With the craze around graphics cards, GPU manufacturers have every interest in expanding their range, despite shortages. That’s why Nvidia recently unveiled the Geforce RTX 3050 which is intended for small gaming configurations, but without making any concessions on video game performance.

Indeed, although it is intended for small configurations, it is nonetheless powerful and sufficient for occasional gaming thanks to its 8 GB of VRAM and its technical specifications which I will explain in more detail during this test. .

Design & Unboxing

This graphics card arrives in a fairly simple packaging, we simply find the card in a foam protection with the product sheets and MSI instructions, very basic in itself. The card itself is quite nice and looks a lot like the MSI Radeon RX 6800 XT X Trio but obviously smaller.

The design of a graphics card is essentially based on the appearance and the design of the cooling. Indeed on this MSI GeForce RTX 3050 Ventus 2x OC, the cooling, apart from being efficient, is very nice visually. It is mainly made up of good quality black plastic and offers a gaming-oriented design while remaining very sober and stylish.

The card has two fans composed of fourteen blades which allow optimal cooling while maintaining a very nice aggressive design characteristic of the MSI brand. Indeed the fans are surrounded by various geometric shapes composed mainly of triangles. In its shades of black and in its mini size, this MSI GeForce RTX 3050 Ventus 2x OC graphics card blends perfectly into this configuration.

In the center of the fans is the MSI logo in anthracite gray surrounded by very nice and discreet small lines. On the edge are the MSI inscriptions with the brand logo as well as the GeForce RTX inscription in white, just to show that we have succeeded in obtaining the holy Grail of the moment.

On the backplate which is also plastic, which I personally find quite unfortunate, is superimposed on the PCB and also has an MSI inscription with the logo as well as GeForce RTX once again, just to be sure.

The only point that may be a disadvantage for some consumers is the total absence of backlighting, personally I prefer not to have one, but some users will certainly miss it.

In terms of dimensions and weight and dimensions, it is quite small as I have already said before. Indeed with its 235 mm in length, 124 mm in width and 42 mm in thickness, it is very small and will blend perfectly into a small case such as a Mini ITX or a Micro ATX, but will also shine in a larger tower. .

Then comes the part of the video stream connectors, there are 3 Display Port Who allow to send a video stream with a higher refresh rate than HDMI as well as 1 HDMI 2.1. All these ports offer great display flexibility and have become more popular over the past few years on screens.. Note that all the connectors can be used at the same time, so you can connect 4 screens to it, which is not a bad thing.

With the stock RTX 3050 gone, the RX 6600 XT is the best graphics card deal right now

The RTX 3050 launched last week, and to absolutely no one’s surprise, sold out in about 10 minutes flat. Long story short, budget gamers looking to spend as little as possible on a decent GPU have once again been shaken.

The lack of RTX 3050 stock got me wondering – what is actually the best deal right now? Yes, graphics card prices remain extremely high, but things are getting desperate. Long story short, if you really (like really, really) need a GPU right now, I think your best bet is the AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT.

In the UK in particular, we’re seeing plenty of stock for this card for the £449-£499 range. It’s very expensive considering you could get a mid-range card for £299 a few years ago, but in today’s market it’s actually quite reasonable – and yes, I’m not kidding when I say that.

In the United States, you will have to pay around $669 to $699, which is a harder sell. It should be noted, however, that the GPU market in the United States is much more inflated than in Europe, where prices have been falling for some time.

Big gains over Nvidia

The RX 6600 XT can’t hold a candle to the raw power of the Ti build, but compared to the standard RTX 3060 it’s arguably a better card

So why do we recommend this card? Well, the main reason is how favorably it compares to the Nvidia RTX 3060 and RTX 3060 Ti – which in the mainstream graphics card market are supposed to be its main mid-range rivals.

Here’s the thing – at launch, the RX 6600 XT’s supposed $379 / £270 MRSP looked like a very tough sell compared to the competition. It was only 5% cheaper than the higher-end RTX 3060 Ti, but lagged in performance, especially when it came to Ray-Tracing.

However, take the current $600 street price of the RX 6600 XT and compare it to the $700 of the standard RTX 3060 and you have a more compelling case. Compare that to the $800 asking price of the RTX 3060 Ti and this case gets even stronger.

Let’s face it, the RX 6600 XT can’t match the raw power of the Ti version, but compared to the standard RTX 3060, it’s arguably a better card.

In our head-to-head testing, the RX 6600 XT pulled ahead of the 3060, especially with absolute benchmark performance and 1080p gaming. Where things are closer between the cards is Ray-Tracing performance, where Nvidia still has the lead over AMD, for now.