👤by Richard Weatherstone Comments 📅09-10-12

At the beginning of this review we asked the questions: Have GIGABYTE managed to create a balanced card? Is this the entry level card you should go for?

The first can simply be answered no. The cooler is overkill that much is clear. We may be being too harsh here and it may well seem odd criticising something that does the job exceedingly well. The fact is the GTX650Ti doesn't need this extravagant cooling design. First impressions suggest that the GK106 core is cool running and coupled with the fact that the GTX650Ti has no GPU boost and therefore no extra heat to deal with, makes the whole charade of using such a powerful cooler all the more pointless. Sure it is very cool, which in turn has an effect on keeping the noise down which to be fair is no bad thing but as we have seen with a competitors more basic design, large coolers are simply not required to keep this particular cards temperatures and noise levels to a minimum.

The large Windforce cooler also adds to the size of the card. If you have an ATX sized case this won't be an issue but potential buyers of this may have a HTPC or similar small form factor enclosure so space will be at a premium. As this card is a full size GPU, this may be detrimental to the appeal of the card considering that the reference cooling design is more than a third smaller than the GIGABYTE GTX650 Ti.

If however size is not an issue then the above statements won't concern you. What everyone will be intrigued to know is that this card comes pre-overclocked to 1033MHz from 925MHz reference so while there is no GPU boost, you do get a boost from the factory to compensate and the card can be pushed a little more if you are willing to experiment. It's extremely quiet, extremely cool and capable of playing games with DirectX 11 compatibility so long as you game at 1920x1080 or below. Should you buy this variant? If FPS is everything then the ZOTAC card may be the better buy...just. This is thanks to the overclocked memory which adds an average single frame per second to most games. The ZOTAC is however 10 more expensive. If however you have the space, yearn for near silent, occasional gaming and want a cool (in sense of the word) entry level graphics card then the GIGABYTE GTX650 Ti should be high on your shopping list as it's really good entry level graphics card.

+ Kepler Architecture
+ DirectX 11
+ Very Quiet
+ Class leading cooling power
+ Significantly faster than a HD7770
+ Direct VGA port

- Don't buy this card to play games above 1920x1080 resolution
- No GPU Boost Feature
- Poor (but unavoidable) PCIe power port placement
- Longer than average GTX650Ti
- No SLI

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