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Why it matters: When Nvidia unveiled the desktop RTX 3050 at CES at the beginning of this month, some probably assumed crypto miners would snap up most of them just like they have other new GPUs. However, recent hash-rate analyses suggest the budget card isn’t for mining blockchain.
According to VideoCardz's Chinese sources, the RTX 3050 comes with Nvidia's Lite Hash Rate algorithm, which drops its hash rate from 20 megahashes per second to 12.5 MH/s, consuming only 75 watts. Twitter user @wxnod posted similar results in a separate analysis, showing 13.66 MH/s at 57w. Those numbers are well below reported hash rates of similar cards like the GTX 1060 or Radeon RX 570.
VideoCardz calculates that it could take 500 days for a 3050 to break even at its $250 MSRP. Most GPUs sell for almost double the price these days so that break-even date could increase to over two years.
Recently, AMD intentionally shipped its latest entry-level GPU--the RX 6500 XT--with only 4GB of RAM to discourage miners, but reviews haven't been kind to it for mining or gaming. If reports of the 3050's low hash rate prove true after its January 27 launch, or if the algorithm isn't cracked, it could become the entry-level card of choice for 1080p gaming with ray tracing and DLSS. The lower-end model of Intel's Arc Alchemist series might be a competitor with its own RT and DLSS analog.