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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti review: A Pascal card for everyone

By Koh Wanzi - 30 Oct 2016
Launch SRP: S$289

Performance Benchmarks - Part 1

Test Setup

The detailed specifications of our current graphics card testbed system are as follow:-

  • Intel Core i7-6950X
  • ASUS ROG Strix X99 Gaming motherboard
  • 2 x 4GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-2133 (Auto timings: CAS 15-15-15-36)
  • Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB SATA 6Gbps solid state drive (OS + benchmark + games)
  • Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB SATA 6Gbps hard drive (general storage)
  • Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
  • Intel INF 10.1.1.14

The price of the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti sets it up for direct competition against the Radeon RX 460 and 470 from AMD. It slots in neatly between the two cards, which is why we’ve included them here for comparison purposes. In addition, we threw in the GeForce GTX 960 to give you an idea of how the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti stacks up against another value-oriented card from the previous generation. Finally, we tested the GeForce GTX 1060 as well to get an idea of the performance differential between two adjacent cards in NVIDIA’s Pascal product stack.

Here’s a list of all the compared cards and their driver versions:

  • ASUS Expedition GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (ForceWare 375.57)
  • Gigabyte Radeon RX 470 G1 Gaming 4G (Crimson Edition 16.10.2)
  • XFX Radeon RX 460 2G Double Dissipation (Crimson Edition 16.10.2)
  • ASUS Strix GeForce GTX 960 2GB (ForceWare 375.63)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (ForceWare 375.63)

  ASUS Expedition GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Gigabyte Radeon RX 470 G1 Gaming 4G XFX Radeon RX 460 2GB Double Dissipation ASUS Strix GeForce GTX 960 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition
  ASUS Expedition GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Gigabyte Radeon RX 470 G1 Gaming 4G XFX Radeon RX 460 2GB Double Dissipation ASUS Strix GeForce GTX 960 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition
Launch SRP
  • From S$289
  • From S$369
Core Code
  • GP107
  • Ellesmere
  • Baffin
  • GM206
  • GP106
GPU Transistor Count
  • 3.3 Billion
  • 5.7 billion
  • 3 billion
  • 2.94 billion
  • 4.4 Billion
Manufacturing Process
  • 16nm
  • 14nm
  • 14nm
  • 28nm
  • 16nm
Core Clock
  • Base clock: 1,290MHz, Boost clock: 1,392MHz
  • 1,230MHz
  • 1,220MHz
  • Gaming mode: 1228MHz (Boost: 1291MHz)
  • OC mode: 1253MHz (Boost: 1317MHz)
  • 1,506MHz (Boost: 1,708MHz)
Stream Processors
  • 768
  • 2,048
  • 896
  • 1024
  • 1,280
Stream Processor Clock
  • 1,290MHz
  • 1,230MHz
  • 1,220MHz
  • 1228MHz
  • 1,506MHz
Texture Mapping Units (TMUs)
  • 48
  • 128
  • 56
  • 64
  • 80
Raster Operator units (ROP)
  • 32
  • 32
  • 16
  • 32
  • 48
Memory Clock (DDR)
  • 7,008MHz
  • 6,600MHz
  • 7,000MHz
  • 7200MHz
  • 8,000MHz
Memory Bus width
  • 128-bit
  • 256-bit
  • 128-bit
  • 128-bit
  • 192-bit
Memory Bandwidth
  • 112GB/s
  • 211.2GB/s
  • 112GB/s
  • 115.20 GB/s
  • 192GB/s
PCI Express Interface
  • 3.0
  • 3.0
  • 3.0
  • PCI Express 3.0
  • 3.0
DVI Outputs
  • 1x
  • 1x
  • 1
  • 1
  • 1x
HDMI Outputs
  • 1x
  • 1x
  • 1x
  • 1
  • 1x
DisplayPort Outputs
  • 1x
  • 3x
  • 1x
  • 3
  • 3x
HDCP Output Support
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Power Connectors
  • 1x 8-pin
  • 1x 6-pin
  • 1 x 6-pin
  • 1x 6-PIN PCIe
Multi GPU Technology
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • SLI

 

Benchmarks

Our performance benchmarks now include a handful of the latest titles, including games that utilize DirectX 12. We’ve also included the new 3DMark DirectX 12 benchmark, Time Spy, to provide more insight into the card’s ability to take advantage of DirectX 12 features.

