titleToday, around six and a half months after the launch of the first Kepler-based GPU from Nvidia, we have the final piece to the 600 series product line. Just under a month ago we took a look at the GTX 660, and a month before that the GTX 660 Ti. Along with the GTX 660, Nvidia introduced the GTX 650. With the focus being on the GTX 660, there were only a few reviews of the GTX 650 to be found. Today we are going to take a look at the card that fits right in between the GTX 660 and the GTX 650, the GTX 650 Ti. With a price point just between the $109 of the GTX 650 and the $229 of the GTX 660, Nvidia is hoping to bring in people looking for decent performance that don’t have it in their budget to throw down over $200 for a single component.  Let’s take a closer look.

Product Name: Nvidia GTX 650 Ti

Review Sample Provided by: Nvidia

Written by: Wes

Pictures by: Wes

 

GTX 650, GTX 650 Ti, GTX 660, GTX 660 Ti, what does it all mean!

Though when you look at the price points there is an obvious hole that needed filled, that doesn’t make it any less confusing when you are just trying to make heads or tails of all of the current generation cards on the market. Even just looking at Nvidia’s mid-range cards, you have four cards with two each sharing the same number even. So what does it all mean and where does the GTX 650 Ti fit in?

First for those who may be less informed, the Ti at the end puts it a step above the other card of the same number. Consider the GTX 650 Ti to really be more like a GTX 655 for example. Here is the complete Kepler lineup from the GTX 650 to the GTX 690.

lineup

We know where the new GTX 650 Ti fits in, but what sets it apart from the GTX 550 and the GTX 660? The difference between the GTX 650 and the GTX 650 Ti is night and day when it comes to CUDA cores with the Ti having 768 vs. 384 on the GTX 650. Memory is similar but with a little more memory speed (5.4 vs. 5.0). To cap it all off the TDP is nearly double as well with the GTX 650 having a TDP of 64Watts and the GTX 650 Ti 110 Watts. They managed this increase by putting the same GK106 SPU that we saw on the GTX 660, but put in on the GTX 650 card. They only used four SMX’s giving you the 64 texture units and 768 CUDA cores. Of course the card is also slightly limited by its 128-bit memory interface as well, the same memory interface that the GTX 650 uses. 

To give you a comparison, the GTX 660 has 960 CUDA cores and a 192-bit memory interface along with a gig more of memory. Below we have all four specification listings for all four cards. We have a more in depth specification listing for the GTX 650 Ti in the next section as well.

specifications

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Something else worth mentioning, much like the GTX 660 Ti, the GTX 650 Ti will be launching with a free game voucher. This time for Assassins Creed 3, one of this year’s most anticipated titles and it isn’t even out yet. That is a $60 value, making the GTX 650 Ti a better price than the GTX 650 if you were already planning on getting the game!

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Specifications

Processing Units

Graphics Processing Clusters

2 or 3

SMXs

4

CUDA Cores

768

Texture Units

64

ROP Units

16

Clock Speeds

Base Clock

925 MHz

Boost Clock

N/A

Memory Clock (Data rate)

5400 MHz

L2 Cache Size

256KB

Memory

Total Video Memory

1024MB GDDR5

Memory Interface

128-bit

Total Memory Bandwidth

86.4 GB/s

Texture Filtering Rate (Bilinear)

59.2 GigaTexels/sec

Physical & Thermal

Fabrication Process

28 nm

Transistor Count

2.54 Billion

Connectors

2 x Dual-Link DVI

1 x mini-HDMI

Form Factor

Dual Slot

Power Connectors

1 x 6-pin

Recommended Power Supply

400 Watts

Thermal Design Power (TDP)

110 Watts

Thermal Threshold

98° C



Card Layout and Pictures

Because we didn’t get a GTX 650 in to cover, when the GTX 650 Ti came in I was extremely impressed by its size. I mean we saw the small PCB sizes on the GTX 660, GTX 660 Ti, and GTX 670. But when you get an even shorter version in your hands without a large fan shroud and heatsink, it sinks in. It even passed the “cute” test: when the card came in, my wife saw it and had to come over and comment on how cute it was. This was a first for a video card. Let’s hope of course that it’s a little more than “cute” when we benchmark it.

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The fan shroud on the GTX 650 Ti is just over 4 ¼ inches wide and reminds me of the old days before dual slot coolers became the norm. When you look from the top or bottom of the card you can see the heatsink as well. It’s very similar in design to an Intel stock heatsink.

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Being a single slot cooler, you have two DVI ports along with a mini-HDMI port. I’m never a fan of the mini HDMI ports, but as you can see there is no way for a full sized port to fit. Nvidia also told us that the card is fully capable of having a fourth port if any of the manufactures go with a dual slot design. It should also be pointed out here, that if you look close you can see that the heatsink is taller than the single slot. This means you will still need to leave the slot below the GTX 650 Ti open, even though it’s officially only a single slot design.  

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The GTX 650 and GTX 660 all require just the single six pin power connection. The GTX 650 Ti is no different, with its 6 pin connection facing toward the back of the case. Obviously with this short of a card you aren’t going to have to worry about clearance issues.

