- The Nvidia GTX 1050 is an outdated graphics card running on PCIe 3.0, limiting its performance potential on newer motherboards with PCIe 4.0 or 5.0 slots.
- The GTX 1050 offers weak performance compared to similarly priced competitors like the AMD RX 580, with a performance difference of about 30%.
- The GTX 1050 has only 2GB of VRAM, limiting its ability to load complex scenes and textures in games, although it performs well in esports titles.
- The GTX 1050 was considered the most entry-level card in the GTX 1000 series when it was released in 2016, and it has been surpassed by newer entry-level GPUs.
- Users have reported driver conflicts and poor game optimization with the GTX 1050, leading to performance issues and crashes.
Sure, it might have its place in entry-level gaming computers and older builds, but there are plenty of complaints about the Nvidia GTX 1050, especially in 2023.
Are you a budget gamer looking for a graphics card in today’s world of overpriced GPUs and sold-out mid-range to entry-level GPUs? If so, you might be thinking about snagging an older graphics card for yourself.
There’s a good chance that if you are who we just described, you probably have seen an RTX 1050 available somewhere. But before you pull the trigger on that deal, ask yourself: is this card really a good deal? Is it still worth it?
In today’s article, we’re not holding back. We’re airing out all of the complaints about the Nvidia GTX 1050, from weak performance, and older hardware, to simply having better options available. Let’s get into it!
Complaint #1 – PCIe Gen 3.0
The GTX 1050 was first released way back when in 2016, and at the time, it was a solid graphics card for 1080p resolution gaming. Years later, it’s still capable of 1080p gaming, but now it’s an outdated card running on some old tech, including PCIe 3.0.
This is one of the biggest complaints about the Nvidia GTX 1050. While you can plug a PCIe Gen 3.0 GPU into a PCIe Gen 4 or Gen 5 slot on your motherboard, you will be capped at Gen 3 performance.
PCIe 4.0 is faster than PCIe 3.0 and has more bandwidth. PCIe 4.0 has a maximum bandwidth of 64 GB/s, double that of PCIe 3.0, with a maximum bandwidth transfer speed of 32 GB/s.
Newer motherboards with PCIe 5.0 slots are even faster, with a total data transfer speed of 128 GB/s. While there’s no problem with using a PCIe 3.0 in a PCIe 4.0 slot, you won’t be utilizing the full potential of the motherboard and thus receiving a lower return on your investment regarding performance with a GTX 1050.
This issue largely pertains to bottle-necking and capping your build’s potential. If your motherboard supports PCIe 4.0, you are only doing yourself a disservice by opting for the lowly GTX 1050. Your motherboard supports faster speeds, but your GPU just won’t keep up.
Complaint #2 – Overall Weak Performance
One of the most important complaints about the Nvidia GTX 1050 has been because, even within the price range, the performance is relatively weak when viewed alongside comparably priced competitors.
Within the exact same price range as the GTX 1050 at the time of writing is the AMD RX 580, which outperforms the GTX 1050 by about 30% in performance.
To illustrate this point, we’ve collected a sample of benchmark tests comparing the GTX 1050 and RX 580 head-to-head. These tests were all performed at 1080p ultra settings, and one thing we wanted to point out is that a few games couldn’t even be tested with the GTX 1050 on account of only having 2GB of VRAM.
|Game Average FPS||GTX 1050||AMD RX 580|
|Counter Strike: Global Offensive||113 FPS||146 FPS|
|GTA V||39 FPS||57 FPS|
|Elden Ring||17 FPS||34 FPS|
|Halo Infinite||12 FPS||25 FPS|
|Valorant||57 FPS||117 FPS|
|Apex Legends||24 FPS||56 FPS|
|Metro Exodus||15 FPS||32 FPS|
|Red Dead Redemption 2||13 FPS||27 FPS|
|Final Fantasy XV||29 FPS||55 FPS|
|God of War||16 FPS||33 FPS|
The table above represents the disparity in performance between the GTX 1050 and RX 580, but we’ve been able to find the RX 580 selling for either the same price or a few dollars more than the GTX 1050.
Complaint #3 – Barely Any VRAM
You need VRAM, or “video memory,” to do much of anything with your graphics card.
One of the primary reasons for the underperformance of the GTX 1050 is that it only has 2GB of dedicated VRAM. Vram is vital for loading complex scenes and textures onto your screen when gaming. Less of it just means that your PC won’t be able to display everything it needs to, and your visuals will look bland as a result.
While the results for the GTX 1050 are lacking, especially in graphically challenging single-player games, we found the card to have a solid performance in the e-sports genre, with a high framerate in both Counter-Strike and Valorant. In other words, games that don’t rely on having lots of Vram are fine.
With the updated CPUs on the market, we’ve seen a better-integrated graphics performance in many of the 12th generation of Intel chips and the latest Ryzen chips than in the GTX 1050. Performance from an APU such as the Ryzen 9 6900X slays compared to a GTX 1050, and that is with no graphics card at all!
Complaint #4 – Weak When it Was Released
You can’t fault a GPU for something that has since long passed. But the GTX 1050 has no excuse. Even back in 2016, when the GTX 1050 first hit the market, it was considered the most entry-level of the GTX 1000 series.
Even then, the GTX 1050 Ti was the more popular graphics card for entry-level gamers as it offered more VRAM and notably better performance ratings regarding FPS in 1080p resolution gaming.
During the massive graphics card market shortage of 2021, Nvidia even chose to re-release the GTX 1050 Ti but declined to re-release the base version of the GTX 1050.
The GTX 1050 has always been a few steps behind. And the graphics card market knows this. Try finding a standard GTX 1050 these days. All you will find is the upgraded 1050 Ti model. It is pretty clear that Nvidia knew this card’s shortcomings and didn’t go out of its way to produce too many.
