GTX 650 Ti Boost Roundup (ASUS, EVGA, Gigabyte, Galaxy, MSI)

Author: SKYMTL
Date: April 8, 2013
Product Name: GTX 650 Ti Boost
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NVIDIA’s GTX 650 Ti Boost quite literally came out of nowhere and turned the mid-range market on its head. This was done through the Boost’s introduction alongside some strategic price juggling on the GTX 650 Ti and GTX 660. As a result, NVIDIA has been able to achieve near-dominance in several segments without all that much effort.

With the $170 GTX 650 Ti Boost quickly becoming the go-to card for gamers who want excellent performance without spending an arm and a leg, it’s only natural that board partners would be quick to respond with their own versions. Indeed, there has been a literal flood of choices hitting the market and unlike previous generations, all of them tack a mere $10 or less onto the GTX 650 Ti Boost’s reference price. In this article, we are taking a look at five examples from premier board partners like ASUS, EVGA, Galaxy, Gigabyte and MSI, all of which are widely available from retailers.

Since the GTX 650 Ti Boost introduces GeForce Boost into the sub-$199 price point, a number of factors have to be taken into account. Maximum and average clock speeds are now largely determined by TDP which means core temperatures become a primary factor when the drivers and onboard systems determine engine frequencies. This should (in theory) allow manufacturers with better heatsinks to achieve better performance. In addition, no two cores are alike so there may be very minor frequency variances between similarly clocked cards.

When it comes to card versus card comparisons, let’s state the obvious first: once again, none of NVIDIA’s board partners have touched the GTX 650 Ti Boost’s memory frequencies. According to our conversations with several of them, increasing the GDDR5’s data rate would have necessitated time-consuming binning procedures without having a meaningful impact on performance. As such, they’ve elected to focus on graphics engine speeds.

The ASUS, Gigabyte and MSI cards all have very similar out-of-box core overclocks with their resulting Boost speeds being the main point of differentiation. Out of the three, MSI has their BIOS-defined Power Limit set at a slightly higher level than Gigabyte or ASUS which ensured better consistency across the games we tested. Ironically, the $170 Gigabyte card may have the highest “on paper” specifications but it lags slightly behind in terms of overall speeds.

Galaxy and EVGA start from very different ends of the spectrum. Galaxy has decided to leave their card at reference frequencies and even though they have a phenomenal heatsink design, speeds lag slightly behind those our original GTX 650 Ti Boost displayed. As we discussed, this may be due to actual core differentiation but average performance was exactly equal to a standard GTX 650 Ti Boost. EVGA’s Superclocked meanwhile is able to remain well ahead with some impressive Boost frequencies which plateaued above the 1200MHz mark on a regular basis.

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