This is a rivalry based on innovation and technology that seems as if it will be never-ending. We are talking about the competition between two graphics card makers: Nvidia and AMD. Many gamers have a favorite and look to their preferred company exclusively for new cards.For those who aren’t loyal to one brand or the other, deciding on the best card is a tall order.
EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1060 WINDFORCE OC 6G
MSI Gaming Radeon RX 580 256-bit 8GB
ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
The Basics of the EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
Today, we’re going to be reviewing the EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card, which is a part of the 700-series from the Nvidia brand. It competes mainly with AMD’s R9 and R7 series graphics cards.
The GTX 1050 Ti is an inexpensive option that is primarily geared towards gamers on a budget or new to PC gaming.Despite the low price point at less than a hundred bucks, this card offers 1080p gaming, which is impressive, and is a capable and affordable choice
New Card Architecture
The first thing to be aware of when looking at the 1050 Ti is that it features next-generation Maxwell architecture. That’s something rare for NVIDIA, which traditionally launches with enthusiast-class hardware that has stood the test of time.
This card is entry-level, so it isn’t going to play every game on ultra-quality settings, but it does have other advantages. One of those is that it drops power consumption and boosts efficiency to the ultimate level. This makes it a serious contender for Steam Box builders and home theater PC owners who appreciate both of those things.
This is a savvy move on the part of Nvidia, since the less-expensive 1050 Ti is more of an impulse buy than the higher-quality Nvidia offerings like the Titan Black. When comparing the 1050 Ti to other cards in the 700 series, you’ll find that the 1050 Ti does come with G-sync. This helps prevent the screen tearing and stutter caused by refresh rate. To take advantage of that, the monitor must be G-syn capable. These are some of the monitors that provide this:
Of course, there are various other options available to you. This just gives a bit of reference on what you can expect regarding price, size, and resolution if you are upgrading your monitor to take advantage of the G-sync feature.
Opening Up the Package
It’s not surprising that the 1050 Ti is a tiny card, but it may be even more miniscule than expected. The size is only 5.7 inches and comes with a single-slot design. What is even more interesting is that this graphics card does not need extra power connectors. Comparing this to the R7 line, specifically the 260x, is eye-opening.
The AMD model is larger by an inch and requires a six-pin power connector to operate. Despite how small the 1050 Ti is, it can support up to three monitors and also includes two Dual-Link DVI ports and a port for Mini-HDMI.
In addition to that, the 1050 Ti is one of the most efficient video cards out there. It consumes a mere 60 watts. The R7 260X needs almost double that at 115 watts. As for the power supply requirement, you’re good to go at only 300 watts, so it’s unlikely anyone will need to upgrade to get the visuals possible from this little GPU. This makes it a fantastic upgrade option for all sorts of machines.
Moving on to specifications, you won’t be disappointed. It has 512 CUDA cores, a base clock of 1020MHz and a boost of 1085MHz. It also comes with two gigabytes of video RAM at 5400MHz to take advantage of. While another version without the Ti signifier is available, the two-gig version is likely to be best for anyone who plans to run more than a single monitor.
Iterations of the GTX 1050 Ti
As with most video cards out there, the big and the brightest improve on the design to offer extra perks for their loyal customers. For the purposes of this review, we’ll look at the Gigabyte GTX 1050 Ti Windforce OC, MSI GTX 1050 Ti Gaming OC, and the Zotac GTX 1050 Ti.
Gigabyte Windforce OC
- WindForce 2x with Blade fan design. Support up to 8K Display @60Hz
- Features power connector as 6 pin x 1. Digital maximum resolution is 7680 x 4320
- Build with 4+1 power phases. Recommended PSU : 400W
Gigabyte’s Windforce OC uses the Nvidia printed circuit board as a guide for its version. However, it uses the included solder points as a way to implement a six-pin power connector, which makes it the better choice for overclocking gamers. It features two HDMI, one DVI-I, and one DVI-D connectors as well.
Unlike the single-slot original GTX 750 Ti, this one will take up two slots in your gaming rig. It’s a beautiful option for someone wanting a little boost on the 750 Ti, and it stays cool and works quietly even when overclocked. The only real disadvantage is that it’s a bit tall due to a heat pipe.
MSI Gaming OC
- Brand MSI, Model RX580ARMORMK2 8GOC
- Interface PCI Express x16, Chipset Manufacturer AMD, GPU Series AMD Radeon RX 500 Series, GPU Radeon RX 580, Boost...
