NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Arrives At $149
This morning NVIDIA released the new Geforce GTX 650 Ti video card. The Geforce GTX 650 Ti is theentry point to the GeForce GTX family of high-performance graphics cards. Like the GeForce GTX 650, the GeForce GTX 650 Ti was designed for gaming at the most common gaming resolution of 1920x1080. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti is 40% faster than the standard GeForce GTX 650 in game titles, so don't mix the two cards up! The GeForce GTX 650 Ti was built to deliver best-in-class performance for 1080p gamers that want to spend around $150. Yes, the NVIDIA suggested retail price on the GeForce GTX 650 Ti is $149.99, which is $40 more than the GeForce GTX 650 at $109.99. So, you get a around a 40% price increase for an extra forty bucks. Sounds good so far!
NVIDIA has been very busy in 2012 and have released 11 video cards so far this year! The GeForce GTX 650 Ti makes the seventh GeForce GTX this year and according to what we have been told by NVIDIA, this will complete the Kepler GTX lineup!NVIDIA GeForce Desktop Graphics Card Lineup:
- GeForce GTX 690
- GeForce GTX 680
- GeForce GTX 670
- GeForce GTX 660 Ti
- GeForce GTX 660
- GeForce GTX 650 Ti
- GeForce GTX 650
- GeForce GT 640
- GeForce GT 630
- GeForce GT 620
- GeForce GT 610
- GeForce 210
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 and GeForce GTX 650 Ti might sound like they are similar and would use the same Kepler GPU core, but they do not. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 uses the GK107 GPU with 384 CUDA Cores running at 1058MHz and a TDP of just 64 Watts. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti uses the GK106 GPU with 768 CUDA cores running at 925MHz and a TDP of 110 Watts.
Once you compare the specifications of the GeForce GTX 650 Ti to the GTX 650 you can see how different these two cards are. As you can see from the table above neither card features a boost clock, so understanding the clock speeds is fairly simple. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti reference card features a core clock of 925 MHz and a memory clock of 1350 MHz (5400 MHz effective). The 1024MB of GDDR5 memory runs on a 128-bit memory bus and at reference speeds has a memory bandwidth of 86.4 GB/s. The GeForce GTX 650 Ti uses the same core as the GeForce GTX 660, so it has 2.54 billion transistors and a TDP of 110 Watts.
The GeForce GTX 650 Ti reference board is pictured above. This card measures in at just 5.65-inches in length and the PCB ends where the PCI Express x16 slot retention mechanism ends. This is about as short as you can get and this card was quickly referred to as 'stubby' or 'the stub' around the LR office. One 6-pin PCIe power connector is required and NVIDIA suggests at least a 400W power supply for proper operation.
It should be noted that NVIDIA removed GPU boost and SLI support on the GeForce GTX 650 Ti. NVIDIA said that both were removed due to cost considerations. Display outputs include two dual-link DVIs, and one mini-HDMI. The GeForce GTX 650 Ti GPU supports up to four displays, so if you need to run four displays be on the look out for custom cards from NVIDIA board partners.
We didn't think the previous picture did the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti justice when it comes to how small it really is, so we took a picture next to the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 graphics card is NVIDIA's flagship GPU and is is 11-inches long. As you can see the GeForce GTX 650 Ti is tiny in comparison and would make for an awesome discrete desktop graphics card for a Mini-ITX Desktop build or any small form factor (SFF) PC.
In addition to the NVIDIA reference design our friends over at EVGA and MSI sent over some retail production cards. These retail GeForce GTX 650 TI cards feature some customizations and are factory overclocked, so let's take a look at them before we jump into the performance numbers!
EVGA, MSI and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti
We will be testing out the performance on three difference GeForce GTX 650 Ti cards, so let's take a second to look them over and see what the companies did to make their cards different.
|GTX 650 Ti
||MSI Power Edition
||GTX 650 Ti
||01G-P4-3652-KR||N650Ti PE 1GD5/OC
|GPU Core Clock||925MHz||1072Hz||993MHz|
|Memory Amount||1GB GDDR5||1GB GDDR5||1GB GDDR5|
The MSI and EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti cards cost $10 more than the MSRP of the reference cards and feature higher core clock among other things. The EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Superclocked features a 147MHz core clock increase, which is a 16% increase over stock. The MSI N650ti Power Edition has been overclocked up to 993MHz on the core clock which is a 68MHz or 7.4% increase over stock.
From the looks of things the EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Superclocked will be winning the performance benchmarks and is the smaller, but the MSI N650Ti Power Edition will run quieter and cooler. It will be interested to see if this proves true in the benchmarks.
