Asus this week has become the latest PC video card manufacturer to announce a sub-75W video card based on NVIDIA's recently-released low-power GeForce RTX 3050 6GB design. And going one step further for small form factor PC owners, Asus has used NVIDIA's low-power GPU configuration to produce a half-height video card that can fit into low-profile systems.

As Asus puts it, the GeForce RTX 3050 LP BRK 6GB GDDR6 is a 'big productivity in a small package' and for a low-profile dual-slot graphics board, it indeed is. The unit has three display outputs, including a DVI-D, HDMI 2.1, and DisplayPort 1.4a with HDCP 2.3 support, which makes the graphics card s viable option both for a a dual-display desktop and a home theater PC (Nvidia's GA107 graphics processor supports all popular codecs except AV1). Furthermore, a DVI-D output enables the card to drive outdated displays, which even over half a decade after DVI-D was retired, still hang around as spare parts. Meanwhile, because the card only consumes around 70W, it does not require any auxiliary PCIe power connectors, which are at times not available in cheap systems from big PC makers.

Underlying this card is the aforementioned GeForce RTX 3050 6 GB, which uses the GA107 GPU with 2304 CUDA cores, and it comes with 6GB of GDDR6 memory connected to a narrower 96-bit memory bus (down from 128-bits for the full 8GB version. With a lower boost clock of 1470 MHz (1500 MHz in OC mode), the RTX 3050 6GB has reduced computing performance, delivering 6.77 FP32 TFLOPS versus 9.1 FP32 TFLOPS of the full-fledged RTX 3050.

As a result, the low-profile GeForce RTX 3050 6 GB is very much an entry-level card, though the low power requirements for such a card are also what make it special. This should be plenty for low-end gaming – beating out integrated GPUs – though suffice it to say, it's not going to compete with high-end, power-hungry cards either.

With its diminutive size, the Asus GeForce RTX 3050 LP BRK 6 GB GDDR6 looks to be a nice candidate for upgrading cheap systems from OEMs as well as fixing outdated PCs. What remains to be seen is how price competitive it is going to be. The graphics board already has one low-profile rival from MSI — which costs $185 — so Asus is not the only vendor competing here.

Source: Asus

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  • Samus - Friday, March 15, 2024 - link

    Pretty good performance for a 70w card. Probably on par with a 1660 since the 3050 8GB is comparable to a 1660Ti, all of which use 120w+

    The problem is, at least regarding the HTPC market, the Ryzen G APU's have exceptional GPU's for that application, and the entire power envelope is 65w TDP for the CPU and GPU combined, though depending on configuration you can unlock some restrictions to draw upward of 90w to aid simultaneous CPU + GPU load. This is rarely a concern for HTPC applications though.

    Long story short, this thing is too slow to play most games at 1080p unless you are willing to drop the detail, at which point a Ryzen APU, while slower, serves the same purpose. The wildcard is DLSS where a 3050 would blow any APU out of the water in some games.
  • ozzuneoj86 - Friday, March 15, 2024 - link

    In general, I think most people should just get slightly bigger cases for HTPCs so they don't have to deal with the massive limitations of undersized PCs. These days there are very compact cases that can support a micro-ATX motherboard and small full height GPU. But for those situations where you really need a computer to be smaller than that, it really depends how small and what do you want it to do. If a system with a low profile GPU is as large as you can go, this 3050 6GB would be a great option if you need more gaming performance.

    As good as the 8000G series APUs are compared to the previous generation, they're is still not fast enough to make entry level gaming cards obsolete. It seems that APUs get a lot of buzz these days because, yes, they are impressive... but wasn't everyone just saying the 6500XT was useless a couple years ago? The 8600G's 760M is fast for an IGP but it isn't going to somehow blow the doors off a 6500XT, being almost the same architecture with 10% less shader processing power, 40% less pixel fillrate, 70% less texel fillrate, 50% less memory bandwidth, and a fraction of the cache. If the 8600G was cheaper it'd be one thing, but $229 is quite a bit of money to spend on something with such low gaming performance if you do intend to game at all. Having performance like that in a mobile device is far more acceptable of course, but size, heat and power really matter there, obviously.

