The 9 Best Reasons to Avoid a Nvidia GTX 1050

The Nvidia GTX 1050 budget graphics card once offered decent 1080p gaming performance for the money. But in 2023, it‘s an outdated and underpowered GPU that enthusiasasts should steer clear of.

Don‘t get us wrong – the GTX 1050 still works. It plays older titles fine, particularly at lower resolutions and graphics settings. However, the gaming landscape has evolved rapidly in recent years, leaving this entry-level Pascal card behind.

Between significant technological advancements and steep price hikes, the GTX 1050 fails to deliver value or meet the requirements of modern games. There are several clear downsides that make it a graphics card not worth buying for most shoppers.

In this guide, we‘ll highlight the 9 top reasons to avoid Nvidia‘s aging GTX 1050 GPU to help you make a more informed purchase decision.

Reason #1: Not Enough VRAM

One of the GTX 1050‘s biggest Achilles heels is its woefully inadequate VRAM capacity. The card shipped with either 2GB, 3GB or 4GB of video memory, depending on the model. This was sufficient back in 2016, but not anymore.

VRAM handles all graphical assets like textures and 3D models so the GPU can process and display them. Today‘s cutting edge games demand 6GB to 12GB or more to maintain high fidelity graphics at HD and beyond.

The GTX 1050‘s maximum 4GB quickly gets saturated, forcing the card to offload data to system RAM. This leads to major performance hits like lag, low FPS and visual issues. You‘ll have turn textures and other settings way down even at 1080p in many titles.

According to Tom‘s Hardware‘s testing, the 4GB 1050 Ti averaged just 24.8 fps playing Shadow of the Tomb Raider on high at 1080p. Frame rates that low make games nearly unplayable. And the standard 2GB/3GB 1050 performs even worse than that.

Clearly the GTX 1050 doesn‘t pack enough VRAM for modern gaming, severely limiting its capabilities.

Reason #2: Doesn‘t Support the Latest Technology

As hardware marches forward, new gaming technologies get introduced that transform and enhance the player experience. Unfortunately, due to its aging architecture, the GTX 1050 lacks support for many of today‘s cutting edge graphics innovations.

Two prime examples are ray tracing and Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS). Ray tracing enables far more realistic lighting, reflections and shadows that take graphics to the next level. And DLSS leverages AI to improve performance and image quality.

But you won‘t find either technology on the GTX 1050. Without them, not only do games look worse, but the card struggles to run intensive new releases with complex graphics. DLSS especially can be a savior for underpowered GPUs.

The GTX 1050 is also not DirectX 12 Ultimate compliant. DX12 Ultimate encompasses ray tracing, variable rate shading, mesh shaders and sampler feedback. It‘s quickly becoming the new standard DirectX APIs are based on. Lacking support locks the card out of crucial next-gen gaming ecosystem advancements.

Bottom line – the GTX 1050‘s outdated architecture means it can‘t keep pace with the direction gaming visuals are evolving.

Reason #3: Older Graphics Architecture

Expanding on the previous point, the Pascal architecture at the GTX 1050‘s core is a chief reason to ditch this dated GPU.

When first introduced in 2016, Pascal was a big leap over the previous Maxwell design. But Nvidia has since released two more recent, improved architectures: Turing (2018) and Ampere (2020).

Turing and Ampere GPUs deliver major gains in performance, power efficiency, clock speeds and newer capabilities compared to Pascal. The GTX 1050 is simply outclassed by newer cards leveraging these superior architectures.

Just look at how much faster a entry-level Turing GTX 1650 is versus the 1050 based on UserBenchmark data:

GTX 1050 vs GTX 1650 gaming performance comparison

The GTX 1650 demolishes the GTX 1050 in gaming and desktop graphics, thanks to Turing. And Ampere cards like the RTX 3050 leave both even further behind. The 1050‘s antiquated Pascal architecture just can‘t compete.

Reason #4: Older Memory Technology

The next nail in the GTX 1050‘s coffin is the outdated GDDR5 memory it utilizes. Faster GDDR6 has replaced GDDR5 as the graphics memory standard on modern GPUs.

Higher memory bandwidth directly translates to better gaming performance. GDDR6 gets up to 16Gbps speeds versus 8Gbps for GDDR5.

Nvidia‘s RTX 3050 offers up to 192GB/s bandwidth using speedy GDDR6. In comparison, the 1050‘s GDDR5 bandwidth tops out at just 112GB/s. That‘s nearly half as much, crimping the card‘s capabilities significantly.

Like an aging athlete, the GTX 1050 is slowing down as hot new GDDR6 graphics cards sprint past it. Avoid this obsolete memory tech if you want better, smoother framerates.

Reason #5: Narrow Memory Bus

The next performance limitation tied to the GTX 1050‘s memory system is its narrow bus width. Memory bus width determines maximum memory bandwidth. And as we just discussed, limited bandwidth hampers game performance.