Here’s the list of the benchmarks we used:

  • Futuremark 3DMark (2013) with Time Spy
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
  • Crysis 3
  • Tom Clancy’s The Division
  • Ashes of the Singularity
  • Hitman

We used the Fire Strike Extreme test in 3DMark (2013) for our power and temperature tests.

 

Futuremark 3DMark (2013)

As expected, the US$139 GeForce GTX 1050 Ti fitted right into the gap between the AMD Radeon RX 460 and 470. The more expensive Radeon RX 470 takes quite a commanding lead, coming in between 44 and 50 per cent faster than the new NVIDIA card.

That said, the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti was also vastly slower than the GeForce GTX 1060 – the latter was up to a good 70 per cent faster.

Still, the card managed a decent showing against the US$100 Radeon RX 460, AMD’s cheapest Polaris graphics card. In the 1080p 3DMark Fire Strike benchmark, it was 28 per cent quicker. Of course, the more appropriate contender would have been a GTX 1050 and not a GTX 1050 Ti card to bench against the Radeon RX 460, but we'll have to wait for another day to test it out.

These performance differentials were mirrored in the DirectX 12 Time Spy benchmark as well, where the new GP107-based card lagged behind both the Radeon RX 470 and GeForce GTX 1060 but trumped the Radeon RX 460.

 

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

Because of the demanding resolutions that we run Shadow of Mordor at, this is a benchmark that is very much dependent on the memory bandwidth available. As a result, our 2GB version of the GeForce GTX 960 didn’t fare as well against the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti with 4GB of GDDR5 memory, where it ended up trailing by up to 13 per cent.

The card was also a good 50 per cent faster than the Radeon RX 460, but the latter is also memory starved like the GeForce GTX 960.  Even so, it's clear that NVIDIA is staking out the middle ground between the Radeon RX 460 and 470 (considering the default frame buffer size that's pegged with their GPU SKUs).

Unsurprisingly, none of these cards fare very well once you go beyond a 2,560 x 1,600-pixel resolution, but it’s worth noting that the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti turned out rather playable frame rates at the 1600p resolution. NVIDIA doesn’t intend for you to push beyond 1080p with this card, but it looks like there is still some breathing room to play with (assuming you’re willing to settle for less than 60fps of course).

 

Crysis 3

Crysis 3 proved quite trying for the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti as well, although we have to point out that we’re running our benchmarks with the settings maxed out, which isn’t quite how NVIDIA intended for the card to be used.

As we cranked the resolution and anti-aliasing settings up, the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti once again overtook the GeForce GTX 960 2GB, no doubt due to the advantage it had over it in terms of available memory. It also handily beat out the Radeon RX 460 by around 31 per cent, a decent amount considering that it is only about US$40 more expensive.

However, it was once again nowhere close to the Radeon RX 470 or GeForce GTX 1060.

 

Tom Clancy’s The Division

The Division turned up few surprises, with the results closely mirroring what we observed in the previous few benchmarks. The Radeon RX 470 was a whopping 60 per cent faster, clearly showing that you’re going to net quite a big performance boost if you decide to pony up some extra cash.

All the results do is reiterate the limitations, and also the strengths, of the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. At US$139, you shouldn’t be expecting miracles from the card even it is based on NVIDIA’s excellent Pascal architecture. This means no cranking up the settings or venturing beyond 1080p, but what you’ll also get is pretty decent performance if you don’t try to be too adventurous.

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7.5
  • Performance 7
  • Features 8
  • Value 8.5
The Good
Good overclocking potential
Decent performance for its price
Lower power consumption
The Bad
Runs hotter than more powerful cards
A lot slower than the Radeon RX 470
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