GeForce GTX 750 Ti Review: Maxwell Adds Performance Using Less Power

Nvidia's GeForce GTX 750 Ti Reference Card

If you’re building a graphics card, dropping a low-power GPU onto it gives you some options. You don’t get shoehorned into a dual-slot, actively-cooled beast of a board. For its reference design, Nvidia chose a PCB less than six inches long—it pretty much ends with the PCI Express slot connector. There’s a single-slot I/O bracket with two dual-link DVI connectors and a mini-HDMI output. However, Nvidia covers the GM107 processor with an orb-style heat sink and fan that eat up two slots worth of space, so you still have to budget accordingly.

The card’s 60 W ceiling is easily satisfied by a 16-lane PCI Express slot, which is rated for up to 75 W. That means you won’t find an auxiliary power connector on the PCB (even if there are holes for one).  We’ve long been fans of cards fitting this profile because of how flexible they are. Previously, AMD’s Radeon HD 7750 was your best bet for upgrading an old decrepit box with too-little power output or not enough connectors for a decent add-in board. Now the GeForce GTX 750 Ti is gunning for that position.

Unfortunately, there’s also no SLI bridge connector. True to Nvidia’s mainstream approach, the $150 price point is right about where you lose the option to sling two boards together for higher performance. This is a competitive disadvantage; AMD’s alternatives in the same price range allow CrossFire configurations. It’s probable that Nvidia could achieve SLI over PCI Express, but the company says it doesn’t see much demand from enthusiasts looking to link $150 cards. If you feel differently, speak up. We’d be curious to see if a couple of GM107s could beat a GeForce GTX 770, for sure.

Nvidia plans to offer two versions of the GeForce GTX 750 Ti—one with 1 GB of GDDR5, priced at $140, and available later in February, and a 2 GB model that should be selling for $150 by the time you read this. Moreover, there will be a GeForce GTX 750 that ships later in the month at a price point of $120.

The initial round of partner boards includes a mix of cards eating up one and two expansion brackets, but they’re all dual-slot designs. Down the road, though, we’re told to expect dual-slot passively-cooled solutions. Single-slot configurations are also possible, though nobody seems certain that a low-profile fan can yield a pleasant experience.

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  • Sangeet Khatri
    Well.. there is not a lot of performance in it, but I love it for a reason that it is a 60W card. I mean for 60W Nvidia has seriously nailed it. The only competition is way behind, the 7750 performs a lot less for similar wattage.Let's see how AMD replies to this because after the launch of 750Ti, the 7750 is no longer the best card for upgrading for people who have a 350W PSU.I don't generally say this, but Nvidia well done! Take a bow.
    21
  • meluvcookies
    on performance, I'll take the extra frames of the 265, but damn, for 60w, I'm totally impressed by this card. both the 750Ti and the R7 265 would be decent upgrades from my aging GTX460.
    14
  • cangelini
    Quote:
    Quote:
    But without the big cooler, GTX 750 Ti is daintier than a lot of sound cards we've tested.
    I'm pretty sure you meant to type "video cards" on page one there. Cheers.
    Actually meant sound card :) It's definitely smaller than a small video card, but I even have sound cards here that are larger.
    13
  • Other Comments
  • meluvcookies
    on performance, I'll take the extra frames of the 265, but damn, for 60w, I'm totally impressed by this card. both the 750Ti and the R7 265 would be decent upgrades from my aging GTX460.
    14
  • s3anister
    Quote:
    But without the big cooler, GTX 750 Ti is daintier than a lot of sound cards we've tested.


