NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost 2 GB Review 80

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost 2 GB Review

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Introduction

NVIDIA Logo


It has been less than a week since a major GPU launch, AMD's Radeon HD 7790, and we already have one from NVIDIA, the GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost. When AMD announced the Radeon HD 7950 Boost Edition in August 2012, reacting to stiff competition from NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 660 Ti, there wasn't much to lose if a consumer overlooked the "Boost" component while making the purchase, just higher clock speeds and PowerTune with Boost. The GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost, launched today, is an extremely different beast to the original GTX 650 Ti it shares most of its name with.



NVIDIA launched the original GeForce GTX 650 Ti in October 2012 to capture the $150 price-point. The card comprehensively beat AMD's $120 Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition in performance, which forced AMD to carve a $180 1 GB variant out of its Radeon HD 7850 that is armed with 2 GB of memory for around $210. Even as AMD carried on for six months with a gaping hole between the HD 7770 and HD 7850—a hole filled by the HD 7790 just last week—NVIDIA dug itself a hole of its own between the $150 GeForce GTX 650 Ti and the GeForce GTX 660, giving the two HD 7850 variants a free hand in the sub-$200 market, but the company rolled out the GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost to fill exactly that gap.

Strategically priced at $170 for the 2 GB variant, with a possibility of a $150 1 GB variant in the near future, the new GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost has its eyes set on rattling AMD's sub-$200 stronghold. So what exactly gives the "Boost" superhero powers over the GTX 650 Ti? The answer lies in the silicon. The original GTX 650 Ti uses a significantly cut down version of the 28 nm GK106 silicon. It only features 80 percent of the chip's available streaming multiprocessors, a 33% narrower memory bus, unimpressive sub-gigahertz GPU clock speed, and lacks GPU Boost—a well-implemented dynamic overclocking technology. The GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost doesn't tinker with the streaming multiprocessor count, but utilizes the full 192-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface, GPU Boost with core clock speeds crossing the 1 GHz mark far too often, and a memory bandwidth of 144 GB/s. These three subtle changes, along with a PCB/cooler design similar to that of the GeForce GTX 660, gives the card a more premium-feel in the sub-$200 market.



The GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost, based on the "Kepler" GPU micro-architecture, features four of the silicon's five streaming multiprocessors, which amounts to 768 CUDA cores, 64 texture memory units (TMUs), 24 raster operations processors (ROPs), and a 192-bit wide memory interface. 2 GB is the standard memory amount for now. The core features a nominal clock speed of 980 MHz that can boost itself to 1033 MHz; most real-world gaming and creativity apps should have no problems letting the chip run at that speed. The memory is clocked at 6008 MHz (GDDR5-effective), which translates into a decent 144 GB/s memory bandwidth.



In this review, we test the NVIDIA reference design GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost. It bears an uncanny resemblance to reference boards of the GTX 660, GTX 660 Ti, and GTX 670, giving you that premium feel inside your rig.

GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost Market Segment Analysis
 GeForce
GTX 650 Ti
GeForce
GTX 560
Radeon
HD 6870
GeForce
GTX 560 Ti
Radeon
HD 7790
Radeon
HD 6950
GeForce
GTX 570
Radeon
HD 6970
Radeon
HD 7850
GeForce GTX
650 Ti Boost
GeForce
GTX 660
Radeon
HD 7870
GeForce
GTX 580
GeForce
GTX 660 Ti
Shader Units768336112038489614084801536102476896012805121344
ROPs1632323216324032322424324824
Graphics ProcessorGK106GF114BartsGF114BonaireCaymanGF110CaymanPitcairnGK106GK106PitcairnGF110GK104
Transistors2540M1950M1700M1950M2080M2640M3000M2640M2800M2540M2540M2800M3000M3500M
Memory Size1024 MB1024 MB1024 MB1024 MB1024 MB2048 MB1280 MB2048 MB2048 MB2048 MB2048 MB2048 MB1536 MB2048 MB
Memory Bus Width128 bit256 bit256 bit256 bit128 bit256 bit320 bit256 bit256 bit192 bit192 bit256 bit384 bit192 bit
Core Clock925 MHz810 MHz900 MHz823 MHz1000 MHz800 MHz732 MHz880 MHz860 MHz980 MHz+980 MHz+1000 MHz772 MHz915 MHz+
Memory Clock1350 MHz1002 MHz1050 MHz1002 MHz1500 MHz1250 MHz950 MHz1375 MHz1200 MHz1502 MHz1502 MHz1200 MHz1002 MHz1502 MHz
Price$140$170$170$200$150$170$250$380$180$170$215$220$310$280

