Nvidia's RTX 3050 Ti mobile GPU is not really worth it: 50% slower than the RTX 3060, but only 10% cheaper
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Nvidia introduced the RTX 3050 Ti mobile GPU as a more affordable alternative to the RTX 3060, but the value just does not seem to be there. If we analyze the latest tests performed by Jarrod’s Tech, we can clearly see that the RTX 3050 Ti is in a rough spot and probably does not even need to exist as a separate tier, knowing that laptop OEMs can play around with the TGP values and offer significantly slower RTX 3060 models. Jarrod tried to perform an apples to apples comparison as much as he could, using the same Tongfang chassis on the XMG Core 17 powered by the Intel Core I7-11800H processor coupled with 16 GB of DDR4-3200 dual channel RAM with CL22 timings. He tested max TGP versions of both models with Optimus enabled in 15 games plus some content creation suites and also compares thermals and battery life.
Despite the obvious spec gimps on the RTX 3050 Ti, the only real downside is presented by the amount of VRAM limited to 4 GB. Because of the low VRAM capacity, the RTX 3050 Ti cannot run Red Dead Redemption 2 at Ultra Settings 1080p and is 600% slower in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla max settings 1080p, barely hitting 8.5 fps. Of course, these are worst case scenarios, but looking at the average difference at max settings 1080p, the RTX 3060 is still around 54% faster even if we exclude the ACV 600% outlier. Sure, the RTX 3050 Ti can still hit 60 fps with high settings in a decent number of games now, but that might not be the case in a couple of years. On low settings, however, the difference between the two is reduced to 24%.
Thermals are better on the RTX 3050 Ti, obviously, since there are fewer CUDA cores and lower power limits. In this case, the RTX 3060 is on average running at 85° C, while the RTX 3050 Ti runs at around 61° C. Battery life is also 25% better on the RTX 3050 Ti. When it comes to content creation, the differences are minimal in Adobe Premier, yet rendering suites see increased gains ranging between 45% and 67% on the RTX 3060.
Now for the deciding factor: pricing. This could vary from laptop OEM to laptop OEM, but judging solely on the XMG offer, the RTX 3060 laptop appears to be only 10% more expensive than the RTX 3050 Ti one. That is 10% more money for 50% more performance. Thus the RTX 3060 seems like a good deal especially with futureproofing in mind, whereas the RTX 3050 Ti looks like a bad joke, unless you can find some stupid good discount.