Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 & 1050 Ti Review

Power Consumption Results

Measurement Methodology & Graphical Illustration

The measurement and analysis software we're gradually transitioning to, PresentMon, integrates a whole host of sensor data with the frame time measurements. We’re including the reader-friendly version of our oscillography measurement graphs as well, of course.

The measurement intervals are twice as long. There's also a hardware-based low-pass filter and software-based variable filter in place (the latter is a feature of the software used to analyze data; it's designed to evaluate the plausibility of very short load peaks and valleys). The resulting curves are a lot smoother than the old ones; we hope you derive more value from them as a result.

You'll find more information about our power consumption test methodology in The Math Behind GPU Power Consumption And PSUs.

You'll find a larger number of bar graphs, and higher-resolution versions of our power consumption charts that you can expand by clicking on them. We restructured our topic sections, added more comparison bar graphs, and, finally, added different scenarios to our measurements. In addition to power consumption, we also examine current to determine whether the graphics card stays within all of its relevant specifications. Our test equipment doesn't change, though:

Power Consumption Measurement

Test Method
Contact-free DC Measurement at PCIe Slot (Using a Riser Card)
Contact-free DC Measurement at External Auxiliary Power Supply Cable
Direct Voltage Measurement at Power Supply

Test Equipment
2 x Rohde & Schwarz HMO 3054, 500MHz Digital Multi-Channel Oscilloscope with Storage Function
4 x Rohde & Schwarz HZO50 Current Probe (1 mA - 30 A, 100 kHz, DC)
4 x Rohde & Schwarz HZ355 (10:1 Probes, 500 MHz)
1 x Rohde & Schwarz HMC 8012 Digital Multimeter with Storage Function

Power Consumption at Different Loads

In addition to our usual measurements, we're also including some additional games, rendering paths, and quality settings. With the sole exception of Metro: Last Light, resolution is being limited to 1920x1080. These entry-level graphics cards just aren’t meant for any more than that.

This time around, we're using the values from our highest sustainable overclock to represent peak power consumption (we went as high as 1911 MHz). Nvidia's 75 W power target didn't seem to be a limiting factor; we increased the target by 25% and didn't see consumption rise at all. In other words, the 1050 Ti hit its limit at that frequency.

Let’s take a look at how total power consumption evolves during the warm-up pass.

It’s plain to see that consumption stays about the same, which tells us that there are no significant losses all the way up to the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Gaming X 4 GB’s operating temperature.

Power Connector Load Distribution

Now we can examine power consumption more closely by looking at its distribution across two 12V rails (the motherboard slot and six-pin connector) during a realistic gaming load and a stress test.

Registering just 36 W during the stress test and 21 W while gaming, the motherboard slot is barely used. This is due to the fact that just one of the GPU power supply’s three phases (the memory modules) and the board components (fans and LED) draw from it. The other two GPU power supply phases are routed through the six-pin connector instead. And that's why MSI includes it. The 70 W that the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Gaming X 4 GB draws at stock settings are already higher than the 66 W maximum you can see through the motherboard slot, according to the PCI-SIG’s specs.

Here are the corresponding graphs for gaming and our stress test. Click on them for a larger version.

The PCI-SIG’s specifications only apply to current, meaning power consumption results on their own don't tell the whole story. Our readings put the motherboard slot well below 3 A. Given a ceiling of 5.5 A, the card has plenty of room to spare. This is hardly surprising in light of our low power consumption measurements for this connector. The 5.5 A figure would have been slightly exceeded if it wasn't for that six-pin connector, though.

We also have larger graphs for the current measurements.

We would have loved to test GeForce GTX 1050 Ti and vanilla 1050 cards without power connectors as well, since those are the ones flirting with the motherboard slot's ceiling. But as we explained on page three, the launch sampling just wasn't what we hoped it'd be.

Power Consumption Comparison with Other Graphics Cards

Finally, we’d like to know how GeForce GTX 1050 Ti stacks up against other cards. We're using the peak power consumption numbers for this comparison because that's what we presented previously.

It’s interesting that GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Gaming X 4 GB has a high possible power target at 75 W plus 25%. However, it doesn’t use it. Due to the maximum stable clock frequency of 1911 MHz, the card starts throttling just under 75 W.

