The GTX 1050 is an entry level graphics card that came out back then in the dawn of times, or as other people call it, 2016. Back then it was good enough for playing every title at 1080p. Today some are totally dismisive of it's capabilities or as a cheap option. Let's take a look into which games can it play and what other options do we have.
Is the GTX 1050 still good in 2020?
The GTX 1050 is still good in 2020 for playing at 1080 esports such as League of Legends, Starcraft, CS:GO, Fortnite, Overwatch and Dota 2. For playing newer titles that came out in 2018 or later this graphics card is absolutely not good as it will render less than 30 FPS in normal to low settings. Performance to price ratio is really bad and you can get better options for the money in 2020 such as the RX 570.
GTX 1050 history and specs
The GTX 1050 came out in 2016, the chip is manufactured by Samsung in 14nm. It's performance is similar to that of GTX 1050 laptop, GTX 1050TI and even GTX 950. So this will be useful for you if you are thinking about one of these graphic cards. The GTX 1050 comes with 2GB and 4GB depending on the manufacturer. Some of it's selling points at 2016 were it's high efficiency with a TDP of 75W and at the same time being capable of running games on 1080p high detail settings.
GTX 1050 benchmarks
The card is still good if your intended use is esports titles at 1080p, so here are it's average benchmarks in Esport titles at 1080p:
As you can see, the graphics card is excellent for the most popular esport titles. Running all of them on 60+ FPS and high detail settings with the Apex Legends exception. Now does this makes it good to buy in 2020 if you're only looking to play League? No, because you can get better GPUs for the same money.
Now let's take a look at it's performance in other titles at 1080p too:
Titles here didn't render well with a GTX 1050, as a lot of them were below the "playable" mark, which is around the 30 FPS, now we know some of you might be thinking 20 FPS in low settings is playable if you're a true fan of the game, but it get's worse, some games are below the 20 FPS bar, so better get a good graphics card if you're looking to play, for example, Final Fantasy XV.
PRO and CONS of the GTX 1050 in 2020
At what price would I buy a GTX 1050
What's very impressive and rather curious is that the GTX 1050 came out at $109 and it's price only increased with time. Now you see it retail at around $150. This is due to the crypto mining craze back in the years and the long time it took for Nvidia to release a new architecture.
That said, I would not buy a GTX 1050 retail, I would only buy it used and tested from a relatively trusted seller, that I know did not use it to mine. I would pay $100 at max despite all sellers on amazon and craiglist selling for more than that. This is because I do have better options for around $150 such as RX 570, RX 580 and GTX1060.
Options to the GTX 1050
As of 2020 the best option for arround the same price as the GTX 1050 is the RX 570, you can check here why is that and how does it compares to other budget graphics cards.
The GTX 1050 is a good card that reigned as the budget option for too long, so long that it even inadvertently became more expensive and therefore, not the best budget card. If you're planning to play any Esport title, the GTX 1050 will be good for you. Nevertheless I would not buy it as there are better options in the market for the same price. That said, if you received it as a gift, be grateful, as many would say the GTX 1050 is the minimum good graphics card to play games nowadays, and you will not know the pain of playing League on less than 30 FPS.