Manufactured by Zotac. MSRP at launch 170 USD
Nvidia GTX 650Ti & Zotac GTX 650Ti AMP! Edition Review
We all know that 1080p monitors are the mainstream standard for PC gamers nowadays. Of course, having a full HD screen doesn’t really benefit budget gamers because previously budget cards would either mean play the latest games at low(est) settings on 1080p, or lower the resolution if you want higher setting; neither of which is a good solution. Today, I’ll be looking at the recently launched Nvidia GTX 650Ti which promises to bring full HD gaming performance on a truly budget card.
The GTX 650Ti is officially the last card in the GTX 600 series from Nvidia, presumably GTX 700 begins towards the end of the year. And while Kepler was brought to the masses in the form of the GTX 660Ti, and even more so with the GTX 660 and GTX 650, both of those cards presented extreme value propositions. On the one hand the GTX 650 at $120 performs too low for proper 1080p gaming, while the GTX 660 at $220 is a tad bit too expensive for budget gamers, despite performing better than any “budget” card. However, above $200 makes the GTX 660 not a budget card.
Enter the Nvidia GTX 650Ti, which, at $150 promises to give you some serious horsepower at that sweet price point. Obviously the GTX 650Ti brings with all the performance and power efficiency benefit of the Kepler architecture, so those who’re still sticking with their Fermi cards will rejoice at what $150 will get you now.
Well, one thing that entices early adopters is that like the GTX 660Ti and Borderlands 2 tie-in, almost every GTX 650Ti will come with a code for Assassins Creed III.
Zotac GTX 650Ti AMP! Edition
While the Nvidia reference card was rather small to look at, the Zotac AMP! Edition treatment has beefed up a few things on this card.
First of all you’ll notice that it has two full slots on the backplate instead of just one, while the Zotac card has two full-sized HDMI ports compared to one mini-HDMI port on the reference Nvidia card. The heatsink is also bigger on the Zotac card, covering a larger area of the PCB, while the fan itself is 85mm, compared to 75mm on the reference Nvidia GTX 650Ti.
Of course, the Zotac GTX 650Ti AMP! Edition needs these changes because of the significant factory overclock applied. The Core clock on the Zotac is set to 1033MHz compared to 928MHz on Nvidia, while the memory clock is set to 6200MHz compared to 5400MHz on Nvidia. That’s an 11% increase on Core clock speeds and 15% on memory clock speeds. Additionally the Zotac GTX 650Ti AMP! Edition also features 2GB of memory compared to 1GB on reference Nvidia GTX 650Ti.
All of this comes at the cost of $189, which is dangerously close to the AMD HD 7850 cards that easily matches the performance of the GTX 660.
The following testbed was used to benchmark both the GTX 650Ti cards:
Below are the details of how each benchmark was conducted with specific details of settings used. All of the below benchmarks were run at a resolution of 1920×1080.
Note: While the GTX 650Ti, HD 7700 series and GTX 550Ti were tested using the above settings, the GTX 660 and HD 7850 were tested using the below settings:
Overclocking the GTX 650Ti turned out to be a difficult proposition, given the limitation of the memory bandwidth and already highly clocked speeds. On the reference Nvidia GTX 650Ti I managed to push the core clock to 980MHz from 928MHzm while the Zotac GTX 650Ti AMP! Edition managed 1133MHz from 1033MHz. In both cases the overclocked performance was negligible, with 2 to 3 fps increase as you’ll see below.
Rated at 110W TDP, I wasn’t expecting the GTX 650Ti cards to heat up, and indeed the temperature readings were pleasantly cool.
The Nvidia GeForce GTX 650Ti represents an excellent opportunity to budget gamers with more than decent performance for 1080p gaming at fairly high settings. Unfortunately factory overclocked cards like the Zotac GTX 650Ti AMP! Edition cost so much more, it’s better to just go with the AMD HD 7800 series of cards.
Secondly, the only reason anyone will end up buying the GTX 650Ti now is that they love Nvidia and were waiting for an upgrade from their GTX 550Ti or even older card. Meanwhile AMD already released the HD 7700 series more than 6 months ago, while the higher-end cards like the HD 7800 series has been steadily declining in price over the past few months and have come too close to budget cards where buying the GTX 650Ti seems moot.
That said, a whole lot of people have been waiting to upgrade their PCs in time for the holiday games to come out, so the GTX 650Ti’s release date couldn’t have been better for budget gamers.
Zotac GTX 650Ti AMP! Edition
|GPU Core Clock||1033MHz|
|GPU Boost Clock|
|GPU Memory Clock||