The sub-$200 market-segment has been NVIDIA's problem area in terms of price-performance competitiveness with AMD, even though the company has had higher volumes. Most games released for the competitive gaming crowd run great on sub-$300 graphics cards, and it's only blockbuster AAA titles with cutting-edge production designs that prompt people to invest in faster graphics solutions, where NVIDIA has established an unbeatable lead.
NVIDIA is getting hawkish and wants itself a bigger slice of the sub-$200 market-segment targeting e-Sports players. The company launched the $139.99 GeForce GTX 1050 Ti and $109.99 GTX 1050 earlier this month. The two SKUs are based on NVIDIA's smallest implementation of its "Pascal" GPU architecture, the GP107 silicon. This tiny chip packs up to 768 CUDA cores, 48 TMUs, 32 ROPs, and a 128-bit GDDR5 memory interface, holding 4 GB of memory on the GTX 1050 Ti.
These are still "Pascal" CUDA cores that tick at 1.35-1.45 GHz. NVIDIA's decision to go with a 128-bit wide memory bus shows that the GTX 1050 Ti has been built to a cost (with no more than four memory chips), which prepares NVIDIA for a price war with the better-endowed, but costlier to make AMD offerings. NVIDIA managed to get the power consumption of the GTX 1050 Ti below the 75W mark, which makes it capable of sustaining itself on slot power alone. Its nearest rival from AMD, the Radeon RX 470 4 GB, needs an additional 6-pin PCIe power connector to feed its 120W TDP setup.
In this review, we are testing the ASUS GeForce GTX 1050 Ti STRIX OC, a premium custom design graphics card by ASUS that combines a factory-overclocked GTX 1050 Ti implementation with the company's signature dual-fan cooling solution, which turns its fans off when the GPU is idling, and a custom-design PCB that features an additional 6-pin PCIe power connector to help bolster the card's overclocking headroom.
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Market Segment Analysis
| ||GeForce |
GTX 1050 Ti
|ASUS GTX 1050 |
|GeForce GTX |
1060 3 GB
|Memory Size||2 GB||4 GB||2 GB||2 GB||2 GB||4 GB||4 GB||4 GB||8 GB||4 GB||8 GB||3 GB|
|Memory Bus Width||128 bit||128 bit||128 bit||128 bit||256 bit||128 bit||128 bit||256 bit||512 bit||256 bit||256 bit||192 bit|
|Core Clock||1024 MHz+||1200 MHz||1354 MHz+||1127 MHz+||970 MHz||1290 MHz+||1380 MHz+||1206 MHz||1000 MHz||1051 MHz+||1266 MHz||1506 MHz+|
|Memory Clock||1653 MHz||1750 MHz||1752 MHz||1753 MHz||1375 MHz||1752 MHz||1752 MHz||1650 MHz||1500 MHz||1750 MHz||2000 MHz||2002 MHz|
You will receive:
- Graphics card
- Driver CD
- ASUS zip ties
- World of Warships coupon
ASUS has once again completely changed the looks of their cooler for the GeForce 10 generation, giving it a more plain look that relies on RGB LEDs to provide color. On the back, you will find a sturdy metal backplate. Dimensions of the card are 24.0 cm x 13.0 cm.
Installation requires two slots in your system.
Display connectivity options include two DVI ports, one HDMI port, and one DisplayPort. Unlike previous NVIDIA cards, the DVI port no longer includes an analog signal, so you'll have to use an active adapter. NVIDIA also updated DisplayPort to be 1.2 certified and 1.3/1.4 ready, which enables support for 4K @ 120 Hz and 5K @ 60 Hz or 8K @ 60 Hz with two cables.
The GPU also comes with an HDMI sound device. It is HDMI 2.0b compatible, which supports HD audio and Blu-ray 3D movies. The GPU video encoding unit has been updated to support HEVC at 10-bit and 12-bit.
The GeForce GTX 1050 Series does not support SLI.
Pictured above are the front and back, showing the disassembled board. High-res versions are also available (front
A Closer Look
Thanks to the low heat output of the GP107 GPU, a simple heatsink with two heatpipes is sufficient to keep the card cool.
The backplate is made out of metal and protects the card against damage during installation and handling.
Near the back of the card is a fan connector that is in sync with the GPU's fans. You could hook up a case fan here that will stop completely outside of games.
ASUS upgraded the power input of their GTX 1050 Ti to a 6-pin. This input configuration is specified for up to 150 watts of power draw.
The uP 9501 voltage controller is a new model for NVIDIA's recent cards. It does not support voltage control via I2C.
The GDDR5 memory chips are made by Samsung and carry the model number K4G80325FB-HC28. They are specified to run at 1750 MHz (7000 MHz GDDR5 effective).
NVIDIA's GP107 graphics processor is the company's first chip to use a 14 nanometer production process. It is also the company's first graphics processor to be made at Samsung and not TSMC. The GPU has a transistor count of 3.3 billion and a die size of 132 mm².