Graphics Cards Guide

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost review

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost - The New & Improved Mid-Range Kepler

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Overall rating 8.5/10
Performance:
8.5
Features:
7.5
Value:
8.5
THE GOOD
Close to GTX 660 performance
Great value
THE BAD
Average overclocking potential
Reference design is bigger than the original GTX 650 Ti


Price-Performance Comparison & Conclusion

Price-Performance Comparison

When it comes to mid-range graphics cards, the key metric most gamers look for is its price-to-performance ratio, in other words, how much bang do you get for your buck?

For this comparison, we calculated the average FPS of each card, based on its sum total score in each of our gaming benchmarks at 1920 x 1200 resolution, with both AA off and set to maximum where appropriate (as such 3DMark scores are excluded for obvious reasons that it doesn't deal with FPS scores). We then divided that score by the card's current retail price in US dollars to derive exactly what 1 US dollar will get you in terms of FPS for each card. We chose this resolution as the vast majority of gamers (especially at this price-point) play at this resolution. Note that we've used an ASUS Radeon HD 7790 as we didn't managed to get any reference equivalent card.

US$ Price-Performance Comparison

Model Current Price in US$ Average FPS FPS per US$1
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost $169 33.2 0.196
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti $129 23.4  0.181
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 $199 34.8 0.175
ASUS Radeon HD 7790 DirectCU II OC $155 27.7 0.179
AMD Radeon HD 7770 $119 20.7  0.174
AMD Radeon HD 7850 $209 32.8  0.157

At US$149, the GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost provides exceptional value, almost 10% better than the next best value card, the original GTX 650 Ti.

If you're trying to decide between the GTX 650 Ti Boost and GTX 660, as you can see, both have very similar average FPS, however, the 660 GTX does perform slightly better at higher resolutions, and also has more overclocking potential (not shown in the above chart). But then again, these mid-range cards weren't really designed for gaming beyond standard full HD resolutions. If you look at the results beyond 1920 x 1200 pixels resolution, they are mostly below the playable 30 FPS mark.

Having said that, if you only intend to play at full HD resolution, the GTX 650 Ti Boost should be sufficient and it's not worth paying the extra US$30 for the GTX 660. However, if you're interested in overclocking your card or playing at higher resolutions, you might want to consider gunning for something better than the midrange card and go for at least a GeForce GTX 660 Ti (not compared in this article).

Official local pricing for the GeForce GTX 650 Ti has not been released yet, however, with the GTX 660 currently retailing for between S$340-S$380, anything under S$330 will provide fantastic value while providing a similar level of performance to the GeForce GTX 660.

 

Conclusion

NVIDIA seems to be concentrating on the mid-range market segment, with no less than five cards priced between $US100-200 segment. Out of all of them, the GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost is undeniably the best buy, offering fantastic value with performance very close to that of the GTX 660, and surpassing both AMD's HD 7790 and HD 7850 on most tests.

It is also the cheapest card to offer 2GB of GDDR5 VRAM, which gives it better future-proofing value than the 1GB cards, and could also be important if you intend to upgrade to a higher resolution monitor or dual-monitor setup in the future.

If we have any complaints to make about the GTX 650 Ti Boost, it's that its overclocking potential seems rather average - possibly because it is already performing at close to maximum potential. After all, if the GK106 die was really of better quality, it would have been binned for a GTX 660 card. So from that perspective and considering that it's a mid-range card, there's really not much to complain about. Still, it will be interesting to see how much extra performance NVIDIA's add on partners can squeeze out of their custom OC cards when they're released.

Additionally, users who liked the original GTX 650 Ti for its small, compact design may be turned off by the rather large size of the GTX 650 Ti Boost. The good news is that many NVIDIA partners releasing their versions will sport a more compact design. So stay tuned for more of those comparisons soon.