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Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB

We got our Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti without any packaging except for an antistatic pack. The card looks modest, being a mere 145 mm long.

The black PCB matches the black plastic of the cooler. The latter seems to be huge, but that’s only an illusion because the PCB is perhaps the smallest among all gaming graphics cards.

The Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti is equipped with two dual-link DVI and one mini-HDMI 1.4a connector.

We can see a standard 6-pin power connector in its usual location:

According to its specs, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti consumes up to 110 watts of power. A computer with one such card is recommended to have a 400-watt or higher PSU. Products of this class lack connectors for SLI configurations.

The exceedingly simplified PCB features a 3-phase power system with two phases for the GPU and one for the memory chips.

The memory chips are all placed on the face side of the PCB although there are bonding pads for them on the reverse side, too. The GK106 GPU has no protective frame, so you should be especially careful when removing or installing a cooler on it. Our sample of the GPU is revision A1 and is dated the 30th week of 2012.

As opposed to the GK106, which is installed on the GeForce GTX 660, the GPU of the GTX 650 Ti has only 768 unified shader processors, 64 texture-mapping units and 16 raster operators (we can remind you that the GPU configuration of the GTX 660 is 960/80/24). The GPU clock rate is lower as well. Instead of base and boost frequencies of 980 and 1033 MHz, the GPU works at 928 MHz without any boost mode. This didn’t prevent graphics card makers from releasing pre-overclocked versions of this product as we will see shortly.

The GeForce GTX 650 Ti may come with 1 or 2 gigabytes of GDDR5 memory. Our sample carries 1 gigabyte in four FCBGA-packaged chips from Hynix Semiconductor labeled H5GQ2H24AFR R0C.

That’s the fastest kind of chips Hynix offers right now as they are rated for 6000 MHz. However, the reference GeForce GTX 650 Ti has a memory frequency of only 5400 MHz. Coupled with the 128-bit bus, this means a memory bandwidth of 86.4 GB/s. Not much by today’s standards, but we’re dealing with an entry-level graphics card after all.

Here is a summary of the reference GeForce GTX 650 Ti specs:

The cooling system is exceedingly simple, consisting of an aluminum heatsink and a plastic casing with an 80mm fan.

There’s too much thermal grease here.

To test the thermals of the reviewed graphics cards we are going to use five consecutive runs of  a pretty resource-consuming Aliens vs. Predator (2010) game with the highest image quality settings in 1920x1080 resolution with 16x anisotropic filtering and MSAA 4x antialiasing. We used MSI Afterburner 2.3.0 and GPU-Z 0.6.6 as monitoring tools. This test was performed inside a closed system case at 23°C room temperature. All thermal tests were carried out before we took the card apart, i.e. with its default thermal interface still intact.

Let’s see how this simple cooler copes with the GeForce GTX 650 Ti when its fan is regulated automatically or set at the maximum speed.

Auto fan mode

Maximum fan speed

The cooler’s performance is good enough for its primitive design. The GPU is only 65°C hot in the automatic fan regulation mode when the fan works at 26% speed. At the full speed of the fan, the GPU is 57°C hot. The noise factor will be discussed later on.

It was quite exciting for us to overclock our Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti. By increasing the memory frequency step by step, we reached 7200 MHz (or +33.3%) whereas the GPU was stable after our raising its clock rate by 160 MHz (+17.2% to its default clock rate).

That’s just excellent for such a cheap graphics card. In fact, it is the best combined (GPU+memory) result in this test session. The final clock rates of our Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti were 1088/7200 MHz:

When overclocked, the GPU got a mere 1°C hotter. Its peak temperature was 68°C:

And the fan seemed to rotate at the same speed as before.

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