EVGA is using the reference design PCB, but is using a thicker GPU
cooler and a fan shroud for better cooling. The MSI N650Ti Power Edition
features a custom designed PCB and the MSI Cyclone II GPU cooler. We asked why MSI why they went with such a long PCB and was told this:
Because we’ve had the PCB already designed (regardless of thermal solution). The PCB was designed by our engineers for both the GTX650 Power Edition and the GTX650Ti Power Edition from day 1. If you notice carefully, the GTX650 PE is a 3+1 power design, while the GTX650Ti PE is a 4+1 power design. We chose to go with the Cyclone thermal on the GTX650Ti.
It appears that MSI N650Ti Power Edition appears to be using the same PCB design as the GTX650 with the exception of an extra power phase being used. This makes sense as it cuts costs and keeps manufacturing simple.
None of these cards exhaust heat really well due to the open nature of the GPU coolers (the back side of the EVGA cooler is open).
The back of the GeForce GTX 650 Ti video cards are about as barren as they come with no memory chips, GPU retention brackets or major components. It should be noted that the EVGA and NVIDIA cards are 5.65-inches in length. The MSI N650Ti PE card measures ~9.125-inches in length. We used a pair of dial calipers and found the mounting holes around the GPU on all three cards are using 42x42mm mounting hole pattern in case you are curious about mounting a water block or a third party GPU cooler.
The GeForce GTX 650 Ti supports both 1GB and 2GB memory configurations. All of the cards we have today are 1GB versions and that is why none are showing Hynix GDDR5 memory IC's on the back of the cards. If these were 2GB cards there would be four 256MB memory chips on the back.
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti reference card comes with two dual-link DVIs, and one mini-HDMI. The
GeForce GTX 650 Ti GPU supports up to four displays, so if you need to
run four displays be on the look out for custom cards from NVIDIA board
partners. All three cards that we are looking at today use the standard video connector layout.
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti requires a 400 Watt or greater power supply with at least 20 Amps on the +12V power rail. All three of the GeForce GTX 650 Ti video cards that we are looking at today have a single 6-pin PCI Express power connector that is needed for proper operation.
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
7 Ultimate 64-bit and benchmarks were completed on the desktop with no
other software programs running.
Drivers used for testing:
- Catalyst 12.9 Beta - All AMD Radeon HD Cards
- GeForce 306.38 - All NVIDIA GeForce Cards
Intel X79/LGA2011 Platform
The Intel X79 platform that we used to test the all of the video cards was running the ASUS P9X79 Deluxe motherboard with BIOS 0906 that came out on 12/22/2011. The Corsair Vengeance 16GB 1866MHz quad channel memory kit was set to 1866MHz with 1.5v and 9-10-9-27 1T memory timings. The OCZ Vertex 3 240GB SSD was run with firmware version 2.22.
|The Intel X79 Test Platform|
Intel Core i7-3960X
ASUS P9X79 Deluxe
16GB Corsair 1866MHz
OCZ Vertex 3 240GB
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
Video Cards Tested:
- SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 7950 Vapor-X 3GB - 950MHz Core / 1250MHz Memory
- AMD Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB - 1000MHz Core / 1200MHz Memory
- XFX Radeon HD 7850 Core Edition 1GB - 860MHz Core / 1200MHz Memory
- Zotac GeForce GT 640 Zone Edition 2GB - 902MHz Core / 1782MHz Memory
- EVGA GeForce GTX 660 2GB - 1046MHz Core / 1502MHz Memory
- MSI GeForce GTX 660 2GB - 1033MHz Core / 1502MHz Memory
- EVGA GeForce GTX 660 Ti SC 2GB - 980MHz Core / 1502MHz Memory
- EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti SC 1GB - 1072MHz Core / 1350 MHz Memory
- MSI GeForce GTX 650 Ti PE 1GB - 993MHz Core / 1350 MHZ Memory
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB - 928MHz Core / 1350 MHz Memory
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB Reference Card GPU-Z Information:
EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB Superclocked GPU-Z Information:
MSI GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB Power Edition GPU-Z Information:
Batman: Arkham City
Batman: Arkham City is a 2011 action-adventure video game developed by Rocksteady Studios. It is the sequel to the 2009 video game Batman: Arkham Asylum, based on the DC Comics superhero Batman. The game was released by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows. The PC and Onlive version was released on November 22, 2011.
Batman: Arkham City uses the Unreal Engine 3 game engine with PhysX. For benchmark testing of Batman: Arkham City we disabled PhysX to keep it fair and ran the game in DirectX 11 mode with 8x MSAA enabled and all the image quality features cranked up. You can see all of the exact settings in the screen captures above.
