Asus ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3050 OC Edition (8GB) graphics card review

Subject: Series-produced Asus ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3050 OC Edition 8GB 128-bit GDDR6 3D graphics gas pedal (graphics card)

Highlights

At the beginning of all reviews of production graphics cards we update our knowledge about the performance of the family to which the gas pedal belongs, and its rivals. All of this we subjectively evaluate on a scale of five gradations.

Games without using ray tracing (classical rasterization):

We already know very well that in many “classic” games without ray tracing in Full HD resolution at maximum graphics quality the GeForce RTX 3050 does well with performance, although… Still, in some games it may seem that playability is on the limit, and it would still be necessary to lower the settings of graphics quality. RTX 3050 has no direct competitor, it is between Radeon RX 6600 and 6500 XT, but the first one is more expensive and the second one is cheaper. But probably it is closer to RX 6600, at that this video card is a bit faster and already can play all games with rasterization in Full HD without turning it down. The Asus video card is a bit faster than the reference RTX 3050 in terms of performance.

Games using ray tracing:

It is clear that if we just turn on ray tracing without DLSS help, then at maximum graphics quality in Full HD we will definitely not get any comfort, and even such performance cannot be called satisfactory, so in this case the graphics settings should be lowered. Using DLSS together with ray tracing in those games that support both technologies, very decently compensates drop in performance from RT, and therefore we can expect a decent comfort in games in 1920×1080 even at high graphics settings. And as for the competitors, because of more drastic FPS drop when using ray tracing, the competitor is not even Radeon RX 6600, but RX 6600 XT (of course, this product is much more expensive than RTX 3050). Of course, AMD has some analogue of DLSS – FSR, this technology also actively enters games and allows to compensate some performance loss from RT, but not as much as DLSS.

Card Specifications

Asustek Computer (Asus brand name) was founded in 1989 in the Republic of China (Taiwan). Headquarters in Taipei/Taiwan. On the market in Russia since 1992. The oldest manufacturer of video cards and motherboards. Today, it produces a very wide range of products in many segments of IT-industry (including mobile segment). Manufacturing facilities are located in China and Taiwan. The total number of employees is around 2000 people.

Asus ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3050 OC Edition 8GB 128-bit GDDR6
Parameter Value Nominal value (reference)
GPU GeForce RTX 3050 (GA106)
Interface PCI Express x8 4.0
GPU Operating Frequency (ROPs), MHz OC Mode: 1890(Boost)-2025(Max)
Gaming Mode: 1860(Boost)-2017(Max)
1777(Boost)—1927(Max)
Memory frequency (physical (effective)), MHz 3500 (14000) 3500 (14000)
Width of the memory exchange bus, bits 128
Number of computing blocks in the GPU 20
Number of operations (ALU/CUDA) per unit 128
Total number of ALU/CUDA blocks 2560
Number of texture blocks (BLF/TLF/ANIS) 80
Number of rasterization blocks (ROP) 32
Number of Ray Tracing blocks 20
Number of tensor blocks 80
Dimensions, mm 300×134×55 213×120×40
Number of slots in the system unit occupied by the video card 3 2
The color of the textolite Black black
Power consumption peak in 3D, W (BIOS P Mode/Q Mode) 111/110 132,7
Power consumption in 2D mode, W 22 20
Power consumption in “sleep” mode, W 10 10
Noise level in 3D (maximum load), dBA (BIOS P Mode/Q Mode) 20,0/20,0 37,3
Noise level in 2D (viewing video), dBA 18,0 18,0
Noise level in 2D (at idle), dBA 18,0 18,0
Video outputs 2×HDMI 2.1, 3×DisplayPort 1.4a 1×HDMI 2.1, 3×DisplayPort 1.4a
Multiprocessor support no
Maximum number of receivers/monitors for simultaneous image output 4 4
Power: 8-pin connectors 1 1
Power: 6-pin connectors 0 0
Maximum resolution/frequency, Display Port 3840×2160@120Hz (7680×4320@60Hz)
Maximum Resolution/Frequency, HDMI 3840×2160@120Hz (7680×4320@60Hz)
Asus card retail prices

Memory

The card has 8GB of GDDR6 SDRAM memory housed in 4 16Gb chips on the front side of the PCB. Micron memory chips (GDDR6, MT61K512M32KPA-14:C / D9ZPM) are rated at a nominal frequency of 3500 (14000) MHz.

