Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost review
Powerful and efficient: hands down the best mainstream card on the market
Developing new GPUs is expensive, so it’s no surprise to see firms making the most of what they’ve got. Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost does just that, building on last year’s non-“Boost” Ti card and improving it across the board.
The older card’s 928MHz core clock has been raised to 980MHz, and the Ti Boost also benefits from Nvidia’s GPU Boost technology, which dynamically overclocks the core to 1,032MHz if it hasn’t hit its 134W power ceiling.
The Ti Boost has 2GB of GDDR5 memory clocked at 1,502MHz, which trumps the 1,350MHz speed of the 650 Ti, and the 192-bit memory bus is wider than the 128-bit hardware on the older card. The underlying architecture is the same, however, with 2.5 billion transistors and 768 stream processors divided into three GPU clusters.
The Ti Boost competes with the £110 AMD Radeon HD 6850, and there was only one winner in our benchmarks. The Ti Boost’s result of 47fps in the 1,920 x 1,080 Very High quality Crysis benchmark trounced the 33fps score of the Radeon, and it still scored 40fps when we added 4x anti-aliasing – 11 frames faster than its rival.
The card continued its good form in Battlefield 3. With the game running at 1,920 x 1,080 and Ultra settings, the Ti Boost scored 66fps, falling to 48fps when we activated 4x anti-aliasing. That’s a fair drop, but there’s still enough power to play top-end games without compromising on quality.
It isn’t too long for most cases, at 243mm, nor too power-hungry: it requires only a single, six-pin connector to run. It’s quiet, even in the most demanding tests, and runs cooler than its rival: the Ti Boost peaked at 74°C, while the Radeon HD 6850 hit a maximum of 83°C. Our test rig’s peak power draw was 178W with the Nvidia card installed, far lower than the 248W with the AMD card in place.
It’s a clean sweep for the Ti Boost, then. It’s more expensive than its rival, but greater power, better thermal performance and increased energy-efficiency mean it’s the card of choice for single-screen gaming.
|Price ex VAT||£125|
|Price inc VAT||£150|
|Features & Design||5|
|Value for Money||6|
|Graphics card interface||PCI Express 3.0|
|Graphics chipset||Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost|
|Core GPU frequency||980MHz|
Standards and compatibility
|DirectX version support||11.0|
|Shader model support||5.0|
|VGA (D-SUB) outputs||0|
|7-pin TV outputs||0|
|Graphics card power connectors||6-pin|
|3D performance (crysis) high settings||47fps|