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[nextpage title=”Introduction”]

The new GeForce GTX 650 Ti is the latest GPU from NVIDIA, targeted to video cards on the USD 150 segment. The Gigabyte GV-N65TOC-2GI comes overclocked, with 2 GB of GDDR5 memory instead of 1 GB and a better cooling solution than the standard model. Let’s see how this model from Gigabyte fared on our tests.

At USD 150, the new GeForce GTX 650 Ti is the quintessential mainstream video card, targeted to users who want to buy a good video card but don’t have the money to spend on a more expensive model. It comes to replace the GeForce GTX 550 Ti, and its main competitor is the Radeon HD 7770.

The new GeForce GTX 650 Ti uses the PCI Express 3.0 interface, similarly to its main competitor, while the GeForce GTX 550 Ti, which we also included in our comparisons, uses the PCI Express 2.0 interface. Differently from models starting with the GeForce GTX 660, the GeForce GTX 650 Ti doesn’t have a dynamic overclocking feature.

In the table below, we compare the main specifications for the video cards included in our review. The prices for the Gigabyte GV-N65TOC-2GI, the GeForce GTX 550 Ti, and the Radeon HD 7770 were researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review and do not include rebates. The price for the GeForce GTX 650 Ti was provided by NVIDIA.

Video Card Core Clock Shader Clock Memory Clock (Effective) Memory Interface Memory Transfer Rate Memory Shaders DirectX Price
Gigabyte GV-N65TOC-2GI 1,032 MHz 1,032 MHz 5.4 GHz 128-bit 86.4 GB/s 2 GB GDDR5 768 11 USD 175
GeForce GTX 650 Ti 928 MHz 925 MHz 5.4 GHz 128-bit 86.4 GB/s 1 GB GDDR5 768 11 USD 150
GeForce GTX 550 Ti 900 MHz 1.8 GHz 4.1 GHz 192-bit 98.4 GB/s 1 GB GDDR5 192 11 USD 110 – 150
Radeon HD 7770 1 GHz 1 GHz 4.5 GHz 128-bit 72 GB/s 1 GB GDDR5 640 11.1 USD 120 – 150

You can compare the specs of these video cards with other video cards by taking a look at our “AMD ATI Chips Comparison Table” and “NVIDIA Chips Comparison Table” tutorials.

Now let’s take an in-depth look at the Gigabyte GV-N65TOC-2GI.

[nextpage title=”The Gigabyte GV-N65TOC-2GI”]

Below we have an overall comparison between the Gigabyte GV-N65TOC-2GI and the standard GeForce GTX 650 Ti. Both require one six-pin auxiliary power connector.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 650 TiFigure 1: Standard GeForce GTX 650 Ti vs. Gigabyte GV-N65TOC-2GI

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 650 TiFigure 2: Standard GeForce GTX 650 Ti vs. Gigabyte GV-N65TOC-2GI

Even though the GeForce GTX 650 Ti supports four video monitors, the standard model has only three video connectors, so you are limited to three monitors with the reference model. The Gigabyte GV-N65TOC-2GI, on the other hand, comes with two DVI-D connectors, one HDMI connector, and one VGA connector, supporting four displays.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 650 TiFigure 3: Video connectors

The standard GeForce GTX 650 Ti uses a 75 mm fan on a small aluminum heatsink. One of the main advantages of the Gigabyte GV-N65TOC-2GI is the use of a better cooling solution, using two 100 mm fans on top of an aluminum heatsink. This custom cooler has two heatpipes that touch the GPU. This cooler, however, doesn’t touch the memory chips. The GeForce GTX 650 Ti has a TDP of 110 W.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 650 TiFigure 4: NVIDIA’s heatsink (top) vs. Gigabyte’s heatsink (bottom)

[nextpage title=”The Gigabyte GV-N65TOC-2GI (Cont’d)”]

In Figure 5, you can see the standard GeForce GTX 650 Ti and the Gigabyte GV-N65TOC-2GI with their cooler removed. We were impressed by how short the printed circuit boards are, at 5.7” (145 mm). Even though the printed circuit boards have the same dimensions, Gigabyte took the time to design its own printed circuit board. While the cooler used on the standard model doesn’t add any length to the video card, the cooler used on the Gigabyte’s model makes the card 9.2” (235 mm) long.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 650 TiFigure 5: Standard GeForce GTX 650 Ti vs. Gigabyte GV-N65TOC-2GI

 

Both video cards use a voltage regulator with two phases for the GPU and one phase for the memory chips. The voltage regulator circuit uses a digital design and is controlled by a uP1605 chip. All capacitors are solid. The model from Gigabyte uses better coils than NVIDIA’s reference model. That’s the only difference between the two models on this stage.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 650 TiFigure 6: Voltage regulator of the Gigabyte GV-N65TOC-2GI

The reviewed video card uses eight Hynix H5GQ2H24AFR-ROC GDDR5 chips, each one storing 2 Gbits of data, comprising the 2 GB of memory available on this video card. These chips can run up to 6 GHz. On this video card, they are accessed at 5.4 GHz, leaving you with an 11% margin for safely increasing the memory clock. Since the memory is operating below its maximum clock rate, we see no reason why Gigabyte configured this video card with NVIDIA’s standard clock rate. The reference model uses exactly the same chips, but only four of them, since it only has 1 GB of memory.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 650 TiFigure 7: Two of the eight memory chips

In Figure 8, you can see the accessories that come with this video card.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 650 TiFigure 8: Accessories

Before seeing the performance results, let’s recap the main features of this video card.

