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Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 & 1050 Ti Review

How We Tested GeForce GTX 1050 & 1050 Ti

The Radeon RX 460 launched roughly two and a half months ago. Since then, Sapphire asked for its Nitro Radeon RX 470 card back, AMD dropped Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.10.2, and several new games were introduced (most notably, Battlefield 1). So, we made a couple of changes.

First, we replaced Sapphire’s RX 470 with Asus’ Strix RX 470. The Asus card’s GPU operates at 1250 MHz (compared to 1216 MHz) with 1650 MHz GDDR5.

Second, we added Battlefield 1 in DirectX 12 mode to our suite. The original plan was to pile one more game on top of the existing collection, but Hitman started returning v-sync-limited numbers on AMD and Nvidia cards, even with v-sync disabled, so we pulled that title for further testing.

Between those two changes, we decided to completely re-test the RX 470 and 460 using AMD’s latest drivers, in addition to adding GeForce GTX 1050 and 1050 with Nvidia’s 375.57 build.

Important Availability Information

Neither Nvidia nor its partners were able to supply our German team with a non-Ti version of the GeForce GTX 1050 in time for this review. Moreover, the German lab received a different 1050 Ti entirely. Consequently, our power, thermal, and acoustic results come from MSI's GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Gaming X 4 GB, which operates at higher clock rates than the U.S. team's GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4G OC, sports a beefier cooler, and exposes a six-pin power connector.

While this certainly isn't ideal, since we cannot correlate the performance charts and other environmental measurements, consider it representative of day-one availability. The 1050 Tis are rare, and vanilla 1050s are being paper-launched.

Core Clock (Reference)Memory Clock (Reference)
MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4G OC1341 MHz (1290 MHz)1750 MHz (1750 MHz)
MSI GeForce GTX 1050 2G OC1404 MHz (1354 MHz)1750 MHz (1750 MHz)
EVGA GeForce GTX 950 FTW Gaming ACX 2.0 2GB1203 MHz (1024 MHz)1652 MHz (1652 MHz)
GeForce GTX 760 2GB888 MHz (888 MHz)1450 MHz (1450 MHz)
GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB1200 MHz (1200 MHz)1350 MHz (1350 MHz)
Sapphire Nitro Radeon RX 460 OC 4GB1250 MHz (1200 MHz)1750 MHz (1750 MHz)
Asus Strix RX 470 OC Edition1270 MHz (926 MHz)1650 MHz (1650 MHz)
Radeon R9 270X 2GB1050 MHz (1050 MHz)1400 MHz (1400 MHz)

As far as platform hardware goes, this passage from our Radeon RX 460 review still applies: “As we shift from big GPUs that beg for potent platforms to more mainstream graphics cards, the editors start debating whether to use lower-end hardware in our reviews. This is particularly relevant with low-level APIs like DirectX 12 and Vulkan in play. For now, though, in the interest of fairness, we’re sticking with our Core i7-6700K-based test bed. After all, we’ve already benchmarked everything from Nvidia’s Titan X to AMD’s RX 470 on the same configuration. But rest assured we’ll circle back once AMD and Nvidia slow down with these launches to explore the topic in more depth. By then we hope to have one or two more shipping DX12-based titles to test with, too.

Benchmarks

Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1050 family targets the same 1920x01080 resolution and e-sports demographic as AMD’s Radeon RX 460, so we’re pretty happy re-using the games and settings from that card’s evaluation. Again, we’re adding Battlefield 1 and removing Hitman for the time being. This leaves us with two DirectX 12 titles, one Vulkan game, four DirectX 11 tests, and StarCraft II, based on DirectX 9.

