There have been murmurings for a while now, but Nvidia has finally launched its new 3GB variant of the GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card. It’s a weird little thing, so no wonder Nvidia hasn’t made much of a fuss about its launch, coming as it does about 18 months after the launch of both the GeForce GTX 1050 and the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti.

The new GeForce GTX 1050 3GB sort of splits the difference between the current GTX 1050 2GB and the GTX 1050 Ti 4BB. Just 2GB VRAM is certainly pushing it these days,  particularly for AAA titles, and the extra gigabyte could come in handy. Unfortunately, though, the switch to 3GB means Nvidia has had to adopt an unorthodox 96-bit memory bus, rather than the 128-bit interface seen on the other GTX 1050s, resulting in a pared down memory bandwidth of 84GB/s. That’s 33% slower memory bandwidth than the GeForce GTX 1050 2GB. Weight right?

Anyway, where things get weirder is in the GPU itself. Despite the naming, the GeForce GTX 1050 actually has much the same GPU as the GTX 1050 Ti 4GB, albeit clocked a little faster. They’ve both got 768 CUDA Cores compared to just 640 on the GTX 1050 2GB, while the GTX 1050 3GB runs faster than both of them, clocking in at 1392 MHz Base Clock and 1518 MHz Boost Clock.

  1050 Ti 1050 (3GB) 1050 (2GB)
Cores 768 768 640
Base Clock 1290 MHz 1391 MHz 1354 MHz
Boost Clock 1392 MHz 1518 MHz 1455 MHz
Memory Speed 7 Gb/s 7 Gb/s 7 Gb/s
Memory Interface 128-bit 96-bit 128-bit
Memory Bandwidth 112 GB/s 84GB/s 112 GB/s

So, uh, what we’ve got is a new graphics card with a GTX 1050 Ti GPU and a crippled memory solution, all with the GTX 1050 name slapped across it. Nvidia must’ve shut down its GeForce Partner Program in record time because this is nothing like “ensuring that gamers know what they are buying and can make a clear choice”.

For now, if you’re waiting on a graphics card upgrade then you’re going to be best off taking a wait-and-see approach with the GeForce GTX 1050 3GB. It’s not clear just what its performance is going to be like when compared to the current GeForce GTX 1050 2GB and the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB. It’s almost certainly faster than the current GTX 1050 2GB, but the stripped down memory interface may mean it can’t usurp the GTX 1050 Ti. As well as this, the spectre is already looming from the next-generation GeForce graphics cards due to launch this summer.

Pricing has yet to be announced for the GeForce GTX 1050 3GB, but we expect it to be somewhere in the region on $170-180.

What are your thoughts on this odd new graphics card then? Important gap filler or just Nvidia using up excess stock? Let us know!