First Look: GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST
This review examines the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST video card, featured in reference design, available for $169.99 (Amazon | Newegg). The GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST is a 1.5″ tall double-bay, 3.9″ wide, 9.5″ long graphics card that will fit into nearly all mid-tower computer case enclosures with room to spare. GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST shares an identical profile with GeForce GTX 670, which makes it shorter than NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 570, GeForce GTX 580, as well as AMD’s Radeon HD 6970, and Radeon HD 7970 (each 10.5″ long).
A rear mounted 60mm (2.4″) blower motor fan with a slight offset takes advantage of the chamfered depression to draw cool air into the angled fan shroud, allowing more air to reach the intake whenever two or more video cards are combined in close-proximity SLI configurations. NVIDIA’s add-in card partners with engineering resources may incorporate their own cooling solution into the GTX 650 Ti BOOST, but most brands are likely to adopt the cool-running reference design.
Specified at 136W Thermal Design Power output, the GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST requires less power than its predecessor and several other flagship products. Because TDP demands have been reduced, NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST has also reduced power supply requirements to a single six-pin PCI-E power connection located to the side of the video card so it fits better into small enclosures (illustrated above).
GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST offers two simultaneously functional dual-link DVI (DL-DVI) connections, a full-size HDMI 1.4a output, and a DisplayPort 1.2 connection. Add-in partners may elect to remove or possibly further extend any of these video interfaces, but most will likely retain the original engineering. Only one of these video cards is necessary to drive triple-displays and NVIDIA 3D-Vision Surround functionality, when using both DL-DVI and either the HDMI or DP connection for third output. All of these video interfaces consume exhaust-vent real estate, but this has very little impact on cooling because the 28nm Kepler GPU generates much less heat than past GeForce processors, and also because NVIDIA intentionally positions the heatsink far enough from these vents to equalize exhaust pressure.
As with past-generation GeForce GTX series graphics cards, the GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST is capable of SLI – but limited to two-card configurations. Because GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST is PCI-Express 3.0 compliant device, the added bandwidth could potentially come into demand as future games and applications make use of these resources. Most games work well using moderate settings on a single GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST graphics card, but multi-card SLI configurations are perfect for gamers wanting to experience high-performance video games played at their best quality settings with bells and whistles enabled.
The memory subsystem on GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST delivers a 2GB GDDR5 video frame buffer that produces 144.2 GB/s total memory bandwidth at a noteworthy 6008 MHz data rate. Three memory controllers combine to build a 192-bit memory lane, which moves data more efficiently than previous designs to yield a fill rate of 62.7 GigaTexels per second. GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST is backwards-compatible PCI-Express 3.0 compliant graphics device, although card’s 192-bit memory interface makes it unlikely the added bandwidth will ever be fully saturated by the demands of this video card.
The card’s exposed printed circuit board at the backside reveals an interesting discovery: GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST uses a much smaller PCB then the video card profile suggests. Past GeForce products generally use a shroud to cover the entire length of the circuit board, but with GTX 650 Ti BOOST the PCB measures only 7.0″ of this 9.5″ card, with a 2.5″ extension to support the cooling fan.
In the next section, we detail our test methodology and give specifications for all of the benchmarks and equipment used in our testing process…