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Asus STRIX GTX 750 Ti Review: Quiet, Tiny, and Effective

Manufacturer: Asus

Quiet, Efficient Gaming

The last few weeks have been dominated by talk about the memory controller of the Maxwell based GTX 970.  There are some very strong opinions about that particular issue, and certainly NVIDIA was remiss on actually informing consumers about how it handles the memory functionality of that particular product.  While that debate rages, we have somewhat lost track of other products in the Maxwell range.  The GTX 960 was released during this particular firestorm and, while it also shared the outstanding power/performance qualities of the Maxwell architecture, it is considered a little overpriced when compared to other cards in its price class in terms of performance.

It is easy to forget that the original Maxwell based product to hit shelves was the GTX 750 series of cards.  They were released a year ago to some very interesting reviews.  The board is one of the first mainstream cards in recent memory to have a power draw that is under 75 watts, but can still play games with good quality settings at 1080P resolutions.  Ryan covered this very well and it turned out to be a perfect gaming card for many pre-built systems that do not have extra power connectors (or a power supply that can support 125+ watt graphics cards).  These are relatively inexpensive cards and very easy to install, producing a big jump in performance as compared to the integrated graphics components of modern CPUs and APUs.

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The GTX 750 and GTX 750 Ti have proven to be popular cards due to their overall price, performance, and extremely low power consumption.  They also tend to produce a relatively low amount of heat, due to solid cooling combined with that low power consumption.  The Maxwell architecture has also introduced some new features, but the major changes are to the overall design of the architecture as compared to Kepler.  Instead of 192 cores per SMK, there are now 128 cores per SMM.  NVIDIA has done a lot of work to improve performance per core as well as lower power in a fairly dramatic way.  An interesting side effect is that the CPU hit with Maxwell is a couple of percentage points higher than Kepler.  NVIDIA does lean a bit more on the CPU to improve overall GPU power, but most of this performance hit is covered up by some really good realtime compiler work in the driver.

Asus has taken the GTX 750 Ti and applied their STRIX design and branding to it.  While there are certainly faster GPUs on the market, there are none that exhibit the power characteristics of the GTX 750 Ti.  The combination of this GPU and the STRIX design should result in an extremely efficient, cool, and silent card.

Click to read the rest of the review of the Asus STRIX GTX 750 Ti!

The STRIX Asus GTX 750 Ti

Asus has several levels of products ranging from the default reference designs up to the ROG series of products that define the high end.  The STRIX branding takes many of the build quality characteristics of the ROG series, but applies a higher efficiency, cool and quiet philosophy to those products.  STRIX typically offers higher overall performance than reference designs, but the focus is on keeping these products as quiet as possible.

There are relatively few changes to the STRIX GTX 750 Ti as compared to the stock unit, but the ones that are present have a big impact on the quality of the product.  First and foremost Asus has designed a heatsink that is simply overkill for a GTX 750 Ti.  This dual slot cooler features a unibody aluminum construction that also implements two heatpipes with direct contact to the GPU.  The two 80 mm fans can push a significant amount of air over the cooler when going full bore.  What is unique about this dual fan design is that there is enough thermal capacity in the heatsink by itself that under reasonable workloads the cooling fans will not even spin.  Once the temperature of the GPU reaches a certain threshold, then the cooling fans will start to spin slowly.  Only under pretty extreme circumstances will the fans ever start spinning enough for a user to hear.

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The contents are pretty bare, even for a $159 card. The packaging is very good though, it is unlikely the card would suffer major damage in shipping.

The STRIX GTX 750 Ti also utilizes many of the higher end power components to improve stability and increase the lifespan of the product.  At a TDP of less than 75 watts, the power phase requirements for the GTX 750 Ti are pretty minimal.  Asus still provides an upgraded design with the higher end components, even in this midrange-budget oriented card.  In theory the upgraded design and component choices should lose less power to heat.  This should give better overclocking headroom even without the external PCI-E power connector to provide more juice to the card.

The overall design has some interesting compromises.  Asus has removed the second DVI port from the reference GTX 750 Ti design.  It only features a single dual link DVI port, a DisplayPort, and a HDMI port.  The DVI port can be connected to a DVI to VGA adapter, but those are becoming more and more rare (thankfully).  The loss of one DVI port does give extra room on the backplate for the outward facing vent.  This vent is somewhat superfluous though, as the airflow from the heatsink is not directed towards the opening.  This is really not all that problematic though, as we are still dealing with a chip that does not produce a significant amount of heat in the first place.

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February 26, 2015 | 10:12 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

another 750ti article? yawn.......

February 26, 2015 | 11:07 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Josh you are so vain!

February 26, 2015 | 01:00 PM - Posted by Josh Walrath

I bet you think this article is about you.

March 3, 2015 | 10:30 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Have some class, you represent PCper.

March 3, 2015 | 10:35 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

and he is doing it perfectly

February 26, 2015 | 12:27 PM - Posted by Wunderkidd (not verified)

This is more exciting. Crysis running on a 750ti at high settings at consistent 30fps. You really got to watch the video to believe it

February 27, 2015 | 06:23 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

so now quiet, tiny and effective is a synonymous for slow and expensive ?

February 27, 2015 | 09:00 AM - Posted by Josh Walrath

Pretty sure I did discuss how it was a more expensive proposition as compared to the faster R9 270 and 270X. Or how a R9 280 is only about $20 more when on special.  It isn't a slow card, it is just expensive as compared to other competing products in that very compressed space.

February 27, 2015 | 05:26 PM - Posted by coolcowboy777

MMMM all this people criticizing to this guy who wrote this article , but what i found funny about them is that all they are ANONYMOUS , those people are so coward that they don´t even want to let their names to defend what they are talking about o.O , great article BTW, i have this graphic card pretty amazing card and LOW energy consumption , here in Latin America in countries like Basil or Mexico to have a high energy consumption or Not, is the difference between to pay 50 dollars every two months or to have to pay 140 dollars for the same couple of months. Great product for a greener planet for any region. USA produce 25 % or more of the pollution on this planet ,and they are only about 4 % of the population on earth, you have to care for this kind of products beyond the performance or the price. Our planet will appreciate that!

February 27, 2015 | 09:38 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

"it is still a potential bottleneck for certain gaming scenarios"

If you're going to point this out more than once perhaps do a little research so you can report how MUCH this would be in a worst-case scenario.

I can tell you. It only happens in some very high resolution scenarios like 4K, probably NEVER happen to most people, and when it does it's a very minor thing.

They tested this extensively when the 970/980 cards came out and the results can easily be applied to the GTX750Ti since the processing vs memory bandwidth is proportional.

March 2, 2015 | 06:08 AM - Posted by Gamer Squad TV

Hi guys.
This is my first time comenting. Great review, I own a EVGA GTX 750 ti SC and it runs great at 1080p High Settings. I'm getting 60+ FPS on most of my games. I saw a Gigabyte 750 ti advertising 4k support with 2 HDMI, how is this possible? Anyway Thanks for the Review.

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