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6 Reasons the Nvidia RTX 2060 Is Better Than the RTX 3050

When NVIDIA announced the RTX 3050, many people were delighted that the company was releasing a more affordable, entry-level card to help gamers on a budget.

However, when they released the specifications, many said it was better just to get the previous generation RTX 2060 instead. True enough, when the card was released and testers got their hands on it, the results spoke for themselves.

So, here are seven reasons why you should save your money and go for the last-gen RTX 2060 instead.

Specifications

Before going in-depth, it’s good to look at the numbers on both cards. These are the specs for both cards, compiled from data on the NVIDIA website and TechPowerUp.

GeForce RTX 3050 GeForce RTX 2060
NVIDIA CUDA Cores 2,560 1,920
Base Clock (GHz) 1.55 1.37
Boost Clock (GHz) 1.78 1.68
VRAM 8GB GDDR6 6GB GDDR6
Memory Interface Width 128-bit 192-bit
Tensor Cores 80 240
Ray Tracing Cores 20 30
L2 Cache 2MB 3MB
Slots 1x HDMI 2.1, 2x DisplayPort 1.4a 1x DVI, 1x HDMI 2.0, 2x DisplayPort 1.4a, 1x USB Type-C
SRP $249 $300

1. Raw Power

The spec sheet shows that the RTX 3050 has a higher base and boosts clock speed, clocking in at 1,545 MHz and 1,780 MHz, respectively. The RTX 2060 only delivers a 1,365 MHz base clock speed and a 1,680 MHz boosted performance.

Despite that, the latter still defeats the former in processing power, measured in TFLOPS. The base model RTX 2060, with only 6GB RAM, can process 10.483 TFLOPS in half-precision format. When boosted, the values increase to 12.902 TFLOPS. It can also process 25.2 TFLOPS in ray tracing performance.

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On the other hand, the RTX 3050 can only manage 7.946 TFLOPS in half-precision format and 9.098 TFLOPS when boosted. It also only has 18.2 TFLOPS ray tracing performance. The RTX 2060’s processing power is 32% greater than the RTX 3050’s. When boosted, this performance gap increases to 42%. It also has 38% more ray tracing capability, making the RTX 2060 more capable, despite having less RAM and CUDA Cores.

2. Theoretical Performance

The pixel and texel fillrate measure a graphics card’s theoretical performance. This metric measures the pixels or texture map elements (texels) the card can render and write to memory in one second.

The RTX 2060 can deliver 65.52 GPixels and 163.8 GTexels, while the RTX 3050 only has 49.6 GPixels and 124.1 GTexels. This means the RTX 2060 can render scenes and textures much faster than the 3050.

You can also see the greater bus width of the RTX 2060 delivers better performance over the RTX 3050, despite the latter having more VRAM. The older GPU’s memory bandwidth is 336 GB/s, while the newer one only has 224 GB/s. This results in faster read/write speeds, allowing the video card to process more information quickly.

3. Actual FPS Output

Despite the greater theoretical output of the Nvidia RTX 2060, the greater numbers will not matter if the graphics card cannot translate that into actual frames. But, as we’ve seen in the previous result, the older video card still outclasses the new one.

Several benchmark results consistently show the RTX 2060 posting better results across different tests. For example, it returns 114 fps in lighting tests, 117 fps in reflection tests, 134 fps in rendering tests, and 101 fps in particle system tests.

The RTX 3050 only delivered 103 fps, 86.6 fps, 84.5 fps, and 73.4 fps, respectively. That’s an average of 35% better performance for the last generation video card over the latest entry-level offering. And when both cards are overclocked, this difference further increases to 41%.

4. Use in Crypto Mining

While the RTX 3050’s 8GB VRAM does allow it to have better performance, it also makes it more ideal for mining. When you compare it against the RTX 2060, which only has 6GB VRAM, this makes the RTX 3050 more desirable for crypto mining operations.

Given that, miners are more inclined to use the RTX 3050, as the additional RAM can help with the raw computation work required to mine Bitcoin. As such, you can expect demand for the card to increase. And if Nvidia can’t scale its production to the demand, the RTX 3050’s market price will skyrocket and overtake the RTX 2060’s SRP.

5. SRP vs. Actual Price

Although the GeForce RTX 3050 has a lower SRP compared with the RTX 2060, GPUs are insanely expensive under the current market conditions. For example, you can find an ASUS GeForce RTX 2060 for $389.99, while a comparable ASUS GeForce RTX 3050 costs more, at $434.50.

When prices normalize and return to their pre-shortage levels, it makes sense to purchase the RTX 3050, especially as it costs around the same as the GTX 1660 graphics cards, which have less performance due to their limited ray tracing capability. However, under current conditions, the RTX 2060 offers better performance and a lower price than the RTX 3050.

6. More Port Options

The stock port options for Nvidia for the 3050 only give you a single HDMI 2.1 port and two DisplayPort 1.4a ports. On the other hand, the RTX 2060 has an extra DVI and a USB-C port.

This gives you more options, especially if you have an older monitor that only uses a DVI plug. Its USB-C port also allows you to plug other devices on it—not just monitors. This allows you to add the newer standard on a relatively old PC that only has USB-A ports.

The Older Card Is Still Better

While some people say that newer is better, that is not always the case. This is especially true with the RTX 3050 and the RTX 2060. If the GPU shortage does not exist, the RTX 3050 is an excellent upgrade from the GTX 1650 and GTX 1160 GPUs. It’s an entry-level video card for gamers that do not have the resources to spare for a $329 GeForce RTX 3060.

But if you’re upgrading your non-RTX video card in today’s market, you should skip the RTX 3050 altogether and go for an RTX 2060. Despite coming into the market in 2019, this three-year-old GPU model still performs better than the latest 3050.

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