NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 - The Affordable Kepler

Kepler for the Masses

Kepler for the Masses!

Just last week, NVIDIA released the first of their true mainstream Kepler graphics cards, the GeForce GTX 660. Priced at US$229, the GeForce GTX 660 is much more affordable than the GeForce GTX 660 Ti and was likened by NVIDIA to the widely popular GeForce 8800 and 9800 GT. In our own testing, we found the new GeForce GTX 660 to be an exceptionally capable and value for money card.

On that same day, NVIDIA also released an even more affordable Kepler for the masses - the GeForce GTX 650. The GeForce GTX 650 was designed by NVIDIA to provide the most affordable graphics card for DX11 gaming at full HD 1080p resolution and this new card is priced at US$109.

Priced at just about US$100, the GeForce GTX 650 hopes to bring full HD gaming to the masses. Can it achieve its goal? We find out.

On paper, the GeForce GTX 650 uses the GK107 core which has a single GPC (Graphics Processing Cluster) and two SMXs (Streaming Multiprocessor). The end result is that the GeForce GTX 650 has 384 CUDA cores, 32 texture units and 16 raster operating units - significantly lesser than what the GeForce GTX 660. The GeForce GTX 650 will also be offered with either 1GB or 2GB of framebuffer.

For those who are familiar with NVIDIA’s lineup of cards, you’ll find that these numbers are identical to the earlier released GeForce GT 640 (the retail version). It also uses the same GK107 core, has the same memory bus interface (128-bit) and same memory clock speeds (5000MHz DDR), which also means overall memory bandwidth remains the same at 80GB/s. And like the GeForce GT 640, the GeForce GTX 650 is missing GPU Boost, NVIDIA’s dynamic overclocking technology, and also lacks SLI.

The one area the GeForce GTX 650 has been beefed up however is its core clock speeds, which has been bumped up considerably to 1058MHz at the core as compared to the GeForce GT 640’s 950MHz. For all intents and purpose, the GeForce GTX 650 is really a beefed up version of the GeForce GT 640.

Nevertheless, NVIDIA claims that the GeForce GTX 650 will be able to provide a decent gaming experience at 1080p resolution with moderate graphics settings. And with its suggest retail price of US$109, it’s targeted squarely at AMD’s Radeon HD 7750.

Here's a quick look at how NVIDIA's latest SKU stacks up against the competition.

GeForce GTX 650 and competitive SKUs compared

Model NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti AMD Radeon HD 7750 AMD Radeon HD 7770 AMD Radeon HD 7850 AMD Radeon HD 7870 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti
Core Code GK107 GK106 GK104 Cape Verde Pro Cape Verde  Pitcairn Pro  Pitcairn XT GF104
Transistor Count 1.3 Billion 2.54 Billion 3.54 Billion 1.5 Billion 1.5 Billion  2.8 Billion  2.8 Billion 1.95 Billion
Manufacturing Process 28nm 28nm 28nm 28nm 28nm 28nm 28nm 40nm
Core Clock 1058MHz 980MHz 915MHz 800MHz 1000MHz 860MHz 1000MHz 822MHz
Stream Processors 384 Stream processing units 960 Stream processing units 1344 Stream processing units 512 Stream processing units 640 Stream processing units  1024 Stream processing units  1280 Stream processing units 384 Stream processing units
Stream Processor Clock 1058MHz 980MHz 915MHz 800MHz 1000MHz  860MHz  1000MHz 1644MHz
Texture Mapping Units (TMU) or Texture Filtering (TF) units 32 80 112 32 40  64  80 64
Raster Operator units (ROP) 16 24 24 16 16  32  32 32
Memory Clock 5000MHz GDDR5 6008MHz GDDR5 6008MHz GDDR5 4500MHz GDDR5 4500MHz GDDR5  4800MHz GDDR5  4800MHz GDDR5 4008MHz GDDR5
DDR Memory Bus 128-bit 192-bit 192-bit 128-bit 128-bit  256-bit  256-bit 256-bit
Memory Bandwidth 80GB/s  144.2GB/s 144.2GB/s 72GB/s 72GB/s  153.6GB/s  153.6GB/s 128GB/s
PCI Express Interface PCIe ver 3.0 x16 PCIe ver 3.0 x16 PCIe ver 3.0 x16 PCIe ver 3.0 x16 PCIe ver 3.0 x16  PCIe ver 3.0 x16  PCIe ver 3.0 x16 PCIe ver 2.0 x16
Molex Power Connectors 1 x 6-pin  1 x 6-pin 2 x 6-pin None 1 x 6-pin  1 x 6-pin  2 x 6-pin 2 x 6-pin
Multi GPU Technology No SLI SLI No CrossFireX  CrossFireX  CrossFireX SLI
DVI Output Support 2 x Dual-Link 2 x Dual-Link 2 x Dual-Link 1 x Dual-Link 1 x Dual-Link  1 x Dual-Link  1 x Dual-Link 2 x Dual-Link
HDMI 1 (mini-HDMI) 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 (mini-HDMI)
DisplayPort None 1 (version 1.2) 1 (version 1.2) 1 (version 1.2 HBR2) 2 (version 1.2 HBR2) 1 (version 1.2 HBR2) 1 (version 1.2 HBR2) None
HDCP Output Support Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes  Yes  Yes Yes
Street Price Launch price: US$109 Launch Price: US$229 Launch Price: US$299 Current Price: US$109 Current Price: US$159 Current Price: US$239 Current Price: US$299

Current Price: US$199


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