Nvidia Shadily Launches Cut-Down OEM RTX 3050

While the Geforce RTX 3050 is the most entry-level gaming solution in the Ampere line-up, it appears you’re better off buying the DIY variant of the card instead of relying on prebuilt OEM solutions. You might be wondering why? Well, for starters, the OEM version of the card features lesser cores than the retail version. But, why is that the case? Let’s find out!

This is not the first time Nvidia has pulled stunts like this. There was a time when the GTX 760 was cut down to feature an OEM variant with lesser CUDA cores, and then there was false advertising for the GTX 970 that had 3.5 GB of VRAM instead of the marketed 4 GB.

OEM RTX 3050

First look at the OEM RTX 3050 | ITHome

Now, Nvidia is doing the same thing all over again with their OEM RTX 3050 Models. The 3050 card comes in two models, which are based on either the GA106 and a GA107 GPUs. Both variants consist of the same specifications, such as 2506 CUDA cores, 32 ROPS, and 80 TMUs.

Each variant of the card features 8GB of GDDR6 memory that’s running across a 128-bit wide bus interface. The speed is 14 Gbps at a bandwidth of 224 GB/s.

So, what’s the problem? Well, a new variant of the RTX 3050 just popped up in China, according to ITHome. The card comes with a cut-down version of the GA106 GPU core. This version features 2304 Cores with an overall lower TMU and ROP count. The card also features a lower clock speed of 1.51 GHz compared to the 1.55GHz base clock speed.

The boost speeds are lower, too, with a 1.76 GHz clock speed versus the 1.78 GHz boost speed. The memory specifications are pretty much kept intact, with the card also featuring a single 8-pin connector that draws a total of 130 watts. From what we know now, the card features a 5-10% slower performance.

Customers, beware!

Users need to be cautious of OEM components that feature cut-down specifications as customers might pay fall prey to the OEM 3050 that features lower performance for the same price as the retail 3050 variants.

The card even features the same name and doesn’t distinguish itself from the standard, retail version. For now, the card is only being sold in Asian markets as part of OEM PC builds. But the pricing of the cards is pretty much identical across the board.

A typical lineup of OEM computers | Velocity Micro

It’s pretty shady for NVIDIA and its OEM partners to stick with the same naming scheme along with the same retail price, as this is very misleading for consumers who don’t know any better.

It all seems like a money-making tactic by rehashing underperforming GA106 dies and remodeling them as RTX 3050 cards in OEM builds. They’re selling the cards within prebuilt machines to clueless buyers and make money off of the additional inventory.

While lowering prebuilt and GPU prices might reel you in to buy a budget PC with a 3050, make sure to contact customer service to exactly find out if you’re getting an OEM 3050 or a retail variant of the card. 

Naseer Abbas
Naseer has been interested in PCs and videogames since his childhood. If he isn't busy playing retro shooters, he's tinkering with emulators or learning something new.