When Nvidia announced their new slate of RTX 30 series laptops coming out this year, they told us we'd be seeing RTX 3060, RTX 3070 and RTX 3080 models starting to appear over the next few months. Now it looks like there might be RTX 3050 Ti versions joining the fray as well if new specs leaks are to be believed, as laptops from both Acer and Asus have been spotted listing this currently unannounced GPU in their specs product pages.
Twitter leaker momomo_us spotted them at the end of last week on the product page for Asus' TUF Dash 15 laptop and a set of documents referring to Acer's Nitro 5 laptop, although the Asus page seems to have since been updated and the RTX 3050 Ti information removed at time of writing. Fortunately, they did manage to screencap the Asus page, which I've embedded below.
GN20-P0🤔— 188号 (@momomo_us) March 5, 2021
Sure, at first glance, it could simply be the case that someone's photoshopped a very convincing RTX 3050 Ti underneath the real set of specs, but it's the Acer details that give this rumour a bit more weight. In this case, the still-live Acer documents mention two unnamed GPUs (GN20-P0 and GN20-P1) that have also shown up elsewhere on the internet, specifically in a Chinese video about another Asus TUF 15 laptop on sharing site Bilibili. Here, the GN20 codenames appear right next to Nvidia's RTX 3060 and RTX 3070 GPUs on the laptop's specs sheet (as you can see below), and I don't think it takes much detective work to guess what those codenames might be referring to.
It could all be a load of bobbins, of course, but if these rumours do turn out to be true, then it could mean a lot of good things. For starters, it will hopefully signal the arrival of even cheaper ray tracing capable laptops, as the starting price for Nvidia's RTX 3060 models is still a hefty $1000.
More importantly though, it suggests that there will, in fact, be RTX 3050 desktop cards as well, potentially coming in both vanilla and Ti flavours to match their laptop counterparts. This is great news for those after a more budget-friendly ray tracing GPU to replace their ageing GTX 10-series cards, as the £299 / $329 RTX 3060 is still quite a bit more than what the GTX 1060 cost when it first came out in 2016. Back then, the GTX 1060 cost $249, which would seem ripe for a potential RTX 3050 Ti card, if I had to make a guess, with the base version hopefully coming in even cheaper at $200, say.
It also implies that we'll hopefully see an entire generation of ray tracing capable graphics cards from Nvidia this time, rather than a confusing split between ray tracing and non-ray tracing models like we've had over the last couple of years with the RTX 20-series (which stopped at the RTX 2060) and GTX 16-series GPUs. I've said on previous occasions that I'd hope this would be the case, especially now that ray tracing comes as standard on the new Xbox Series X and PS5 console boxes. Again, there's still a chance that even this hope might be dashed over the coming year, but hey, a girl can dream right?