Last week, Nvidia released its “sweet-spot” $169 GeForce GTX 550 Ti BOOST 2GB based on its “GK106″ 28nm Kepler DX11.1 architecture. Nvidia’s partners have also begin shipping a $149 1GB GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST to compete on price directly with the 1GB HD 7790.
We evaluated the GTX 650 Ti BOOST’s performance in our Preview where we compared it both stock and overclocked to the GTX 660 where it shares most of its DNA and performance, and where it leaves the stock GTX 650 Ti completely outclassed. Now we are going to look at the new GTX 650 Ti BOOST as a $169 upgrade for Nvidia users that currently have an older flagship DX10 card such as a 8800-GTX or GTX 280, or perhaps a newer DX11 midrange card such as the Galaxy GTX 460-SOC or even the EVGA GTX 550 Ti which launched at $149.
We found this quite interesting. From the Nvidia GTX 650 Ti BOOST Reviewer’s Guide:
” . . . our own research shows that typical gamers upgrade their graphics card once every three years, and some gamers who purchase lower-priced cards will wait even longer before upgrading. A quick check of the Steam Hardware Survey supports this data: many of the most popular graphics cards are several years old.
Take the GeForce 9600 GT for instance. Originally launched in 2008, the GeForce 9600 GT is currently ranked 10th among the most popular graphics cards used by gamers in the latest Steam survey.
The GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST delivers a tremendous performance upgrade over the GeForce 9600 GT. Besides supporting the latest DirectX 11 graphics, the GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST has twelve times the number of CUDA Cores, four times the amount of memory, and nearly three times the memory bandwidth of the GeForce 9600 GT. As a result, the GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST is up to 6x faster than the GeForce 9600 GT, and is twice as fast as the GTX 550 Ti.”
We decided to use the 8800-GTX as a good example of the very popular DX10 8800/9800 video cards of the day and evidently of cards that are also still quite popular. The 8800-GTX card was a expensive top card in its day that was matched or beaten by the 9800 series which was also quite popular. Another popular card was the GTX 280 which was Nvidia’s flagship 4-1/2 years ago when ABT was first launched. Basically, either of these cards is capable of beating XBox360 visuals and we want to see how they handle the latest DX11 games, usually on the DX9 pathway. Steam’s latest survey shows that approximately 1/3rd of the gamers that they survey still use DX10 video cards.
We also want to see if the overclocked GTX 460 1GB still is a good gaming card and if the GTX 550 Ti is really half as fast as the GTX 660 TI BOOST as Nvidia suggests; the GTX 550 Ti was launched at $149 and has only 1GB of vRAM compared to the GTX 650 BOOST’s 2GB. And we will look at some games that require more than 1GB of vRAM at higher settings.
From top to bottom, the GeForce lineup now consists of:
- GeForce Titan
- GeForce GTX 690
- GeForce GTX 680
- GeForce GTX 670
- GeForce GTX 660 Ti
- GeForce GTX 660
- GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost Edition
- GeForce GTX 650 Ti
- GeForce GTX 650
- GeForce GT 640
- GeForce GT 630
- GeForce GT 620
- GeForce GT 610
- GeForce 210
We can see that the GTX 650 Ti Boost Edition sits directly in the middle of Nvidia’s lineup at $169 and we will be able to compare this midrange performance with five other video cards in Nvidia’s former and current line up.
Let’s check out performance after checking out our test configuration on the next page.