Nvidia could be readying two new GeForce RTX 3050 models to improve availability
Including a variant with only 4 gigabytes of VRAMBy Adrian Potoroaca 15 comments
Rumor mill: Although Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3050 does tick most of the boxes for a mainstream graphics card, availability has been far from ideal. The company is reportedly working on a solution to this problem that would come in the form of additional RTX 3050 models based on the smaller GA107 die.
Last month, Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3050 launched to great reviews, making a much better first impression when compared to AMD's RX 6500 XT. Unfortunately for many would-be buyers, it sold out in a matter of hours and pricing also shot up to less palatable levels. Part of the problem is that Nvidia chose to use a cut-down version of the GA106 die from the RTX 3060, which is relatively large and expensive.
There are only so many GA106 dies you can fit on a wafer, so the decision was likely motivated by the relatively poor yield of Samsung's 8nm process node. In other words, Nvidia may be reusing defective RTX 3060 dies to produce RTX 3050 graphics cards, so availability is still far from ideal.
That said, Nvidia is rumored to have at least two other models in the works, both of which could be based on the GA107 die. This is the same diminutive Ampere die that powers RTX 3050 laptop graphics solutions, which means it could have slightly lower power requirements when compared to the existing RTX 3050 desktop card.
The GA107 die offers the same 2,560 CUDA cores, 80 TMUs, 32 ROPs, 80 Tensor cores, and 20 RT cores as the GA106-150, as well as a 128-bit memory bus and eight PCIe 4.0 lanes. But more importantly, it's said to be pin-compatible with the latter part, so manufacturers should have an easy time integrating it into their existing PCB designs.
If a recent TechPowerUp entry (spotted by Twitter user @harukaze5719) is to be believed, Nvidia is also readying an RTX 3050 variant with only 4 gigabytes of GDDR6, presumably to meet a lower price point of $199. This could be Team Green's response to AMD's RX 6500 XT --- a graphics card that isn't appealing to miners and is relatively easy to produce in large quantities.