NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST Review


Final Thoughts



We're genuinely excited to see how the GTX 650 Ti Boost does when it hits shelves, as I don't believe we've quite seen this level of price-to-performance that appeals to this many gamers.  Usually, the likes of the 9800GT, the GTX 460/560/660 were the bang for the buck card.  Anything lower was both much lower in price and performance.  And they were also usually the minimum card needed to give high play settings for high-res monitors.  The GTX 650 Ti Boost, on the other hand, takes it a step further, and lowers the entry point to high quality settings at playable framerates at 1080P. 


This is partly enabled by the ability to play a wide range of current gen games at a resolution that consumes a huge proportion of the market.  The affordability of 1080P monitors has caused the target audience to become extremely focused from a resolution standpoint which has allowed Nvidia to target a very specific design segment that also happens to be where a majority of the market sits.  Scale down the card meant to be "Kepler for the masses," reduce the price of the GTX 660, give a lower entry point at $169 for a GTX 650 Ti boost, and you're well-poised to create a balanced product stack that will appeal to many holding out on upgrades. 


The GTX 650 Ti boost will deliver advantages on many orders of magnitude of the likes of the 9800GT, and many DX11 games with advanced lighting and tesselation saw the GTX 560 series trail by 15-30% and at lower power.  This really creates a tough sell for something looking in the $200 price range for a new card, and the GTX 650 Ti Boost will undoubtedly cannibalize some of the GTX 660 sales, especially with it moving to the $200 price target. 


Many gamers will see the GTX 650 Ti Boost providing performance that's "good enough" to play most current games at high settings (with Battlefield 3 delivering playable frame rates at Ultra High) and not see a justification to go up to the GTX 660.  At the same time the GTX 650 Ti Boost is poised to move very high volumes, truly giving Kepler to the masses at a competitive price point that will no doubt soon be scratching at the $150 price point, well low enough for younger gamers to afford an upgrade.


The card runs cool, and cool cards run quiet (and also gives more overclocking headroom).  We were only able to squeak out another 5% framerate boost out of our GTX 650 Ti Boost sample, but at the same time, we didn't expect this lower-end card to overclock as well as the GTX 660.  The memory was really what held us back though, as we were able to increase the boost clock to 1150 MHz, but the memory clock only to 6400 MHz.  You'll also see 4 outputs as a standard reference, which means you'll have room for DVI, Dual-link DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort at your disposal.


With games becoming more and more dependent on the GPU and independent of the CPU, we're seeing fewer upgrade cycles on the chipset/CPU, and the GPU is the primary upgrade (other than SSDs as of late).  The result is also that upgraders are looking at less new parts to buy, so more frequent upgrades are within reach.  And as an every-other generation adopter myself, I'd be hard-pressed to pass up the value and the great performance of the GTX 650 Ti Boost, and the really hard part will be whether or not to put up another $30 for the GTX 660, both of which are incredibly tempting on a price-to-performance basis.  1080P gamers rejoice, Nvidia is providing you with a way to play your favorite games on high settings, and at a mere $170 suggested retail price.




You have no rights to post comments