NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Roundup

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti has proven itself to be a winner at the $139 price point when we took an in-depth look at the MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4G OC during last months launch. Getting the best gaming GPU for the money is important as it is arguably the most important component of any gaming PC. The nice thing about budget graphics cards like the Geforce GTX 1050 Ti is that you can usually get away with the minimum power supply of just 300 Watts and since no extra power connectors are needed you can pop one of these bad boys in many OEM systems without issue. This means you can take an older system that might have been running crappy integrated graphics and give your system one heck of a performance increase and get native DirectX 12 functionality thanks to the latest GPU architecture being used in the Pascal powered card. Once you narrow your search down to a specific series you can then start taking a closer look at what cards have higher clock speeds, more overclocking potential, better custom cooling solutions and so on. The problem is that there are a ton of custom card manufacturers with GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics cards on the market; ASUS, EVGA, MSI, Gigabyte, Zotac, and PNY are just some of the companies producing these Pascal based cards. We've gathered up three partner cards for a little GeForce GTX 1050 Ti roundup for you to help see the differences between some of the cards on the same system. GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Roundup Review Meet the MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4G OC, Zotac GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB Mini and the EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB SuperClocked! These are three examples of GeForce GTX 1050 Ti cards that are priced in the $139 to $149 price range and all feature custom PCB designs along with custom coolers that each have one 90mm fan. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Roundup The MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4G OC is the longest in the group at 177 mm since the plastic fan shroud hangs over the end of the card. The EVGA and Zotac cards are both 144.8 mm long. Despite all three PCB's having a location for a 6-pin PCIe power connector, none of the cards have the plug as bus power is more than enough for these cards. All three of these cards feature a 3+1 power phase design and have a maximum power draw of 75 Watts. The good news is this card should use less than 71 Watts of power unless you overclock it and then it will be limited to just under 74.8 Watts due to the way the hardware and software was designed. GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Video Connectors When it comes to video card connectors each of the cards have one DisplayPort (Version 1.4),  HDMI (Version 2.0b) and Dual-Link DVI-D video connectors. The GeForce GTX 1050 Ti supports up to 3 monitors at a maximum refresh rate of 240Hz and a maximum digital display resolution of 7680 x 4320 (8K UHD). All are dual-slot cards, but note that the Zotac card features just a single slot bracket with no hot air exhaust ports. This means the Zotac GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mini will keep all the hot air from the GPU in your case. The MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4G OC has some ventilation holes and then there is the EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti SC that has the most exhaust ventilation and a fan shroud that actually extends to the I/O bracket. These cards are pretty similar in the appearance department, so let's take a closer look at the specifications for them in the table below. GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Roundup Video Cards
  Zotac MSI EVGA
Model GTX 1050 Ti Mini GTX 1050 Ti 4G OC GTX 1050 Ti SC Gaming
Part Number ZT-P10510A-10L GTX 1050 Ti 4G OC 04G-P4-6253-KR
GPU boost clock 1417MHz 1455MHz 1468MHz
GPU base clock 1303MHz 1341MHz 1354MHz
Memory Size 4 GB GDDR5 4 GB GDDR5 4 GB GDDR5
Memory clock 7008 MHz 7008 MHz 7008 MHz
Memory interface 128-bit 128-bit 128-bit
Number of Fans 1x 90mm Fan 1x 90mm Fan 1x 90mm Fan
Length 144.77 mm 177 mm 144.78 mm
RGB Lighting No No No
Power PCIe Bus Only PCIe Bus Only PCIe Bus Only
Warranty 3-years 3-years 3-years
Newegg Price Amazon Price  $139.99 $155.70 $139.99 $139.99 $149.99 $149.99
When it comes to pricing you have the Zotac GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mini and the MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4G OC both coming in at $139.99 before any rebates or specials. Between those two the MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4G OC has higher core clock speeds, but is also over 30mm longer in length. The EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB Superclocked video card has the highest clock speeds of the group, but you'll pay an extra $10 to get those higher clock speeds. The EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Superclocked is only clocked 13 MHz higher on the GPU base/boost clock, so there isn't much of a difference there to be had.   Let's take a look at the test system and some actual performance numbers!

