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NVIDIA Geforce GTX 650 Ti Review

ccokeman    -   October 9, 2012
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Conclusion:

When you get down to it the GTX 650 Ti is not going to break any FPS records for upper end performance. Testing at settings that will tax the card showed that it can for the most part deliver playable frame rates greater than 30FPS with the eye candy turned on in every game except Metro 2033. Even in this game turning the visual quality down a notch or two will bring the FPS back up and over 30FPS. This really is the case in every game tested. Designed to run DX11 games at medium to high global settings was the target and with the GTX 650 Ti the mark has been reached. Tweaking the settings downward a bit without compromising on resolution can deliver excellent gameplay all the way around. What it will do is allow the user looking for a GPU in the $150 range to enjoy the best of what the Kepler architecture can deliver.

I ran some unofficial testing with Borderlands 2 using the highest possible settings in game, PhysX included, and the GTX 650 Ti delivered 32FPS at stock speeds and a nice 8FPS boost to 40FPS when overclocked. Not stellar but quite playable. With the GTX 650 Ti you get the vast majority of the NVIDIA ecosystem, from 3D Vision, to PhysX, TXAA, Adaptive Vsync, and support for up to four monitors. SLI is not supported at this price point as a more powerful single GPU would be the better option.

Overclocking on the GTX 650 Ti proved to be a fun experience as the card just kept scaling upwards and delivered a 30% boost in core clock speed to 1228MHz or 303MHz over the baseline 925MHz. If the core can clock like this it should leave room for the AIB partners to really deliver some highly clocked non-reference designs to go along with some of the excellent cooling solutions seen on the first page. Without the benefit of GPU Boost the clock speeds were easily set without having to worry where the clock speeds would eventually fall to as the power limits were reached. Memory overclocking was not as great at 1493MHz or just under the rated speed for the Hynix modules used on this board. Even so the modules delivered a 10+% or 143MHz boost in speed to 1493MHz. By tweaking the clock speeds I saw gaming performance improvements across the whole of the testing suite that dropped in the 20 to 28%+ range. Pretty solid increases and overclocking stones for a little mini-me sized video card if I do say so myself.

The cooling performance delivered by the reference cooling solution is excellent showing that the need for a better than reference solution is not really a necessity to get the most from this card. Even with the big overclock and the fan turned up the temperatures never reached the 60 °C mark. This more or less is the expectation with the lower power consumption numbers delivered by the GTX 650 Ti. When overclocked it crept up to a maximum of 214 watts to dissipate. Surprisingly not enough to overwhelm the small reference cooler. The reference cooler, while small, delivered excellent cooling and noise characteristics. The fan is rated to almost 33dBa but did not seem to reach that point due to how the PWM fan profile is setup. For the most part it is inaudible buttoned up in the case. NVIDIA has done an excellent job managing this critical component.

All in all the GTX 650 Ti is a blast. At the $149 price point if offers up a level of performance that will allow the user on a budget to move up from hardware as new as last year's Fermi-based GTX 550 Ti and see a performance boost of around 1.5x. When compared to even older cards such as the 9600GT the performance bump can reach as high as five times. Even with the recent price drops from AMD, the GTX 650 Ti is going to provide great value. It fills out the low end of the Kepler product stack impressively and is priced competitively.

 

Pros:

  • Solid 1920x1080 performance
  • Low Noise
  • Low Heat
  • NVIDIA Technologies
  • Overclocking
  • Pricing

Cons:

  • None
OCC Gold



  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look: NVIDIA GTX 650 Ti
  3. Specifications & Features
  4. Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  5. Testing: Metro 2033
  6. Testing: Batman: Arkham City
  7. Testing: Battlefield 3
  8. Testing: Unigine Heaven Benchmark 3.0
  9. Testing: Sid Meier's Civilization V
  10. Testing: DiRT 3
  11. Testing: Mafia II
  12. Testing: 3DMark 11
  13. Testing: Temperatures
  14. Testing: Power Consumption
  15. Conclusion
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