It’s been an interesting few weeks for graphics and gaming hardware enthusiasts. First, we heard that new-generation GPUs from both AMD and Nvidia would be delayed till much later this year, breaking a traditional annual refresh cycle. However, neither company is sitting idle—both have released new top-end and midrange GPUs in the past two weeks. Nvidia’s unassuming flagship Titan is matched against AMD’s dual-GPU 7990 in the Rs 60,000+ market, but those are luxury products for a very niche audience. We’re excited about the other end of the market today, which is where most of the action takes place.
The cooler is nothing like the one on the reference design
The much more interesting match is in the Rs 10,000–14000 range, which has been rather empty of late. There are several models priced below and above these points, leaving a significant gap in between. AMD stepped in first with its Radeon HD 7790, which we examined in detail last week. Not to be left behind, Nvidia has put forward the brand new GeForce 650 Ti Boost. The name makes it sound like a tweaked version of the older 650 Ti, thanks to the company’s inability to resist adding multiple suffixes to its product names, but it’s actually a different enough product to stand on its own.
In our test of the 7790, we managed to include preliminary results from Nvidia’s reference sample 650 Ti Boost card, and discovered that there was a significant gap between their results. The Boost outperforms the 7790 by a fair margin, but is also expensive enough to be considered one step up the ladder. Both offered equal value for money, though we were tempted enough by the Boost’s advantage to recommend that people spend the extra thousand rupees if they can.
Galaxy's odd choice of ports, and the enlarged vent
Architecture and features
The 650 Ti Boost is based on the same GK106 GPU that powers the 650 Ti and the 660, which flank it in Nvidia’s lineup. All three GPUs are essentially the same chip with certain parts disabled or cut down in the lower-end models; a standard industry practice which lowers costs and reduces wastage. Like its lower-end counterpart, the 650 Ti Boost has 768 “stream processors” and 64 texture units—four fifths the values of the 660, since one of the five SMX clusters is inactive—but retains all 24 ROPs rather than 16. The 980 MHz clock speed and 192-bit memory bus, on the other hand, are derived from the beefier GeForce GTX 660. Nvidia has picked and chosen features from both siblings to fill the gap left between them. The balance is slightly tilted in favour of the more expensive GeForce GTX 660. In fact there are almost zero visual differences between the 660 and 650 Ti Boost reference boards, and their rated TDPs are just 4 Watts apart. The first wave of 650 Ti Boost cards in the market will all come with 2 GB of GDDR5 RAM, but cheaper 1 GB variants will start coming out in a month or so.
Galaxy GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST
Today, we’re looking at a 650 Ti Boost card made by Galaxy. It’s quite a bit different from the stock design that we saw from Nvidia, with a custom cooler, different circuit board, and rearranged port cluster. While the card itself is longer than reference cards, the cooler doesn’t hang over the back, making the entire assembly a fair bit shorter. The cooler has an open design, so it will vent hot air out the back and into your PC case. We’ll let the test results determine if there’s any advantage to this approach, but we can say for certain that the port arrangement is highly disappointing. Reference cards today have HDMI, DisplayPort, and two DVI ports, one of which supports digital as well as analogue out. The Galaxy card comes with HDMI, a lone digital-only DVI port, and VGA. That particular DVI port can’t be used with an adapter to drive a VGA output, which is the preferred arrangement. There’s no reason at all that a modern graphics card, especially one of this caliber, should restrict an output to VGA (and drop another one entirely)—we’re not sure if this was done for cost reasons or to enlarge the vents on the back panel.
Galaxy GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST Review
Leaked Images, Availability, Pricing,
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