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Nvidia went with the black PCB on the reference card. This is a nice touch. Back here you can see that the GTX 650 Ti is very similar to the GTX 650, as expected when the main difference between the two cards is the GPU itself, not in the PCB. Also important to note in this picture, the card has no SLI bridge connection at all. This was very disappointing considering the HD 7770 does have a crossfire bridge

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I love the small touch Nvidia put here. The GeForce Logo facing out toward the side panel window on cases that have them.

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Our Test Rig

Intel i7-3960X

Asus Rampage IV X79 Motherboard 

Seagate Constellation 2tb Hard drive 

Noctua NH-D14 SE2011

Cooler Master Gold Series 1200 Watt PSU

https://www.highspeedpc.com/ Test Bench

Kingston 1600Mhz DDR3 Quad Channel Ram

Kingston Hyper X 120 SSD

 

cardinuse 1

 


Our Testing Procedures

Batman Arkham Asylum (built-in benchmark; 1920 x 1080; Multi Sample AA 16XQ; Detail Level: Very High; Bloom: Yes; Dynamic Shadows: Yes; Motion Blur: Yes; Distortion: Yes; Fog Volumes: Yes; Spherical Harmonic Lighting: Yes; Ambient Occlusion: Yes; PhysX: Off)

F1 2011 (built-in benchmark; 1920 x 1080; Multi Sample AA 4x; Vsync: Off; DirectX: 11; Shadows: Ultra; Particles: High; Crowd: High; Drivers: Ultra; Distant Vehicles: Ultra; Objects: Ultra; Trees: Ultra; Vehicle Reflections: Ultra; Post Process: Ultra; Skidmarks: On; Cloth: High)

Super Street Fighter Arcade Edition (built-in benchmark; 1920 x 1080; Multi Sample AA: C16xQ; Vsync: Off;Filtering: 16x; Model Quality: High; Stage Quality: High; Soft Shadow: Extreme; Self Shadow: High; Motion Blur: High; Particles: High; Extra Effect: Off)

Dirt 3 (192x1080 - 4xMSAA - high settings, in-game benchmark)
Metro 2033 DX11 (built-in benchmark, 1920 x 1080; DirectX: DirectX 11; Quality: Very High; Antialiasing: MSAA 4X; Texture filtering: AF 4X; Advanced PhysX: Enabled; Tessellation: Enabled; DOF: Disabled)
Metro 2033 DX10 (built-in benchmark, 1920 x 1080; DirectX: DirectX 10; Quality: Very High; Antialiasing: MSAA 4X; Texture filtering: AF 4X; Advanced PhysX: Enabled; Tessellation: Enabled; DOF: Disabled)
Total War: Shogun 2 Direct X11 Benchmark High setting

Crysis 2 Using Adrenaline Crysis 2 benchmark two runs. The first set of runs set to ultra-settings, 1080p, 4x Anti-Aliasing, DX11, Laplace Edge Detection Edge AA, on the Times Square map, with hi res textures turned on. The second benchmark set to Xtreme at 1080p, no AA, DX9, Edge Blur, Hi-Res Textures turned off on the Times Square Map.

Battlefield 3 Using Fraps with the game set to Ultra settings with 4x MSAA Antialiasing Deferred, 16X Anisotropic Filter, at 1920x1080.

Sniper V2 Elite 1920 x 1080 resolution, graphics detail set to ultra

Dirt Showdown 1920 x 1080 resolution, 4x MSAA multisampling, vsync off, Shadows: ultra; Post Process: High; Night Lighting: High; Vehicle Reflections: Ultra; Ambient Occlusion: Ultra; Water: high; Objects: Ultra; Trees: Ultra; Crowd: Ultra; Ground Cover: High.

Synthetic Benchmarks For video cards our synthetic benchmarks are limited to 3DMark Vantage and 3DMark Vantage 2011. 3DMark Vantage is run with PPU turned off with results from both the performance and high settings. In 3DMark Vantage 2011 we run both performance and extreme benchmarks

Unreal Heaven Benchmark DX11 (API: DirectX11; Tessellation: Disabled; Shaders: High; Anisotropy: Off; Stereo 3D: Disabled; Multi Monitor: Unchecked; Anti-aliasing: 8x; Full Screen: Checked; Resolution:  1920 x 1080)

FurMark We use Furmark to push the video card to the limit and test its cooling performance. Keep in mind that FurMark pushes cards well beyond what they would ever do in game. Our tests are done using the built in 1080p benchmark. All testing is done with a room temperature of 70 degrees.

 


Cooling and Noise

With a TDP of only 110 Watts, the GTX 650 Ti puts out considerably less heat than the GTX 660 and above. Of course because of that Nvidia went with a much smaller heatsink. When we put the card through its paces in Furmark I wasn’t sure what to expect. As a whole, the Kepler reference cards that we have tested have been on the warm side, the lower TDP of the GTX 650 Ti will help it though.