    I'm pretty sure you meant to type "video cards" on page one there. Cheers.
    -6
  • Bloob
    Ah, I just love some healthy competition.
    2
  • Bloob
    Also
    Quote:
    It’s difficult to make this story all about frame rates when we’re comparing a 60 W GPU to a 150 W processor
    Is a bit confusing.
    0
  • cangelini
    Quote:
    Quote:
    But without the big cooler, GTX 750 Ti is daintier than a lot of sound cards we've tested.
    I'm pretty sure you meant to type "video cards" on page one there. Cheers.
    Actually meant sound card :) It's definitely smaller than a small video card, but I even have sound cards here that are larger.
    13
  • Sangeet Khatri
    Well.. there is not a lot of performance in it, but I love it for a reason that it is a 60W card. I mean for 60W Nvidia has seriously nailed it. The only competition is way behind, the 7750 performs a lot less for similar wattage.Let's see how AMD replies to this because after the launch of 750Ti, the 7750 is no longer the best card for upgrading for people who have a 350W PSU.I don't generally say this, but Nvidia well done! Take a bow.
    21
  • houldendub
    Nice little card, awesome! I feel like this would be an absolutely awesome test bed for a dual chip version, great performance with minimal power usage.
    0
  • Randy David
    Anybody else notice the lesser shaders and TMUs on the Zotac card in GPU-Z?
    -1
  • thdarkshadow
    The whole time I was reading the review I was like it isn't beating the 650ti boost... :( but then I remembered it uses less than half the power lol. I am impressed nvidia. While I make purchases more on performance than power consumption I can still appreciate what nvidia is doing
    4
  • houldendub
    Anonymous said:
    Anybody else notice the lesser shaders and TMUs on the Zotac card in GPU-Z?


    Don't take this as fact, but the drivers look newer for the Zotac card than the others, possibly just a bug with the older drivers? The cards are advertised as having 640 shaders anyway.

    Also weird, the GPU-Z screenshot is taken with Windows 8, whereas the Gigabyte and MSI cards are on Windows 7. The mystery continues...
    1
  • jeraldtapz
    As an AMD Fan, I'm impressed. Currently thinking in buying one.
    2
  • logainofhades
    I wonder how well these little guys fold? With such crazy low power consumption, these might just work for my file server. It can fold at night and game well enough, since that system doesn't play anything other than WoW most of the time. Wouldn't mind them as an upgrade for my HD 5850's and 4870's in my extra rigs. Less heat and power but still plenty capable is a win win. The first Nv card I have seriously considered in quite some time. :D
    1
  • 09mlb86
    Why does GPU-Z report 960 Stream Processors for MSI and Gigabyte?
    1
  • DryCreamer
    who would have thought? 1080p gaming with a 300 watt power supply? I can't wait to see what laptops will do with Maxwell... shame they will only sell with 768p screens :/Dry
    5
  • Gman450
    I'm impressed. Nvidia doesn't usually pull it off with most of their mid range cards, but this is just amazing performance for that wattage. Well done!
    0
  • GAMER4000
    How can this be practically as fast as a R7 265 when it is 25% faster in BF4??
    0
  • GAMER4000
    Also,the reviewer goes on about the R7 265 being a 150W GPU and the GTX750TI being a 60W one??However,it seems he has not read his own article:http://media.bestofmicro.com/3/3/422607/original/06-Power-Consumption-Gaming.pngThe R9 270X and HD7870 are consuming under 130W,and the R7 265 is likely to consume less power if the HD7850 is anything to go by.Yes,the GTX750TI has decent performance for a bus powered card,but the reviewer seems to be overstating the power consumption of the R7 265 and understating its performance at the same time. Why??
    3
  • keyrock
    That's thoroughly impressive performance for just 60W. This makes me quite excited to both see what Maxwell will bring to the laptop market, where power consumption is a much bigger issue than on desktops, and what a 200W Maxwell card will bring to the high-end gaming market.
    7
  • farky84
    Maybe I have missed something but why don't we see the GTX 760 in the comparison?
    -1
  • cangelini
    Quote:
    Anonymous said:
    Anybody else notice the lesser shaders and TMUs on the Zotac card in GPU-Z?
    Don't take this as fact, but the drivers look newer for the Zotac card than the others, possibly just a bug with the older drivers? The cards are advertised as having 640 shaders anyway.Also weird, the GPU-Z screenshot is taken with Windows 8, whereas the Gigabyte and MSI cards are on Windows 7. The mystery continues...
    Igor took his screenshots using an older driver. They're now updated with the correct driver installed!
    1