Battlefield 3 (BF3) is a first-person shooter video game developed by EA Digital Illusions CE and published by Electronic Arts. The game was released in North America on October 25, 2011 and in Europe on October 28, 2011. It does not support versions of Windows prior to Windows Vista as the game only supports DirectX 10 and 11. It is a direct sequel to 2005's Battlefield 2, and the eleventh installment in the Battlefield franchise. The game sold 5 million copies in its first week of release and the PC download is exclusive to EA's Origin platform, through which PC users also authenticate when connecting to the game.
Battlefield 3 debuts the new Frostbite 2 engine. This updated Frostbite engine can realistically portray the destruction of buildings and scenery to a greater extent than previous versions. Unlike previous iterations, the new version can also support dense urban areas. Battlefield 3 uses a new type of character animation technology called ANT. ANT technology is used in EA Sports games, such as FIFA, but for Battlefield 3 is adapted to create a more realistic soldier, with the ability to transition into cover and turn the head before the body.
This game looks great and we tested with the highest settings possible. This means we used 'ultra' settings and really punished the cards being tested. We ran FRAPS for two minutes on the single player map called 'Rock and a Hard Place' for benchmarking.
Benchmark Results: We ran Battlefield 3 with Ultra settings and 4x MSAA and 16x AF enabled, which are fairly tough settings that make for an awesome gaming experience. Much to our surprise the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti was up for the task and was able to average over 31 FPS at 1920x1080! Not bad performance numbers from a card that is only $150 without any rebates!
Borderlands 2 is a space western first-person role-playing shooter video game that was developed by Gearbox Software and published by 2K Games. It is the sequel to 2009's Borderlands and was released for the Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 platforms. Borderlands 2 was developed by Gearbox Software and published by 2K Games on September 18, 2012 in North America.
Borderlands 2 runs on a heavily modified version of Epic Games' Unreal Engine 3. We tested Borderlands 2 with vSync and depth of field disabled. We increased the general image quality settings and turned on 16x AF. PhysX effects were set to low to keep things fair as possible between AMD and NVIDIA cards.
Benchmark Results: The group of GeForce GTX 650 Ti cards did well in Borderlands 2 and averaged over 70FPS at 1920x1080. The EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Superclocked card performed the best thanks to having the highest clock speed of the three cards.
Dirt: Showdown is a video game published and developed by Codemasters for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It was released in May 2012 in Europe and in June in North America. It is part of the Colin McRae Rally game series.
Dirt: Showdown removes several of the gameplay modes featured Dirt 3, and introduces new ones. Gameplay modes can be classified as Racing, Demolition, Hoonigan or Party. We ran the built in Benchmark at Ultra settings to get a true feel of what this engine has to offer!
It is very important to note that Global Illumination and Advanced Lighting have massive performance penalties when enabled, something not seen in other titles in the Dirt series. It seems to affect NVIDIA hardware more so than AMD. We ran with and without the settings enabled.
Benchmark Results: In Dirt Showdown we found the that the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti cards were more than able to play the game and averaged nearly 50 FPS at 1920x1080 with the image quality settings set fairly high. We didn't test with advanced lighting or global illumination enabled, but to be honest it makes the game look way too fake and we like it better disabled anyway.
Metro 2033 is an action-oriented video game with a combination of survival horror and first-person shooter elements. The game is based on the novel Metro 2033 by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky. It was developed by 4A Games in the Ukraine. The game is played from the perspective of a character named Artyom. The story takes place in post-apocalyptic Moscow, mostly inside the metro station where the player's character was raised (he was born before the war, in an unharmed city), but occasionally the player has to go above ground on certain missions and scavenge for valuables.
This is another extremely demanding game. Image quality settings were raised to Very High quality with 4x AA and 16x AF. We turned off PhysX and DOF (Depth of Field) for benchmarking.
Benchmark Results: Even with DOF and PhysX disabled, Metro 2033 is one benchmark that remains tough on video cards. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti cards do well in the benchmark with EVGA, MSI and NVIDIA placing in order of each cards core clock speed.
Sleeping Dogs is a 2012 open world action-adventure video game developed by United Front Games in conjunction with Square Enix London Studios and published by Square Enix. The game was released on August 14, 2012, for Microsoft Windows. The game uses the Havok physics engine.
We used the Adrenaline Sleeping Dogs Benchmark tool to benchmark this game title to make sure the benchmarking was consistent. We tested with 'High' quality setting at 1280x1024 and 1920x1024 resolutions.
Benchmark Results: The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti reference card was able to average 34.1 FPS at 1920x1080 in Sleeping Dogs. Once again it looks like NVIDIA was right and that this card is capable of 1080p gaming even with the graphics cranked up!