MORE: Best Graphics Cards

MORE: Desktop GPU Performance Hierarchy Table

MORE: All Graphics Content

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  • Corwin65
    Seeing pricing at $200 for the 1050 Ti.
  • ingtar33
    yeah, no way in heck the 1050 sells at 110, probably will be much closer to 150-170
  • 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?
  • Onus
    I wonder if a low-profile single-slot GTX1050 will come out...
  • Corwin65
    233671 said:


    If you're in the market snag one of those before prices jump.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • elbert
    587530 said:
    @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.

    Thanks the 380 is a rebadged 285 and a bit more powerful than the old 280 3GB. The 960 tho in those test are right on par with the old 280 so yup the 1050ti is a step up.
    Thanks cdrkr for the 470 suggestion. I noticed AMD lowered the price to $169 so now im going to have to rethink my upgrade choices.
  • adgjlsfhk
    I would be really interested to see machine learning benchmarks on these cards, the 1050ti looks like it might be great for budget for to the high amount of VRAM
  • InvalidError
    387420 said:
    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.

    Casual gamers like me who cannot be bothered to spend more than $150 on a GPU they'll use for gaming only for a few hours per month can be excited about the RX460 and GTX1050(Ti) bumping performance under $150 up by a few notches too.

    I'm still running a 1GB HD5770, waiting for sub-$150 GPU to offer enough of a performance bump for me to bother with upgrading. Right now, it looks like the GTX1050 will be it if prices settle near its MSRP, with the 1050Ti being a 'maybe' if the premium gets reduced to $20 before I make my final decision between upgrading or skipping the current generation.
  • rush21hit
    Wasn't expecting the 1050Ti to be nearly twice faster than my 750Ti. Sick awesome!
    Already planned to buy 460, but considering shadowplay, this one will earn my money.

    Any word on low profile model from any vendor on this?
  • storageguru
    Thanks for the review it helped me make my choice..

    Just made a purchase for the 1050ti evga to replace an AMD 5770(had since 2009 I think) so that I can buy and play battlefield 1. I went with the 4GB though because I saw reviews where the game can use 2.7GB in 1080p play. I'm planning to use DX11 vs DX12for battlefield as the Nvidia should get better using that(think I can toggle to use either)..I hope

    My main reason pick the Nvidia over AMD is to lower my TDP. So in my case I'll be going from ~110W to ~75W :) Next buy will probably be a Zen cpu if the wattage is much lower than my FX8320. Just wanted to share..
  • Leiska
    Look at the review from Guru3d: http://www.guru3d.com/articles-pages/msi-geforce-gtx-1050-and-1050-ti-gaming-x-review,1.html

    In their tests the 1050 and 1050Ti are way further apart in performance. The 1050 consistently loses to the RX 460, while the 1050Ti beats both, often significantly so.
  • InvalidError
    2352297 said:
    Look at the review from Guru3d: http://www.guru3d.com/articles-pages/msi-geforce-gtx-1050-and-1050-ti-gaming-x-review,1.html In their tests the 1050 and 1050Ti are way further apart in performance.

    Because Guru3D ran their tests at very high or ultra presets where both 1050s are under 40fps most of the time even at 1080p instead of aiming for detail levels that yield frame rates people would actually want to play at. Once you reduce details to achieve a more readily sustainable 60fps, the memory requirement drops, the 1050Ti's extra 2GB VRAM becomes mostly unnecessary and the performance gap with the 1050 gets that much narrower.
  • artk2219
    125865 said:
    387420 said:
    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.
    Casual gamers like me who cannot be bothered to spend more than $150 on a GPU they'll use for gaming only for a few hours per month can be excited about the RX460 and GTX1050(Ti) bumping performance under $150 up by a few notches too. I'm still running a 1GB HD5770, waiting for sub-$150 GPU to offer enough of a performance bump for me to bother with upgrading. Right now, it looks like the GTX1050 will be it if prices settle near its MSRP, with the 1050Ti being a 'maybe' if the premium gets reduced to $20 before I make my final decision between upgrading or skipping the current generation.



    I'm sorry i dont mean to make it sound like you have to spend more than $150 dollars on a GPU, what i was trying to say is that if you are looking to spend that much, you can get more gpu for your buck if you go used. For the money youre spending on these GPU's you could probably find a used 290 on craigslist, ebay, or hardwareswap on reddit. Many of those used GPU's may never have been registered, and as such still probably have their original warranty's from some manufacturers, but i grant that that is a gamble many may not be willing to take. But I suppose that until the RX 470 hits the 150ish mark, it looks like the 1050 or 1050ti is the GPU to beat in the new market.
  • none12345
    "Because Guru3D ran their tests at very high or ultra presets where both 1050s are under 40fps most of the time even at 1080p instead of aiming for detail levels that yield frame rates people would actually want to play at. Once you reduce details to achieve a more readily sustainable 60fps, the memory requirement drops, the 1050Ti's extra 2GB VRAM becomes mostly unnecessary and the performance gap with the 1050 gets that much narrower."

    Different strokes and all. I personally would prefer to run a game on ultra details at 40 fps then medium at 60 fps. This is the choice i make constantly when i play games. If i drop down into the 20s, sure ill start lowering details. But 40 is plenty for me to still be rocking max details. Note i have a 144hz monitor, if i was stuck on a crappy 60hz things might be different, but i wouldn't touch a monitor with only 60hz.

    I think both tests are valid tho. Some people prefer detail over fps, and some prefer fps, over detail. Showing only medium settings or only high settings is hiding important details from the customers.

    I personally wouldn't touch a 2gb card in this day tho. 3GB would be much easier to swallow, but my limit as of now is 4GB minimum for 1080p(id possibly consider 3gb but it has to beat on price/perf by a lot to consider it).

    -----------

    These cards are about where i expected them. Honestly the 460 is doing better then i expected if you take the linked guru3d benchmarks. I expected it to look like toms benchmarks. I expected the 460 to lose to the 1050ti and the 470 to easily beat, and that's what we got. AMD currently has too large of a gap between its 460 and 470; nvidia currently has too large a gap between its 1060(3gb) and 1050ti.

    I'd take a 460 over a 1050, because i prefer to crank up details, and 2gb doesn't cut it. And id take a 470 over a 1050ti(not much more money for a lot more performance). But i prefer to buy graphics cards in a higher performance tier then these cards.
  • jeffredo
    Not a much of an increase over the GTX 950 as I'd expected, although its does it for less money and less power consumption, so that's good.
  • redgarl
    The RX 470 can be found for 160$ on internet right now with MIR. There is no way to justify the 1050 TI price. It's a no brainer, the RX 470 is worth the extra 40$ easily over the 1050.
  • Onus
    That's a good point, and a good explanation of what could make the 4GB TI indeed worth that $30. While I don't need to play on UltraMaxOhWOW, I definitely want better than Medium. If you're only going to test one setting, I believe that either "High" or "Very High" would be a much more realistic choice.
  • InvalidError
    387420 said:
    I'm sorry i dont mean to make it sound like you have to spend more than $150 dollars on a GPU, what i was trying to say is that if you are looking to spend that much, you can get more gpu for your buck if you go used.

    Sure, you can always (potentially) get more bang-per-buck by buying used but as you noted yourself, not everyone is comfortable with buying used and I am one of those who are strictly against putting used parts in my current PC: I use it for work and cannot afford to waste time on questionable parts. Also, since I leave my computer on 24/7 most of the time, I am strongly opposed to using older power hogs. A 5-10W idle power difference will make a $35-80 total difference in my power bills over the GPU's service life if I end up keeping it for 5+ years as I have with my HD5770. With AMD failing to match Nvidia on power efficiency, AMD has become a no-go for me.

    Since retiring from any sort of competitive gaming three years ago, I have become far more interested in the reliability and total cost of ownership of a GPU than performance. I'm still using my HD5770 in large part because its reliability is still spotless, despite thousands of hours of WoW and sitting in-game 24/7 for passive XP gains and attendance bonuses in F2P MMOs in its early years. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
  • n0ns3ns3
    251426 said:
    The RX 470 can be found for 160$ on internet right now with MIR. There is no way to justify the 1050 TI price. It's a no brainer, the RX 470 is worth the extra 40$ easily over the 1050.


    Following your logic, a 190$ GTX 1060 3GB is way better and should be bought over RX 470 as it beats RX 480 in many cases. and than, at just 240$ you can get the 1060 6GB, but wait, at 380$ there is an awesome 1070.
    40$ is 25-30% over. for some people it's a lot.