MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GAMING X 4G Review

NVIDIA is launching the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti and GeForce GTX 1050 today. These lower-end GPUs are priced for those on a budget, but still pack quite a punch. We test the MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GAMING X, overclock it, and see how it compares to the competition in the latest games.

Introduction

Today NVIDIA is launching a brand new video card in its current Pascal GPU lineup. Currently sitting at the top of the new video card series is the very expensive, and killer fast, Pascal architecture based GeForce GTX TITAN X. This video card is a $1200 dream card, and offers the highest performance Pascal has to offer in gaming on the desktop for gamers. Next down the list in performance and pricing is the Pascal architecture based GeForce GTX 1080 and GeForce GTX 1070. The GeForce GTX 1080 can be found between $599 to $699 for the Founders Edition. The GeForce GTX 1070 can be found for $379 to $449 for the Founders Edition. Next down the list on performance and pricing is the GeForce GTX 1060, both in a 6GB and 3GB model. The GeForce GTX 1060 6GB has an MSRP of $249.

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The video cards being launched today fit in below the GeForce GTX 1060 in price and performance. NVIDIA is launching the Pascal GPU architecture based GeForce GTX 1050 Ti and GeForce GTX 1050. Pricing on these video cards is drastically reduced compared to the GeForce GTX 1060. You will find the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti with an MSRP of only $139 and the GeForce GTX 1050 at an MSRP of only $109.

This is a big step down in pricing, which puts the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti squarely in the face of AMD’s Radeon RX 460 4GB video card in terms of pricing, which is also $139 MSRP. Therefore, a XFX Radeon RX 460 Double Dissipation 4GB video card for $149 is what we will be comparing this video card with. The XFX RX 460 has a slight factory overclock as well, and makes for a perfect comparison price wise to the new GTX 1050 Ti. The AMD Radeon RX 470, even at the cheapest, is way outside the pricing range of the GTX 1050 Ti.


GeForce GTX 1050 Ti and 1050

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All of the specifications are listed above. The first key importance to note is that GeForce GTX 1050 and GeForce GTX 1050 Ti are based on NVIDIA’s new "GP107" GPU chip, which is Pascal architecture based. There will also be no "Founders Edition" this time around, this is an add-in-board partner supported video card. What makes this chip unique is that NVIDIA is using a 14nm FinFET process for these chips rather than the TSMC 16nm FinFET process for its GTX 1060, 1070 and 1080. Low power, and high clock speeds were goals with this chip, and we can say NVIDIA has succeeded on those goals.

The GeForce GTX 1050 Ti will have 768 CUDA Cores, 48 Texture Units, 32 ROPs and run at a base clock of 1290MHz and a boost clock of 1392MHz. Memory consists of 4GB of GDDR5 at 7GHz on a 128-bit memory bus. Remember, NVIDIA banks on its improved Delta Compression technology in Pascal to make up for the fact it’s on a narrower memory bus. The video card has a TDP of only 75W which means it does not need an external power connector. It supports multiple display outputs.

The GeForce GTX 1050 has 640 CUDA Cores, 40 Texture Units and 32 ROPs. It runs at a base clock of 1354MHz and a boost clock of 1455MHz. It has 2GB of GDDR5 at 7GHz on a 128-bit memory bus. The TDP is also 75W and does not require an external power connector. NVIDIA claims both GPUs have incredible overclocking potential, up to at least 1.9GHz! We shall see.


MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GAMING X

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Today we will be using a full retail, custom video card from MSI. We are using the MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GAMING X version of this video card. The price of this video card does carry a $26 price premium at $164.99 versus the reference MSRP of $139. However, this video card does pack a lot of customization into it, with very high overclocking potential as you will see. When compared to the XFX Radeon RX 460 DD 4GB video card at $149 the video cards are only $15 apart which is very close, and similarly priced. The Radeon RX 470, even the cheapest one, is $199 and outside of the price range of the GTX 1050 Ti by a long shot.

There is a "GAMING" factory overclock mode, and an "Overclock" factory overclock mode on the MSI GTX 1050 Ti GAMING X The card will ship in "GAMING" mode and "OC" mode is selectable with software for even higher frequencies. We will be testing in the "GAMING" factory overclock mode.

The clock speeds are 1354MHz on the base clock and 1468MHz on the boost clock. Remember, the default clock speeds, or reference spec, are 1290MHz base and 1392MHz boost, so these are fairly nice factory overclocks. The "OC" mode goes to an even higher 1493MHz boost and 7.1GHz memory speed. Of course, the best way to get the most performance is manual overclocking, and that is what we will do.

This video card supports all the "GAMING" series lineup features MSI is known for. It supports MSI’s Military Class hardware components, it’s unique Twin Frozr VI cooler design and Torx 2.0 fans and custom lighting as well. One feature that really does separate this video card from the rest is the inclusion of a 6-pin external power connector for extra stable power for potentially better and more stable overclocking. This video card is built to overclock. The output ports this video card supports are DisplayPort, HDMI and Dual-Link DVI. The video card measures 9" in length, and there is a backplate.