|MSI GTX N650Ti Power Edition Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Hank Tolman|
|Tuesday, 09 October 2012|
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N650Ti PE Detailed Features
Taking a look at the I/O panel on the MSI GTX N650Ti Power Edition graphics card, you can see that it's pretty sparse. There is a DVI-I, a DVI-D, and an HDMI port. According to MSI, they are all independently channeled and the video card can be used to power three monitors at once. I'm somewhat dubious of this claim, as the DVI-D port (the one that is closest to the HDMI port) is almost always paired with the HDMI port. Normally, if you are going to be able to have three monitors it takes another port, like a DisplayPort to support three monitors.
The DVI-I port is the port that is farthest from the HDMI port. This port carries an analog signal in addition to the digital signal. If you have an old analog monitor and need to use the DVI-VGA adapter, you will need to use this port.
MSI has a long history of using what they dub Military Class components. Those components have gone through various generations now and the components used in the MSI GTX N650Ti Power Edition video card are Military Class III. What that means is that the components have meet the MIL-STD-810G standard for quality and stability.
The components we are talking about include the MOSFETs, capacitors, and other components used on the PCB. The high-quality MOSFETs are called CopperMOS, the capacitors include Hi-c Capacitors and Dark Solid Capacitors. MSI also includes Golden Solid State Components, or Golden SSC.
I took off the Cyclone II cooler to take a look at PWM, MOSFETs, RAM, and other components. While I was hopeful that MSI hadn't overloaded on the thermal paste because of David Ramsey's look at the GTX 660Ti, I was unfortunately disappointed. There was so much thermal paste that it had bunched up on the sides of the GPU and fallen off the edges. You can see the extra thermal paste on the back of the heatsink as well.
The MSI GTX N650Ti Power Edition graphics card has just 1GB of DDR5 RAM. Undoubtedly, some GTX 650Ti video cards will come with 2GB. The RAM on the N650Ti Power Edition is clocked at 5400MHz, or 1350MHz x4. The memory bus on the N650Ti Power Edition is 128-bits. The GPU itself, built on the GK106 core, is overclocked at 993MHz from the factory 928MHz on the stock GTX 650Ti. That's faster than the 915MHz on the GTX 660Ti, although the memory on that card runs on a 192-bit bus and it has double the RAM. As for CUDA Cores, the GTX 650Ti has 768 of them.
The GTX 650Ti background deserves some explaining here. The GeForce GTX 650Ti is built on the GK106. That's the same core as the GTX 660. The GTX 660Ti, 670, and 680 are all built on the GK104. The GTX 650 is actually built on the GK107. That explains a lot about the performance of the GTX 650Ti. Those 768 CUDA Cores are double the 384 CUDA Cores in the GTX 650. The RAM also runs 100MHz faster, at 1350MHz vice 1250MHz. In reality, the GTX 650Ti should be a match for the GTX 660 if you can overclock it to about 1GHz and the RAM up to 1500MHz. So that's what I set out to do.
Using the bundled Afterburner software, I was able to easily overclock the GPU and the RAM. Afterburner uses what MSI calls Triple Overvoltage, allowing you to adjust the voltage on the GPU, the RAM, and the PLL, or auxiliary voltage. Afterburner also gives you advanced fan speed control, the ability to capture real-time video in games, and automatic overclock testing through the use of Kombustor. Kombustor is MSI's branded iteration of FurMark.
After a lot of trial and error, I was able to get the MSI GTX N650Ti Power Edition to 1168MHz on the GPU clock and to 1650MHz on the memory clock. To do this I had to increase the voltage slightly, by .25v on the GPU and .30v on the memory. The result was an almost 19% increase in GPU clock speed from the already overclocked 993MHz and a 22% increase in RAM clock speed. As for benchmark results, the nearly 20% overall increase netted me about 11.7% average performance increase in testing. That's not too bad, especially considering the GTX 650Ti has no GPU boost.
One other thing I ought to mention in the detail features section is actually about a feature that the GTX 650Ti is lacking. What I'm referring to is SLI. While NVIDIA's goal is to provide a cost effective solution for gamers on a budget, they also don't make it easy to double up when you get some more cash. If that's your plan, steer clear of the GTX 650Ti and shoot for an extra $60 or so for the GTX 660. That way, six months from now when you have the cash again, you can double up and increase your performance without breaking the bank.For a complete detailed list of features and specifications, visit MSI's website www.msi.com.