Time to get ready for the… 3GB Nvidia GTX 1050?

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050

Here in the wonderful world of Graphics Card Rumour Town, the local buzz tends to revolve around mythical products that never actually see the light of day – like the current alleged specs for the so-called Nvidia Turing GTX 1180, the next-gen graphics card from Team Green that looks an awful lot like someone’s just made a few typos with the GTX 1080Ti’s specs and called it ‘insider information’.

But the latest gossip in this hallowed land hasn’t got anything to do with next-gen cards or anything like it. For according to Chinese site Expreview (as translated by VideoCardz), apparently the next graphics card that will be bolting from Nvidia’s stable is… a 3GB GTX 1050?

It’s an odd thing to be working on, to say the least. Admittedly, one of the key problems with the regular Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 is its 2GB of GDDR5 memory. If you want to play games at 1080p, 2GB is a little on the stingy side, and doesn’t exactly leave you well-equipped to deal with more demanding games in the future.

That’s largely why the 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti has become the de facto best graphics card for 1080p gaming – although the fact that it’s also one of the only current graphics cards you can currently buy without spending an unholy amount of money (although that too is starting to change with graphics card prices increasingly getting less and less eye-wateringly expensive) certainly helps.

A 3GB GTX 1050 does kind of make a bit of sense, then, offering a nice half-way house between the two cards. After all, the next card up in the series, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060, is split into 3GB and 6GB models, so it’s not completely unheard of for Nvidia to do such a thing.

I just can’t believe anyone’s actually going to buy it, though. Admittedly, VideoCardz speculates that the 3GB GTX 1050 may end up being exclusive to China, as they’re also getting a special 5GB version of the GTX 1060 as well. If it does end up getting a worldwide release, though, the thing I can’t figure out is how much it’s going to cost.

Consider this. A GTX 1050Ti will still set you back somewhere between £150 and £210 in today’s money, while the cheapest GTX 1050 currently costs between £120 and £155. Is there really any space between these two price brackets for another card? Surely the GTX 1050Ti is going to be the better buy in almost every circumstance? I mean, it’s already a better buy than the GTX 1050, and I don’t see that changing even with the introduction of a new card on the market – especially as the rumour mill also seems to be stating that there’s a possibility of Nvidia downgrading the 3GB GTX 1050’s memory bus width from 128-bit to 96-bit.

For now, I’m filing this one under ‘Let’s wait and see’, as we’ll no doubt hear more about it (if it does indeed exist) at this year’s Computex bonanza in Taiwan, which is due to take place in early June.

6 Comments

  1. HiroTheProtagonist says:

    This feels painfully redundant. The 1050Ti and 1060 3gb are about the same price and both more powerful.

  2. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    It seems like releasing something for the sake of releasing….

  3. SirDeimos says:

    Honestly, not worth “fretting” over. It is almost certainly another region-limited sku intended specifically for Chinese internet cafes. Much like the 1060 5GB, this has all of the earmarks of creative use of components (e.g. less memory modules and a cut down memory interface) to meet a demand and enter a market while keeping COGs below an applicable threshold.

    Speaking of the ‘possibility’ of a reduced memory interface, isn’t it a foregone necessity that they’ll have to use 96 bit to make the memory subsystem work with a VRAM capacity that is a multiple of 3?

    • Addie says:

      I thought that the bits in the memory bus lane referred to the amount of memory that could be transferred every cycle, eg. a 128-bit bus can transfer 4 32-bit words every cycle. 3 Gb is still a multiple of 4×32-bit, the same as any other whole number of Gb is.

      However, a 128-bit wide bus takes up more chip space than a 96-bit bus, and if this card doesn’t have enough shaders / fast enough shaders to use all of that memory bandwidth, then it’s just wasted space. If it doesn’t need to meet some headline figures for marketing, then you might as well design a card which is balanced.

      • SirDeimos says:

        Close (and I could have stated my ‘multiple of 3’ point better), but the necessary math isn’t that the VRAM amount be a multiple of 4×32. What counts is that the memory interface needs to have a bit width where the multiple of 32 can be used with an appropriate amount of 512MB or 1024MB memory modules to yield the desired VRAM capacity. In other words, 96 bit is a multiple of 3×32, so 3x1024MB memory modules yields 3 GB of VRAM. The current 128 bit on the ‘original’ 1050 is a multiple of 4×32, so 4x512MB memory modules to give 2GB of VRAM. There isn’t a combination of 4x memory modules that results in a “3” VRAM capacity. Likewise, this is why nvidia made the 1060 3GB, well… 3GB, and not the 4GB that everybody screamed was necessary. They kept the bus the same at 192 (6×32) and used 512MB modules to yield 3GB of capacity.

        Again, this looks like ‘creative’ use of components to produce a model that meets a specific market criteria. Cheers.

  4. MacPolvings says:

    rx560 2,611 GFLOPS
    1050ti 2,138 GFLOPS

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