MSI GeForce GTX 650 Ti review

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Reference technology and specs

Reference technology and specs

So as always we'll first address the reference technology. A product like tested today is always based of the reference design and sometimes optimized a little in terms of VRM, PCB design, component usage, clock frequencies, cooling and display outputs. But the building template the manufacturers work from is in fact that reference design. 

In this segment of the article we will look at the reference (original design) based specs and architecture. The GeForce GTX 650 Ti is based on the Kepler GPU architecture. The product however is using the GK106 which is based on a 28nm fabrication process. You guys all know the GK106 from the GeForce GTX 660 products. That chip has 2.64 Billion transistors.

The GeForce GTX 650 Ti whould be 40% faster than the GTX 650 on average.

When we peek at NVIDIA's slide decks we see them denoting that the GeForce GTX 650 Ti has been designed for 1080p gaming with medium settings and FXAA. That's true but please do understand this remains a budget level graphics card .

  • The GeForce GTX 650 boasts 384 CUDA (shader) cores (GK107)
  • The GeForce GTX 650 Ti  boasts 768 CUDA (shader) cores (GK106)
  • The GeForce GTX 660 boasts 960 CUDA (shader) cores (GK106)
  • The GeForce GTX 660 Ti boasts 1344 CUDA (shader) cores (GK104)
  • The GeForce GTX 670 boasts 1344 CUDA (shader) cores (GK104)
  • The GeForce GTX 680 boasts 1536 CUDA (shader) cores (GK104)

The GeForce GTX 650 Ti ships with 4 activated SMX units containing 768 CUDA Cores and 64 texture units. The graphics core clock speed of the GeForce GTX 650 Ti is 925 Mhz (reference frequency - AIB/AIC partners will ship with higher clocks) . GPU Boost is not available. The GeForce GTX 650 Ti memory speed is loacked at an 5400MHz effective data rate based on a1350 MHz quad data rate for GDDR5.


You'll notice that the TDP of the card is set at maximum of 110 watts, however since a segment of the GPU is not used  the realistic power consumption will be a little lower. We measured that to be roughly 90~100 Watts actually. So the GeForce GTX 650 Ti draws relatively little power. It still ships with an external power connector. This power connector provides additional headroom for overclocking. Many GeForce GTX 650 Ti boards are capable of hitting speeds in excess of 1100 MHz quite easily.

The idle power of GeForce GTX 650 Ti is 5W to 10W representing terrific in class idle power. In addition, HD video playable is ~13W, again representing best in class power consumption.

Display outputs include two dual-link DVIs and one mini-HDMI, however this could be different per board partner.

128-bit Memory Interface
The memory subsystem of the GeForce GTX 650 Ti consists of two 64-bit memory controllers in use (128-bit) with either 1GB or 2GB of GDDR5 memory.

We already mentioned it, another change is the ROP (raster operation) engine, cut down to 16 units opposed to 24 on it's bigger brother the GTX 660. With this release, NVIDIA now has the real mid-range products on its way. The new graphics adapters are of course DirectX 11.1 ready.

With Windows 8, 7 and Vista also being DX11 ready all we need are more new games to take advantage of DirectCompute, multi-threading, hardware tessellation and the latest shader 5.0 extensions. For your reference here's a quick overview of some of the more recent graphics cards.

  GeForce GTX
GeForce GTX
650 Ti
GeForce GTX
GeForce GTX
660 Ti
GeForce GTX
GeForce GTX
GeForce GTX
Stream (Shader) Processors 384 768  960 1344 1344 1536 3072
Core Clock (MHz) 1058 925 980 915 915 1006 915
Shader Clock (MHz) 1058 925 - - - - -
Boost clock (Mhz) - 1033 980 980 1058 1019
Memory Clock (effective MHz) 5000  5400 6008 6008 6008 6008 6008
Memory amount <2048 <2048  2048 2048 2048 2048 4096
Memory Interface 128-bit 128-bit  192-bit 192-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit

For Kepler, NVIDIA kept their memory controllers GDDR5 compatible. Memory wise NVIDIA has nice large memory volumes due to their architecture, we pass 2 GB as standard these days for most of NVIDIA's series 600 graphics cards in the high range spectrum. We expect most GTX 650 Ti cards to come with 1 GB of graphics memory in order to remain price competitive, the 2GB models will be roughlt 25 USD/EUR more expensive.

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