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Written by Hank Tolman   
Tuesday, 09 October 2012
Table of Contents: Page Index
MSI GTX N650Ti Power Edition Video Card
Closer Look: MSI N650Ti Power Edition
N650Ti PE Detailed Features
Testing and Results
Aliens vs Predator
Lost Planet 2
Passion Leads Army
Unigine Heaven 3.0
A New Dawn
Temperature and Power Consumption
GTX 650 Ti Final Thoughts
MSI N650Ti PE Conclusion

MSI N650Ti PE Temperatures

We're at the start of a transition: for years the PC industry has produced faster and more powerful CPUs and GPUs, which always came with ever-higher power draws. But as the industry moves to smaller and smaller fabrication processes, we're seeing power draws drop, and clever designs save even more power. Users benefit from GPUs that disable large portions of their circuitry when idle, leading to dramatically lower power draws and very cool idle temperatures. At the other end of the scale, reduced power at the higher end means smaller coolers, quieter fans, and less heat to worry about dissipating.

At the start of this test, I measure the idle temperature of the card with the card sitting at the Windows desktop, using the GPU-Z utility. Next, I start FurMark's stress test and let it run until the temperature curve flattens and the temperature has not varied more than 1 degree in the last five minutes.

FurMark does two things extremely well: drive the thermal output of any graphics processor higher than applications of video games realistically could, and it does so with consistency every time. FurMark works great for testing the stability of a GPU as the temperature rises to the highest possible output. The temperatures discussed below are absolute maximum values, and not representative of real-world performance.

Keep in mind that my testbench is open to the air, and that affects the results by a lot. Still, the Cyclone II thermal design seems to do an outstanding job of keeping the N650 Ti Power Edition very cool.

Ambient Temperature
N650Ti Idle Temperature
N650Ti Load Temperature 60C

VGA Power Consumption

The new generation of video cards-- AMD's Southern Islands and NVIDIA's Kepler-- are certainly fast, but their new power saving features are almost as impressive. The move to a smaller process has helped, but both products benefit from a variety of power-saving techniques, including aggressively underclocking and undervolting themselves in low demand scenarios, as well as turning off unused portions of the card. Both companies also use other, proprietary methods to keep power usage low.

To measure isolated video card power consumption, Benchmark Reviews uses the Kill-A-Watt EZ (model P4460) power meter made by P3 International. A baseline test is taken without a video card installed inside our test computer system, which is allowed to boot into Windows 7 and rest idle at the login screen before power consumption is recorded. Once the baseline reading has been taken, the graphics card is installed and the system is again booted into Windows and left idle at the login screen. Another power reading is taken when the display sleeps, and then I measure the power under a heavy gaming load. Our final loaded power consumption reading is taken with the video card running a stress test using FurMark.

Below is a chart with the system totals displayed in watts for each specified test product:



Windows login, no video card

56 watts

Windows login, video card

64 watts

Windows desktop

64 watts

Windows desktop, display sleep

62 watts

Gaming load

157 watts

FurMark load

215 watts

Based on the login situation, it looks like idle power consumption for the GTX N650Ti Power Edition video card is extremely low, around 8 watts. The card has a TDP of 75 watts, but I'd think that under extreme circumstances like FurMark Load, it probably gets up higher than that. The fact that the 650Ti needs a 6-pin PCI-E power input tells me it might need above that 75 watts at some point, as it can get a full 75 watts off the PCI-E slot itself.



# RE: MSI GTX N650Ti Power Edition Video CardDavid Kirschbaum 2012-10-09 08:33
"... extra $50 or $60 it will take me to get a GTX 660 for the extra CUDA Cores, the 192-bit memory bus, and the GPU boost. " Sorry, but every price I see for the GTX 660 (Amazon, Tiger Direct, NewEgg) are all $310 to $330 .. TWICE the price of the GTX N650Ti. Hardly a trivial increase. I'll go with the N650Ti .. and thanks much for the good review.
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# GTX 660 vs GTX 660TiHank Tolman 2012-10-09 08:49
Are you sure you aren't looking at the GTX 660Ti? I just looked up GTX 660 on and the first 6 are $229 whereas the GTX 650Ti's are going for anywhere from $159.99 to $179.99.

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# GTX 660 vs GTX 660TiGeorge Caldwell 2014-01-24 23:34
My 650Ti only cost me $104 dollars new with a nice warranty, So I have no idea were $159.99 to $179.99 came from. That is not enough performence increase at all to even justify paying $40-50 dollars more. Let alone a hundred dollars more.
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# RE: GTX 660 vs GTX 660TiOlin Coles 2014-01-25 07:10
The $159.99 price tag came from Tuesday, 09 October 2012. That's when this product launched and this article was published.
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