GeForce GTX 1650 launches at $149, exactly as predicted

Well, to the surprise of absolutely no-one, the leaked specifications for the GeForce GTX 1650 that showed up last week were completely correct. So saying, the card is out now, and you can buy one. Both Newegg and Amazon have multiple listings for the cards, but caveat emptor: some of the listings on Amazon appear to be early third-party sellers selling GTX 1650 cards at inflated prices.

MSI's Gaming X model probably has more cooler than is strictly necessary for a 75 W GPU.

For your information, the suggested retail price for cards based on this GPU is $149, with souped-up partner cards coming in a bit over that. Newegg currently has a couple of models at that MSRP, both shorty cards, from Zotac and Gigabyte. $154-$164 seems a popular price point—just about everyone has cards in that price bracket, including EVGA, MSI, Gigabyte, and Asus—while the most expensive GTX 1650 cards we see on Newegg come in at $179 from Gigabyte, Asus, and MSI.

As usual, those models sport coolers that might look more at home on an RTX 2070 card. Be careful when purchasing some of the fancier cards, too. As has been the case with past generations of low-end gaming graphics cards, some of the partner cards require a PCI-E power connector. That might not be noteworthy except that arguably the whole point of the GTX 1650 is that it offers hard-core gaming performance without necessarily needing such a power connector. In theory, most of the cards on offer today will run slot-powered in a machine with a mediocre power supply.

This beautifully-named GV-N1650IXOC-4GD card is downright dainty.

We'd love to tell you how the GTX 1650 runs, but even if we had gotten a card early we wouldn't have been able to benchmark it. We're not the only ones in this boat—other sites around the web are also venting their frustration at Nvidia for not releasing a driver to reviewers so that they could, you know, review. While normally our usual recommendation is not to spend a bunch of extra money on a card with additional cooling, we're interested to see the performance differential offered by one of the GTX 1650 cards with a power connector.

With that said, there is a driver out now. GeForce driver 430.39 is out, and while it's "Game Ready" for Mortal Kombat 11, the real news is that it adds support for both desktop and laptop versions of the GTX 1650. Nvidia notes along with the driver that laptops are launching with all three of the GeForce GTX 1600-series GPUs, the other two being the GTX 1660 and its "Ti" sibling. That driver also improves Vulkan performance in Strange Brigade by 21%, and adds seven more monitors to the "G-Sync Compatible" list; you can check out the full release notes here or download it here.

Update: While I was putting this post together, the Guru of 3D has put up his review. Click through and read the review to see for yourself, but his conclusion seems reasonable: an impressive amount of performance given the power draw, but you might find that the red team can offer you more graphics card for the cost—as long as your power supply can put up with a thirsty Polaris chip. Head over there to see his data and make your own judgement.

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