With the release of the GeForce GTX 650 Ti NVIDIA has now closed its desktop line-up of series 600 products, with the GeForce GTX 650 Ti being the affordable 145 EUR entry-level to mainstraim gaming card.
Being based upon Kepler architecture you'll receive all the benefits and features this architecture has to offer. Even getting 3 or 4 monitors connected is an option (albeit most 660 Ti cards will have three display outputs).
The card is pretty okay for regular and casual gaming, but it isn't stellar though. The product is at a performance level we have seen for years now, in retrospect the GeForce GTX 650 Ti is close to the GeForce GTX 560 which was close to the GeForce GTX 470.
It's good to see the performance vs price bracket shift though, at a sub 145 EUR/USD you do get more performance for your dough and that means more value. However, we've seen this segment of products at this performance range for a good while now yet feel there is very little progression. Realistically the GeForce GTX 650 Ti is inbetween the Radeon HD 7770 and the Radeon HD 7850. So yeah, game performance wise, we had hoped to see a little more performance.
That doesn't mean the card doesn't offer value though. To the contrary, if you play your games up-to a monitor resolution of say 1600x1200 then the GeForce GTX 650 Ti is going to work out really well for you. Bringing Kepler to 28nm has many advantages. NVIDIA can do more with less transistors and thus has cheap to produce silicon at hand. This product shows that really well, with a reference clock hovering at just under 1 GHz NVIDIA can achieve more performance with less silicon.
Typically these high clock frequencies have an adverse effect on your power consumption, but at 28nm, you don't need much voltage. So the product when it's stressed only consumes give or take 75 Watts. In idle mode (desktop) that number is as low as 5 to 10 Watts. That's really impressive.
If you purchase a reference design product then do not worry about cooling and noise, the product is virtually silent even under hefty game stress. While it is stressed it will keep that GPU under 60 Degrees C as well so these are nice figures.
But you know what, it's time to wrap things up. The GeForce GTX 650 Ti does what NVIDIA needed it to do, and that was to lift itself over the Radeon HD 7770. We however had hopes that this card would be a Radeon HD 7850 killer, but that unfortunately is not realistic.
That means that you as an consumer immediately will have to forfeit on image quality settings to make the modern games perform well enough at a monitor resolution of 1920x1080. The card will run with good image quality settings up-to 1600x1200, after that resolution you'll quickly find yourself making compromises on image quality in order to gain in rendering performance.
If you take the product out of the gaming bracket, then it's all very positive as honestly it is a versatile and progressive card when it comes to features and options. That cooler absolutely works well, the product is silent, remains at low temperatures and just looks cool really.
A small additional note; NVIDIA has set up a very sweet deal for you. For a limited time only, gamers who purchase select GeForce GTX 650 Ti graphics cards will receive a free copy of Assassin’s Creed 3 which represents $60 of value. The PC version of the game will feature enhanced DX11 graphics when it ships on November 23rd.
Now then, if this card meets your maximum budget then we can certainly give it a recommendation. But truth be told, if you are purchasing a dedicated graphics card with the sole intent of gaming at HD resolutions, really then my recommendation remains the GeForce GTX 660.
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