In a surprising twist of fate, Nvidia's two-year-old GeForce GTX 1650 has become Newegg (opens in new tab) and Amazon's (opens in new tab) best-selling graphics card for the time being. Unfortunately, the GPU has a history of being a terrible value option and doesn't hold a place in our list of Best Graphics Cards. Still, thanks to shortages in the market today, the GeForce GTX 1650 has grown in substantial popularity.
The GeForce GTX 1650 launched over two years ago as Nvidia's successor to the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. But in our review of the GPU, it fell flat on its face compared to rivals from AMD like the widely loved Radeon RX 570 4GB and 8GB models. Simply put, its price to performance at the time could not match what AMD offered with the Radeon RX 570. The GeForce GTX 1650's only saving grace was in its shallow power consumption of just 75W, allowing some models to come to market without the need for any auxiliary power.
We suspect the GTX 1650's popularity is due to several factors, the biggest of which is Nvidia still produces its older Turing-based graphics cards such as the GeForce GTX 1650, GTX 1650 Super, GTX 1660, GTX 1660 Super, and RTX 2060.
Another essential factor to consider is the multiple SKUs that make up the GeForce GTX 1650 as we know it today. Currently, Nvidia makes four different GeForce GTX 1650 with three other dies. First, the launch version arrived with TU117 and GDDR5 memory. Then, Nvidia subsequently released an upgraded model with GDDR6 memory (giving it 50% more memory bandwidth). Finally, the chipmaker rolled out two more GDDR6 models utilizing the TU116 die with an upgraded NVENC encoder, a TU106 model with the same die used in the GeForce RTX 2060.
As confusing as all that sounds, this means Nvidia is utilizing three different dies and two different memory models for the GeForce GTX 1650, which we believe allows Nvidia to produce GeForce GTX 1650 in massive quantities relatively quickly. In addition, the chipmaker can recycle defective TU116 and TU106 dies and repurpose them into GeForce GTX 1650 graphics cards instead of scrapping, which wastes resources.
Despite the GeForce GTX 1650's popularity from both consumers and a manufacturing perspective, scalper prices for the GPU are not even remotely close to the Turing-powered graphics card's original MSRP of just $150. For example, Newegg's best-selling Geforce GTX 1650, the MSI GeForce GTX 1650 Ventus XS 4G OC, (opens in new tab) costs $354, and Amazon's Zotac Gaming GeForce GTX 1650 (opens in new tab) sells for $324. Even funnier is the fact that MSI's model is the original GDDR5 version, and it's more expensive than the GDDR6 equipped Zotac model on Amazon.
Even when comparing scalper prices, the GeForce GTX 1650's cost is pretty stale than other GPUs you can buy for "just $200" more. For $559 on Newegg (right now), (opens in new tab) you can buy a brand new XFX Speedster Swft 210 Radeon RX 6600 graphics card that will run circles around any GeForce GTX 1650.
Ultimately though, the real reason everyone is still buying the GeForce GTX 1650 in droves is that it is one of the cheapest graphics cards you can buy today at all, that can play the latest AAA games decently well.