Skip to main content

GeForce GTX 650 Ti Review: Nvidia's Last Graphics Card For 2012

Test Setup And Benchmarks

Nvidia's GeForce GTX 650 Ti can't be expected to deliver ample performance beyond 1920x1080, and cards in this class aren't fast enough to accelerate the highest detail settings with anti-aliasing cranked up. So, we're running today's tests at high quality settings without anti-aliasing, and then again again with the feature turned on. In many cases, we're forced to drop the quality preset in order to realize playable frame rates with anti-aliasing turned on.

We're including Nvidia's GeForce GTX 650 and 660 to evaluate the performance of Kepler-based cards on either side of the GTX 650 Ti in the company's line-up. We're also testing the GeForce GTX 460 192-bit, factoring in the capabilities of a previous-generation card. As a point of reference, our GeForce GTX 460 is very similar to a GeForce GTX 560 SE, in case you have one of those sitting around. A GeForce GTX 560 is in there, too, to represent the $170 card you could have purchased before Kepler-based boards started invading the same space.

AMD's Radeon HD 7770 stands in as the company's low-end contender. The Radeon HD 6850 and 6870 are previous-gen boards selling between $150 and $170. They're still available, and therefore still relevant to our analysis of which card to buy.

Finally, AMD recently introduced a 1 GB Radeon HD 7850, which sells for about $180. We've seen the card as low as $165 without rebates, though, so we're inclined to include it as potent competition in the same price range.

Test System
CPUIntel Core i7-3960X (Sandy Bridge-E), 3.3 GHz, Six Cores, LGA 2011, 15 MB Shared L3 Cache, Hyper-Threading enabled, Overclocked to 4.2 GHz
MotherboardASRock X79 Extreme9 (LGA 2011) Chipset: Intel X79 Express
NetworkingOn-Board Gigabit LAN controller
MemoryCorsair Vengeance LP PC3-16000, 4 x 4 GB, 1600 MT/s, CL 8-8-8-24-2T
GraphicsZotac GeForce GTX 650 Ti AMP! Edition1033 MHz GPU, 2 GB GDDR5 at 1550 MHzGigabyte GeForce GTX 650 Ti OC1033 MHz GPU, 2 GB GDDR5 at 1350 MHzReference GeForce GTX 650 Ti925 MHz GPU, 1 GB GDDR5 at 1350 MHzReference GeForce GTX 660980/1033 MHz Base/Boost GPU, 2 GB GDDR5 at 1502 MHzMSI GeForce GTX 560810 MHz GPU, 2 GB GDDR5 at 1002 MHzZotac GeForce GTX 460 192-bit675 MHz GPU, 768 MB GDDR5 at 900 MHzGigabyte GeForce GTX 6501111 MHz GPU, 2 GB GDDR5 at 1250 MHzEVGA R7850 Core Edition, Radeon HD 7850 1GB860 MHz GPU, 1 GB GDDR5 at 1200 MHzReference Radeon HD 6870900 MHz GPU, 1 GB GDDR5 at 1050 MHzReference Radeon HD 6850775 MHz GPU, 1 GB GDDR5 at 1000 MHzReference Radeon HD 77701000 MHz GPU, 1 GB GDDR5 at 1125 MHzAll overclocked cards reduced to reference specification for testing
Hard DriveSamsung 470-Series 256 GB (SSD)
PowerePower EP-1200E10-T2 1200 W ATX12V, EPS12V
Software and Drivers
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 7 x64, Service Pack 1
DirectXDirectX 11
Graphics DriversNvidia: 306.38 betaAMD: Catalyst 12.9 Beta
Benchmarks
Battlefield 3Campaign Mode, "Operation Swordfish" 60-second Fraps
Crysis 2DirectX 11, 60 second Fraps
Batman: Arkham CityVersion 1.0.0.0, Built-in DirectX 11 Benchmark
Metro 2033Full Game, Built-In Benchmark, "Frontline" Scene
DiRT ShowdownVersion 1.0.0.0, DirectX 11 Benchmark
The Elder Scrolls V: SkyrimUpdate 1.4.27, THG Benchmarks save, 25-second Fraps
Max Payne 3Version 1.0.0.4.7, Chapter 3, save 16, 65-second Fraps
World Of WarcraftDX 11, Elwynn Forest area, 30-second Fraps
  • yialanliu
    Awesome, finally something that mainstream budget users can afford from Nvidia, been waiting for ages!
    Reply
  • jimbaladin
    40% slower than the 7850 while costing 10-20% less, and 10% faster than the 7770 while costing 25% more.

    That looks like a fail to me, and don't even get me started on how late this is.
    Reply
  • unionoob
    Would be awesome if you would include HD 5770 in benchmarks vs this one too, sure its old card but would love to see how powerfull is that one compered to this one.
    Reply
  • Mike-TH
    Why would you not include the GTX 660 Ti in the tests? After all, the 650 Ti and 660 Ti should be the options of the day for upgrades - why not compare them?
    Reply
  • outlw6669
    nVidia, you really need to stop gimping your bandwidth!
    Seriously, such a waste of silicon that could perform quite a bit better if you just gave it a little more breathing room....
    Reply
  • tomfreak
    I assume the place where it cripple the 650TI is the 16ROP as well as the 128bit bus. But the 16ROP is probably the biggest bottleneck of the card, this is the only place where u cant be fix by any OCing at all.

    With 128bit bus, they could have just leave the memory speed @ 6GHz. 5400 is pretty much ruin the thing.

    Edit: btw, this is probably one of the most useful review I see for a while. 6870/6850/560/460/7770 are all there, with benchmark of AA on and off. thumbs up for u author!
    Reply
  • Wisecracker
    jimbaladin40% slower than the 7850 while costing 10-20% less, and 10% faster than the 7770 while costing 25% more.That looks like a fail to me, and don't even get me started on how late this is.
    The HD7850 and GTX 650ti are essentially the same price on New Egg.





    Reply
  • proffet
    another PhysX card I suppose..
    slightly too weak for a dedicated in my book.
    I said my book as in my opinion.
    Reply
  • Iastfan112
    Mike-THWhy would you not include the GTX 660 Ti in the tests? After all, the 650 Ti and 660 Ti should be the options of the day for upgrades - why not compare them?
    Because comparing cards in the ~150 dollar range to a card thats +280 dollars is asinine?
    Reply
  • cknobman
    AnandTech has already released an article covering AMD officially dropping the price of the 1GB 7850 to $169 for the fall season
    This means we will easily see $150 or less after rebates and officially makes this Nvidia 650ti product a total fail. I see no reason to purchase this.
    Reply