3DMark 11 is the latest version of the world’s most popular benchmark for measuring the 3D graphics performance of gaming PCs. 3DMark 11 uses a native DirectX 11 engine designed to make extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11, including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading.
We ran 3DMark11 with both the performance and extreme presets to see how our hardware will run.
3DMark11 Performance Benchmark Results:
Benchmark Results: The NVIDIA GeForce GTC 650 Ti scored 4778 3DMarks in 3DMark11 with the performance preset. The MSI N650Ti Power Edition scored P5051 and the EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Superclocked card scored P5337. The EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Superclocked was roughly 12% faster than the reference design card and 7% slower than the XFX Radeon HD 7850 1GB card that costs $40 more.
3DMark11 Extreme Benchmark Results:
Benchmark Results: The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti reference card scored X1457 3DMarks in 3DMark11 with the extreme preset. The MSI N650Ti Power Edition scored X1535 and the EVGA 650 Ti Superclocked scored X1614.
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 measured the peak wattage used by the system while running
the OpenGL benchmark FurMark 1.10.1 at 1024x768 resolution. We also ran four game titles at 1920x1080 and averaged the peak results recorded the highest Wattage seen on the meter for the gaming results.
Power Consumption Results: When it comes to power consumption we found that all three of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti based cards were shockingly similar to one another despite the difference in core clocks and PCB design. With the system at idle all averaged just a few Watts under 100 and at full load all average right around 240 Watts. These are solid power numbers and make sense as the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti had a TDP of 110 Watts and requires at least a 400W power supply for proper operation.
Temperature & Noise Testing
Temperatures are important to enthusiasts and gamers, so we took a bit of time and did some temperature testing on the three different clocked NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti graphics cards.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB Reference Card GPU-Z Idle:
EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB Superclocked GPU-Z Idle:
MSI GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB Power Edition GPU-Z Idle:
All three cards used different GPU coolers and have different VDDC readings at idle, but interestingly enough the cards idled within 1C of one another! The EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Superclocked and the NVIDIA GeForce FTX 650 Ti reference card both were observed at 25.0C in a room that was 22.0C (72F). The MSI N650Ti Power Edition uses the Cyclone II GPU cooler with heatpipes and this massive GPU cooler helped drop the temperature to 24C at idle. The fan on the MSI Cyclone II cooler was spinning at 1050 RPM and was the card was pretty much silent, not to say that the other two cards weren't very quiet.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB Reference Card GPU-Z Load:
EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB Superclocked GPU-Z Load:
MSI GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB Power Edition GPU-Z Load:
With Furmark fired up and running at 1024x768 we saw the temperature reach 67C on the reference card, 70C on the EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Superclocked and 54C on the MSI N650Ti Power Edition. Notice that the fan RPMs jumped up to nearly just 50 RPM on the MSI N650Ti Power Edition cards Cyclone II GPU cooler! The MSI card certainly wins when it comes to idle and load temperatures with a decisive when in the load test. It's impressive to see the MSI N650TI PE having the highest VDDC and a GPU temperature that is 16C cooler than the EVGA card!
We recently upgraded our sound meter to an Extech sound level meter with ±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 38dB. 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.
The MSI N650Ti Power Edition was near silent in our test system at both idle and load testing scenarios. We only observed a 50 RPM difference in the fan speed on the MSI Cyclone II GPU cooler, so the fan speed barely changes on this card. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti reference card and the EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Superclocked appear to be using the same fan speed and fan profile settings, so the noise levels were very similar. The clear winner when it comes to silence is the MSI N650Ti Power Edition as it runs nearly silent!
Overclocking The GeForce GTX 650 Ti
We installed the EVGA Precision X 3.0.3 software utility to overclock
both the EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Superclocked and MSI N650Ti Power Edition video cards.
EVGA Precision X v3.0.3 did not let us adjust the power target, but we could increase the GPU and Memory clock offsets within a certain range.
After spending an afternoon with both cards we were shocked to find that we were able to reach 1157MHz on the core clock on both cards. Not too often do we reach exactly the same clock speed, but it happened here! The memory was bumped up by +110 MHz on each card for an overall effective clock of 5616 MHz.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti at Stock Settings (928MHz Core & 5400MHz Memory):
EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Superclocked w/ 1157MHz Core & 5616MHz Memory:
MSI GeForce GTX 650 Ti Power Edition w/ 1157MHz Core & 5616MHz Memory:
With this overclock we were able to hit ~P5700on 3DMark 11 with the
performance preset, which is a nice increase from ~P4800! This is a around a 700 point in our score,
which is a 19% improvement in performance over the reference cards clock speed.
Final Thoughts and Conclusions
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 1920x1080 and 1920x1200 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 1920x1080 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: