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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST 2GB Graphics Card Review - Revised GK106

Author: Ryan Shrout
Manufacturer: NVIDIA

Power Consumption and Conclusions

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If there is a concern about the GTX 650 Ti BOOST it falls in the area of power consumption.  In nearly every way the latest offering from NVIDIA is nearly identical to the GTX 660 card, and power is no different with total wattage draw only differing by two in our testing.  Compared to the original GTX 650 Ti, the GTX 650 Ti BOOST uses 50 watts more (!!) while also using 40 watts more than the new HD 7790 and 10+ watts more than the HD 7850.

While 10-50 watts isn't that big of a deal for consumers and DIY gamers, it can mean a lot for system vendors that depend on certain TDPs to meet goals for small form factor PCs like size and noise. 


The new GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST is a big step forward over the original GTX 650 Ti; so much in fact that I think saddling it with the GTX 650 brand is a disservice to it.  In reality the GTX 650 Ti BOOST more closely matches performance and specifications to the GTX 660 and I would guess that NVIDIA internally went through some debates on calling this card the "GTX 660 SE" or something like that.  I do worry that many users will automatically dismiss the BOOST version of the GTX 650 Ti simply because of the pre-conditioning done on the first GTX 650 Ti.

The majority of our tested games have the new NVIDIA GTX 650 Ti BOOST running faster than the new AMD HD 7790 and that includes Battlefield 3, Far Cry 3, Crysis 3 and even Skyrim.  In those games we also found the BOOST card to perform at about the same level of the more expensive Radeon HD 7850 2GB card as well which was a nice surprise.  Only in Sleeping Dogs and DiRT 3 did the HD 7790 have a chance to keep with the GTX 650 Ti BOOST.

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For gamers looking to upgrade an integrated or aging discrete solution with a target monitor resolution of 1920x1080, the new GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST makes a lot of sense.  You can't quite run everything at maximum settings but for the price, $170 or under, you can run even Battlefield 3 at Ultra settings comfortably.

Pricing and Availability

The pricing comparison below paints an interesting picture around the GTX 650 Ti BOOST.

At $169, the GTX 650 Ti BOOST competes directly against the new Radeon HD 7790 and wins handily in the most demanding games we tested them in.  In most cases, the GTX 650 Ti BOOST is also as fast as the Radeon HD 7850 that sells for about $20 more!  While AMD was hoping the Sea Islands HD 7790 GPU would be the real market shake up product this spring it appears that NVIDIA has one-upped them with the GTX 650 Ti BOOST.

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The GTX 650 Ti BOOST will participate in the currently running NVIDIA bundle campaign that will give buyers $75 in credit to use in three different free-to-play games ($25 in each game).  HD 7790 buyers will pick up a free copy of Bioshock Infinite so it is also personal preference on which software package is the most compelling.

It should go without saying that anyone that is reading this and was considering a basic GTX 650 Ti, you should no longer be doing that.  For only $20 more you can get a significantly faster GPU in addition to twice the frame buffer, SLI support and GPU Boost integration.

Final Thoughts

In a week when nothing was really expected in the world graphics card releases, we saw two new sub-$200 options from AMD and NVIDIA that both changed market lineups.  The Radeon HD 7790 offers a new piece of silicon and the first Sea Islands offering to consumers but despite the technological changes, it is the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST that shakes things up in terms of raw gaming performance.  At $169, the BOOST card is one of, if not THE, best card for the money.

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It would not surprise me to see some price adjustments from AMD almost immediately considering the HD 7790 hasn't made it to market yet.  If the HD 7790 falls from $159/169 to $149 or even lower, it will still be a highly competitive option for low cost gamers.  In truth, even with the introduction of the BOOST there are TONS of other great options within the same $50 of the GPU market.  I just happen to think NVIDIA's GTX 650 Ti BOOST is the best.

Our video review of the GTX 650 Ti BOOST and Radeon HD 7790.

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March 26, 2013 | 08:54 AM - Posted by Howie Doohan (not verified)

Nice review but gees do we really need ANOTHER low-mid range card? Couldn't Nvidia have given the GTX660 a price cut to match the 7850? Seems like an unnecessary release to me, just bring on the 7 series.

