot connection. Not to mention ray-tracing performance. 🙂
The ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3050 occupies three slots: 2.7 to be exact, which means that there’s little space left between the graphics card and the next PCIe card you install. That’s because ASUS took the stock RTX 3050 GPU and mounted a premium-level cooler on it. There are three axial fans on it, and the central one spins in reverse for less turbulence.
Measuring 11.81 x 5.26 x 2.11 inches (300 x 133.6 x 53.5 millimeters) in length by width by thickness, and weighing 1.095 kg (2.41 pounds), this card is massive. Oh, did we mention that it’s also beautiful? It is, and there’s RGB lighting both on its edge and on the backplate, where ASUS placed a Strix eye logo. 🙂
The ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3050 can display a maximum resolution of 7680 x 4320 pixels and offers three DisplayPort (1.4a) and two HDMI (2.1) ports to which you can connect up to four displays at the same time.
Just like ASUS accustomed us on all its Strix graphics cards, this one too has a beautiful protective metal backplate on its backside. And, aside from looks, it also helps make the card more rigid. That’s a good thing as the card’s sheer weight could bend it quite easily without the backplate.
Thanks to the less demanding GPU architecture used, the RTX 3050 doesn’t require as much power as its more powerful brothers. ASUS recommends a power supply unit that can deliver at least 550W, and the card draws its additional power via only one 8-pin connector.
If you want to see more details about the hardware specs and features, visit this webpage: ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3050 Tech Specs.
To get a better idea of what the ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card has to offer, we ran a couple of benchmarks. Before we go in to show you the results, here’s the test PC we used:
- Processor: Intel Core i5-12600K
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG STRIX B660-F GAMING WIFI
- Memory: ADATA XPG Lancer DDR5 RAM (2 x 16GB, 5200MHz)
- Graphics Card: ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3050 8GB
- Storage: ADATA Legend 840 PCIe Gen4 X4 M.2 2280 Solid State Drive
- Power Supply Unit: ASUS ROG Thor 850W Platinum
- Operating System: Windows 11 Pro Version 21H2 Build 22000.527
We benchmarked all the games using the highest possible graphics settings in 1080p and 1440p resolutions. Furthermore, we compared it with two AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT cards made by ASUS and Sapphire. We chose them because the RX 6500 XT is AMD’s latest entry-level option, just like the RTX 3050 is NVIDIA’s.
We started to test the ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card with Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Although it was launched back in 2018, it still is a beautiful game that you can play at the highest graphics quality only if your GPU is a powerful one. We enabled DLSS and set the Quality preset, and the RTX 3050 rendered roughly double the number of frames per second compared to AMD’s RX 6500 XT implementations, both in 1440p and 1080p resolution.
The second game we benchmarked was Metro Exodus. We’re looking at another well-crafted game that needs a lot of graphics power if you want to enjoy it at its best. In 1080p resolution, the RTX 3050 rendered twice as many frames per second as the RX 6500 XT, while in 1440p, it outperformed the latter three times over.
Next, we tested the ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3050 in Horizon Zero Dawn. This is another gorgeous game that, obviously, needs a powerful computer to run at its best graphics details. As you can see in the chart below, the RTX 3050 did a good job in both resolutions tested, managing to render about 90 fps in 1080p and 66 fps in 1440p. AMD’s RX 6500 XT didn’t come close to the 60 fps threshold.
Moving on, we got to Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, a game that’s better optimized for AMD graphic cards. However, here too, the RTX 3050 did much better than what the RX 6500 XT could. In 1080p, we got 70 fps compared to only 40 fps with AMD’s card. In 1440p, none of the cards reached 60 fps, but the RTX 3050 was still almost twice as fast as the RX 6500 XT.
Next, we turned to synthetic benchmarks. First, 3DMark’s standard Time Spy tests, where the ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3050 scored 6974 points (1440p resolution). These scores are better than 44% of all PCs that ran this test globally. Secondly, in 3DMark Port Royale, which benchmarks ray tracing performance, the GeForce RTX 3050 got a score of 3664 points. It’s not impressive compared to what its more powerful RTX brothers can do, but it is extremely impressive compared to AMD’s RX 6500 XT results!
Last but not least, we also looked at the temperatures and electrical power needs. The ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3050 required up to 150W of power but kept cool all the time, reaching just 59 Celsius degrees at most. The AMD RX 6500 XT cards were also similarly hot - or cool if you prefer 🙂 - and needed just 90 Watts, which is understandable as they are also much weaker than the RTX 3050.
The ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3050 is the best entry to mainstream-level graphics cards available today. It’s able to run any game at high visual quality settings in 1080p and good-enough quality in 1440p resolutions. And it outperforms its AMD competitor in almost every way possible, except for power consumption.
Now you know more about the ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card and what to expect from it. Before leaving, let us know what you think about it. Are you considering buying it, or are you looking for something else?