NVidia GTX 650 Ti Boost to Compete vs. 7850 in Sub-$200 Market

By Published March 26, 2013 at 7:40 am
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A few days before all this PAX East craziness, we were able to join nVidia in a press conference about their new mid-range GPU; the news was under embargo until just now, but for all our mid-range and entry-level system builders, now's the time to listen up - your GPU selection may be impacted by the release.

With the nVidia GTX 650 Ti Boost specs officially announced, we're here to briefly overview the new GPU and its theoretical performance against AMD's 7850 in the sub-$200 market.

 

AMD has historically always dominated the sub-$200 market - period. This has been true going back to the 4000 series (and possibly even before), and even on GN, we've been recommending 7850s (and before them, 6850s) for most systems below the $650-$700 price-point. At PAX East, nVidia acknowledged this disadvantage and noted that they don't want it to last any longer -- "the gap is closing," they told us, "we have the mobility to price competitively." And to some degree, it's absolutely true: AMD's market cap (~$1.79B) is 4x smaller than nVidia's (~$7.64B) and 58x smaller than Intel's (~$104.6B). That's not to say that the company is going away any time soon, just that they're smaller, split between two very cost-prohibitive markets of computing, and against two of the largest companies in the hardware engineering industry.

nvidia-gtx-650ti-v-boost

NVidia has a company to support, and their monetary stability gives them room to cut into margins to take away some of that low-end market. Here's what we're looking at for the 650 Ti Boost:

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost Specs

UPDATE: The official prices have been announced, along with more detailed specs. You can find both of these below:

Specifications GeForce GTX TITAN GeForce GTX 680 GeForce GTX 670 GeForce GTX 660 Ti GeForce GTX 660 GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST GeForce GTX 650 Ti GeForce GTX 650
Chip GK110 GK104 GK104 GK104 GK106 GK106 GK106 GK107
CUDA Cores 2688 1536 1344 1344 960 768 768 384
Base Clock 837 MHz 1006 MHz 915 MHz 915 MHz 980 MHz 980 MHz 928 MHz 1058 MHz
Boost Clock 876 MHz 1058 MHz 980 MHz 980 MHz 1033 MHz 1033 MHz N/A N/A
Memory Configuration 6 GB 2 GB 2 GB 2 GB 2 GB 1-2 GB 1 GB 1 GB
Memory Speed 6.0 Gbps 6.0 Gbps 6.0 Gbps 6.0 Gbps 6.0 Gbps 6.0 Gbps 5.4 Gbps 5.0 Gbps
Memory Bandwidth 288 GB/s 192 GB/s 192 GB/s 144 GB/s 144 GB/s 144 GB/s 86.4 GB/s 80 GB/s
Power Connectors 1 x 6-pin
1 x 8-pin
2 x 6-pin 2 x 6-pin 2 x 6-pin 6-pin 6-pin 6-pin 6-pin
Outputs DL-DVI-I
DL-DVI-D
HDMI
Mini-DP
DL-DVI-I
DL-DVI-D
HDMI
Mini-DP
DL-DVI-I
DL-DVI-D
HDMI
Mini-DP
DL-DVI-I
DL-DVI-D
HDMI
Mini-DP
DL-DVI-I
DL-DVI-D
HDMI
Mini-DP
DL-DVI-I
DL-DVI-D
HDMI
Mini-DP
DL-DVI-I
DL-DVI-D
HDMI
DL-DVI-I
DL-DVI-D
HDMI
TDP 250 W 195 W 170 W 150 W 150 W 140 W 110 W 64 W
SLI Options 3-way 3-way 3-way 3-way 2-way 2-way N/A N/A
Price $999 $499 $399 $299 $229 $149 (1GB)
$169 (2GB)
$149 $109

 

The new card has the same CUDA core-count as the original GTX 650 Ti, but the biggest gains will be found in the presence of a 1033MHz Boost clock (not available in cards below the 660 prior to today) and higher core clock. These two primary advancements put the 650 Ti Boost comfortably between the 650 Ti and 660, and though we weren't given a price while at PAX East, we do know it will be sub-$200 (so probably $199, if we're realistic). Other than these, the 650 Ti Boost will be utilizing Boost 1.0 technology and allow for SLI bridging, which the regular 650 and 650 Ti did not have/allow.

"Turning down the game [settings] to low or medium just doesn't feel good, GeForce GPU Product Manager Chris Daniel told us, "turning it up to extreme requires an expensive GPU [...] We want to optimize for the gamer."

And that was nVidia's key phrase for the conference: Optimizing for the gamer. They want a better "pruduct for the core gamer," and realized that the key price-point is below $200, so here we have the "Boost" suffix added to the original 650 Ti, a few added features, and some FPS increases in-hand with these upgrades. NVidia's internal testing (we have not yet validated) resulted in the following:

nvidia-650tiboost-v7850

nvidia-hots

And here is the appendix that is referenced in the footnote:

nvidia-gtx650-ti-boost-appendix

As it stands now, we know that ASUS, PNY, EVGA, MSI, Zotac, and Galaxy will have cards available shortly; PNY noted that they're getting some of their first product samples in this week, so we should be seeing them all on the market almost immediately. We've been told that all of the cards should be shipping with $75 of in-game currency for the likes of Hawken, Planetside 2, and World of Tanks.

What does this mean for gaming? NVidia claims that it's a 6x performance increase ... over the 9600 GT, so that's not really relevant information; what's a bit more relevant, though, is that nVidia's testing suggests a ~10% improvement over AMD's 7850 in pure FPS.

We haven't tested the card yet, and by now, you all know that I'm hesitant to believe anyone's data other than my own. I intend to test a couple different variants of the 650 Ti Boost against existing, low-end nVidia cards and AMD's 7850 (ideally both 2GB and 1GB versions). From what we've been told by nVidia, the GTX 650 Ti Boost vs. an AMD HD 7850 should result in slight wins for nVidia across the board, but we'll validate as soon as possible. This will fluctuate heavily based upon game settings, of course, but our test methodology should account for most variations.

- Steve "Lelldorianx" Burke.

Last modified on March 26, 2013 at 7:40 am
Steve Burke

Steve started GamersNexus back when it was just a cool name, and now it's grown into an expansive website with an overwhelming amount of features. He recalls his first difficult decision with GN's direction: "I didn't know whether or not I wanted 'Gamers' to have a possessive apostrophe -- I mean, grammatically it should, but I didn't like it in the name. It was ugly. I also had people who were typing apostrophes into the address bar - sigh. It made sense to just leave it as 'Gamers.'"

First world problems, Steve. First world problems.

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