Test System

Before we look at the numbers, let's take a brief look at the test system that was used. All testing was done using a fresh install of Windows 10 Pro 64-bit and benchmarks were completed on the desktop with no other software programs running.  There has been some concern of people testing a cold card versus a hot card, but we've always done out testing 'hot' since the site started back more than a decade ago. Video Cards & Drivers used for testing: GTX 1050 Ti Test System

Intel X79/LGA2011 Platform

The Intel X79 platform that we used to test the all of the video cards was running the ASUS P9X79-E WS motherboard with BIOS 1704 that came out on 05/08/2015. We went with the Intel Core i7-4960X Ivy Bridge-E processor to power this platform as it is PCIe 3.0 certified, so all graphics cards are tested with PCI Express Gen 3 enabled. The Kingston HyperX 10th Anniversary 16GB 2400MHz quad channel memory kit was set to XMP Profile #2. This profile defaults to 2133MHz with 1.65v and 11-13-13-30 2T memory timings. The OCZ Vertex 460 240GB SSD was run with latest firmware available. A Corsair AX860i digital power supply provides clean power to the system and is also silent as the fan hardly ever spins up. This is critical to our testing as it lowers the ambient noise level of the room and gives us more accurate sound measurements. Test System Settings Here are the exact hardware components that we are using on our test system:
The Intel X79 Test Platform

Component

Brand/Model

Live Pricing

Processor Intel Core i7-4960X
Motherboard
ASUS P9X79-E WS
Memory
16GB Kingston 2133MHz
Video Card Various
Solid-State Drive OCZ Vertex 460 240GB
Cooling Intel TS13X (Asetek)
Power Supply Corsair AX860i
Operating System Windows 10 64-bit
Monitor ASUS PB287Q 28" 4K
MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4G OC Video Card GPU-Z Info: MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB GPU-Z Info EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB  SC Video Card GPU-Z Info: evga-gtx1050ti Zotac GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB Mini Video Card GPU-Z Info: zotac-gtx1050ti-gpuz Let's move on to the Battlefield 1 benchmark results!

Battlefield 1

Battlefield 1 (also known as BF1) is the fifteenth installment in the Battlefield Series developed by DICE and published by EA. The game is set during World War I. It was released world wide on October 21, 2016. The singleplayer campaign of Battlefield 1 takes place across six different "War Stories" which revolve around different people in different aspects of the Great War in campaigns such as the Italian Alps and the deserts of Arabia. We benchmark in Through Mud and Blood, which is the second mission in singleplayer campaign. Taking place late in the war, the player assumes the role of Danny Edwards, a British recruit joining the crew of a Mark V Landship named Black Bess as their new tank driver. New to the war and inexperienced in driving the unreliable vehicle, Edwards is given a trial by fire with his first mission: punch through the German line at Cambrai with a broken tank and a crew that has no trust in him. BF1 Through Mud and Blood Battlefield 1 features the Frostbite 3 game engine and has very good graphics with tons of destructibles. Maps also now feature dynamic weather systems, affecting combat in various ways; for example, The St. Quentin Scar can either start as a clear, sunny day, a dark, foggy day, or in the middle of a rainstorm, and switch between them during the round. Battlefield 1 Video Card Settings Battlefield 1 Advanced Video Card Settings We tested BF1 at 1920 x 1080 with the 'Ultra' graphics quality preset in DX12 with the GPU Memory Restriction turned off. We also disabled VSync. bd1-1080p Benchmark Results: At the popular 1080p gaming resolution in Battlefield 1, the three GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB card all average right around 53 to 54 FPS on average. Not bad and you can see how the 51MHz clock frequency difference doesn't impact overall gaming performance by a significant ammount. 

