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|
|Gigabyte GV-N65TOC-2GI||1,032 MHz||1,032 MHz||5.4 GHz||128-bit|
|GeForce GTX 650 Ti||928 MHz||925 MHz||5.4 GHz||128-bit|
|GeForce GTX 550 Ti||900 MHz||1.8 GHz||4.1 GHz||192-bit|
|Radeon HD 7770||1 GHz||1 GHz||4.5 GHz||128-bit|
|Video Card||Memory Transfer Rate||Memory||Shaders||DirectX||Price|
|Gigabyte GV-N65TOC-2GI||86.4 GB/s||2 GB GDDR5||768||11||USD 175|
|GeForce GTX 650 Ti||86.4 GB/s||1 GB GDDR5||768||11||USD 150|
|GeForce GTX 550 Ti||98.4 GB/s||1 GB GDDR5||192||11||USD 110 – 150|
|Radeon HD 7770||72 GB/s||1 GB GDDR5||640||11.1||USD 120 – 150|
Now let’s take an in-depth look at 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.
Figure 1: Standard GeForce GTX 650 Ti vs. Gigabyte GV-N65TOC-2GI
Figure 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.
Figure 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.
Figure 4: NVIDIA’s heatsink (top) vs. Gigabyte’s heatsink (bottom)
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.
Figure 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.
Figure 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.
Figure 7: Two of the eight memory chips
In Figure 8, you can see the accessories that come with this video card.
Figure 8: Accessories
Before seeing the performance results, let’s recap the main features of this video card.
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.
During our benchmarking sessions, we used the configuration listed below. Between our benchmarking sessions, the only variable was the video card being tested.
- CPU: Core i5-3470
- Motherboard: Gigabyte Z77X-UP5TH
- Memory: 4 GB DDR3-1333/PC3-10666, two G.Skill F3-10666CL7T memory modules
- Hard disk drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 1 TB
- Video monitor: AOC e2243Fwk
- Power Supply: Antec TruePower New 750 W
- CPU Cooler: Intel stock
- Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
- Video resolution: 1920×1080 @ 60 Hz
- AMD video driver version: Catalyst 12.8
- NVIDIA video driver version: 306.38
- Intel Inf driver version: 188.8.131.529
- 3DMark 11 Professional 1.0.4
- Aliens vs. Predator + Benchmark Tool
- Battlefield 3
- Borderlands 2
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution
- Far Cry 2 – Patch 1.03
- Media Espresso 6.5
- StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty – Patch 1.5
- World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria – Patch 5.0.5
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.
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
|Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty||1920×1080||Difference|
|GeForce GTX 650 Ti||94.9||12%|
|Radeon HD 7770||78.5||35%|
|GeForce GTX 550 Ti||73.6||44%|
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.
|GeForce GTX 650 Ti||63.3||6%|
|Radeon HD 7770||58.5||14%|
|GeForce GTX 550 Ti||56.6||18%|
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.”
|Aliens vs. Predator||1920×1080||Difference|
|GeForce GTX 650 Ti||32.9||6%|
|Radeon HD 7770||26.8||31%|
|GeForce GTX 550 Ti||25.5||37%|
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.”
|GeForce GTX 650 Ti||53.3||10%|
|Radeon HD 7770||38.5||52%|
|GeForce GTX 550 Ti||35.6||65%|
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.”
|Deus Ex: Human Revolution||1920×1080||Difference|
|GeForce GTX 650 Ti||61.1||7%|
|Radeon HD 7770||46.5||41%|
|GeForce GTX 550 Ti||43.5||50%|
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.”
|GeForce GTX 650 Ti||56.8||7%|
|Radeon HD 7770||46.4||31%|
|GeForce GTX 550 Ti||44.2||38%|
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.”
|GeForce GTX 650 Ti||58.2||8%|
|Radeon HD 7770||48.5||30%|
|GeForce GTX 550 Ti||45.5||38%|
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.
|WoW: Mists of Pandaria||1920×1080||Difference|
|GeForce GTX 650 Ti||74.9||5%|
|Radeon HD 7770||60.8||29%|
|GeForce GTX 550 Ti||56.7||39%|
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.
|3DMark 11 – Performance||1920×1080||Difference|
|GeForce GTX 650 Ti||
|Radeon HD 7770||
|GeForce GTX 550 Ti||
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.
|Media Espresso 6.5||Seconds||Difference|
|Radeon HD 7770||
|GeForce GTX 650 Ti||
|GeForce GTX 550 Ti||
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.