Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Crazy Performance For A 60 W Card

GeForce GTX 750 Ti Review: Maxwell Adds Performance Using Less Power
By , Don Woligroski, And Igor Wallossek

Last week, AMD made two announcements. First, it was dropping the price of its Radeon R7 260X to $120, effective immediately. Second, it previewed the Radeon R7 265 at $150. Today, the 260X remains a mostly-$140 card. And the 265 isn’t expected for a couple of weeks yet.

So, Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2 GB, which it says will be available by the time you read this for $150, really does battle with AMD’s Radeon R7 260X and what’s left of the outgoing GeForce GTX 650 Ti. Based on our benchmarks, we know that the GM107-powered board is quicker than both slightly cheaper cards. At least from a gaming angle, Nvidia’s pricing seems appropriate, though not particularly value-oriented.

Then again, this is perhaps the most volatile we’ve ever seen the graphics card market. If AMD manages to ship its R7 265 at $150, it’ll have a much faster card—something better-suited to battling GeForce GTX 660, currently selling for closer to $200. Gamers with modest power supplies would likely find that their best bet in a pure breakdown of performance per dollar.

It’s difficult to make this story all about frame rates when we’re comparing 60 and 150 W GPUs, though. Surely, power and efficiency have to also come into play. We tend not to dwell on those figures too intently because gamers don’t lie awake at night, worried about how many cents per kilowatt-hour they’re spending. But power does come into play when you’re eyeballing small form factor cases, when you’re trying to upgrade an old tier-one box, and when you’re mining cryptocurrencies.

In each of those situations, the GeForce GTX 750 Ti turns the Maxwell architecture’s significant efficiency improvements into palpable benefits. The card is small, for starters. Although every implementation we’ve seen thus far chews up two expansion slots, it should still fit in spaces less forgiving of longer boards. And we’re hoping to see single-slot implementations, too. Of course, it helps that 60 W of heat is easier to dissipate in the confines of a compact gaming box.

Or how about an older hand-me-down system with integrated graphics and a 300 W power supply? Without the extra connectors to support a modern discrete graphics card, you’re forced to either buy a new power supply or settle for the highest-end card with no other dependencies. Previously, that was AMD’s Radeon HD 7750. Now, it’s the GeForce GTX 750 Ti.

And then there’s the cryptocurrency mining story, which currently shoulders the blame for unreasonable prices on most of AMD’s line-up. In absolute terms, the GeForce GTX 750 Ti is just about as fast as Radeon R7 265. But again, that’s a 150 W GPU. The new GeForce uses just 40% of its power. You could throw four onto a motherboard for $100 less than one Radeon R9 290X, use less power, and achieve higher hash rates. Let’s just hope Nvidia’s Maxwell-based parts don’t similarly suffer from their own aptitude in this discipline.

In the end, there are a number of situations where Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 750 Ti cannot be matched by any card from either vendor. In other comparisons, the GM107-based card is strong, but simply priced fairly based on its competition. And then there is an as-of-yet unrealized match-up where AMD can deliver a stunning value-packed counter-punch, though we remain skeptical of Radeon R7 265’s price and availability.

Even if it is able to deliver plenty of 265s at its promised price, AMD will undoubtedly be facing other Maxwell-based part in the near future. And based on GM107’s showing, we’re excited to think about what Nvidia might do with this architecture and a 250 W power budget.  

Ask a Category Expert

Create a new thread in the Reviews comments forum about this subject

Example: Notebook, Android, SSD hard drive

Display all 232 comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 17 Hide
    Sangeet Khatri , February 18, 2014 6:21 AM
    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.
  • 12 Hide
    meluvcookies , February 18, 2014 6:08 AM
    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.
  • 11 Hide
    cangelini , February 18, 2014 6:18 AM
    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.
Other Comments
  • 12 Hide
    meluvcookies , February 18, 2014 6:08 AM
    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.
  • -5 Hide
    s3anister , February 18, 2014 6:11 AM
    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.
  • 0 Hide
    Bloob , February 18, 2014 6:17 AM
    Ah, I just love some healthy competition.
  • 0 Hide
    Bloob , February 18, 2014 6:18 AM
    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.
  • 11 Hide
    cangelini , February 18, 2014 6:18 AM
    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.
  • 17 Hide
    Sangeet Khatri , February 18, 2014 6:21 AM
    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.
  • 0 Hide
    houldendub , February 18, 2014 6:30 AM
    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 Hide
    Randy David , February 18, 2014 6:32 AM
    Anybody else notice the lesser shaders and TMUs on the Zotac card in GPU-Z?
  • 4 Hide
    thdarkshadow , February 18, 2014 6:34 AM
    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
  • 0 Hide
    houldendub , February 18, 2014 6:42 AM
    Quote:
    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 Hide
    jeraldtapz , February 18, 2014 6:45 AM
    As an AMD Fan, I'm impressed. Currently thinking in buying one.
  • 1 Hide
    logainofhades , February 18, 2014 6:49 AM
    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 Hide
    09mlb86 , February 18, 2014 6:52 AM
    Why does GPU-Z report 960 Stream Processors for MSI and Gigabyte?
  • 6 Hide
    DryCreamer , February 18, 2014 6:55 AM
    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
  • 0 Hide
    Gman450 , February 18, 2014 6:57 AM
    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 Hide
    GAMER4000 , February 18, 2014 6:59 AM
    How can this be practically as fast as a R7 265 when it is 25% faster in BF4??
  • 3 Hide
    GAMER4000 , February 18, 2014 7:04 AM
    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??
  • 8 Hide
    keyrock , February 18, 2014 7:07 AM
    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.
  • 0 Hide
    farky84 , February 18, 2014 7:07 AM
    Maybe I have missed something but why don't we see the GTX 760 in the comparison?
  • 0 Hide
    cangelini , February 18, 2014 7:07 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    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!
Display more comments