The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti is a pretty wicked little $150 graphics card. When we first saw this tiny card that measures under 6-inches in length we wondered if it had what it takes to game at 1080p resolutions. NVIDIA says this card is aimed at gamers who play at 1920×1080 and 1920×1200 screen resolutions, so they set the bar fairly high for this price point. That and this card is basically half the length of some of the other cards we have tested this year, so we were left wondering. It turns out that size does not matter and after playing a few game titles on this stubby little monster, we quickly found out that the GeForce GTX 650 Ti can get the job done!
When it comes to performance the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti had just enough horsepower to get over 30 FPS at 1920×1080 and played the game titles smoothly. The EVGA GeForce GTX 650 ti Superclocked and MSI N650Ti Power Edition were both factory overclocked and were great examples of some retail cards that you can get for $10 more than the suggested retail price. The EVGA GTX 650 Ti SSC was an amazing card based off the reference PCB with an insane core clock speed of 1072MHz. This card was the fastest in the game benchmarks and we loved the how small this card is. This is the ideal card for SFF systems or anyone what wants improved airflow in their PC case. The MSI N650Ti Power Edition uses a full size custom PCB with the Cyclone II GPU cooler. The MSI card was factory overclocked up to 993MHz on the core clock, but the real strong points of this card are the low temperatures and low fan noise. If the length of the card isn’t an issue and you want something cool and quite, this is the card to go with. Both the MSI and EVGA cards overclocked to 1157MHz on the core clock, so both were able to top out at the same speed. With performance being basically the same, your purchasing decision must be on the features of the card and that is a choice you need to make.
The direct competition that we see to the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti is the AMD Radeon HD 7850 1GB graphics card. The XFX Radeon HD 7850 1GB Core Edition (review) that was used in the performance charts is available for $159.99 after rebate and comes with a Two Worlds II game coupon for free. This makes it the same price as the MSI and EVGA cards that we reviewed today. It you go back and look at the performance numbers the XFX Radeon HD 7850 1GB Core Edition video card was significantly faster in all six game titles and 3DMark11 for the same price. It uses more power, runs hotter and is louder though, so it doesn’t clean sweep the GeForce GTX 650 Ti by any means. The GeForce GTX 650 Ti has an MSRP of $149, so also expect to see the price drop in the months ahead.
If the performance results don’t have you ready to buy this card yet, NVIDIA is also helping add-in-board (AIB) partners include a free copy of the upcoming Assassins Creed 3 PC game with the purchase of a new GeForce GTX 650 Ti! This game title will likely be around $50 when it comes out and is pretty amazing to see bundled with a $150 video card! (Assassin’s Creed III for PC Officially Launches on 11/20/2012)
UPDATE 11am CT on 10-09-2012: We noticed that not all GeForce GTX 650 Ti video cards are coming with Assassins Creed 3. For example look at EVGA’s pricing breakdown:
- EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB – $149.99
- EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB SSC – $159.99 (Free Assassins Creed III included)
- EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti 2GB – $169.99
- EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti 2GB SSC – $179.99 (Free Assassins Creed III included)
We contacted NVIDIA and asked where are the $149 cards with AC3 and was told this:
“We don’t have a $150 SKU with AC3 on day of launch. For $5 more ($154.99), you will find ASUS, EVGA, Gigabyte, MSI and Zotac boards with AC3 bundled. All of these SKUs are OC models as well.” – NVIDIA PR
At the end of the day the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti is a great graphics card that is priced at $150. As you can tell it will have some competition in the $125-$175 price range, but that will be good for gamers. When companies get into price battles over your hard earned money it means you get better prices!
Legit Bottom Line: The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti is powerful, small and budget friendly. Three words that usually don’t go together when you are talking about desktop graphics cards!
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti FAQs w/ Tom Petersen: