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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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Chris Angelini
Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.