Nvidia’s next entry-level card could be a cheaper RTX 3050 with 6GB of VRAM

Rumor mill: These days it’s hard to get excited by a graphics card with just six gigabytes of VRAM, but it seems companies like Nvidia will make one if it makes current generation models look like a better deal. The entry-level RTX 3050 was never a great product to begin with but the grapevine says it will be modified to lessen its appeal compared to the RTX 4060.

The GPU market today is in far better shape than the hot mess seen during the scalping and mining storms in recent years, but we have yet to see the happy days of highly affordable gaming where you can build a decent rig with all-new components for a little over the price of an Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5 console.

When looking at the big picture, it seems we are headed into a period of stagnation in the GPU space. AMD seems uninterested in making high-end GPUs based on the next-gen RDNA 4 architecture and Intel’s first-gen Arc hardware is mostly a toy for enthusiasts to check out what XeSS upscaling looks like when run on the XMX AI engine.

Meanwhile, Nvidia dominates the desktop GPU market and is busy making as many AI accelerators as it can since those are the biggest contributors to its bottom line. The rumored RTX 40 Super lineup that’s expected to launch next year may not change the current pricing model as the new cards will likely replace existing mid- to high-end RTX 40 series cards but come with similar price tags.

At the lower end, we already know that Nvidia wants retailers to sell RTX 3060 GPUs into at least the first half of 2024 since those models are made on Samsung’s less in-demand 8nm node and the company likely has a surplus of GA106 dies. Additionally, a report (via Videocardz) suggests Team Green is looking to make the RTX 4060 more appealing to gamers by discontinuing the RTX 3050 8 GB model.

The report seems to corroborate earlier rumors of a new entry-level RTX 3050 that will supposedly be more affordable but come with just six gigabytes of GDDR6 memory. The new report suggests Nvidia is worried about the RTX 3050 impacting RTX 4060 sales, so it will gradually phase out the RTX 3050 8GB as existing supplies are depleted.

There’s been no sign of a desktop RTX 4050 card, and if the RTX 3050 6GB ever materialized there would hardly be a reason for the former to exist. Still, a graphics card with 6 gigabytes of VRAM in this day and age is hard to recommend when the RX 6600 with 8 gigabytes of VRAM will often outperform it for a similar price. Even if this new RTX 3050 6GB sees the light of day at a slightly lower price, it would still be a bad deal in comparison to the AMD part.

The report claims Nvidia will introduce the new RTX 3050 6GB model in January, so we’ll have to wait and see.

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