Complaint #5 – Driver Conflicts
As Nvidia keeps producing newer and newer graphics cards since the time of the GTX 1050, software updates continue to roll out. Multiple users on the official Nvidia forums have reported issues with new drivers causing their performance to either bottom out or crash when using the GTX 1050.
Driver problems affect almost all graphics cards, but with newer GPUs, these issues are often spotted and patched quickly.
When it comes to cards from a few generations ago, there is less and less software support. Issues involving performance degradation or crashing are harder to be picked up on by the development teams at Nvidia. So, you may be waiting quite a while before your performance with the GTX 1050 returns to normal.
In addition to issues with Windows updates and driver updates, there’s the other issue of poor game optimization with older graphics cards.
As newer graphics cards begin to dominate the market, particularly Nvidia cards from the RTX 2000 and 3000 series, game developers are less keen to optimize their games for graphics cards from the GTX 1000 series.
We took note of several users again on the Nvidia official forums who described issues related to new drivers and patches for certain games ruining their experience of playing their favorite games with a GTX 1050 GPU.
Complaint #6 – 1080P Resolution Only
Monitor prices have dropped in recent years, with 1440p gaming monitors becoming more and more common. With a GPU like the GTX 1050, you are locked in at playing games at 1080p resolution. Plus, as our benchmarks showed, there’s a good chance you will only be able to play many games at their Medium graphics quality settings.
Modern games designed to run in 1440p or 4K resolutions especially take a big hit when running with the GTX 1050, as the performance issues become more and more noticeable. The inadequacy of the graphics card becomes more visible.
To play recent games comfortably with a GTX 1050, we noticed that the graphics settings needed to often be at their lowest for a stable framerate and no crashes. But even at low settings, the GTX 1050 still has a tendency to stutter.
It’s not the most noticeable issue in the world, but it’s been reported in many games. It can be frustrating or even negative, especially if you play competitive shooters.
Complaint #7 – Better Performance in Today’s Entry-Level GPUs
One of the biggest complaints about the Nvidia GTX 1050, is that it is low on the totem pole compared to newer GPUs. The entry-level GPUs of both AMD and Nvidia represent a better daily driver for entry-level or budget builders than the nearly $200 GTX 1050.
Today, it’s entirely possible to get an AMD RX 6600 for the same price of $200. When put up head-to-head with the GTX 1050, the RX 6600 tends to perform at a rate of 235% faster.
If you are looking to buy a graphics card in 2023, we would strongly recommend getting something from the RTX 3000 or AMD RX 6000 series instead of opting for a GTX 1050, as you will get a significantly better experience in newer and more demanding games.
Prices at the time of writing point towards the RX 6600 XT being the better buy if you are going off of price only, but we don’t expect the price of the RTX 3000-series to remain as high as it currently is for much longer, especially now that the 4000 series of graphics cards are here.
Complaint #8 – Graphics Shortage has Slowed
This would be a very different article had it been written in 2020 or 2021. In those years, finding a graphics card from the AMD 6000 series and the Nvidia 3000 series was nearly impossible. And if you could find one, there was a good chance the price was anywhere from two to three times that of what the manufacturer suggested retail price was set at.
However, we are living in different times in PC building in 2023. Graphics cards are nowhere near as difficult to find now, and prices have fallen to their MSRP, and in some cases, below the MSRP.
As we go into the second half of 2023, we should continue to see the trend of graphics cards being both in stock and at good pricing. With the money you would spend on the GTX 1050, you could better spend on a graphics card that’s much more recent and much more powerful than the GTX 1050.
One of the common threads that have run through this article is that the GTX 1050 isn’t as worth it now due to the hardware limitations of the low VRAM and PCIe 3.0-only support.
If you are someone who is stuck with a PCIe 3.0 motherboard and cannot actively upgrade your motherboard to a PCIe 4.0 board, we would still suggest you stay away from the GTX 1050. Save up for a newer motherboard instead, so you are ready to upgrade to a more capable GPU when the time comes.
Complaints About the Nvidia GTX 1050: Possible Alternatives
So, we gave you all these complaints about the Nvidia GTX 1050. But we wouldn’t be much help if we didn’t offer you any alternatives. The good news is that there are plenty of better alternatives out there.
The most obvious alternative is simply hopping over to the GTX 1050 Ti. This is almost the same GPU, but almost an identical price tag. You get a more powerful graphics processor, more Cuda cores, and more Vram. It has the same power requirements as the standard 1050, so you don’t need to upgrade any other components to match.
Another solid choice would be the Nvidia GTX 1660 Super. This is a newer card with an even more powerful graphics processor, more Cuda cores, larger memory bus width, and more Vram. With 6GB of video memory, and double the core count of a GTX 1050 Ti, this GPU is much more well-equipped to handle modern games.
We already mentioned the AMD RX 6600 as a worthy alternative to the GTX 1050. For good reason! This card offers a much more potent graphics processor and a whopping 8GB of VRAM. While the price tag is a little higher, it is definitely worth the extra jump.
If you can’t stomach the price increase of the RX 6600, then the RX 580 is another cheap AMD card that should be on your radar. While this GPU has some age to it now, it is still a better option than the lowly GTX 1050. For a similar price tag as the GTX 1050, you get a better graphics processor and 8GB of VRAM.
|#1||PCIe Gen 3.0|
|#2||Overall Weak Performance|
|#3||Barely Any Vram|
|#4||Weak When it was Released|
|#6||1080P Resolution Only|
|#7||Better Performance in Today’s Entry-Level GPUs|
|#8||Graphics Shortage has Slowed|
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