NVIDIA today released the GeForce GTX 1650 Super graphics card. This is the second GTX 16-series Super model from NVIDIA, as the company makes product-stack adjustments across the bottom-end of its "Turing" GPU lineup. These graphics cards are crucial for the company's bottom-line as they sell in huge volumes; the sub-$200 market is the gateway segment to Full HD gaming at 60 FPS. These are the price points at which gamers who choose the PC over consoles spend some money to upgrade their otherwise basic home desktops to gaming-capable machines. AMD's upcoming Radeon RX 5500 graphics card threatens NVIDIA's GTX 16-series just in the same way the RX 5700 destabilized the lower-end of the RTX 20 lineup, forcing three new product launches to prevent cannibalization.
The RTX 2060 Super was launched as the RTX 2060 lost competitiveness to the RX 5700, and the RTX 2070 Super as the RX 5700 XT beat the RTX 2070. To prevent the RTX 2070 Super from hurting sales of NVIDIA's $700 RTX 2080, NVIDIA also refreshed the RTX 2080 with the faster RTX 2080 Super. With the GTX 16-series, the challenge of keeping these SKUs competitive is higher as NVIDIA can't play its "ray tracing" card here. There is a level playing field between the GTX 16-series and the RX 5500 series—pure raster graphics.
The GeForce GTX 1650 Super is launched to restore NVIDIA's competitiveness in the sub-$200 market, as AMD extensively compared the RX 5500 to the original GTX 1650 in its marketing slides. AMD claims that the RX 5500 is over 30 percent faster than the GTX 1650, and possibly matches or beats the GTX 1660. This invited a two-fold response from NVIDIA. The GTX 1660 Super was launched last month at $230, offering performance close to the $280 GTX 1660 Ti. The GTX 1650 Super is being launched today to restore competition under the $200-mark. The GTX 1650 Super is being launched at an MSRP of US$160 with headroom for board partners to price their custom-design cards at up to $200 or thereabouts.
Unlike the original GTX 1650 non-Super, the new GeForce GTX 1650 Super is based on the "TU116" silicon rather than the tiny "TU117" that powers the GTX1650. "TU116" is the same chip on which NVIDIA built its GTX 1660 trio. The "TU116" as the GTX 1650 Super is configured with a 128-bit GDDR6 memory interface holding 4 GB of memory. Even at its memory clock of 12 Gbps, this setup produces 192 GB/s of memory bandwidth, which is a massive 50% increase compared to the 128 GB/s of the original GTX 1650. NVIDIA also endowed the GTX 1650 Super with more muscle than the original—1,280 CUDA cores compared to the original's 896, a 42 (!) percent increase. There are proportionate increases in TMUs: 80 vs. 56. The GPU clock speeds have also been dialed up to 1725 MHz GPU Boost compared to the original's 1665 MHz. These changes also increase the card's typical board power metric to 100 W, up from 75 W on the original. The card needs at least a 6-pin PCIe power connector, while the original GTX 1650 could make do with none.
In this review, we're testing the Zotac GeForce GTX 1650 Super Twin Fan, which is the company's only GTX 1650 Super SKU at the moment. The card is a highly compact custom design using a dual-fan thermal solution. Clock speeds have not been increased and match the NVIDIA reference boost frequency of 1725 MHz. Zotac is pricing their card at the NVIDIA MSRP of $160.