Gigabyte GTX 650 Ti 2GB Windforce 2X Review
The Geforce GTX 650 Ti is based on the GK106 die used in the GTX 660 but with some organs removed. Is it still enough to take you on the DirectX 11 virtual battlefield?
This year, we've covered most of the GPU releases from both red and green camps, including three hot-clocked enthusiast grade Geforce offerings from Gigabyte (GTX 680, GTX 670, GTX 660 Ti). With the holiday buying season approaching, we thought that a significant portion of our readers might be eyeing the mainstream GTX 650 Ti, since it is priced at a relatively affordable US$159-174 and shares most of the DNA from the more illustrious Keplers. This is a card suitable for single monitor users who can settle for medium image quality and physics effects at 1080p resolution. The card in question is also good for SFF builds, since it has relatively low profile and power/cooling requirements.
According to the latest Steam Hardware Survey in October of the latest generation of GPUs, Nvidia's market share stands at 3.92% (GTX 670/680 and 660 Ti) against AMD's 2.89% (HD 7850/7870/7950/7970), despite the latter having almost a half-year headstart in pushing their products to the same audience. The general consensus so far is that the Keplers have better power efficiencies, and Southern Islands edge ahead in clock for clock performance and GP compute.
The GTX 650 Ti is available in 1GB or 2GB memory configurations, and we strongly recommend paying a few more follars for the larger option to avoid being bottlenecked in texture heavy titles like Skyrim and BF3. Gigabyte's take comes with their trademark Windforce 2X cooler and "Ultra Durable 2" components.
Instead of a DisplayPort connector that we find on the higher end models, the Gigabyte card is fitted with a legacy analog D-SUB, which is a baffling decision since hardly anyone uses it today. Together with the dual link DVI and HDMI ports, the GTX 650 Ti supports up to four independent displays.
Only a single 6-pin PCIe connector is required, thanks to its lowly 110W TDP. There is no SLI bridge connector here so no multi-GPU capability is supported.
The GTX 650 Ti uses a derivative of the TSMC 28nm GK106 ASIC found in the more powerful GTX 660, featuring one less SMX and memory controller unit (effectively 768 Stream Processors and 128-bit GDDR5 Memory Bus). Nvidia's polarizing GPU Boost (dynamically adjusts voltage and clocks) is also absent here, which should please those who prefer the traditional overclocking interface.