NVIDIA Geforce GTX 650 Ti Reviewccokeman - October 9, 2012
Category: Video Cards
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Over the past six months NVIDIA has steadily launched cards in the Kepler product stack seemingly every month. A pretty ambitious goal to say the least. Having looked at all of the cards in the GTX product stack from the recently introduced GTX 660 Ti and GTX 660 all the way on up to the top of the line GTX 690, it has proven to be an interesting year for NVIDIA. With each launch a new segment of the market has been able to take advantage of all that the Kepler architecture has to offer including 3DVision, PhysX, Adaptive VSync, and TXAA - a new anti-aliasing algorithm designed to reduce temporal aliasing.
Released just three and a half weeks ago, the GK106-based GTX 660 and GK107-based GTX 650 brought Keplar to the $250 and $120 price points. With the GTX 650 Ti the GTX product stack is fully fleshed out with a card that targets the $150 price point putting a Kepler-based product in every price/performance target. With each successive launch the performance and price of entry have dropped to fit into a specific price/performance envelope. Whereas the GTX 690, GTX 680, and GTX 670 are targeted at the upper end of the gaming spectrum, the vast majority of players are at the mid to lower end where video cards such as the GTX 660 Ti, GTX 660, and GTX 650Ti will shine.
The GTX 650 Ti is a step up in performance over the standard GTX 650 with double the CUDA core and texture unit counts helping to drive performance higher by up to 40%. As game developers continue to program for a DX11 environment, older hardware is just not up to the task of enjoying this new content to the fullest. This coming season is going to see a new wave of DX11-based games with improvements to visual quality and effects that older hardware in the $150 range will not be able to deliver smooth game play. Will the GTX 650 Ti be able to deliver on the promise of smooth game play at 1080p resolutions with the eye candy on? Let's see whats under the hood and take it for a spin.
The GTX 650 Ti is a scaled down version of NVIDIA's 28nm GK106 Kepler core introduced with the GTX 660 that uses the same SMX architecture introduced with the GTX 680 back in April of this year. This implementation on the GTX 650 Ti features a pair of Graphics Processing Clusters (GPC) with shared access to the 256KB of L2 cache, four SMX units, each with 192 CUDA cores (768 total), 64 texture units, and 16 ROPs. The base clock speeds for the reference version come in at 925MHz and does not support a boost clock. The memory subsystem of the GTX 650 Ti includes 1GB of GDDR5 memory running on a 2 x 64-bit (128-bit) memory controller. Memory clock speeds are a bit slower than on the GTX 660 at 5400MHz effective (1350MHz actual). Without the ability to use a boost clock like the rest of the GTX Kepler family it will be interesting to see just what kind of overclocking headroom is available to increase the performance envelope on this mini-me version of GTX family.
The GTX 650 Ti that I am looking at today is a pure reference design card. You can be sure that there will be an offering from each of the AIB partners that uses this design. However each of them already have custom designs in the pipeline that offer improvements to the cooling and board component selection to improve long term reliability and stability. Below you can see a good selection of designs that will be offered from the board partners. All of the top players are represented and should deliver an excellent choice around the $149 range.
The GTX 650 Ti promises impressive gains over previous generation products such as the 9600GT that no longer have the ability to play at 1080p resolutions with even medium settings. Tack on the inability to play the latest DX11-based games and it really is time to move into the now. Let's see what the GTX 650 Ti has to offer the gamer.