Nvidia RTX 3050 presale prices make me want to cry

An Nvidia RTX GPU
(Image credit: Nvidia)

Update: Our RTX 3050 live blog is up and running so you can see where to buy the new GPU. 

The Nvidia RTX 3050 graphics card is days from seeing its official launch, and a few online retailers have already listed it for presale. That’s the good news. 

The bad news is that the “budget-friendly” GPU will be anything but affordable, as some retailers have inflated the price well above its $250 MSRP.

As spotted by XanxoGaming (via VideoCardz), a Peruvian retailer has RTX 3050 listings for sky-high prices. A listing on Newegg (via Tom’s Hardware) also reveals marked-up prices for Nvidia’s upcoming graphics card. The Peruvian vendor has a Palit RTX 3050 Dual OC listed for $453. It's also preselling a bundle pairing the same GPU with Geil Orion DDR4-3200 memory for $506. 

Newegg’s listing makes the Peruvian one seem reasonable, as it showed an MSI RTX 3050 Gaming X GPU on sale for $700. As Tom’s Hardware notes, this is a marketplace listing from an aftermarket seller, which means Newegg didn’t assign that pricing. That’s great and all, but it doesn’t make that price easier to swallow.

These listings shatter hopes of finding what was meant to be a budget card for a reasonable price. In one sense, this news isn’t all that surprising considering how the prices of all RTX 30 series cards have been severely inflated due to increased demand (from scalpers, cryptominers and PC gaming enthusiasts) and the ongoing global chip shortage. On the other hand, it’s mind-boggling that even a GPU which would typically be ignored by the PC gaming community due to its modest specs is being sold for more than double its MSRP.

There is a small ray of hope, however. As we previously reported, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 looks bad for cryptomining. The card ships with a Lite Hash Rate algorithm which severely limits the rate at which the card can mine Ethereum (via Videocardz ). While it will start mining with a hash rate around 20 MH/s, it quickly drops to 12.5 MH/s while consuming 73W of energy. VideoCardz calculates that with the current value of Etherium, the card would take 500 days — or around a year and four months — to recoup the cost involved. And if the current bout of GPU inflation were to up the price to $350, that would increase to 700 days (or a month shy of two years). It will take even longer with the listings we posted above. These factors should make the RTX 3050 unappealing to cryptominers.

If those folks aren’t snatching up Nvidia RTX 3050 GPUs, it should hopefully free the cards up for those who want them for their own personal PCs.

Tony Polanco
Computing Writer

Tony is a computing writer at Tom’s Guide covering laptops, tablets, Windows, and iOS. During his off-hours, Tony enjoys reading comic books, playing video games, reading speculative fiction novels, and spending too much time on X/Twitter. His non-nerdy pursuits involve attending Hard Rock/Heavy Metal concerts and going to NYC bars with friends and colleagues. His work has appeared in publications such as Laptop Mag, PC Mag, and various independent gaming sites.

  • rubberjedi
    Will miners buy more cards to make up the lower mining rate, keeping the prices high?
  • Lazyabum
    How is the RTX 3050 pricing any worse than all the other GPUs over a year now.