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ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1650 Gaming OC review: Turing gets really cheap

By Koh Wanzi - 26 Apr 2019

Conclusion

This is the card you get if you're on a super tight budget.

 

1080p gaming on a budget

Budget cards are always awkward to review. You know they're not going to serve up very exciting performance numbers, but they also happen to be really cheap, so you can't really complain. In the case of the GeForce GTX 1650, it's quite a bit slower than the GeForce GTX 1660, but it can still conceivably push over 60fps in most games, as long as you stick to 1080p and Low to Medium settings. 

Given its target audience, I can't really call it a bad card, even if it really looks lackluster compared to the other Turing cards. NVIDIA wants to create a card for everyone, and eventually it's going to reach a point where it's simply impossible to be wowed by the performance numbers anymore. The GeForce GTX 1650 feels like it's at that point, and it's really the card you look to when you're on a shoestring budget. 

Having said that, if you can wait, you'll be much better served if you save up and get the GeForce GTX 1660 or 1660 Ti.

The main draw of the GeForce GTX 1650 feels like its plug-and-play capabilities, where you technically don't even require an external power connector. This means it's great for compact, mini-ITX systems or older PCs that simply require a working GPU. It makes most sense as a diminutive single-fan card, the better to keep price and power draw low, which is why the ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1650 is so confusing. 

It has a bunch of premium features that no one really needs, like the FanConnect II header (do you really need an extra fan header in a system with a 75W card?), dual-fan cooler, and metal backplate. As I said in my review of the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Gaming OC, the people who are looking at these cards don't require so many features, and this is a problem that is only more glaring with a card like the GeForce GTX 1650. 

In a nutshell, if you really can't wait and need a cheap card right this moment, or you just need a GPU for your living room HTPC, you can give this card a look (hopefully, the cheaper variants of it). Otherwise, you'll get much better bang for your buck further up the Turing ladder. 

7.5
  • Performance 7
  • Features 8.5
  • Value 7
The Good
Runs cool and quiet
Relatively compact form factor
The Bad
Expensive for this class of cards
Unimpressive gaming performance
Lacks Turing's newer NVENC encoder
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