Card features and comparison with Asus ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3060 OC Edition (12GB)

Asus ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3050 OC Edition (8GB) Asus ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3060 OC Edition (12GB)
front view
rear view

The comparison with the card of the same manufacturer and the same series is not accidental. We can clearly see that RTX 3050 is completely based on RTX 3060. And it is quite predictable, because for now The graphics processor on the 3050 and 3060 is physically the same.

The GPU is labeled GA106-150-KA-A1, which means the same processor that is used on the RTX 3060 (but there the label is GA106-300), that is just a cut down on blocks of the same chip (probably going to the rejects from the full GA106). Taking into account the fact that all new GPUs have ETH mining protection in the form of LHR, the number “2” in the marking is not used anymore (previously we saw the …-102 or …-120 in the marking of RTX 3060, 3070, 3080, which are giving out updated versions of the same cores, but with LHR). Basically, there is also GA107, which has the same block set as the stripped down GA106-150 used in laptops, but as rejects from GA106 dry up, all RTX 3050 cards will start to use GA107. And that’s why I highlighted “for now” above, that is, at the moment all RTX 3050s on the market have GA106 processors that are designed for the PCIe x16 bus, whereas GA107 has only PCIe x8. Considering that many manufacturers’ cards for 3050 and 3060 are essentially the same (as we now see in the pictures above), we can assume that all GeForce RTX 3050 with GA106 actually have a PCIe x16 bus, but with the arrival of GA107 it will already be clearly x8.

Now about the power supply. Asus card based on GeForce RTX 3060 has total amount of power phases – 10, with 8 phases per core and 2 per memory chip. But cards based on RTX 3050 have 2 less phases, i.e. 6 phases per core and the same 2 phases per memory chip. But in general, it is obvious that it is very profitable for the manufacturer to produce universal printed circuit boards suitable for several models.

The core power circuit is marked in green and the memory circuit is marked in red. The PWM controller uP9512R (uPI Semiconductor) is used to control the GPU power circuitry. It is located on the front side of the board.

On the same side is the uPI Semiconductor uP9529Q PWM controller, which controls the 2-phase power circuitry for the memory chips.

The Asus card’s core power circuit is traditionally built using Super Alloy Power II technology, using modern solid-state capacitors and DrMOS transistor assemblies – in this case SiC654A (Vishay), each of which is rated at maximum 50A. They are also used in the memory power supply circuit.

There is also an NCP45491 controller (On Semiconductor) responsible for monitoring the card (monitoring voltage and temperature). It is located on the front side of the PCB.

Like the entire ROG series of graphics cards, this board has two connectors at the tail end

for connecting the case fans, which will run according to the video card’s heat, and the IT8915FN (ITE) controller is responsible for this.

And the backlight control is given to the proprietary Aura 82UA0 controller (most likely a relabeling of one of the On Semiconductor controllers).

The Asus card’s native memory frequency is equal to the reference value, and the core frequency in default mode (Gaming mode) is 5.5% higher in Boost than the reference card. OC Mode increases Boost frequency by 6.3% over the reference value, but maximum frequency is only 5% higher than the reference maximum, so the total performance gain was no more than 5.5%. With manual overclocking the consumption can be raised up to 118%. The card worked steadily when overclocking the core to the maximum 2137 MHz, and the memory to 16.04 GHz. This is about 10% higher than the reference values, and such overclocking provided a 7.7% performance gain.

The card has a dual BIOS, which is already traditional for top-of-the-line Asus solutions. On the end of the card there is a switch in different BIOS versions (they are called Performance mode and Quiet mode) with different fan curves.

It’s also worth noting that the board has not the usual 4, but 5 video outputs: one more HDMI 2.1 is added. However, the GPU allows to output a picture to only 4 monitors simultaneously, so this solution simply provides more flexibility when selecting video outputs.

Power is supplied via a single 8-pin connector. It has an LED indicating the correct power connection (it lights up red if it is connected incorrectly and if there is no power).

