AMD and Nvidia reveal entry-level GPUs at CES

Both AMD and Nvidia revealed new entry-level GPUs at CES a few weeks back. The new GPUs—AMD’s Radeon RX 6500 XT and Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3050—promise a lower-cost entry point into the latest-generation of graphics cards in a market where demand from crypto-mining operations has raised GPU prices across the board.

AMD’s Radeon RX 6500XT is set to launch tomorrow, January 19, 2022. The card is based on the company’s Navi 24 graphics processor and built on a 6 nanometer (nm) process. The Navi 24 chip features a die area of 107 mm², 1024 shading units, 64 texture mapping units, ROPs and 16 raytracing cores. The cards will ship with 4 gigabytes (GB) of onboard GDDR6 video memory.

Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3050 on the other hand is set to launch on January 27, 2022. the first in what Nvidia calls its “50-class” GPU for the RTX 30-series. Like the AMD card, it is also capable of ray-tracking, coming with 2nd-generation RT cores. Unlike AMD’s card, the RTX 3050 comes with 8GB of GDDR6 video memory. Also unlike the latter, the RTX 3050 comes with special Tensor cores for hardware-accelerated AI upscaling via DLSS—AMD’s versions of this technology, FidelityFX Super Resolution and Radeon Super Resolution, are software-based solutions only and don’t benefit from any special hardware on their video cards. (Read: GUIDE: Should you get a GPU upgrade right now?)

Both entry-level GPUs are set to launch with relatively-affordable MSRPs. Nvidia’s RTX 3050 has an MSRP of $249 while AMD’s RX 6500XT has an MSRP of only $199. Whether or not these will retain these prices retail is yet to be seen. The ongoing chip shortage combined with the demand for GPUs from crypto miners has made the current crop of GPUs from both companies hard to obtain while also jacking up the price. Already, early reports from Europe hint at RX 6500 XTs already being sold for at marked-up prices.

If this is the case, then these entry-level GPUs may not be the solution to the GPU pricing woes many gamers are facing today. It looks like budget-minded gamers in need of a new GPU may have to look elsewhere, perhaps to Intel’s upcoming Arc GPUs, the pricing and availability of which are still unknown. (Read:Intel Gaming XE GPU leak hints at possible RTX 3080 killer)

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