GTX 1050 has increased VRAM at the cost of reduced textured units, ROPs, memory bus bandwidth and its speed.
The Nvidia GTX 1050 2GB graphics card has been around since 2016 via its partner’s non-reference variants. These are based on Pascal GP107 core. The 2GB GDDR5 variant’s default base clock set at 1354 MHz and 640 CUDA cores on a 128-bit memory interface width and 112 GB/s memory bandwidth. We reviewed one of these! Though it made sense to just grab the GTX 1050 Ti for eSports/Battle Royale titles and keep oneself future ready, GTX1050 was there in case people couldn’t spend that much.
Refreshing a low-end lineup at this point may seem unnecessary but it was out of necessity- or that’s what is claimed. Normally, that should be the end of it with the 3GB giving more breathing VRAM room. But the other memory specifications and most likely texture units & ROPs are downgraded. The Nvidia GTX 1050 3GB GDDR5 is out due to the issue of 2GB IC supplies, therefore making it easier on AIB partners. There is a speculation that Nvidia has a good collection of perfectly working GP107 chips with reduced textured units and ROPs. It had to sell those out somehow. That’s not a problem. The clarification between these variants within the SKU is something that needs to be addressed.
The GTX 1050 3GB, in reality, is another SKU hidden within the same model. While it uses the same GP107 core, it reduces the memory interface bandwidth down to 96-bit and memory bandwidth down to 84 GB/sec. Nvidia stifled the GTX 1050 3GB further with 25% memory bandwidth reduction but the CUDA cores to 768. It becomes muddy as AIB partners only released a non-reference variant of this card, most have bumped clock speed. The confusion is passed on to the buyers.
|GTX 1050 Ti||GTX 1050 3GB||GTX 1050 2GB|
|Memory Clock||7Gbps GDDR5||7Gbps GDDR5||7Gbps GDDR5|
|Memory Bus Width||128-bit||96-bit||128-bit|
This isn’t the first GTX 10X0 card to have a different memory variant with other changes hidden away. Nvidia 390.25 Linux display driver’s release highlights indicate a “GTX 1060 5GB” variant while the GTX 1060 family is with “GTX 1060 3GB” and “GTX 1060 6GB“. Also, there’s GDDR5 and GDDR4 variant of the low-end GT 1030. The issue is with vague documentation about the changes within these SKUs, and AIB partners rarely reflect those changes, generalizing the difference only with the VRAM. Nvidia GTX 1050 specs on its website do not mention textured units and ROPs. Many would not research on the memory configurations unless they notice the performance with the ones shown in the reviews. Ideally, they should have just been another sub-model. Why not just call them GTX 1051/1053 or GTX 1050 SE? Clearly, Nvidia doesn’t have that intention. It is also hard to tell whether it misleads people with such differences in low-end offerings unless people can pinpoint it just like with the GTX 970 3.5GB + 0.5GB VRAM issue.
The new GTX 1050 “3GB” variants should be shown in Computex 2018 by various AIB partners. The MSRP is not mentioned, though it is going to vary and play bumper cars with GTX 1050 Ti and GTX 1050 2GB GDDR5.
— Hardware BBQ (@HardwareBBQ) May 22, 2018