ICYMI: NVIDIA’s RTX 3050 is a fantastic budget GPU

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The new year is well underway and we have already started testing a wide range of gadgets, devices and components. This week, Devindra Hardawar played with NVIDIA’s RTX 3050 and considered it a great deal – if it stays at its original price. Steve Dent recorded with Sony’s new A7 IV camera to test its autofocus, video and picture quality improvements, while Billy Steele spent time with both the Jabra Elite 4 Active earphones and the Shure Aonic 40-over-ear headphones.


Devindra Hardawar / Engadget

While the RTX 3050 is supposed to be an affordable way to reach 1080p / 60fps while playing, the $ 250 GPU may end up costing significantly more due to demand and chip shortages. Devindra Hardawar says that the graphics card, which is the cheapest NVIDIA GPU that also has ray tracing, is a great component with 2,560 CUDA cores, 8 GB of GDDR6 RAM and a boost speed of 1,777 MHz.

Devindra says the RTX 3050 tackled everything he threw after it during the test, averaging 140 fps in Hitman 3s Dubai benchmark. He was impressed with how well the card handled demanding games Steering, where it reached 65 fps on average in 1080p (without ray tracing). It also remained surprisingly quiet and cool at 60 degrees Celsius. While Devindra says it’s best suited for 1080p gaming, he also says it’s an absolute theft – if the price stays low.

Sony A7 IV

Steve Dent / Engadget

Featuring a 33-megapixel sensor with higher resolution, enhanced video features and an updated autofocus, Steve Dent found much to like about the Sony A7 IV mirrorless camera. He even called the hybrid shooter an almost perfect package, and he especially liked its rugged grip, precise buttons and knobs, and the fully articulated touch display on the back. Sony’s well-organized menu system also made it easy for him to navigate through the controls.

The main disadvantage of this camera is a problem with the rolling shutter: Steve says that while recording silently in electronic mode, the camera must be stable and the subject must be smooth, otherwise artifacts such as slanted lines will appear in the images. However, he was quite impressed with the AI ‚Äč‚Äčautofocus features that made the A7 IV easy to use and the most reliable camera he has tested. At $ 2,500, the A7 IV is more expensive at launch than previous models, but Steve says the improvements in image quality, video and color science make the A7 IV yet another winner in Sony’s camera range.

Jabra Elite 4

Billy Steele / Engadget

Jabra’s Elite 4 Active genuine wireless earphones continue the company’s tendency to offer small earphones with a wide range of hands-free features. With an IP57 waterproofness, they are also more useful during training, and Billy Steele says that their small size also makes them more comfortable to wear. The new model includes features often seen in pricing models such as HearThrough, SideTone and Find My, most of which are adjustable in the accompanying mobile app.

Billy found that the Elite 4 Active delivered good but not good sound quality – while generally providing decent clarity and nice details, they lacked a wider soundscape and depth. However, he said the call quality was slightly better than most earphones thanks to the reduced background noise. Battery tests showed that the Elite 4 Active knobs lasted just over seven hours – enough to get through most of a working day – and the price of $ 120 is competitive.

Shure Aonic 40

Billy Steele / Engadget

Billy Steele was pleased to see that Shure did not compromise too much when it came to the Aonic 40 over-ear headphones. The cans are made of aluminum alloy and glass-filled nylon, and they are easy to fold flat for travel and have physical buttons for operation on board, but Billy says he found them a bit uncomfortable to wear for long periods. He was more impressed with the Shure app, which provides a robust equalizer, lots of adjustable settings and the ability to make your own presets.

Billy says that while the Aonic 40 offers a powerful bass and clarity across volume levels, the soundscape is not completely open and songs lack immersive depth, which is often heard with other headphones. The noise reduction and ambient sound conditions were only decent, but the call quality was above average. The $ 249 headphones excelled especially during battery tests, where they lasted over 30 hours. Overall, Billy says the Aonic 40s are a relatively affordable option, but lack polishing on the finer details.

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