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Even though my own system is housed in a girthy Define R6, I love little PCs, and so it goes that I have a big soft spot for the components that go in them. Components like MSI’s latest GeForce GTX 1650 cards, the lovingly-titled GeForce GTX 1650 4GT LP and its “OC” variation. Check out this little low-profile pixel-pusher:
Yep, that’s a half-height, half-length GeForce, all right. It’s hardly the first of its kind, but as GPU efficiency continues to improve, the utility of these slot-powered cards grows likewise. The standard edition will rev its 896 shaders up to Nvidia’s reference boost of 1665 MHz, while the “OC” model will reportedly run up to 1695 MHz. As usual, we expect both models to clock considerably higher under actual use.
While we haven’t had the pleasure of testing the GTX 1650, a lot of other sites have. The consensus seems to be that it comes in right behind the GeForce GTX 1060 and Radeon RX 570, which is not bad at all for a card with no power connectors and less cooling than most CPUs. The main weakness of MSI’s little card seems to be its display connections; you get an HDMI 2.0b port and a DL-DVI port, and that’s it. We also wish it was just a single slot, but if you’ve got some wiggle room, you might could stick a one-slot backplate on it.
It’s interesting to note that, historically speaking, a little-bitty graphics card had a lot of advantages over a larger board. Nowadays, onboard graphics will serve most purposes you would probably have used a low-profile video card for. It’s still pretty cool to have a slot-powered GPU that’ll play current AAA games in full HD, though. Turing probably has the best hardware video encoder in the business, too, so it’s still useful for an HTPC.
If you’re after a bite-sized GeForce GTX 1650 card, keep an eye out for MSI’s creation. Going by previous low-profile offerings, this card likely won’t be made in mass quantities.