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HD 7790 and 650 Ti BOOST Roundup: Asus, MSI, and Galaxy

Author: Josh Walrath
Manufacturer: PC Perspective

The Galaxy GTX 650 Ti BOOST

Galaxy is a fairly well known name in the video card industry and they have a reputation for putting out products that are typically less expensive than the competition, yet still integrating unique features that will catch consumers’ eyes.  They certainly are not afraid to implement their own unique cooling solutions, some of which are more successful than others.

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This particular model is a stock clocked unit (980 base, 1033 boost, and 6000 memory) that features a non-standard display output setup.  It is also a non-standard cooling solution that reminds me of the Mach 5 racer.  The card features DL-DVI, DB-15 (VGA) and HDMI ports.  Triple monitor support is included, but the monitors will obviously all need to support these differing outputs.  My suggestion here would be to purchase this card if a user was only going to use a single monitor.  It also features the full 2 GB of memory.

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The card sports a somewhat unique color scheme with a dark teal PCB offset by the grey cooling shroud and smoked/transparent fan.  Except for the outputs, the PCB looks to be a reference design with what appears to be standard components for this class of card.  This is not necessarily a bad thing, as it allows the price to be lower for the end user.  By sticking close to the reference build from NVIDIA, the end user is unlikely to experience any real quality issues when running the card at stock speeds.

The cooler is certainly non-standard, but it is hard to say if it is better than stock.  The aluminum heatsink does have two copper heatpipes embedded into the design to help transfer heat directly from the GPU throughout the entire heatsink.  Aluminum dissipates heat better than copper, but copper transfers heat better than aluminum.  The combination of the two should help to maximize cooling without dramatically impacting the weight or complexity of the cooling solution.  The large 80 mm fan spins slowly and quietly at stock speeds.  I did tend to hear the fan speed up when the card was running a 3D application, but the noise was not annoying or oppressive in volume.  The shroud does help to direct the air out the front and back of the card.  The fins of the heatsink also are situated to direct airflow in that manner as well.  The rear panel has large openings for air to escape, so cooling does not seem to be an issue with this design.

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The bundle is very minimal.  There are the basic directions, a warranty card, driver CD, and a 4 pin molex to six pin PCI-E power cable.  The card is well protected in a double box enclosure and surrounded by think foam.  Anything less than a car running over this box should keep the card intact.  Galaxy does feature a very solid overclocking utility that can be downloaded from their site.  It covers all of the bases when it comes to power and clocks, but the aesthetics leave something to be desired.

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The current price of this card is $179.99, but expect the price of this card to come down as we are seeing other 650 Ti BOOST units starting to go into the $164 to $169 range for the 2 GB units.  This is not the catchiest looking card on the market, but it does seem very solid.  Galaxy includes a 3 year warranty with this particular product.

July 4, 2013 | 12:27 AM - Posted by aps (not verified)

You forgot to mention how to do the ole' pencil mod to enable that extra SMX unit in the 650 Boost :)

July 4, 2013 | 01:54 AM - Posted by deowll (not verified)

GTX Got the 650 Ti Boost. Not sure I understand everything about it but it is a huge improvement over the 260 that came in the computer. On the other hand this is a dell 30 inch monitor...Kind of thinking a GTX 770 might offer a little more umph.

July 4, 2013 | 01:51 PM - Posted by Josh Walrath

Yeah, a GTX 770 is somewhat of a must anymore for modern games and a 30" 2560x1600 monitor.  The 650 Ti BOOST could push the pixels, but in games like Metro it (and the others) choked.

July 4, 2013 | 03:42 AM - Posted by orvtrebor

As a side note I'm still amazed at how well a 5870 holds up considering it's age.

It really was a great card.

July 4, 2013 | 05:49 AM - Posted by rrr (not verified)

It also costed a whole lot more back in the day than either 7790 or 650Ti BOOST.

July 4, 2013 | 01:50 PM - Posted by Josh Walrath

Yes, it did.  But consider that if you had bought it new at $400, that is a pretty good investment going on 4 years and still very useable.

July 6, 2013 | 10:16 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I have had a 5850 1GB for 3 years and it works well for 1080p gaming.
Bought it for Dirt 2 mostly as it was one of the first DX 11 games I think.

July 7, 2013 | 10:18 AM - Posted by Josh Walrath

DiRT 2 was one of the first DX11 games.  I remember watching the first footage they released during QuakeCon that year.  Was really impressed... it sorta inspired me to get back into racing games.

July 5, 2013 | 04:11 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The 7790 models you tried, are both 2 GB?

July 5, 2013 | 05:32 PM - Posted by Josh Walrath

Both are 1 GB models.

October 6, 2013 | 12:51 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

How did the galaxy not win this with the better average benchmarks for games and others?

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