Zotac GeForce GTX 1050 Video Card Review

Hardware Secrets Silver Award

Intro

The GeForce GTX 1050 is the new entry video card from NVIDIA, based on the Pascal architecture, arriving to the market to compete with low-cost video cards. Let’s see how it performs in our review.

The GeForce GTX 1050 uses the GP107 chip, manufactured under 14 nm process. This is the same chip used on the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. The main difference is that, while on the GTX 1050 Ti the chip comes with all the 768 cores enabled, distributed on six SM (streaming multiprocessors), on the GTX 1060 one SM is disabled, so the card brings 640 cores.

On the GeForce GTX 1050, this cores work at a 1,355 base clock, reaching up to 1,455 MHz. Those are the standard clocks recommended by NVIDIA, but probably most models reach the market with higher clocks, since, according do NVIDIA, this chip can reach a 1,900 MHz clock.

The memory interface uses 128 bits and the recommended memory clock is 7 GHz, using GDDR5 chips, which brings a 112 GiB/s bandwidth. The GTX 1050 models should come with 2 GiB of VRAM and the GTX 1050 Ti models with 4 GiB, but it is possible to the manufacturers sell GTX 1050 models with 4 GiB, for example.

One of the highlights of the GeForce GTX 1050 is its low energy consumption: its TDP is only 75 W, so there is no need for the auxiliary energy connector on the video card. The recommended power supply is 300 W, which makes this card suitable for basic PCs, where you simply open the case and install the video card at a free slot to make it ready to run recent games with no other worries.

Other highlight of the GTX 1050 is its low cost: the MSRP in the USA is USD 109. So, it becomes a direct competitor of the Radeon RX 460, besides also replacing the GeForce GTX 750 Ti on the market.

Notice that, unlike the GeForce GTX 1060 and the high-end models from this family, there is no reference (or “Founders Edition”) models for the GTX 1050.

Like the GTX 1060, the GeForce GTX 1050 doesn’t support SLI.

The GeForce GTX 1050 we tested is manufactured by Zotac, model GeForce GTX 1050 Mini, part number ZT-P10500A-10L. It is a very small video card, and uses the standard (1,354 Mhz base and 1,455 boost) clocks, with 2 GiB of GDDR5 VRAM running at 7 GHz.

Figure 1 shows the Zotac GeForce GTX 1050 Mini.

GeForce GTX 1050 Video Card ReviewFigure 1: the Zotac GeForce GTX 1050 Mini

In our tests, we compared the performance of the GeForce GTX 1050 to the Radeon RX 460 from XFX (RX-460P4D), the reference GeForce GTX 750 Ti, and also to a GeForce GTX 950 from Gigabyte.

In the table below, we compare the main specs from the video cards we included in this review. Prices were researched at Newegg.com for this article.

Video card

Core clock

Turbo clock

Effective memory clock

Memory bus

Memory bandwidth

Memory

Processing cores

TDP

DirectX

Price

Zotac GeForce GTX 1050 Mini

1,354 MHz

1,455 MHz

7.0 GHz

128 bit

112.0 GB/s

2 GiB GDDR5

640

75 W

12.1

USD 110

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 950

1,102 MHz

1,279 MHz

6.6 GHz

128 bit

105.6 GB/s

2 GiB GDDR5

768

90 W

12.1

USD 135

XFX Radeon RX 460

1,090 MHz

1,220 MHz

7.0 GHz

128 bit

112.0 GB/s

4 GiB GDDR5

896

75 W

12

USD 140

GeForce GTX 750 Ti

1,020 MHz

1,085 MHz

5.4 GHz

128 bit

86.4 GB/s

2 GiB GDDR5

640

60 W

11.2

USD 100

Now let’s take a closer look to the tested video card.

Author: Rafael Coelho

Rafael Otto Coelho is a physicist with a master's degree in Education, and is a college professor in Brazil.

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