Despite the looming arrival of its next-gen graphics cards, NVIDIA quietly unveiled a new budget model, the GeForce GTX 1050 3GB. It's positioned between the regular 2GB GTX 1050 and the 4GB 1050 Ti, with a faster base clock but lower memory bandwidth of 84 GB/second compared to 112 GB/s for the other two models. The 3GB of memory makes it suitable for modern games, but less desirable for crypto-mining, which (in the case of Ethereum) requires graphics cards with 3GB of VRAM at a minimum.
It has 768 CUDA cores like the Ti card, and NVIDIA said that all told, the GTX 1050 3GB should run games about 10 percent faster than the regular 1050 2GB model. The company also told PC World that it will "occupy similar price bands with the existing lineup." Right now, MSRP for the GTX 1050 is $109 and $139 for the GTX Ti, so you'd think it would cost around $125.
Thanks to crypto-mining, street prices are a different story, however. The lower-end GTX 1050 currently goes for $140 on the street, and the GTX 1050 Ti runs a whopping $200-plus -- $60 over retail. Hopefully, then, the GTX 1050 3GB's price won't be as inflated as the Ti model. The cards will be offered by NVIDIA partners including EVGA, ASUS and Zoltac, and should hit stores in early June.