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GeForce GTX 750 Ti, a low-cost, low-power graphics card | REVIEW

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GeForce GTX 750 Ti, a low-cost, low-power graphics card | REVIEW

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REVIEW SUMMARY


 

These days, gamers like their graphics cards beefy. Double-slot coolers and fancy fan shrouds are typically what elicit Tim Allen-style grunts and knowing nods of approval. After all, high frame rates require complex GPUs. Billions of transistors cranking away at Battlefield 4 get hot. And all of that heat needs to go somewhere.

So if you’re coming to the table with a short, naked PCB, it’d better have a trick or two up its figurative sleeve.

Yet, Nvidia, perhaps trying to prove a point, shipped out its reference GeForce GTX 750 Ti on a less than six-inch board. With no auxiliary power connector. Sporting a little bolted-on orb-style heat sink and fan. It’s pretty much the same size as GeForce GTX 650 Ti. But without the big cooler, GTX 750 Ti is daintier than even a lot of sound cards we’ve tested.

Nevertheless, Nvidia claims that its first Maxwell architecture-based product targets gaming at 1920×1080 in the latest titles using some pretty demanding settings. Could this be the graphics world’s Prius?

Maxwell In The Middle

Maxwell’s story is intriguing, partly because of what it means to the company’s design approach moving forward, but also because Nvidia is keeping more architectural details to itself than usual. Let’s start with the design.

converging-architecture

Unwrapping the 750 Ti, I was pleasantly shocked by its size. The card measures just 5.7″ (14.5cm) and features a single-slot design. Even more impressive is that the 750 Ti doesn’t require any additional power connectors.

AMD’s R7 260X, however, requires one 6-pin power connector and it’s also an inch (2.5 cm) longer. Lastly, the 750 Ti supports up to three displays and features one Mini-HDMI port and two Dual-Link DVI ports.

DSC6507-580-90

The 750 Ti is a power-efficient video card that consumes a mere 60W. In contrast, AMD’s R7 260X eats up almost double the wattage with its 115W TDP. Nvidia’s PSU requirement for the 750 Ti is also low at just 300W, so you won’t need a beefy 500W or 750W beast to power this mini GPU. That, combined with its small size, makes it an easy upgrade for a wide swath of systems.

When it comes to specs this entry-level 700-Series card doesn’t disappoint. The card features 512 CUDA cores, a base clock of 1020MHz, and a boost clock of 1085MHz.

The 750 Ti comes with 2GB of GDDR5 video RAM clocked at 5400MHz, too. It’s worth mentioning a non-Ti version will come soon and sport 1GB of RAM and retail for $119/£90. If you’re going to run multiple monitors I’d push you toward this 2GB Ti version, as you’ll have more video RAM bandwidth for doing things across your displays.

Overclocking

I overclocked the 750 Ti by modestly increasing its boost clock to 1169MHz, using EVGA’s Precision X overclocking tool.

Doing so created no detectable stability issues, and provided a performance increase of about 5% across all games, with the exception of Batman: Arkham Origins which only received a 3% boost in performance. Noise was no problem when I overclocked the card, and it wasn’t noticeably louder than when it was stock clocked.

750 ti vs 650 ti-580-90

To benchmark the 750 Ti’s performance I d it off against AMD’s R7 260X and a Sapphire HD 7790 OC. Both AMD cards sell for $120-$130, so they’re less expensive than the 750 Ti, but not by much. The 750 Ti won every benchmark against the AMD cards, making it the clear winner in terms of raw performance.

I also tested the 750 Ti against last year’s GTX 650 Ti. When averaging all the benchmarks together, Nvidia’s 750 Ti is 22% faster than the 600 series card. The 750 Ti’s performance is impressive, as the 650 Ti almost consumes twice the amount of power with its 110W TDP. Nvidia’s 650 Ti card also features a two-slot design, so the 750 Ti is a slimmer, faster, and more powerful GPU overall.

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