NVIDIA has gone and quietly introduced another Pascal-based graphics card to its entry-level lineup, the previously rumored GeForce GTX 1050 with 3GB of GDDR5 memory. As the third GeForce GTX 1050 card in NVIDIA's product stack, the new SKU is sandwiched between the other GeForce GTX 1050 with 2GB of GDDR5 memory, and the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti with 4GB of GDDR5 memory.
It's not entirely clear how NVIDIA will market and sell this new card—there was speculation that it could end up as an exclusive option in China, where it would most likely be found in gaming cafes, or as a variant specifically for OEM system builders. Of course, NVIDIA might also target the gaming community at large, which means users who are shopping for an entry-level graphics card will have to pay extra close attention to the specs since there are now three GeForce GTX 1050 SKUs instead of just two.
There is more that separates the three cards than just the amount of memory. The newest SKU matches the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti in the number of CUDA cores at 768, up from 640 on the lowest end GeForce GTX 1050. It also brings faster base and boost clocks than either of the other versions, at 1,392MHz and 1,518MHz, respectively.
Those faster clocks come at the expense of the memory interface, which as been cut down from 128-bit on the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti and GeForce GTX 1050 2GB to a 96-bit pipe on the new GeForce GTX 1050 3GB. That effectively reduces the memory bandwidth from 112GB/s as found on both other cards to 84GB/s on this newest variant. It's a bit of an odd decision, since at a glance the larger memory buffer appears to the primary selling point.
NVIDIA hasn't mentioned pricing or availability for the new card and, at the time of this writing, we're not seeing any retail listings. There isn't a lot of wiggle room from launch MSRPs, with the GeForce GTX 1050 debuting at $109 and the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti at $139. However, both cards have gone up in price a bit since then—looking around the web and without factoring in mail-in-rebates, the GeForce GTX 1050 2GB starts at around $140, and the least expensive GeForce GTX 1050 Ti is $190.