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.

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Summary

The MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GAMING X (and subsequently the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU) is a beast of a budget gaming card. Today NVIDIA launched the GeForce GTX 1050 and GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Pascal architecture based GPUs. These GPUs utilize the 14nm FinFET process and pack a lot of performance and clock speed into a small package. The GeForce GTX 1050 Ti has an MSRP of $139 and the GeForce GTX 1050 has a $109 MSRP.

We evaluated the MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GAMING X video card today which sports a modest factory overclock. The factory overclock, combined with MSI’s solid custom hardware and cooling allows the boost clock to rise to 1747MHz when gaming. Yet, this video card still had overclocking potential all the way up to 1911MHz on the GPU and 8GHz on the memory further boosting performance. The price of this video card is a bit higher than the reference MSRP, at around $164.99 currently.

Now, at $139 the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti is pointed directly at the $139 AMD Radeon RX 460 4GB video card. Since that is the case we used an XFX Radeon RX 460 Double Dissipation 4GB video card for evaluation. This video card is actually priced slightly higher at $149. Compared to the MSI GTX 1050 Ti GAMING X that means it is about $15 cheaper, the video cards are only $15 apart, which is very close. The XFX RX 460 DD 4GB video card also carries with it a factory overclock. Therefore, we are comparing the best of the best, factory overclock to factory overclock to similarly priced video cards. If you are curious about where the Radeon RX 470 lines up, even the cheapest one at $199 is still way outside of the price range of the MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GAMING X at $164. Therefore, an overclocked RX 460 4GB card makes sense price-wise, to compare to, as we have done.

Gaming Experience

Despite the price of the AMD Radeon RX 460 4GB and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti being similar, the performance is most certainly not. We experienced some very large performance differences. A few games were in excess of 30% better performance playing on the MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GAMING X versus the XFX Radeon RX 460 DD 4GB video card. One game was even 40% faster. Other games were still significantly faster. Even in games that utilized DX12, Async Compute, and the Vulkan API still favored the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti in noticeable performance advantages.

Either AMD has overpriced its Radeon RX 460, or NVIDIA has underpriced its GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. As it stands right now, one does not equal the other. At similar prices the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti is superior in gameplay performance and experience in every single game. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti murders the AMD Radeon RX 460 4GB. It’s carnage on an epic scale.

Even if you do not bring the competition in to it, the MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GAMING X still allowed a very impressive level of gameplay experience at 1080p for this price under $200. Let’s get this straight, the GTX 1050 Ti is most definitely a 1080p video card. It is not suited to 1440p gaming in any way.

At 1080p it delivers an impressive gameplay experience. In games like Battlefield 1 and Gears of War 4 we were either at, or near the highest game settings. BF1 was at the highest game settings in fact. In Gears we were only one notch away, and we were able to maintain the highest texture quality. Deus EX and Witcher 3 were demanding, but in the case of Deus Ex Mankind Divided we are only talking "Medium" settings, it’s not like we had to drop to low or anything. In fact, in no games did we have to use any low settings at all. The quality settings of "Medium" or "High" in games was common at 1080p.

Overclocking

Overclocking was very impressive on the MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GAMING X. Consider that the base clock is supposed to be 1290MHz and the boost clock is supposed to be 1392MHz. Our MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GAMING X was running a smooth and steady 1747MHz without touching anything. We were then able to bring it up even further to 1911MHz without even having access to voltage control. It’s impressive and should give hardware enthusiasts something fun to play with that does provide a performance improvement.


The Bottom Line

What more is there to say? NVIDIA has a real winner on its hands with the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. NVIDIA brought the performance hammer and didn’t gouge our pockets at the same time, which is a breath of fresh air. The GeForce GTX 1050 Ti annihilates the AMD competition and provides a great level of 1080p gameplay experience for a decent asking price of $139.

MSI has built a very solid and overclockable video card with the MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GAMING X. It ships with a factory overclock that really boosts performance to high levels. In addition, it allows for further overclocking making this video card a monster of performance in games at an appealing asking price.

It is priced higher than the reference GTX 1050 Ti MSRP, at $164.99 it is a $26 premium. However, compared to the competition it is much closer in pricing to factory overclocked AMD Radeon RX 460 4GB video cards which are typically priced higher than $139 as well. With the custom hardware, cooling, massive improvements on factory boost clock, and overclocking potential the extra $26 seems worth it when you look at the level of performance we got out of this video card.

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(MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GAMING X)

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