[nextpage title=”Main Specifications “]

The main specifications for the Gigabyte GV-N65TOC-2GI include:

  • Graphics chip: GeForce GTX 650 Ti running at 1,032 MHz
  • Memory: 2 GB GDDR5 memory (128-bit interface), eight Hynix H5GQ2H24AFR-ROC chips running at 5.4 GHz QDR
  • Bus type: PCI Express 3.0 x16
  • Video Connectors: Two DVI-D, one HDMI, and one VGA
  • Video Capture (VIVO): No
  • Cables and adapters that come with this board: One power adapter
  • Number of CDs/DVDs that come with this board: One
  • Games included: None
  • Programs included: None
  • More information: https://www.gigabyte.us
  • Average Price in the U.S.*: USD 175.00

* Reasearched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.

[nextpage title=”How We Tested”]

During our benchmarking sessions, we used the configuration listed below. Between our benchmarking sessions, the only variable was the video card being tested.

Hardware Configuration

Software Configuration

  • Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
  • Video resolution: 1920×1080 @ 60 Hz

Driver Versions

  • AMD video driver version: Catalyst 12.8
  • NVIDIA video driver version: 306.38
  • Intel Inf driver version: 9.3.0.1019

Software Used

Error Margin

We adopted a 3% error margin. Thus, differences below 3% cannot be considered relevant. In other words, products with a performance difference below 3% should be considered as having similar performance.

[nextpage title=”StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty “]

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is a very popular DirectX 9 game that was released in 2010. Though this game uses an old version of DirectX, the number of textures that can be represented on one screen can push most of the top-end graphics cards to their limits. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty uses its own physics engine that is bound to the CPU and thus does not benefit from PhysX.

We tested this game at 1920×1080. The “Texture Quality” and the “Graphics Quality” were both set to “Ultra.” We then used FRAPS to collect the frame rate of a replay on the “Unit Testing” custom map. We used a battle between very large armies to stress the video cards

https://www.fraps.com

Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty 1920×1080 Difference
Gigabyte GV-N65TOC-2GI 105.9  
GeForce GTX 650 Ti 94.9 12%
Radeon HD 7770 78.5 35%
GeForce GTX 550 Ti 73.6 44%

[nextpage title=”Far Cry 2″]

Released in 2008, Far Cry 2 is based on a game engine called Dunia, which is DirectX 10. We used the benchmarking utility that comes with this game at 1920×1080, setting overall quality to “Ultra High,” adjusting anti-aliasing to “8x,” and running the “Ranch Long” demo three times. The results below are expressed in frames per second and are an arithmetic average of the three results collected.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 650 Ti

FarCry 2 1920×1200 Difference
Gigabyte GV-N65TOC-2GI 66.8  
GeForce GTX 650 Ti 63.3 6%
Radeon HD 7770 58.5 14%
GeForce GTX 550 Ti 56.6 18%

[nextpage title=”Aliens vs. Predator”]

Aliens vs. Predator is a DirectX 11 game that makes full use of tessellation and advanced shadow rendering. We used the Aliens vs. Predator Benchmark Tool developed by Rebellion. We ran this program at 1920×1080, with texture set at “high,” shadows set at “medium,” anisotropic filtering set at “6x,” and anti-aliasing set at “2xMSAA.”

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 650 Ti

Aliens vs. Predator 1920×1080 Difference
Gigabyte GV-N65TOC-2GI 35.0  
GeForce GTX 650 Ti 32.9 6%
Radeon HD 7770 26.8 31%
GeForce GTX 550 Ti 25.5 37%

[nextpage title=”DiRT3″]

DiRT3 is a DirectX 11 game. We measured performance using this game by running a race and then playing it back using FRAPS. We ran this game at 1920×1080 with image quality set to “ultra,” and with anti-aliasing set at “4xMSAA.”

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 650 Ti

DiRT3 1920×1080 Difference
Gigabyte GV-N65TOC-2GI 58.6  
GeForce GTX 650 Ti 53.3 10%
Radeon HD 7770 38.5 52%
GeForce GTX 550 Ti 35.6 65%

[nextpage title=”Deus Ex: Human Revolution”]

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is another DirectX 11 game. We used the in-game introduction to measure the number of frames per second, using FRAPS. We ran the introduction at 1920×1080, configuring anti-aliasing as “MLAA,” anisotropic filtering at “8x,” shadows at “Soft,” and both SSAO and DOF at “High.” 

