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The Zotac GTX 650Ti Boost comes at the heels of Nvidia announcing their new GPU in the budget card category. Considering the price and performance difference between the GTX 650Ti and the GTX 660, plus AMD taking over this large sub-$170 price with their HD 7850 and HD 7790, Nvidia needed a proper card in this segment. And why not release one just as AMD released their latest budget-oriented card based on next generation architecture.

The need for Boost

Nvidia’s idea behind the GTX 650Ti Boost is to offer a graphics card for around $150 capable of giving that elusive 30fps @ 1080p performance on all modern games maxed out. For a budget gamer that’s a dream come true, because if 30fps is the baseline with all settings maxed, turning off one or two items alone can bump up the performance to well over the golden 60fps mark.

Zotac 650 (1)

One of the biggest issues with the GTX 650Ti, promising as it seemed on paper, was the limiting memory bandwidth. However, Nvidia seem to have solved this problem with the GTX 650Ti Boost, giving it a 60% (pun unintended) boost in memory bandwidth over the original GTX 650Ti. Pricing is therefore higher, but not by much, surprisingly. The $150 1GB variant of the GTX 650Ti Boost seems particularly tasty, alas (?!) we got the 2GB variant.

Zotac GTX 650Ti Boost

While our initial sample from Nvidia was DoA, Zotac thankfully came and helped us out with their version of the GTX 650Ti Boost. The Zotac variant, in addition to their incredible looking heatsink with two 74mm fans, also comes with a minor factory overclock on the Core Clock of 13MHz, giving it a total of 993MHz. The Zotac GTX 650TI Boost is also one of the smallest cards, measuring a good 10cm lesser than the reference card from Nvidia, which was just as large as the GTX 680. Later on we did get a reference Nvidia GTX 650Ti Boost, though, so that was used for SLI tests.

Testbed

So let’s see what the Zotac GTX 650Ti Boost is capable of, beginning with the test system below:

Zotac 650 (2)

Using the latest Nvidia GeForce 314.22 drivers, the below benchmarks were used:

Zotac 650 (3)

Benchmarks

Now with the formalities out of the way, let’s put the GTX 650TI to test.

Zotac 650 (4)

Zotac 650 (7)

Zotac 650 (6)

Zotac 650 (5)

Zotac 650 (8)

Conclusion

The Zotac GTX 650Ti posted some really impressive results, with SLI results giving the GTX 670 and GTX 680 a run for their money. Sure, SLI optimization for titles like F1 2012 and 3DMark Fire Strike need a bit of work, but out of the gate that’s some very impressive performance for a $170 card, especially when you compare it to the competition from AMD with their similarly priced HD 7790 we reviewed recently.

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