Through the Asus GPU Tweak II proprietary utility you can enable the factory OC Mode. Of course, there is also a possibility of manual overclocking.

Actually there frequency is 1890 MHz, just took a screenshot too fast, and the frequency did not have time to update, but it is still the most correct mode of the card

Default mode

Manual settings panel

Heating and cooling

The base of the CO is a large nickel plated heatsink with heat pipes soldered to the sole of direct contact with the GPU and memory chips. The same heatsink also serves as a cooler for VRM power converter components with small pads. There is a separate small heatsink screwed to the main heatsink for a pair of VRM memory mosfets. The back plate is made of aluminum with an electrical insulating coating and has a triple purpose: it serves as a PCB protection element, a stiffening rib and carries the ROG logo backlight diffuser.

A shroud with three ∅95 mm Axial-tech fans is mounted on top of the heatsink, with the ends of the blades connected by a ring to more clearly direct air flows to the heatsink, with the number of blades reduced to 9 (compared to more powerful COs, where there can be up to 13). The central fan rotates in the opposite direction to the edge fans, which provides a kind of “gear effect” to help combat air flow turbulence.

Stopping the fans at low load occurs when the GPU temperature drops below 50 degrees. Of course, the CO becomes silent when this happens. When starting the PC the fans run, then even before the OS is loaded they turn off. Then they are switched on again for half a second before the video driver is loaded, and after polling the operating temperature they are switched off again. There is a video on this topic below. The fans turn off at idle with any BIOS option.

Temperature monitoring Using the MSI Afterburner utility:

BIOS P Mode (Performance):

After a 2-hour run under load in OC Mode, the maximum core temperature did not exceed 54 degrees, which is a great result for a video card of this level. The maximum power was fixed at 111W, and the maximum heating was observed in the center of the PCB.

Below is a 9 minute heating of the card, accelerated by a factor of 50.

With the described manual overclocking the card performance parameters did not change much, while the maximum consumption increased to 116W.

BIOS Q Mode (Quiet):

In this mode, the maximum core heating was slightly higher – 57 °C, the fans were spinning a little slower.

Noise

The noise measurement technique assumes that the room is noise isolated and muffled, reverberations are reduced. The system unit, in which the noise of video cards is investigated, has no fans and is not a source of mechanical noise. The background level of 18 dBA is the noise level in the room and the noise level of the noise meter itself. Measurements are taken from a distance of 50 cm from the video card at the level of the cooling system.

Measurement Modes:

  • Idle mode in 2D: Internet browser loaded with Tech-Details.com, Microsoft Word window, a number of Internet communicators
  • 2D mode with movie viewing: uses SmoothVideo Project (SVP) – hardware decoding with insertion of intermediate frames
  • 3D mode with maximum load on the gas pedal: FurMark test is used

The evaluation of the noise level gradations is as follows:

  • less than 20 dBA: conditionally silent
  • 20 to 25 dBA: very quiet
  • 25 to 30 dBA: quiet
  • 30 to 35 dBA: distinctly audible
  • 35 to 40 dBA: loud but tolerable
  • above 40 dBA: very loud

At idle modes. Performance Mode и Quiet Mode did not differ at all: in 2D the temperature was no higher than 37 °C, the fans were not running, the noise level was equal to the background level of 18 dBA.

When watching a movie with hardware decoding, nothing changed.

In maximum load mode in 3D, the temperature in Performance Mode reached 54 °C. The fans were spinning up to 1190 rpm, the noise grew only to 20.2 dBA: this is very quiet, almost inaudible. In the video below, the noise was recorded for a couple of seconds every 30 seconds.

In mode. Quiet Mode temperature reached 57 °C, the fans were spinning up to about the same values, and the maximum registered was even slightly higher than in Performance Mode – 1200 rpm. The maximum noise was also registered only at 20.2 dBA: this is very quiet.

Backlighting

The card has backlighting on the top end, in the inserts near the fans, and in the ROG logo on the back plate.

The backlight control is traditionally done with Asus proprietary program – Armoury Crate.

The choice of modes is not very wide, but there is a program Aura Creator, which is also distributed for free, and with its help you can create your own backlighting scenarios.

Package and packaging

The package, in addition to the traditional user’s manual and ROG card, includes a little bonus in the form of ties.