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is an action role-playing stealth video game developed by Eidos Montreal and published by Square Enix. Set in a cyberpunk-themed dystopian world in 2029, two years after the events of Human Revolution, Mankind Divided features the return of Adam Jensen from the previous game, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, with new technology and body augmentations. The game was released on August 23rd, 2016 for PC users. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Train Station Deus Ex: Mankind Divided uses a heavily modified version of the Glacier 2 engine that has been tweaked so much that they are now calling it the Dawn game engine. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Graphics Settings We took a look at GPU performance using the 'High' image quality preset with MSAA and VSync turned off. We picked to run just 'High' image quality settings due to how tough this game title is to render and we feel that most gamers will try to target this setting. deusex-1080p-gtx1050 Benchmark Results: On this game title the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti cards all average 33 FPS for the most part. 

Gears of War 4

Gears of War is a video game franchise created and originally owned by Epic Games, developed and managed by The Coalition, and owned and published by Microsoft Studios. The series focuses on the conflict between humanity, the subterranean reptilian hominids known as the Locust Horde, and their mutated counterparts, the Lambent & the Swarm. Gears of War 4 was released on October 11, 2016 for the PC and is an interesting game title in the sense that it must be run on Windows 10 Anniversary Edition. It uses the DirectX 12 API with features like async compute and tiled resources. Gears of War 4 Screenshot Microsoft and the developer (The Coalition) have worked hard to make the PC port not suck and have placed over 30 graphics cards settings in the option menu with over 100-plus options that you can adjust. We are using the ultra image quality preset with VSync turned off. Gears of War 4 Graphics Options Gears of War 4 Graphics Options Gears of War 4 comes with a built-in benchmark that appears to be pretty decent and shows the average minimum framerate (bottom 5%) in the results. This is the benchmark that we ran on our graphics cards with Ultra image quality settings to see how they would perform. gears4-1080p Benchmark Results: Here we see the three GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB cards average roughly 50 FPS on this rather tough game title. The performance lead again goes to the EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti SC Gaming as it has the highest clock speeds. 

Battlefield 4

bf4-screenshot Battlefield 4 is a first-person shooter video game developed by EA Digital Illusions CE (DICE) and published by Electronic Arts. It is a sequel to 2011's Battlefield 3 and was released on October 29, 2013 in North America. Battlefield 4's single-player Campaign takes place in 2020, six years after the events of its predecessor. Tensions between Russia and the United States have been running at a record high. On top of this, China is also on the brink of war, as Admiral Chang, the main antagonist, plans to overthrow China's current government; and, if successful, the Russians will have full support from the Chinese, bringing China into a war with the United States. bf4-settings This game title uses the Frostbite 3 game engine and looks great. We tested Battlefield 4 with the Ultra graphics quality preset as most discrete desktop graphics cards can easily play with this IQ setting at 1080P and we still want to be able to push the higher-end cards down the road. We used FRAPS to benchmark with these settings on the Shanghai level. All tests were done with the DirectX 11 API. bf4-ultra-1080p Benchmark Results: In Battlefield 4, the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti cards all came in with an average of 66-67 FPS! 