- Effective Memory Clock 8000 MHz, Memory Size 8GB, Memory Interface 256-Bit, Memory Type GDDR5, DirectX DirectX 12,...
Like the Gigabyte model, MSI uses the reference design of Nvidia but does not include a power connector. It does have a massive cooler on deck, though, which is a plus as far as keeping things properly chilly goes. This 750 Ti manages to handle all that is thrown at it without getting loud and never getting hot.
The connectors on the MSI include one HDMI, one D-Sub, and one DVI-D. While it is quiet and cool, it suffers in the same way as Gigabyte does by being a little taller than most would like. It’s also a dual-slot model, unlike Nvidia’s original.
Rather than including a six-pin connector like the Gigabyte option, Zotac uses the 16-lane PCI Express slot for power. It’s built on the same power circuit board as Nvidia dropped and is the only modification that has only a single fan for cooling. As for ports, you’ll receive one DVI-D, one DVI-I, and a mini-HDMI. Unfortunately, this model is a bit louder than the others and can warm up more quickly. That said, it’s compact and short, so it should fit anywhere you need it to go.
Averaging the performance ability of each of the above cards leads to the determination that the GTX 750 Ti is similar to the Radeon HD 7850. That’s nothing to ignore, as that model came out as a GPU costing around $250. It’s even more exciting when you consider the lack of need for a power connector and the new Maxwell-based board.
Testing of this GPU compared against others shows an average frame rate of 90 per seconds per watt. You can look at that against the Radeon R7 260X at 65 frames and the 650 Ti Boost at 47 frames to see this is an inexpensive graphics card, but it can put out some real power when it needs to.
Acoustics and Temperature
When it comes to noise, the tests use a studio microphone placed about 20 inches away from the center of the card. The Nvidia 750 Ti had an idle noise level of 31.5 dB and 34.1 while in game. The other models were similar but slightly lower in most cases. You’ll also find that it’s easy to keep the card cool, even if all you add is a fan and a small sink. Within a closed chassis, you’re likely to hear next to nothing.
Moving on, we look at average temperatures for the graphics cards listed above. It’s not surprising that these are low, primarily since they use next to no power compared to other GPUs on the market. As expected, the Nvidia model has a temperature around 82 degrees Fahrenheit when idling and tops out at 149 degrees Fahrenheit when in an intensive gaming environment. The other models are a bit cooler, with the lowest temperatures going to the Gigabyte Windforce model.
When the 750 Ti is in an idling state, it has roughly the same level of consumption as the R7 260X and is increasingly better against powerhouses like the GTX 680, Radeon R9 280X, and others. Things only get better from there when you look at multi-monitor efficiency between cards. Based on a case where three monitors are running VGA cards, the 750 Ti is below the GTX 780, Titan, and more. The R7 260X uses over twice the power of the Nvidia GPU. With gaming, we see power consumption of around 60 watts for the 750 Ti, while the R7 260X is at 92 and the Titan is all the way up at 210.
Cryptocurrency Mining Capabilities
Honestly, most people looking to pick up the 750 Ti probably aren’t doing so for cryptocurrency mining, but having an idea of the possible performance can offer insight into just what this energy-efficient card brings to the table. One perk of this card is that Maxwell architecture handles hashing much better than Kepler, making it the better choice if you are considering the GTX 680 or 770. However, it’s just not made for Bitcoin mining and gets killed by cards like the R7 260X.
When it comes to Litecoin mining, things are significantly better. Litecoin requires the use of a password-based key, which means it’s more challenging to create dedicated hardware. That means GPUs are still useful in this mining operation. However, continuous investment in power and equipment is always something to worry about. When you consider performance per watt, Nvidia kills AMD. You’re going to spend less on the GPU and get better results.
Looking at benchmarks for the 750 Ti, among others, we’ve come up with some points to look at to determine what you may be gaining and losing choosing this Nvidia green card. We’re going to base our calculations on frame rate, which means the higher the number, the better you can get your game on.
The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim
Total War: Rome 2
- New NVIDIA Pascal architecture delivers improved performance and power efficiency
- Classic and modern games at 1080p @ 60 FPS. Requirements: minimum of a 300 Watt power supply, total power draw : 75...
- Fast, smooth, power-efficient gaming experiences
When it comes down to it, the Nvidia GTX 750 Ti is an impressive graphics card that has many uses. Most of the people who choose to purchase it are likely to do so based on its low price and will be impressed by the level of performance that it brings to the table when gaming. It may not have the best performance compared to all the GPUs three times its price, but it sure raises the bar for affordable gaming.