Test results, configuration

Test Bench Configuration

  • AMD Ryzen 9 5950X processor-based computer (Socket AM4):
    • Platform:
      • AMD Ryzen 9 5950X processor (overclocked to 4.6 GHz on all cores);
      • Cougar Helor 240 GSR;
      • Asus ROG Crosshair Dark Hero motherboard on AMD X570 chipset;
      • TeamGroup T-Force Xtreem ARGB (TF10D48G4000HC18JBK) 32GB (4×8) DDR4 (4000MHz) RAM;
      • Intel 760p NVMe 1TB PCI-E SSD;
      • Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 3TB SATA3 hard drive;
      • Seasonic Prime 1300 W Platinum power supply (1300W);
      • Thermaltake Level20 XT case;
    • Windows 11 Pro 64-bit operating system;
    • LG 55Nano956 TV (55″ 8K HDR, HDMI 2.1);
    • AMD drivers version 22.2.2;
    • Nvidia drivers version 511.79;
    • VSync is disabled.

List of testing tools

All game tests used maximum graphics quality in the settings.

  • Hitman III (IO Interactive/IO Interactive)
  • Cyberpunk 2077 (Softclub/CD Projekt RED), patch 1.2
  • God of War (Sony IE/Sony IE)
  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (Ubisoft/Ubisoft)
  • Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy (Eldos/Square Enix)
  • The Medium (Bloober/Bloober)
  • Godfall (Gearbox Publishing/Counterplay Games)
  • Resident Evil Village (Capcom/Capcom)
  • Far Cry 6 (Ubisoft/Ubisoft)
  • Battlefield 2042 (DICE/EA)

T-Rex (0.21.04) miner was used to calculate hashrate while mining Ethereum/ETH, the average 2-hour average was recorded in two modes:

  • default (consumption limit reduced to 70%, GPU frequency reduced by 200 MHz, default memory frequency, fans set to 70% in manual mode)
  • Optimization (consumption limit reduced to 70%, GPU frequency reduced by 200 MHz, memory frequency increased by 500-1000 MHz (depending on the card), fans set in manual mode to 80%)

To test the GeForce RTX 3060 (not LHR) the driver used was version 470.05, which disables anti-mining protection, on other versions it is 24/26 MH/s.

Test results in 3D games.

Standard test results without hardware ray tracing at 1920×1200, 2560×1440, and 3840×2160 resolutions

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy

Most games still do not support ray tracing technology, and there are still a lot of video cards on the market that do not hardware support RT. The same is true for Nvidia DLSS special anti-aliasing technologies, as well as AMD FSR. Therefore, the most massive tests we still conduct in games without ray tracing. Nevertheless, all video cards we regularly test now support RT technology, so we conduct tests not only using conventional rasterization methods, but also including RT and/or DLSS / FSR.

Test results with hardware ray tracing and/or DLSS / FSR enabled at 1920×1200, 2560×1440 and 3840×2160 resolutions

Cyberpunk 2077, RT+DLSS

God of War, DLSS / FSR

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, RT

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, RT + DLSS

The Medium, RT + DLSS / FSR

Resident Evil Village, RT

Battlefield 2042, RT + DLSS

Tech-Details.com Rating

The Tech-Details.com gas pedal rankings show us the functionality of video cards relative to each other and are presented in two ways:

  1. Variant of the Tech-Details.com ranking without including RT

The ranking is based on all tests without using ray tracing technology. This rating is normalized to the weakest gas pedal in the group of cards, the Radeon RX 6500 XT (that is, the combination of speed and features of the Radeon RX 6500 XT is taken as 100%). The rankings are based on the 16 monthly gas pedals we survey as part of our Best Video Card of the Month project. In this case, we selected a group of cards for analysis, which includes GeForce RTX 3050 and its competitors.

The ranking is cumulative for all three resolutions. The price information is difficult to analyze in the current environment, so we do not present this data.

