Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 review: affordable Kepler

A GeForce 600 series card for £100: good deal or not?

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Introduction

On 13 September, Nvidia launched the GeForce GTX 660 and the GeForce GTX 650. At the time we didn't have a sample of the GTX 650 to test, but we do now. High time to find out what this £100 graphics card has in store in terms of performance. 

The GTX 650 is truly a budget card from the Kepler generation. In terms of price, the GTX 650 is just under the level of AMD's Radeon HD 7770, and just above AMD's Radeon HD 7750. Nvidia is aiming the GTX 650 at the casual gamer, that want something more powerful than what integrated graphics can offer, but don't want to spend a huge amount of money on high-end graphics cards.  

Nvidia GeForce GTX 650
Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 reference card

The GeForce GTX 650 Ti and the GeForce GTX 660 are based on the GK106 GPU with 960 cores and a 192-bit memory bus, but for the GTX 650 a smaller and more affordable GPU has been used. It's called the GK107 and has been used previously in for example the mobile GeForce GT 640M.

The GK107 contains 384 shader units or Cuda Cores, which translates to less than half the power of the GTX 660. The memory controller is 128-bit. The chip contains about 1.3 billion transistors, compared to the 2.5 billion of the GK106 and the 3.5 billion of the GK104. GTX 650 cards are clocked standard at 1058 MHz, but don't have a turbo mode. To keep the cost down, the cards have 1 GB video RAM clocked at 1250 MHz. The TDP is 64 watts, but to be safe a 6-pin PEG connector is included.

Below you can see the differences between the GTX 650, GTX 650 Ti and GTX 660.

General
 
BrandNvidiaNvidiaNvidia
Product nameGeForce GTX 650GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GBGeForce GTX 660
Product codeGeForce GTX 650GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GBGeForce GTX 660
DetailsProduct infoProduct infoProduct info
Chip
CodenameGK107GK106GK106
ArchitectureKeplerKeplerKepler
Computing cores384 cores768 cores960 cores
Clock frequency1058 MHz925 MHz993 MHz
Clock frequency boost1033 MHz
Transistor count1300 mln2540 mln2540 mln
Production technology28 nm28 nm28 nm
Vertex Shader version5.15.15.1
Pixel Shader version5.15.15.1
Memory
Memory size1024 MB1024 MB2048 MB
Memory typeGDDR5GDDR5GDDR5
Memory clock frequency1250 MHz1350 MHz1502 MHz
Memory controller128 bit128 bit192 bit
Functionality
DirectX supportDirectX 12 fl 11_0DirectX 12 fl 11_0DirectX 12 fl 11_0
SLI compatible
Crossfire compatible
Integrated H.264 video decoder
Integrated VC-1 video decoder
Board design
InterfacePCI-Express 3.0 x16PCI-Express 3.0 x16PCI-Express 3.0 x16
Extra power connector
Power connector typePEG6PEG6PEG6
Thermal design power64 W110 W140 W
Length14.5 cm


two products discussed in this review

  Product Lowest price

MSI N650 Power Edition 1GD5/OC

Nvidia GeForce GTX 650, 1124 MHz, 1024 MB

Specifications Testresultaten Reviews

Nvidia GeForce GTX 650

GK107, 384 cores, 1058 MHz, 1024 MB, 128 bit, DirectX 12 fl 11_0, PCI-Express 3.0 x16

Specifications Testresultaten Reviews

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