Most modern GPUs utilize at least a 192-bit bus. High-end cards stretch to 384-bit. But the miserly GTX 1050 gets by with a 128-bit memory interface. Combined just 128-bit bus with GDDR5, and peak bandwidth comes in at 112GB/s.

That‘s not enough for smooth 2K or 4K gaming. Benchmarks prove cards like the 5500 XT and 1660 with superior 192/256-bit bus widths easily outclass the 1050 in FPS, graphics settings and resolution capabilities.

Narrow interface paired with GDDR5 puts a low ceiling on the GTX 1050‘s potential right out the gate.

Reason #6: Poor Price to Performance Ratio

One spec that matters more than all the rest to budget-minded shoppers is price/performance ratio. How much bang do you get for your buck? Well by 2023 standards, the overpriced GTX 1050 disappoints big time.

Remember this GPU debuted at just $109 MSRP. But shortage induced price inflation means you‘ll realistically pay $150 to $250 for one now, if you can even find it in stock. Often it costs more than the vastly faster GTX 1650 that replaced it!

Paying 2023 prices for 2016 performance is nonsense. At best the GTX 1050 delivers playable framerates for eSports and older games. But you can achieve the same or better with cheaper integrated graphics on modern desktops and laptops.

Simply put, the GTX 1050 gives you terrible value compared to better performing alternatives often selling for equal or lower cost. Don‘t waste money on this outdated card.

Reason #7: Too Weak for 4K Gaming

If your goal is smooth 4K gaming, the GTX 1050 will leave you bitterly disappointed. It lacks anywhere close to the horsepower required push pixels in demanding AAA games at 3840 x 2160 resolution.

The card ships with a pitiful amount of memory as we‘ve touched on, maxing out at 4GB GDDR5 VRAM on the 1050 Ti. That‘s not even half the memory needed to maintain 4K texture quality and graphics settings modern titles require.

And in terms of raw power, the 640 CUDA core 1050 gets absolutely trounced by the RTX 3060‘s 3840+ cores and other recent GPUs necessary for a good 4K gaming experience. Benchmarks demonstrate it struggles to break 30 fps at 4K in many games, even with graphics options turned way down.

Forget about buttery smooth 4K gaming with the GTX 1050. You‘ll be relegating yourself to 1080p low/medium quality visuals. And even then, performance leaves a lot to be desired.

Reason #8: Unreliable Framerates

The most important metric measuring gaming performance is framerates. You want your graphics card outputting smoothly consistent, high FPS to match your monitor‘s refresh rate for best results. Well the GTX 1050 has big trouble delivering reliable framerates.

Benchmark results prove it struggles to surpass 30-50 fps in many recent games without really dropping resolution and graphic settings. Those kind of frame dips, fluctuations and lag spikes distract significantly from gameplay.

For comparison, the $159 GTX 1650 will run laps around the 1050, pushing 60+ fps consistently in titles like GTA V and Battlefield V at ultra settings 1080p. That‘s nearly double the speed!

Penny pinching on a graphics card usually leads to penny pinching in-game performance. The GTX 1050 epitomizes this with its unsteady, often unplayable framerates.

Reason #9: Excessive Noise and Heat

The final nail in the GTX 1050‘s coffin is noise and thermal issues. When gaming and under load, the card has a tendency to get loud and hot.

Many users report ramped up fan speeds making an already loud stock cooler setup sound "like a jet engine" trying to cool the aging GPU. Plus there‘s not much overhead before the 1050 starts throttling performance due to heat.

Keeping your PC clean and increasing case airflow definitely helps mitigate noise and temperatures. However, at the end of the day the GTX 1050 requires more voltage and lower clock speeds than newer cards, necessitating aggressive cooling. Loud noise is simply the byproduct.

If you value cool, quiet computing, it may be best to avoid hot and loud graphics cards like the 1050.

Summary Table

#1Not Enough VRAM
#2Doesn‘t Support Latest Technology
#3Older Architecture
#4Outdated Memory Tech
#5Narrow Memory Bus
#6Terrible Price/Performance
#7Can‘t Handle 4K Gaming
#8Unreliable Framerates
#9Gets Loud and Hot


If our detailed technical breakdown hasn‘t already convinced you, let us unequivocally state that the GTX 1050 is not worth purchasing in 2023 for the majority of gamers.

The era it once shined in has faded away. Unlimited games, cutting edge graphics APIs, 4K displays, ray tracing, high refresh rates – PC gaming in 2023 demands levels of performance the GTX 1050 can‘t fulfill.

With only 2GB/4GB of GDDR5 memory, low bus width, dated Pascal architecture, zero support for newer gaming technologies, loud thermals and inflated pricing, this GPU fails to deliver what modern gamers need.

Sure you can still use a GTX 1050. It will play older titles fine. But you‘d be handicapping yourself, and wasting money on something much worse than what a fraction more cash will get you. Our advice? Spend just a little more on something newer.

Or if budget is absolute top concern, choose integrated Vega/Iris graphics over the GTX 1050. Either way, avoid this outdated, overpriced GPU wherever possible. The gaming landscape awaits something much better!

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