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Gainward GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST 2GB Golden Sample Graphics Card

An excellent hybrid of GeForce GTX 650 Ti and GeForce GTX 660.

June 24, 2013



Today we'll review a graphics card from Gainward which is based on the GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost GPU. In terms of specs, the latter is like a GeForce GTX 650 Ti with a memory controller from GeForce GTX 660.

Specifications

  • Model name: Gainward GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST 2GB Golden Sample
  • GPU: GK106-240-A1
  • Interface: PCIe 3.0 x16
  • GPU clock rate (ROPs): 1006-1072 MHz (the standard is 9801033 MHz)
  • Memory clock rate, physical (effective): 1527 (6108) MHz (the standard is 1500 (6000) MHz)
  • Memory bus: 192-bit
  • Unified shaders: 768
  • Texture mapping units: 64 (BLF/TLF/ANIS)
  • Render output units: 24
  • Dimensions: 190x112 mm, 2 slots
  • PCB color: black
  • Peak power consumption (3D/2D/standby): 148/42/26 W
  • Output connectors: Dual-Link DVI-I, Single-Link DVI-D, HDMI 1.4a, DisplayPort 1.2
  • Multi-GPU mode: hardware SLI

Comparison with the reference design, front view

Gainward GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST 2GB Golden Sample Reference NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660

Comparison with the reference design, rear view

Gainward GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST 2GB Golden Sample Reference NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660

We compare this card with GeForce GTX 660, because the latter has donated both the die and memory bus, so the circuitry has to be similar. And we can see just that, with minor differences in power supply units and certain parts. This Gainward's card also has a metal cooler latch on its tail, so the cooler serves as another reinforcing rib.

To this card you can connect up to 4 monitors, although you'll need adapters.

The graphics card has a 6-pin supplementary power connector.

Maximum resolutions and frequencies:

  • 240 Hz maximum refresh rate
  • 2048 x 1536 @ 85 Hz max. analog (VGA) resolution
  • 2560 x 1600 @ 60 Hz max. digital (DVI) resolution (for Dual Link DVI-D)

Coolers

The cooler bases on a vapor chamber pressed against the die. On the other side are heatpipes which deliver heat along the smallish heatsink. The cover has two fans. Memory chips have no dedicated cooling, while transistors do have a small heatsink at their disposal.

The cooler as a whole is very efficient and quiet. Even under the maximum load fan speed doesn't exceed 1530 rpm.

Temperature monitoring results

We measured temperatures using the EVGA PrecisionX utility.


After 6 hours under maximum load, the top core temperature was 69°C. This is an excellent result.

Package contents

A basic package should include a user manual and a software CD.

This card is supplied with a basic package, plus a DVI-to-VGA adapter, and a power splitter.



Box


Performance tests

Testbed:

  • 2 x Intel Core i7-3960X (o/c to 4 GHz) CPU
  • Hydro SeriesT H100i Extreme Performance CPU cooler
  • Intel Thermal Solution RTS2011LC cooler
  • ASUS Sabertooth X79 motherboard on the Intel X79 chipset
  • MSI X79A-GD45(8D) motherboard on the Intel X79 chipset
  • 16GB of 1600MHz Corsair Vengeance CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9 DDR3 SDRAM
  • Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 3TB SATA2 HDD
  • WD Caviar Blue WD10EZEX 1TB SATA2 HDD
  • 2 x Corsair Neutron CSSD-N120GB3-BK SSD
  • 2 x 1200W Corsair CMPSU-1200AXEU PSU
  • Corsair Obsidian 800D Full-Tower case
  • Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, DirectX 11
  • 30" Dell UltraSharp U3011 display
  • VSync disabled
  • AMD Catalyst 13.3beta5; NVIDIA Drivers 314.22

Benchmarks:

  • Hard Reset — DirectX 11.0, built-in benchmark, maximum quality settings.
  • 3DMark (2013) (FutureMark) — DirectX 11.0, FireStrike, Performance settings.
  • Aliens vs. Predator (Rebellion/SEGA) — DirectX 11.0, Very High settings, run from in game.
  • Nexuiz (2012) (IllFonic/THQ) — DirectX 11.0, built-in benchmark, maximum quality settings.
  • Crysis 2 Maximum Edition (Crytek/EA) — DirectX 11.0, Very High settings, Central Park level, launched with the Adrenaline Crysis 2 Benchmark Tool.
  • DiRT: Showdown (Codemasters) — DirectX 11.0, Ultra High settings, launched as follows: dirt showdown.exe -benchmark example_benchmark.xml.
  • Heaven Benchmark 2.0 (Unigine) — DirectX 11.0, High settings.
  • Valley Benchmark (Unigine) — DirectX 11.0, Maximum settings
  • Metro 2033 (4A Games/THQ) — DirectX 11.0, Super High settings, PhysX disabled, run from in game.
  • Total War: Shogun 2 (Creative Assembly/SEGA) — DirectX 11.0, maximum quality settings.
  • Sleeping Dogs (United Front Games/Square Enix) — DirectX 11.0, built-in benchmark, maximum quality settings.

Total War: Shogun 2

Hard Reset

Unigine Heaven Benchmark DirectX 11

Aliens vs. Predator DirectX 11

Nexiuz (2012)


Unigine Valley Benchmark DirectX 11

3DMark FireStrike (2013)

DiRT: Showdown

Metro 2033

Sleeping Dogs

Crysis 2

Final thoughts

The capability rating compares each graphics card with GeForce GT 630, which is considered a baseline, or 100%. The rating is based on both synthetic and gaming results and shows, as the name implies, what a product is capable of.

The usability rating is obtained by dividing each card's capability rating by its price. It basically shows whether a given product is over or underpriced, considering what it can do, and thus how reasonable it is to buy it.

The complete ratings can be found in our i3Dspeed. Below are just the parts relevant to today's review.

Sorted by capability (high to low)

# Card Capability rating Usability rating Approx. price, USD
22 HD 7850 2048 MB, 860/860/4800 490 255 192
23 HD 7850 1024 MB, 900/900/4800 460 271 170
24 Gainward GTX 650 Ti Boost 2048 MB, 1006-1100/6100 460 258 178
25 GTX 650 Ti Boost 2048 MB, 980-1033/6000 460 258 178
27 HD 7790 1024 MB, 1000/1000/6000 370 228 162
28 GTX 650 Ti 2048 MB, 925/925/5400 350 216 162

Sorted by usability (high to low)

# Card Usability rating Capability rating Approx. price, USD
02 HD 7850 1024 MB, 900/900/4800 271 460 170
04 Gainward GTX 650 Ti Boost 2048 MB, 1006-1100/6100 258 460 178
05 GTX 650 Ti Boost 2048 MB, 980-1033/6000 258 460 178
06 HD 7850 2048 MB, 860/860/4800 255 490 192
12 HD 7790 1024 MB, 1000/1000/6000 228 370 162
16 GTX 650 Ti 2048 MB, 925/925/5400 216 350 162

Gainward GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST 2GB Golden Sample is an excellent variant of one of the most cost efficient graphics cards these days. It's factory overclocked, comes with a great, quiet cooler. All you need to do is find a decent price.

Speaking of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost in general, in terms of performance it fits between the competing Radeon HD 7850 and Radeon HD 7790. Being more expensive, it won't compete with the new Radeon HD 7790 in terms of capability despite NVIDIA's intentions. Yet in terms of usability, GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost is the second in its class. If (when) Radeon HD 7850 1GB leaves the market, GeForce 650 Ti Boost may take its place.

In our next review dedicated to GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost, we'll examine NVIDIA's GeForce Experience software to be shipped along with the drivers.


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