The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost OC WindForce 2X series is a product series that was introduced as a card that needs to compete with the new AMD Radeon HD 7790, and yeah it successfully wins from that product in almost any scenario. The Gigabyte edition as such offers plenty of muscle to play today's games with good quality settings and Full HD monitor resolutions. While the rest of the 650 Cards are marginal and lack just a that little extra bite in performance, the Boost editions simply deliver what is needed. Gigabyte changed things around a bit though, custom PCB, sheer silence and a small factory overclock would be the key words for that though.
Realistically the GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost edition graphics card is a good chunk faster compared to the R7790. While the AMD card with your standard image quality settings is in the 30~35 FPS range at Full HD resolutions, this GTX 660 Ti Boost is continuously in the 40 FPS range at 1920x1080/1200. And really it's precisely where you need to be. The frame-rates are based on modern game titles with good image quality settings. So yeah, Nvidia did really well. To be fair, this card is not a GeForce GTX 650... it's a GTX 660 with a few shader processors disabled. As such you see this product continuously being only a few frames per second lower than that GeForce GTX 660. But who cares right? For less money you get nearly the same performance -- that's a win. That makes the GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost the all new affordable 169 EUR entry-level to mainstream gaming card. Based upon Kepler architecture this product will get you all the benefits and features this architecture has to offer. Even getting 3 or 4 monitors connected is an option. For the GTX 650 series new is a SLi connector.
Gigabyte is doing it their way, resulting in the fact that they use their own design PCB combined with the dual fan WindForc e 2X cooler. And that's interesting as the 650 Ti Boost cards really will end up as the more cheap and affordable products, all the extra bling will cost money as well. Therefor do keep in mind that the design and money you pay for this product need to be in line. Overall the design looks good. It also features Ultra Durable VGA technology, which in theory should increase the lifespan of the card.
Directly related to the aesthetics is the cooling and thus the noise levels. Gigabyte offers the WindForce 2X cooler has two ultra quiet PWM fans and two copper heat pipes. We like it very much, it just really offers good performance, under game load it stays at roughly 55 Degrees C (under the condition that you ventilate your PC properly). Noise wise there is little left to discuss as well, the dual-fan cooler uses two heapipes coming from a nickel-plated copper base, the two 90mm fans spin at a fairly low RPM, keeping the product totally silent.
The GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost editions are rated at a 140 Watt TDP. That is on the high side for a 650 series card really but this again is due to the nature of the GTX 660 DNA this card uses. Our measurements show roughly 135 Watt at peak with a modern game is more in line with what you'll see, our model was a factory reference version so expect slightly higher numbers with factory faster clocked products. Take that 135 Watt and add to that the processor, memory, motherboard and other peripheral devices, our recommendation stands at a 500 Watt power supply, with a decent overclock that should be sufficient.
Overclocking then, we should all point fingers to NVIDIA as pretty much all cards end up roughly at the same parameters. The boost versus overclock in the end depends a little on GPU transistor leakage and stuff like that. The board power design is 140 Watt, you may increase the power limit with another 10% which means 150~155 Watt of power consumption is at your disposal when overclocking. That means that this SKU could take another 100 MHz + a little something extra on the memory (350 Mhz). This will bring the operating frequency of the GPU towards 1267 MHz (it remains dynamic so per game / load it can differ a little). The 1267 MHz is pushing it to the limits though.
Much like many of the GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost cards, I really like them all. The Gigabyte WindForce 2X OC edition however raises the bar a little futher, it remains to be a small bump over reference but the Windforce 2X cooler is overall leading in its class, thus really good and incredibly silent. GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost cards in general are products that allow you to play your games at 1920x1080 and everyone of you guys by now will have upgraded towards a monitor with a resolution of 1920x1080/1200. That's where this card will be a nice fit as it balances out game quality and performance really well. Concluding, the extra factory overclock is fun but seems to make only a very small difference, but every little bit helps right? If this is what your budget allows you to spend then yeah, very much recommended is it is a good value product with one of the best coolers in this segment. The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost OC WindForce 2X series will offer great value for money.
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