Gigabyte and MSI have both released half-height graphics cards that allow stuffing Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1050 and 1050 Ti into tiny computers that one might want to use as an unobtrusive HTPC. Now, Galax is gearing up to enter that market niche with its GeForce GTX 1050 OC LP and GeForce GTX 1050Ti OC LP cards.
The Galax cards have the same clock speeds as the matching members from Gigabyte's product catalog, which makes them a little faster than Nvidia's reference specification and a tiny bit quicker than MSI's offerings. For reference, the GTX 1050 model runs at 1366 MHz and boosts up to 1468 MHz. The GTX 1050 Ti model, meanwhile, runs at a slower 1303 MHz base and 1417 MHz boost speed. Buyers will get the same 7008 MT/s memory speed from the 1050's 2GB frame buffer or the 1050 Ti's 4GB.
The new cards support all three mainstream digital display standards with DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0b, and dual-link DVI-D connectors. Only one of each port is available, so users looking to drive four displays from one half-height graphics card will need to keep looking. Both cards appear to have the same cooler and share the same compact 7.1" x 4.8" x 2.7" (18 cm x 12 cm x 8.6 cm) dimensions. The dual-fan cooler is a double-wide affair, so buyers will need to ensure they have two backplate spaces available to fit the card. No PCIe power connector is present, and the cards' maximum power consumption is 75W, meaning the cards ought to work fine in systems with less-powerful PSUs.
These small cards are great for converting cast-down office computers into HTPCs and light-duty gaming rigs. Nvidia's latest graphics chips offer hardware VP9 and H.265 decoding, though the obstinance of the powers that be won't allow for UHD Blu-Ray playback on discrete cards. Galax didn't offer pricing or availability information, but for the sake of comparison, MSI's low-profile GTX 1050 sells for $120 and the company's half-height GTX 1050 Ti sells for $150. We don't expect Galax's offerings to stray much from those amounts.