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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti Review - Maxwell Architecture debuts at $150

Author: Ryan Shrout
Manufacturer: NVIDIA

The GeForce GTX 750 Ti

The first card released based on the new NVIDIA Maxwell architecture, the GeForce GTX 750 Ti has a lot to live up to for such a small little package.  Obviously the series indicator tells us a lot about where this card will perform and where it is priced.  At $150, the GTX 750 Ti will go up against the GeForce GTX 650 Ti, the Radeon R7 260X and maybe even the Radeon R7 265 (recently announced but not yet available).  

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The GeForce GTX 750 Ti has a rather small PCB to go along with its small GPU.  Without a need for a lot of power delivery mechanisms, NVIDIA was able to design a reference card that can fit into a lot of smaller computers.  Gone also are the familiar shrouded designs of the GTX 700-series options before it.

  GeForce GTX 750 Ti GeForce GTX 650 Ti Radeon R7 265 Radeon R7 260X Radeon R7 260
GPU Code name GM107 GK106 Pitcairn Bonaire Bonaire
GPU Cores 640 768 1024 896 768
Rated Clock 1020 MHz 928 MHz 925 MHz 1100 MHz 1000 MHz
Texture Units 40 64 64 56 48
ROP Units 16 16 32 16 16
Memory 2GB 2GB 2GB 2GB 2GB
Memory Clock 5400 MHz 5400 MHz 5600 MHz 6500 MHz 6000 MHz
Memory Interface 128-bit 128-bit 256-bit 128-bit 128-bit
Memory Bandwidth 86.4 GB/s 86.4 GB/s 179 GB/s 104 GB/s 96 GB/s
TDP 60 watts 110 watts 150 watts 115 watts 95 watts
Peak Compute 1.30 TFLOPS 1.42 TFLOPS 1.89 TFLOPS 1.97 TFLOPS 1.53 TFLOPS
MSRP $149 $125 $149 $139 $109

At the heart of this card is the GM107 GPU, a 640 CUDA core part that on paper looks a little less impressive than it actually turned out to be.  Even though the GTX 650 Ti has more raw processing power, in terms of peak compute as well as CUDA cores, the higher clock speed and improved efficiency of the Maxwell design give the GTX 750 Ti the clear edge in our testing.

Even though we are looking at a completely new architecture with the GTX 750 Ti, the clocks and GPU Boost technology work in the same way as they did with Kepler.  That means you have a base clock, an advertised typical boost clock, and you can expect to see clock rates go over that top listed speed fairly often in-game.

One feature that the GTX 750 Ti card does NOT have is support for SLI which is quite disappointing.  I'm not sure if this is a technological limitation (though I am sure higher end Maxwell parts will have SLI support) or one brought about purely by marketing and product differentiation.  Most gamers that are buying $150 GPUs aren't likely to be worried about buying duplicate graphics cards for multi-GPU configurations, but, hey, the Radeon R7 260X has CrossFire implemented...

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NVIDIA went with a pair of dual-link DVI outputs and a single mini-HDMI connection for displays.  This is pretty odd to me as it means that stock cards like this will NOT be able to support NVIDIA's flagship feature, G-Sync.  The good news for potential GTX 750 Ti buyers though is that partners are implementing DisplayPort on some other models so you'll like be able to find one with the display configuration you desire.

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Even though the heatsink is small, it still takes up the space of two expansion slots.  Again, board partners with NVIDIA are already working on single slot (and even a passive) cooler designs so you will likely find them in retail shortly after the launch window.  It is worth nothing though that the cooler on this card is amazingly quiet - considering the size of the fan I expected the worst.  Even under a full load the GPU temperature never got about 65C!

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The back side of the GTX 750 Ti reference card is pretty boring as well, revealing only the number of memory chips at four.

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Even though the reference model does not include a 6-pin power connection, there are clearly demarcations on the PCB for one to be installed.  My guess is that NVIDIA was waiting until the last minute possible to decide on going full bore into the connector-less power levels.

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Here she is in all her glory - the GM107 GPU, the first Maxwell part to find its way out to the world.  The GPU is small but is actually 25% larger than the GK107 part it is replacing.  

February 18, 2014 | 09:15 AM - Posted by Martin Trautvetter

So, obvious first question:

Any improvements in scrypt performance w/ Maxwell? ;-)

February 18, 2014 | 09:38 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

There is some, but not a whole lot.  We are looking at doing some testing today on the currency applications but the lack of optimization could be a hold off.

February 18, 2014 | 11:14 AM - Posted by Martin Trautvetter

Thanks Ryan, can't wait for your results!

Oh, the simple days when one could choose a GPU based on its game performance ... I don't miss them, not one bit.

February 18, 2014 | 04:15 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

http://cryptomining-blog.com/922-the-new-nvidia-geforce-gtx-750-ti-scryp...

Not much in the way of graphs or pages of analysis but 265 KH/s and about 300 KH/s overclocked. Of course they were probably limited in the same way Ryan was when overclocking.

February 19, 2014 | 06:19 AM - Posted by Martin Trautvetter

Thanks for the link, 265 kH/s at (or below) 75W don't seem half bad!

February 18, 2014 | 09:34 AM - Posted by Pat (not verified)

Any chance this card supports hdmi 2.0? is there anything coming out soon that will?