  • DirectX 12, Standard quality preset, built-in benchmark
  • DirectX 12, Medium quality preset, custom benchmark, 60-second PresentMon recording
  • Vulkan, High quality preset, custom benchmark, 60-second PresentMon recording
  • DirectX 11, High quality settings, 2x MSAA, built-in benchmark (test five), 110-second Fraps recording
  • DirectX 11, Medium quality settings, DS4X/SMAA anti-aliasing, Medium texture resolution, Nürburgring Sprint, 100-second Fraps recording
  • DirectX 9, Ultra quality preset, Polt vs. Snute 2016 Circuit Match, 100-second Fraps recording from 3:00 mark
  • DirectX 11, Medium quality settings, HairWorks disabled, custom Tom’s Hardware benchmark, 100-second Fraps recording
  • DirectX 11, Quality preset '7', custom benchmark, 60-second Fraps recording

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  • Corwin65
    Seeing pricing at $200 for the 1050 Ti.
    Reply
  • ingtar33
    yeah, no way in heck the 1050 sells at 110, probably will be much closer to 150-170
    Reply
  • WildCard999
    EVGA GTX 1050 ti around $150
    http://www.evga.com/Products/ProductList.aspx?type=0&family=GeForce+10+Series+Family&chipset=GTX+1050+Ti
    EVGA GTX 1050 around $120
    http://www.evga.com/Products/ProductList.aspx?type=0&family=GeForce+10+Series+Family&chipset=GTX+1050

    It will probably be about $20-$30 more for the SSC & FTW versions.
    Reply
  • elbert
    Leaks suggested the 1050ti is as fast as the 960 and R9 280. I would love to have seen if that was true. My 280 is getting old and needs an upgrade. Any chance those can be added to the benchmarks?
    Reply
  • tslot05qsljgo9ed
    Blind Troll

    Zortac GTX 1050 Mini: $109.95
    Zortac GTX 1050 Ti Mini: $139.95

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&IsNodeId=1&Description=1050&bop=And&SrchInDesc=zotac&Page=1&PageSize=36&order=BESTMATCH
    Reply
  • Onus
    I wonder if a low-profile single-slot GTX1050 will come out...
    Reply
  • Corwin65
    18776894 said:
    Blind Troll

    Zortac GTX 1050 Mini: $109.95
    Zortac GTX 1050 Ti Mini: $139.95

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&IsNodeId=1&Description=1050&bop=And&SrchInDesc=zotac&Page=1&PageSize=36&order=BESTMATCH

    If you're in the market snag one of those before prices jump.
    Reply
  • cdrkf
    @Elbert no way the 1050ti is going to best the 280, it's just not got enough resources behind it.

    You'd be far better looking at an RX 470 / 480 card or one of the 1060 cards imo. The only advantage to the 1050ti over your current card is lower power consumption, although the 280 isn't that bad anyhow.
    Reply
  • artk2219
    All I am seeing is a nice pricewar brewing for the midrange segment. The RX 460 needs to drop to 90 to 95. and the 470 should ideally drop to 150 to 160. On Nvidias end the 1050 is just fine at 110, but the ti needs to drop to 130 to 135. Either way, i would save a little more and take a used R9 290 over any of them, but thats me. The only real reason to be crazy excited about the 1050, is if your limited to a single slot case and need a low power but decent performance card. In which case the 1050's are an excellent option, we really could use a nice single slot card.
    Reply
  • spdragoo
    @Elbert: Didn't find direct comparisons to the R9 280, but Techspot's review showed benchmark comparisons to the R9 380 (which is pretty much on par with the 280):

    http://www.techspot.com/review/1269-nvidia-geforce-gtx-1050/

    @CDRKF: Technically, you're correct: the GTX 1050Ti didn't (consistently) put in a better performance than the GTX 960 or R9 380. However, there were a couple of games that it beat them in (beating the 960 more often than the 380), & even when it didn't beat them its performance was right in the ballpark. To me, that says that either the 1050 or 1050Ti would make an excellent card for someone wanting to replace a broken R9 280/280 or GTX 960, but doesn't have the budget for a GTX 1060 or RX 470/480, & especially a good choice for someone whose system (*cough* OEM garbage *cough*) doesn't allow them to use a GPU that requires PCIe power connectors...as long as they're not expecting to game any higher than 1080p resolutions.
    Reply