    Video reviews are starting to pop up showing the RTX 3050 6GB compared to the 8700G's 780M, and again, the 780M is impressive for an IGP, but in most games tested the 3050 6GB is still 40-60% faster.

    If advanced 3D gaming is a super low priority a mini-PC with a ryzen mobile APU is a great option these days if you can get one that isn't noisy. If you have the intent to game and have space though, leave (and use!) as much GPU space as you can.

    Anyway, as someone who has been building and using HTPCs for 23 years I just thought I'd chime in. I find this part of the industry interesting. :)
  • ozzuneoj86 - Friday, March 15, 2024 - link

    Sorry, just realize my previous post sounded like I was praising the 3050 6GB... let me clarify. LOL

    I'm not saying it's a great idea to *unnecessarily* plan an HTPC build around a 3050 6GB, or that it's even a remotely decent card for the money in 2024... no way! Not for $160+. But the low profile card does have a use-case.

    I would consider the following HTPC options based on needs:

    Ultra low budget: Reuse an old workstation that is small enough and fast enough for your needs, upgrade the RAM and SSD because they are dirt cheap now.

    Ultra low budget light gaming: Find an old workstation and put a dirt cheap used graphics card in it... the fastest that will fit in the PC and your budget. A Quadro K620 for $15 thrown into an old Haswell or Skylake era Optiplex\Thinkcentre with an SSD will play a surprising number of basic games with no hassle thanks to Nvidia's long-term driver support.

    Modern features, discrete\hidden\compact, some light gaming: Ryzen Mini PC (get the fastest CPU\APU your budget allows since it can't be upgraded)

    Absolutely must have a slim, low profile gaming PC with modern features, but doesn't need to be ultra tiny: Whatever CPU\platform fits your budget plus a 3050 6GB if the price isn't stupid. If the price is stupid (which it probably will be), well... settle for less graphics performance and get an older card, get a Ryzen mini PC, or get a bigger piece of furniture so you can use the next PC...

    Less strict space constraints: Any compact system that can hold a normal height GPU and have a somewhat normal PSU form factor.

    Also, If you need modern features like HDMI 2.1 (120Hz 4K on a TV, even at the desktop is very nice) without much gaming performance, but don't want to dump a whole bunch of money on a high end mini PC or 8000G series APU, the RTX 3050 and RX 6400 are the minimum cards to achieve that without lower subsampling.
  • meacupla - Saturday, March 16, 2024 - link

    IMO, I would use steam remote play before going through all the trouble of building an HTPC.
    If 1Gbps networking isn't enough, 2.5Gbps isn't all that more expensive.
  • ozzuneoj86 - Sunday, March 17, 2024 - link

    That's not a bad idea if it fits your use case, but from my experience a dedicated PC is so much nicer and more flexible than other devices if you have the space for it, and it is about way way more than just gaming. Being able to do anything I can do on Windows on my TV with no loss in visual fidelity is really nice. We use Disney Plus and Amazon directly on the TV because the interface is decent enough and there aren't as many ads to contend with. But for youtube we just use a PC so there are no ads (ublock origin). Plus, we can stream video from any website on the internet regardless of if it has a good app or not. As an added bonus, I have carefully tweaked Windows on our HTPC so that it works best with an OLED. On top of interface optimizations done with shell extensions, I can have it blank the screen with a good old fashion black screen saver (remember those?) when there is no activity for a couple minutes. It really really cuts back the wear and tear on the TV. We'll probably be able to use this thing this way for many many years without burn in.

    Also, we don't use our TV constantly. Some days we don't even use it at all. But, I know in some homes the TV is on for most of the day. In that case, it'd make sense from a power consumption perspective to not use a big bulky PC for youtube for 6 hours... but I'd just use some small efficient PC so we could keep most of the benefits.
  • Hrel - Wednesday, May 15, 2024 - link

    I switched to mini-ITX over a decade ago. Outside of prosumer applications there is literally no reason for anyone to have a pc bigger than that. Besides with the state of the gaming industry it's not like there's any driving force that requires absurdly powerful GPU's. All the good games are 10+ years old and even heavily modded even the RTX 4050 can handle everything at 1080p.

    So what, you're gonna buy a 1000 dollar GPU to play Rocket League? LOL

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