There is no graphics card under $300 that we would recommend bar the GeForce RTX 3050. Though it didn’t take much to defeat AMD’s Radeon RX 6500 XT. The RTX 3050 is still a difficult GPU to recommend heartily, however, as it’s neither readily available or as cheap as it should be.
The RTX 3050 is a much smaller GPU than the RTX 3060 12GB, and like any good PC gamer we would recommend the larger chip. That said, if you can’t stretch your budget any further, the RTX 3050 will deliver GTX 1660 Ti performance with the benefit of DLSS.
There’s also support for ray tracing with the RTX 3050, though its weak-heart innards aren’t going to stand for much of that.
As the basis of a prebuilt gaming PC, the RTX 3050 is the better option of what’s out there on a tight budget. That said, you can find really good RTX 3060 12GB PC deals out there fairly regularly, and with a little patience you may be able to grab a much more capable graphics card.
Read our full Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 review (Gigabyte Eagle).
Graphics card FAQ
How can I get a GPU in the midst of the graphics card shortage?
One method is to manually refresh each store page in the hopes of hitting it rich on the next refill. You might also download a reputable programme that will search major merchants on your behalf. It’s not a bot trying to buy shares in an unethical manner; it simply refreshes the website so you don’t have to.
We’ve had success with the app HotStock in the UK, and sites like Goods Informer in the US provide a similar service, though we haven’t used it ourselves to score stock.
Many free Discord servers, like the popular StockDrops server, feature specialised stock alert bots and keen community members.
There’s also Twitch feeds to consider. Those dedicated to finding your stock will usually emit a deafening klaxon when it appears. We recommend Falcodrin on Twitch for Nvidia GPUs, while there are many more wonderful persons out there that do a similar service.
Is getting a new graphics card simple?
Buying a prebuilt gaming PC isn’t for everyone, but it’s the best way to ensure you receive a graphics card this year, and a modern one at a price close to MSRP. It’s worth considering at the very least if you’re considering a complete rebuild in the future. While some predict delays, you can expect a PC with a GPU installed at some time.
Which graphics card is superior, a GTX or an RTX?
Earlier Nvidia graphics cards that lack the AI and ray tracing capabilities featured in RTX-level GPUs are now referred to as GTX. The RTX prefix was initially introduced three years ago with the RTX 20-series, and it designates cards that include both Tensor Cores and RT Cores, which are essential for real-time ray tracing and Deep Learning Super Sampling.
Is ray tracing a feature only available on RTX graphics cards?
The RTX prefix is exclusively assigned to cards that have Nvidia GPUs with dedicated ray tracing hardware; otherwise, they use the same DirectX Raytracing API that Microsoft designed and that AMD’s RDNA 2 GPUs employ. These AMD GPUs support real-time ray tracing, but at a higher performance cost than Nvidia’s GPUs.
The Alchemist graphics cards will be the first to use Intel’s upcoming Xe-HPG GPUs, which will allow ray tracing using Microsoft’s DirectX Raytracing API when they are introduced early next year.
Is SLI or CrossFire still a thing?
To achieve the optimum performance, you have to use two GPUs in SLI or CrossFire. Large games, on the other hand, are increasingly ignoring multi-GPU gamers. This holds true for all DXR games. There’s also the fact that fewer next-gen cards allow for the linking of two cards. Nvidia’s NVLink connections are only available on the $1,500 RTX 3090, and they’re solely for creative programmes.
As a result, the answer is no. It’s a far cry from being a thing.
Is it necessary for me to have a graphics card that can handle 4K?
The simple answer is only if you have a 4K gaming monitor. Other aspects to consider, such as the games you play, are also important. If frame rates are important to you and you prefer highly competitive shooters, you should strive for extremely high fps numbers. You’re better off doing it at 1440p or 1080p resolutions for the time being.
The more games that enable DLSS, such as Call of Duty: Warzone, the more Nvidia GPUs will be able to simulate 4K visuals on your 4K monitor at higher frame rates.
The Founders Edition graphics cards are merely Nvidia’s in-house designs, as opposed to those created by its partners. These are usually reference cards, which means they run on standard time.
Nvidia opted to offer Founders Editions with factory overclocks for the RTX 20-series. These changes made it more difficult to evaluate cards because Founders Edition cards provide a performance baseline, although Nvidia has subsequently resumed making them as reference cards.