If there’s one area that NVIDIA knows how to target, it’s the high end market. Anything below a GTX 1060 level of performance, and NVIDIA struggle to offer the same level of competitiveness that AMD has been perfecting for the past 8 months. A growing segment of eSport titles like Dota 2, LoL, Counterstrike GO, Overwatch run perfectly fine at 1080P on $250 and below graphics cards, and AMD has capitalised while NVIDIA have been somewhat flat-footed with uninspired cards, like the GTX 1060 3GB.
Enter the GTX 1050 Ti, which is NVIDIA’s answer to the dominance of AMD in the sub $200 market, slotting in-between the RX 460 at $120 and RX 470 4GB at $170. At $140, it’s the smallest Pascal GP107 GPU NVIDIA has launched, which has 768 CUDA Cores, 32 ROPs, 48 TMUs and a 128 Bit memory bus for the 4GB of VRAM. Power efficiency is one major advantage NVIDIA has, and they really twist the knife in AMD at this end of the market. NVIDIA managed to run the diminutive GP107 chip on a TDP below 75W, which means the card can effectively run off of slot-power and flips the bird to all those electron guzzling RX 470 cards, it’s nearest competitor. To put that in perspective, this card offers around GTX 960 in terms of performance; that’s a 75W card keeping pace with a 120W TDP card. Really astounding stuff. As a result of this smaller chip and lower TDP, the base and boost clock of the GP107 chip is around 200MHZ lower than the GTX 1060s, coming in at 1290MHz/1392MHz.
The card barely breaks 65 degrees C, with the fan only turning on when the temperature exceed 60 Degrees C. And when it does turn on, it gently canters at 30% speed, making the card one of the most silent cards I’ve ever use -, something that MSI are quite notable for this generation. Testing of each mode was not done, simply because there was no need to run this card in silent mode, because you already can’t hear it above the sound of your case fans.
Although the GTX 1050 Ti is rated at quite conservative base and boost clocks thanks to the 75W TDP design, MSI have been able to put together a card that leaves those boost and base clocks in the dust. Doing research on the net, many non-6 Pin GTX 1050 Ti’s are only able to overclock to the standard boost speeds that the factory overclocked MSI GTX 1050 Ti Gaming X achieves. Mighty impressive, and shows what can be achieved with a tad more electrons. So, when we loosened the dials and crank up the power limit (NVIDIA disables voltage adjustment), we found even more performance hiding under the hood. Reaching the ceiling of Pascal’s clockspeed limit was achieved faster than Trump can contradict himself on twitter, but after sliding the power limit slider to +125%, we were able to settle on a game stable +150 MHz core and an impressive +860MHz memory overclock, giving us a stable ~1924MHz core and 2182MHz memory overclock. During Battlefield 1, the card never skipped a beat, with temperatures being a non-issue at the same 65 Degrees C, but with the card simply upping the fan speed to 35%.