February 18, 2014 | 09:52 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Just confirmed that the GeForce GTX 750 Ti does NOT have HDMI 2.0.  They won't talk about future products though...

February 18, 2014 | 11:10 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Are you comparing it to a plain 650 Ti or a 650 Ti Boost in the article/benchmarks?

February 18, 2014 | 11:38 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

This is the NON Boost GPU.  The GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost is EOL so I didn't think it should get in over the still available GTX 650 Ti.

February 18, 2014 | 11:58 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Yes, but I was interested since I purchased the 650 Ti Boost and looking at the Non Boost versus the Boost 650 Ti it looks like the 750 Ti isn't much over the 650 Ti Boost. (From an upgrade and price/performance perspective.)

Power consumption is nice to see, but not too much concern in a 650 Ti or 750 Ti size card, more of an interesting when the bigger cards come out.

If they did not EOL the 650 Ti Boost the comparison/benchmark charts comparing it to the 750 Ti would look a little weird I think.

February 18, 2014 | 11:41 AM - Posted by Trey Long (not verified)

Maxwell 2nd level high end should be very interesting. I'm hoping for Titan Black performance at $500 and 200 watts.

February 18, 2014 | 12:28 PM - Posted by me (not verified)

I have a couple of questions.

Is it absolutely certain that if this card had a dp output that it would support g-sync? or is that an assumption at this point?

When overclocking, does the mem or gpu clock increase affect the performance more?

Finally, do you have the power numbers on the overclock?

Thanks.

February 18, 2014 | 02:48 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

G-Sync support is confirmed yes, as long as a DP connection is present.

GPU clock definitely affects the perf more.

Ah, I didn't make a graph of power under the overclock!  But power jumped from 184 watts to 202 watts (full system).

February 18, 2014 | 01:51 PM - Posted by Fishbait

Hmm, I find it interesting that it scaled down so well when the Kepler architecture did not (with power consumption) I am really wondering how it scales into enthusiast territory considering these tweaks improved mainstream so much.

February 18, 2014 | 02:17 PM - Posted by LucAce

"One feature that the GTX 650 Ti card does NOT have is support for SLI which is quite disappointing."

I believe you meant the "750"

February 18, 2014 | 02:48 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Thanks, fixed!

February 18, 2014 | 02:25 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Ryan, long time viewer here. Great intro into maxwell. I just wish you guys still included bar graphs because the line graphs can be hard to compare one card to another if there is only say a ten or twenty percent difference .

February 18, 2014 | 02:52 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

I have had this feedback a few times.  We are going to integrate that again soon.

February 18, 2014 | 03:48 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

http://cdn.pcper.com/files/imagecache/article_max_width/review/2014-02-1...

Ryan, please update this with GPU-Z 0.7.7. It reports the GM107 specs correctly.

http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/2340/techpowerup-gpu-z-v0-7-7/

February 18, 2014 | 06:11 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Done!

February 18, 2014 | 04:37 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

http://www.geforce.com/whats-new/articles/nvidia-geforce-334-89-whql-dri...

February 19, 2014 | 03:23 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Would this card be an improvement over my 2 560Tis, or should I wait for the next Maxwell cards?

February 19, 2014 | 11:30 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

No, if you are running 560 Ti's in SLI, I would wait.

February 19, 2014 | 12:13 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Would this card be a good improvement over a single 560ti card?

Would I be better trying to get a second 560 for sli?

February 19, 2014 | 12:15 PM - Posted by gjozefi (not verified)

Would this card be an upgrade from my GTX 260?

February 19, 2014 | 12:17 PM - Posted by gjozefi (not verified)

forgot to post my PC specs:

Operating System:
Windows 2.6.1.7601 (Service Pack 1)
CPU Type:
Intel® Core™2 Quad CPU @ 2.66GHz
CPU Speed:
2.69 GHz
System Memory:
8.59 GB
Video Card Model:
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260
Video Card Memory:
4.27 GB
Video Card Driver:
nvd3dum.dll
Desktop Resolution:
1680x1050
Hard Disk Size:
492.68 GB
Hard Disk Free Space:
235.47 GB (48%)
Download Speed:
1.49 MB/s (11.9 mbps)

February 19, 2014 | 12:17 PM - Posted by gjozefi (not verified)

forgot to post my PC specs:

Operating System:
Windows 2.6.1.7601 (Service Pack 1)
CPU Type:
Intel® Core™2 Quad CPU @ 2.66GHz
CPU Speed:
2.69 GHz
System Memory:
8.59 GB
Video Card Model:
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260
Video Card Memory:
4.27 GB
Video Card Driver:
nvd3dum.dll
Desktop Resolution:
1680x1050
Hard Disk Size:
492.68 GB
Hard Disk Free Space:
235.47 GB (48%)
Download Speed:
1.49 MB/s (11.9 mbps)

February 19, 2014 | 03:50 PM - Posted by eddy (not verified)

hi so im looking into a $500- $600 maybe a little more and was wondering if i should get this card or should i wait for the amd r7 265?

February 21, 2014 | 03:05 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Ryan how do you make those "FPS by Percentile" charts in Excel? I'd like to do the same on my own, using fraps

Thanks

February 21, 2014 | 02:28 PM - Posted by Prodeous

Any Cuda testing like Blender Rendering? Would be nice to see performance improvements from Computing side.

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