March 26, 2013 | 10:40 AM - Posted by PapaDragon

Competition Competition, too bad AMD doesn't have anything to offset the Titan's Inflated Price, anyhow,thanks for the review and the video Ryan! Great cards for the money.

March 26, 2013 | 04:02 PM - Posted by Casecutter (not verified)

I don't know if either this Boost card or the 7790 as actual vying as competition to one another, but rather plugging their suspected holes. AMD plugged their hole between 7770 and 7850 1Gb ($115-165) and Nvidia between the GTX650Ti and GTX 660 ($135-225).

I will say AMD miss the mark when it didn't get close to rumored 10% behind a 7850, but going with a $150 price. Nvidia seeing what AMD didn’t hit the mark, goes $170 for a gelding basically matching the 7850 2Gb reference trim. They’ve known for 6mo’s what that card could do and from what I see just "paper launch" this GTX660 boost gelding! Most AIB won’t offer reference cards, they’ll use existing PCB and coolers and ask $180. Nvidia cut the price of this binned gelding and AIB will use existing costs, if there was a bunch of room to budge Nividia/AIB’s would’ve just moved on the GTX660 pricing. Here’s the problem supposedly AMD couldn't move a 212mm2 Pitcairn chip lower, can Nvidia drop the 214mm2 GK106 much more now with three derivatives?

While a follow-up Bonaire at 160mm2 (25% smaller) AMD has room to move the price which they will to $125-130, and that‘s pretty much already assured.

March 26, 2013 | 11:09 PM - Posted by John Doe (not verified)

You're a moron. The so called "boost" s are nothing more than pre factory overclocks.

A "boost" card can overclock more than a non-boost one and vice-versa since it's the exact same thing.

If you look up on how the 7970 Ghz editions overclock, you'll see that they have absolutely nothing different other than having a higher stock clock, which just goes to show how pointless of a card this is to be released.

March 27, 2013 | 05:55 AM - Posted by Howhie Doohan (not verified)

Wow dude, butt hurt much? So u got jipped once just forget about it and game!

March 27, 2013 | 06:09 AM - Posted by John Doe (not verified)

I've never bought a pre-OC'ed card in my lifetime and would also like to inform others not to.

Read you dummy:

And listen:

Damn that's some high quality shit there.

March 27, 2013 | 09:24 AM - Posted by Howie Doohan (not verified)


March 27, 2013 | 09:46 AM - Posted by John Doe (not verified)


And I'm mad? Why the fuck should I listen to slow ass Joe Cocker if I'm mad?

I've argued with those like you a trillion of times before. You aren't worth my time, you're a waste of human being.

And if you were in front of me right now, I'd run you over with my T-Bird.

Have a nice day sir.

March 27, 2013 | 05:40 PM - Posted by Howie Doohan (not verified)

No offence but somehow I doubt you can afford a T-Bird. Anyway this is hilarious so learn more about DILLIGAF here:

And yes you mad. Dis-proportionally to the situation it seems. So your words say more than you realize. You should see a doctor about it and have a read here:

Peace dude.

March 28, 2013 | 04:32 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Seriously... John Doe, the reason that Howie is trying to get this rise out of you is because you are throwing insults (moron, dummy, unworthy human being -or whatever the hell you said-) in each of your posts. There needs to be some sort of etiquette training here for people such as yourself... stop belittling others.

March 29, 2013 | 05:55 AM - Posted by John Doe (not verified)

When I get my new car, I'll be posting a pic of it here.

It'll take some time though.

You two can both suck my weasel as far as I'm concerned.

March 27, 2013 | 08:57 AM - Posted by Josh Walrath

85 watts for the 7790 and 140 watts for the 650 Ti Boost?  That is a pretty hefty difference, especially considering the overall performance difference.  Funny to see how things sorta swapped around as compared to the 7970/GTX 680 releases.

March 29, 2013 | 07:33 PM - Posted by Daniel Masterson (not verified)

Did you all enjoy the John D. Show today!? What will he say next? Join us on another thread to see what happens!

March 30, 2013 | 02:18 AM - Posted by John Doe (not verified)

You won't be able to catch it THAT long.

By the time you catch my last words, I'll be over JGuru.

May 31, 2013 | 12:12 AM - Posted by Jck (not verified)

I like pie.

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