Nvidia’s tiny bus-powered RTX A2000 pro graphics card delivers RTX 3050-level gaming performance
It’s a bit of a shame that current-gen Nvidia and AMD cards give low priority to power efficiency and performance-per-watt. Big benchmark numbers sell the cards more than relative power consumption numbers. But many users don’t use powerful power supplies or use OEM systems that can’t accommodate huge graphics cards. There is a market for low power cards.
Unfortunately, no current generation GeForce or Radeon card has a low enough TDP to omit PCIe power connectors. Even the weak RX 6500 XT can’t handle it, but there is an amp board that can. It’s the workstation-oriented RTX A2000. It features a 70W TDP which is low enough to draw power exclusively from the PCIe slot. Can he play though? This same question was asked and answered by youtuber RandomGamingHD, who ran the little A2000 through a suite of benchmarks.
The A2000, despite its planned workstation optimization, is fully capable of gaming and supports ray tracing and DLSS. It’s a low-profile, dual-slot card that features a fan-style cooler and will have no problem fitting into virtually any system.
The RTX A2000 is built with the GA106 GPU, the same one that powers the desktop RTX 3050 and RTX 3060. Its shader count is 3328, which is well above the 2560 of the RTX 3050. To achieve its low power rating, the A200 is clocked much lower, with a base/boost clock of 562/1200 MHz compared to the 1552/1777 MHz clocks of the 3050. However, the desktop 3050 has a base TDP of 130 W, which is 60 W more than the A200.
The results show that the A2000 competes surprisingly well against the desktop RTX 3050 despite its significant clock disadvantage. RandomGamingHD shows that the A2000 is able to comfortably play games at 1080p and even 1440p if you recall the settings. Sure, it’s not an RTX 3090 or RX 6900 XT killer, but at 70W it offers excellent power efficiency, and that’s the main benefit of this experience.
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Unfortunately, since the A2000 is a workstation board, it’s very expensive. At $1070, it’s way too expensive to compete with the RTX 3050 and RTX 3060, but it’s a good example of what’s possible when power efficiency is the design goal, not brute force. .
I’m using a 75W passive GTX 1050 in a secondary PC, and I particularly like it because it’s a quiet, low-power option. I’m sure I’m not the only one who appreciates these features. A current-gen sub-75W GeForce or Radeon card would win a lot of fans. I’m ready with my wallet open.