Tom Clancy's The Division

TheDivision Tom Clancy's The Division is an online-only open world third-person shooter video game developed by Ubisoft Massive and published by Ubisoft, with assistance from Red Storm Entertainment, for Microsoft Windows,PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It was announced during Ubisoft's E3 2013 press conference, and was released worldwide on March 8th, 2016. The Division is set in a dystopian New York City in the aftermath of a smallpoxpandemic; the player, who is an agent of the titular Strategic Homeland Division, commonly referred to as simply "The Division", is tasked with helping to rebuild the Division's operations in Manhattan, investigating the nature of the outbreak and combating criminal activity in its wake. The Division is structured with elements of role-playing games, as well as collaborative and player versus player online multiplayer. The Division settings The Division uses Ubisoft's new proprietary engine known as Snowdrop, which is made for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Snowdrop was created in-house, at Massive, in response to a specific requirement: to do things better, not bigger. The engine focuses on dynamic global illumination, stunning procedural destruction and a great amount of detail and visual effects. The developers wanted a powerful engine that works intelligently and not by brute force only. The Division settings We ran The Division with the image quality settings set at Ultra and VSYNC was disabled. We tried to FRAPS to benchmark with these settings, but found it was pretty much impossible due to the night and day cycle always changing when you enter the game and the spot where you load in the open world is slightly different. Unable to get consistent results we resorted to used the games built-in benchmark. divison-1080p 1080P Benchmark Results: The Division is pretty tough on graphics card the three GTX 1050 Ti 4GB cards were able to get a 34 FPS average. 

3DMark Fire Strike

3Dmark Fire Strike Benchmark Results - For high performance gaming PCs Use Fire Strike to test the performance of dedicated gaming PCs, or use the Fire Strike Extreme preset for high-end systems with multiple GPUs. Fire Strike uses a multi-threaded DirectX 11 engine to test DirectX 11 hardware.

3DMark Fire Strike

Fire Strike Benchmark Results:

3dmark-firestrike

Benchmark Results: The three GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB cards all turned in scores of just over 6,700 and it just goes to show how close they are to one another.

Temperature & Noise Testing

The gaming performance on a graphics card is the most important factor in buying a card, but you also need to be concerned about the noise, temperature and power consumption numbers. MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4G OC Idle and Load Temps: MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB Temps EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB SC Gaming Idle and Load Temps: evga-temps Zotac GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB Mini Idle and Load Temps: zotac-temps2 When it comes to temperatures all three of the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti got no where near their peak operating departure of 97C! cards we great despite the tiny heat sinks! We were seeing 25C idle and 60C on the MSI GeForce GTX 1050 2GB card and just 1C higher on the MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB card. Notice that the MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti was boosting up to 1809 MHz at times, which was higher than the MSI GeForce GTX 1050 that topped out at 1759MHz. We found this a little odd as the MSI GeForce GTX 1050 has a higher base and boost clock on paper.

Sound Testing

We test noise levels with an Extech sound level meter that has ±1.5dB accuracy that meets Type 2 standards. This meter ranges from 35dB to 90dB on the low measurement range, which is perfect for us as our test room usually averages around 36dB. We measure the sound level two inches above the corner of the motherboard with 'A' frequency weighting. The microphone wind cover is used to make sure no wind is blowing across the microphone, which would seriously throw off the data.

motherboard-noise The single fan cooler design on the these three cards isn't bad and most were just a few dB above their idle noise levels. Sure the EVGA GEForce GX 1050 Ti SC Gaming had a lower 40.9 dB reading, but the MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4G OC didn't sound too much louder at 42.2 dB and besides you have to remember two things. This is on an open air test bench and the sound meter itself has a ±1.5dB accuracy. Too close to call any winners on the noise front, but all are very quiet and shouldn't be annoying by any means. The MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti did make a slight ticking sound when ramping up and down the fan curve profile as the cards temperature changed, but it wasn't terrible. ** The AMD Radeon R9 Fury X reference card that we are using was the original model with a loud water pump that whines. AMD changed the pump design before the cards hit the retail market, but wasn't willing to replace ours. We expect retail cards to perform quieter for this and hopefully AMD will send us a replacement card for proper noise testing. **

Power Consumption

GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Roundup Review For testing power consumption, we took our test system and plugged it into a Kill-A-Watt power meter. For idle numbers, we allowed the system to idle on the desktop for 15 minutes and took the reading. For load numbers we ran Battlefield 4 at 1920x1080 and recorded the average idle reading and the peak gaming reading on the power meter. power-consumption Power Consumption Results: The power consumption on the three GeForce GTX 1050 Ti cards was impressive as none topped 200 Watts of power consumption at fill load while playing BF4. All the cards were within 3-4 Watts and that is fine as leakage is different on all GPUs, the clock speeds are difference on each card and they all use different cooling fans. All three of our cards used Samsung GDDR5 memory chips, so it is likely the voltages and power draws there were all the same. 

GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Overclocking

This section is going to be very short and sweet as there is an overclocking 'bug' that NVIDIA is currently working on fixing with the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti video card lineup. Right now the cards all max out at 1911 MHz core and 2002 MHz memory (8008 MHz effective) regardless of how high you push the clock speeds. evga-gtx1050ti-overclock You do get a nice performance bump of about 7-8% even with this overclocking issue present, so that will likely increase once the overclocking limits or bug are removed. The screen shot above it of the EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti SC Gaming overclocked to the max with the current limitations and below you'll see the performance of the MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4G OC in Gears of War 4 with the overclock. gears-1080p Let's wrap this up!

Final Thoughts and Conclusions

GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Retail Packaging Usually when we do video card roundups there is a pretty clear winner, but this time around there is not. All three GeForce GTX 1050 Ti cards were basically performing the same and the results were too close to call a winner. Maybe when the overclocking issues are fixed with a future GeForce driver release we'll be able to see some performance differences, but right now they are just too close to one another. The feature table below shows just how similar the cards are. GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Roundup Video Cards
  Zotac MSI EVGA
Model GTX 1050 Ti Mini GTX 1050 Ti 4G OC GTX 1050 Ti SC Gaming
Part Number ZT-P10510A-10L GTX 1050 Ti 4G OC 04G-P4-6253-KR
GPU boost clock 1417MHz 1455MHz 1468MHz
GPU base clock 1303MHz 1341MHz 1354MHz
Memory Size 4 GB GDDR5 4 GB GDDR5 4 GB GDDR5
Memory clock 7008 MHz 7008 MHz 7008 MHz
Memory interface 128-bit 128-bit 128-bit
Number of Fans 1x 90mm Fan 1x 90mm Fan 1x 90mm Fan
Length 144.77 mm 177 mm 144.78 mm
RGB Lighting No No No
Power PCIe Bus Only PCIe Bus Only PCIe Bus Only
Warranty 3-years 3-years 3-years
Newegg Price Amazon Price  $139.99 $155.70 $139.99 $139.99 $149.99 $149.99
  When we were looking at our benchmarks logs we noticed that while the specifications of the cards showed a 51 MHz difference between the slowest and fastest cards that the real clock speeds were much closer than that. Check out the chart below as this one chart sums up the performance between the cards the best in our opinion. GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Sustained Clock Frequency in BF4 Over a 2 minute FRAPS benchmark run there is basically no difference in clock speed between the cards thanks to NVIDIA GPU Boost technology, which was shocking. What was even more interesting is that when you averaged the clock speeds over a two minute section of the run that they were very close and well over the rated boost clocks. The three cards we reviewed today were rated as having boost clocks between 1400-1500 MHz, but clearly they are all running over 1700MHz as you can see above and below. The average clock speeds on the slowest and fastest cards were only apart by 18.4 MHz! Average Clock Speeds Over 2 Minutes:   NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Cards So, what card is right for you? That is totally up to you, but it doesn't look like you can go wrong. Paying more for a factory overclocked card doesn't appear to get you much of a performance gain on this series as NVIDIA GPU Boost 2.0 seems to extract the most performance from each card regardless stock settings. Factor in manual overclocking and that model that costs extra doesn't look like so much of a bargain.  This is one of the rare times that you can actually pick on appearance or pick your favorite brand without being jealous of what one of the other companies is doing. Then again, all three of the cards we looked at today have black fans, black PCBs and black black fan shrouds. Could buying the lowest price card actually make sense for this series? LR Recommended Award Legit Bottom Line:  Three GeForce GTX 1050 Ti video cards tested with no significant differences between them to be found, so grab the one you prefer and game happy!