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 650 Ti

Deus Ex: Human Revolution 1920×1080 Difference
Gigabyte GV-N65TOC-2GI 65.4  
GeForce GTX 650 Ti 61.1 7%
Radeon HD 7770 46.5 41%
GeForce GTX 550 Ti 43.5 50%

[nextpage title=”Battlefield 3″]

Battlefield 3 is the latest installment in the Battlefield franchise released in 2011. It is based on the Frostbite 2 engine, which is DirectX 11. In order to measure performance using this game, we walked our way through the first half of the “Operation Swordbreaker” mission, measuring the number of frames per second using FRAPS. We ran this game at 1920×1080, setting all image quality options at “medium,” configuring anti-aliasing as “2x” and anisotropic filtering at “4x.”

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 650 Ti

Battlefield 3 1920×1080 Difference
Gigabyte GV-N65TOC-2GI 60.9  
GeForce GTX 650 Ti 56.8 7%
Radeon HD 7770 46.4 31%
GeForce GTX 550 Ti 44.2 38%

[nextpage title=”Borderlands 2″]

Borderlands 2 is a very recent game, released in 2012, supporting NVIDIA’s PhysX technology. We used the in-game benchmarking utility at 1920×1080, disabling PhysX, configuring the graphics settings to “medium,” anti-aliasing as “4x” and anisotropic filtering as “4x.”

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 650 Ti

Borderlands 2 1920×1080 Difference
Gigabyte GV-N65TOC-2GI 63.0  
GeForce GTX 650 Ti 58.2 8%
Radeon HD 7770 48.5 30%
GeForce GTX 550 Ti 45.5 38%

[nextpage title=”WoW: Mists of Pandaria”]

World of Warcraft is a very popular MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) that has just incorporated support for DirectX 11 in its newest expansion, Mists of Pandaria. World of Warcraft was originally released in late 2004 and has been expanded four times since then, with Mists of Pandaria being the newest expansion, released in September 2012. Blizzard, the game’s developer, has been trying to keep the graphics requirements for the World of Warcraft franchise low in order to keep its player base large.

We tested this game at 1920×1080 with image quality set at “high.” To keep as much consistency between tests as possible, we used the same flight path between Sri-La Village and Soggy’s Gamble, which are on opposite sides of the new Mists of Pandaria continent, measuring the performance achieved by each video card using FRAPS

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 650 Ti

WoW: Mists of Pandaria 1920×1080 Difference
Gigabyte GV-N65TOC-2GI 78.6  
GeForce GTX 650 Ti 74.9 5%
Radeon HD 7770 60.8 29%
GeForce GTX 550 Ti 56.7 39%

[nextpage title=”3DMark 11 Professional”]

3DMark 11 Professional measures Shader 5.0 (i.e., DirectX 11) performance. We ran this program at 1920×1080, selecting the four graphics tests available and deselecting the other tests available. We used the “performance” profile. The results being compared are the “GPU Score” achieved by each video card.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 650 Ti

3DMark 11 – Performance 1920×1080 Difference
Gigabyte GV-N65TOC-2GI

2524

 
GeForce GTX 650 Ti

2275

11%
Radeon HD 7770

1623

56%
GeForce GTX 550 Ti

1333

89%

[nextpage title=”Media Espresso 6.5″]

Media Espresso is a video conversion program that uses the graphics processing unit of the video card to speed up the conversion process. We converted a 449 MB, 1920x1080i, 18,884 kbps, MPEG2 video file to a smaller 640×360, H.264, .MPG4 file for viewing on a portable device such as an iPhone or iPod Touch.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 650 Ti

Media Espresso 6.5 Seconds Difference
Radeon HD 7770

41

11%
Gigabyte GV-N65TOC-2GI

46

 
GeForce GTX 650 Ti

46

0%
GeForce GTX 550 Ti

49

6%

[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]

Let’s first talk about the standard GeForce GTX 650 Ti with 1 GB memory. On the games we used in this review, this new video card was between 8% and 39% faster than its main competitor, the Radeon HD 7770, and between 12% and 50% faster than the video card it comes to replace, the GeForce GTX 550 Ti. For transcoding video using Media Espresso, however, the Radeon HD 7770 was 11% faster. Costing only USD 150, we believe the new GeForce GTX 650 Ti is an outstanding video card for the average user.

The Gigabyte GV-N65TOC-2GI, with its overclocking and 2 GB of memory, was up to 12% faster than the standard GeForce GTX 650 Ti. It was between 14% and 52% faster than the Radeon HD 7770 and between 18% and 65% faster than the GeForce GTX 550 Ti on the games we ran.

Speaking only on performance terms, the GV-N65TOC-2GI is not a good buy, since you are going to pay 17% more to get only, in the best-case scenario, 12% more performance. However, if you prefer to have a GeForce GTX 650 Ti with a better cooling solution, the Gigabyte GV-N65TOC-2GI may be an option. We also have to consider that we didn’t do any overclocking to the reviewed video card. We know for a fact that you can increase its memory clock to at least 6 GHz, since it uses memory chips rated at 6 GHz. Also, thanks to its improved cooling, you may be able to increase the GPU clock even more. So, the Gigabyte GV-N65TOC-2GI may be a contender if you are into overclocking video cards.