Gas pedal model Tech-Details.com Rating
12 RX 6600 8GB, 2491-2653/14000 170
13 Asus ROG Strix RTX 3050 OC, overclocked to 2137/16040 170
14 Asus ROG Strix RTX 3050 OC, 1890-2025/14000 170
15 RTX 3050 8 GB, 1777-1927/14000 160
16 RTX 2060 6GB, 1680-1920/14000 150
17 RX 6500 XT 4 GB, 2685-2688/17952 100

More expensive Radeon RX 6600 remained more expensive, but not by much. At the same time its and RTX 3050’s performance in “classic” games is quite close. The Asus card due to factory overclocking is even catching up with its AMD rival. It is also clearly seen that RTX 2060, despite its clearly overpriced, is inferior to the junior card of the new generation. Yes, in mining RTX 2060 will be faster than RTX 3050 (which has LHR feature), but now very few people will give such money for RTX 2060: the card has a relatively low hash rate, and gamers at such a price does not need it. RX 6500 XT is in the outsiders, but at the same time its cost is much lower.

  1. A variant of the Tech-Details.com ranking with the inclusion of the RT

The ranking is based on 9 tests where ray tracing technology is used and where Nvidia DLSS and AMD FSR are present at the same time. This rating is normalized by the weakest gas pedal in this group – Radeon RX 6500 XT (i.e. combination of speed and features of Radeon RX 6500 XT is taken as 100%).

The rankings are cumulative for all three resolutions.

Gas pedal model Tech-Details.com Rating
11 Asus ROG Strix RTX 3050 OC, overclocked to 2137/16040 350
12 Asus ROG Strix RTX 3050 OC, 1890-2025/14000 340
13 RTX 3050 8 GB, 1777-1927/14000 320
14 RX 6600 XT 8 GB, 2359-2664/16000 310
15 RTX 2060 6GB, 1680-1920/14000 300
16 RX 6600 8GB, 2491-2653/14000 250
17 RX 6500 XT 4 GB, 2685-2688/17952 100

In this case, the RTX 3050 beat not only the more expensive Radeon RX 6600, but also the RX 6600 XT: even FSR support in a number of games does not help the last generation Radeon compensate for the strong drop in performance from turning on ray tracing. Taking into account slightly higher frequencies of Asus card, the leadership of this product in its group looks logically.

Testing results in mining (mining, hashrate)

With such a modest hash rate (13-15 mega hashes per second) there is no point in even bothering with optimizing for Ethereum mining. RTX 3050 already has a weak GPU, and the LHR protection works too. Though, there are some versions of miners with some bypassing of LHR, but gamers will be the main buyers of RTX 3050. It is a gaming product and you may use it for mining just for mental development 🙂

Conclusions

Asus ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3050 OC Edition (8GB) – One of the most profitable gas pedals today considering the price, although it’s very hard to talk about the price now for well-known reasons. Asus card is suitable for classic games without ray tracing in Full HD resolution with high graphics settings, and in a number of games it will allow to get decent comfort in the same resolution with the same picture quality and with ray tracing – but necessarily when turning on Nvidia DLSS. It is worth noting the very powerful CO, which a card of this level hardly requires, but at least even under maximum load it is very quiet. Some people will find the presence of two HDMI 2.1 video outputs a plus.

The GeForce RTX 3050, like the entire GeForce RTX 30 family, offers interesting Nvidia solutions that we’ve talked about many times before: support for HDMI 2.1 standard, allowing you to output 4K images at 120 Hz or an 8K picture with a single cable, hardware AV1 video data decoding, RTX IO technology, capable of future fast transfer and unpacking data from drives directly to the GPU, and Reflex latency reduction technology, useful for cyber-sport players.

All GeForce RTX 3050s come with protection against cryptocurrency mining by the most popular GPU algorithm on which Ethereum is based, and that protection [пока] there is no way to fully circumvent it (there are options to increase the hash rate to 70% of the maximum possible, which would be without LHR, but for RTX 3050 this is not relevant anyway).

Reference Materials:

In the “Original Design” category, the board Asus ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3050 OC Edition (8GB) received an award:

Thank you to the company Asus Russia
and personally Eugenia Bychkova
for the video card provided for testing

Thank you to the company TeamGroup
and personally Ethnie Lin
for providing RAM for the test bench

For the test bench:
AMD Ryzen 9 5950X processor provided by AMD,
ROG Crosshair Dark Hero motherboard provided by Asus

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