The Card

Graphics Card Front
Graphics Card Back

NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost reference design looks exactly like the GTX 660/670 reference design. The card is 24 cm long and 11.5 cm high.

Graphics Card Height

Installing the card requires two slots in your system.

Monitor Outputs, Display Connectors

Display connectivity options include two DVI ports, one full-size DisplayPort, and one full-size HDMI port. You may use all outputs at the same time, so triple-monitor surround gaming is possible with one card.

The GPU also includes an HDMI sound device. It is HDMI 1.4a compatible, which includes HD audio and Blu-ray 3D movies support.


A single SLI connector is available, which means you can combine up to two cards for a multi-GPU setup. SLI was not supported at all on the GTX 650 Ti without Boost.

Graphics Card Teardown PCB Front
Graphics Card Teardown PCB Back

Pictured above are the front and back, showing the disassembled board. High-res versions are also available (front, back). If you choose to use these images for voltmods, etc., please include a link back to this site, or let us post your article.

A Closer Look

Graphics Card Cooler Front
Graphics Card Cooler Back

NVIDIA's cooler is reasonably simple. A large slab of metal with a copper base handles any heat produced by the GPU.

Graphics Card Power Plugs

The card requires a single 6-pin PCI-Express power cable for operation. This power configuration is good for up to 150 W of power draw.


NVIDIA uses an OnSemi NCP5395 voltage controller. We have seen this controller on many designs before. It is a cost effective solution that does not provide any I2C, so advanced monitoring is not possible.

Graphics Card Memory Chips

The GDDR5 memory chips are made by Samsung and carry the model number K4G20325FD-FC03. They are specified to run at 1500 MHz (6000 MHz GDDR5 effective).

Graphics Chip GPU

NVIDIA's GK106 processor is produced on a 28 nm at TSMC, Taiwan. The transistor count is 2.54 billion.

Test System

Test System - VGA Rev. 25
Processor:Intel Core i7-3770K @ 4.6 GHz
(Ivy Bridge, 8192 KB Cache)
Motherboard:ASUS Maximus V Gene
Intel Z77
Memory:2x 4096 MB Corsair Vengeance PC3-12800 DDR3
@ 1600 MHz 9-9-9-24
Harddisk:WD Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500 GB
Power Supply:Antec HCP-1200 1200W
Software:Windows 7 64-bit Service Pack 1
Drivers:NVIDIA: 310.70 WHQL
ATI: Catalyst 13.1 WHQL
GTX 650 Ti Boost: 314.21 Beta
Display: LG Flatron W3000H 30" 2560x1600
3x Hanns.G HL225DBB 21.5" 1920x1080
Benchmark scores in other reviews are only comparable when this exact same configuration is used.
  • All video card results were obtained on this exact system with exactly the same configuration.
  • All games were set to their highest quality setting unless indicated otherwise.
  • AA and AF are applied via in-game settings, not via the driver's control panel.
Each benchmark was tested at the following settings and resolutions:
  • 1280 x 800, 2x Anti-aliasing. Common resolution for most smaller flatscreens today (17" - 19"). A bit of eye candy turned on in the drivers.
  • 1680 x 1050, 4x Anti-aliasing. Most common widescreen resolution on larger displays (19" - 22"). Very good looking driver graphics settings.
  • 1920 x 1200, 4x Anti-aliasing. Typical widescreen resolution for large displays (22" - 26"). Very good looking driver graphics settings.
  • 2560 x 1600, 4x Anti-aliasing. Highest possible resolution for commonly available displays (30"). Very good looking driver graphics settings.
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Jun 29th, 2022 08:17 EDT change timezone

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