Surprisingly the GTX 650 Ti came in at 64 degrees, nearly dead center between the five HD 7770’s that we have tested. I wouldn’t consider it cool by any means, but being right in line with its direct competition is a good sign.

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As far as noise, the smaller fan of the GTX 650 Ti’s heatsink was a little noisier than previous reference cards, even at idle temperatures. But remember this is on our open test bench. In an enclosed case the idle sound levels wouldn’t be noticeable at all. Under load the noise picked up slightly to a light hum, on par with what you would expect from a GPU. Because the card doesn’t vent outside of the case I would actually expect the noise level in an enclosed case to be a little less than normal GPU sound levels. 

 


3DMark

In our first set of benchmarks for the GTX 650 Ti, it is important to keep in mind the competition for the card. Considering it comes in price point between the GTX 650 and the GTX 660, it is a fairly small window. Oddly enough the HD 7770 that we have tested many times is its main competition with prices ranging from $110 to $140. As a whole, in all four of our 3DMark Vantage and 3DMark 11 tests, we have the GTX 650 Ti coming in well above its direct competition from AMD. There are a couple times where the overclocked HD 7770’s do come close though. As far as past generation cards, we have the HD 6950 near the GTX 650 Ti in most of our results, showing how much cards this generation have improved over last year’s offerings. The HD 7850, AMD’s next step up in performance is still way higher in both performance and price, showing a gap in AMD’s product line.

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In Game Performance

We are going to try something a little different this time around in our game performance section. Here is a breakdown of what games we tested that the GTX 650 Ti will play at their highest settings. We have broken this list down by Smooth, Playable, and Rough. Each giving you an idea of what you can expect from the GTX 650 TI at 1080p while playing these games at their highest settings. A few of our tests are made to bring even the fastest cards to their knees, but will most likely still be playable with the settings turned down slightly.

Smooth 60 FPS or more

Batman Arkhan Asylum

Dirt 3

Super Street Fighter Arcade Edition

Playable 30 FPS or more

Battlefield 3

Crysis 2 DX9

Cryssis 2 DX 11

Dirt Showdown

F1 2011

Total War: Shogun 2

Sniper V2 Elite

Unreal Heaven Benchmark V3.0

Rough Under 30 FPS

Metro 2033 DX 10

Metro 2033 DX 11

As you can see, almost every game we tested falls in the playable or higher category. Dirt 3, Batman, and Street Fighter all will give perfect gameplay even at their highest settings. But most of today’s games are going to come in under 60 FPS but over 30 FPS, meaning some people won’t be bothered by it, but others will find the game slightly choppy. 

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In all but Sniper v2 Elite, the HD 7770’s came in behind the GTX 650 Ti. Generally the difference was a few FPS, but in games like Street Fighter where you are dealing with higher FPS in the first place, we saw a difference of around 15 FPS. 

 


Overall and Final Verdict

When the GTX 650 Ti came in, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I mean, my wife ran over and started talking about how cute the card was because of its size. From past experience, cute doesn’t normally come with any performance so you can understand my surprise when the GTX 650 Ti stepped up and played everything I through at it very smoothly. Cooling performance could only be called average, I would have liked to see it out cool its competition, but it came out with the same temperatures altogether. My biggest complaint about the card itself is actually that it lacks an SLI bridge all together. Considering the HD 7770 supports crossfire, I found this to be an interesting choice.

Where it does get interesting is trying to calculate price and performance. AMD’s closest card performance wise is the HD 7770. A quick look on a few online retailers shows the HD 7770 selling for between $110 and $140 after rebates. The GTX 650 Ti outperformed the HD 7770 in all of our testing by a comfortable margin, but with the GTX 650 Ti launching at $149 it really depends on if you are looking for more performance or a better value. I feel that at almost $40 less the HD 7770 offers a slightly better value, but the GTX 650 Ti is offering performance at a price point that AMD doesn’t really have any competing cards at. Of course something that I didn’t figure into that calculation that changes things considerably is NVidia’s choice to bundle the upcoming game Assassin’s Creed 3 with the GTX 650 Ti. When add that into the equation, you are basically buying a $60 game and a video card for $89. When taking that into account, the GTX 650 Ti is a steal. The only downside to that is if you weren’t planning on getting the game in the first place, you aren’t getting as good of a deal. But ether way you still end up with one of this years most anticipated games for free at launch!

fv2recomended

Author Bio
garfi3ld
Author: garfi3ldWebsite: https://lanoc.org
Editor-in-chief
You might call him obsessed or just a hardcore geek. Wes's obsession with gaming hardware and gadgets isn't anything new, he could be found taking things apart even as a child. When not poking around in PC's he can be found playing League of Legends, Awesomenauts, or Civilization 5 or watching a wide variety of TV shows and Movies. A car guy at heart, the same things that draw him into tweaking cars apply when building good looking fast computers. If you are interested in writing for Wes here at LanOC you can reach out to him directly using our contact form.

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garfi3ld replied the topic: #28186 09 Oct 2012 17:00
Nvidia's latest offering, isn't it so cute?

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