MSI’s low-profile GeForce GTX 1650 card brings AAA gaming to an Optiplex near you

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.

Comments
    • JustAnEngineer
    • 4 weeks ago

    No DisplayPort = no deal. What a stupid design decision.

    Reply
    • psuedonymous
    • 4 weeks ago

    The lack of DP is abhorrent. Utterly inexcusable. For comparison Zotac’s half-height-half-length 1650 managed dual-DP [i<]and[/i<] a DVI port. The current port layout allows for 1x HDMI and 1x DL-DVI, that's it. No DP, no VGA, no dual-HDMI. Dual Displayport outputs would allow (using [i<]only[/i<] cheap passive adapters): 2x DP 2X HDMI 2x SL-DVI DP + HDMI DP + SL-DVI HDMI + SL-DVI The [i<]only[/i<] thing you give up is DL-DVI, and that's basically a nonissue barring the crop of 27" Catleap-et-al monitors that popped out of Korea using B-grade panels and supposedly-overclockable (because the firmware did not impose pixel clock limits) panel controllers for a few months while supply lasted a couple of years ago.

    Reply
      • bhtooefr
      • 4 weeks ago

      And there’s always breaking out a “3D” DP to DL-DVI adapter, like the one I’ve got driving my IBM T221 right now.

      So yeah.

      And Mini-DP ports would allow even more outputs.

      Reply
        • Usacomp2k3
        • 4 weeks ago

        I remember seeing a T220/T221 in a display hall at EPCOT a decade ago. What a groundbreaking piece of technology for the time.

        Reply
      • ET3D
      • 4 weeks ago

      Yes, the Zotac looks to have a better port layout, in addition to having DP, so seems to be the better choice. Thanks for the mention, I missed the Zotac announcement.

      Reply
    • ET3D
    • 4 weeks ago

    I own a low profile RX 460 from MSI, and the HDMI hole in the low profile bracket simply didn’t fit the port. Ended up using a dremel.

    So I’m not trusting this much, especially when the HDMI port on the LP bracket (as seen on the product page) seems flush against the side.

    Otherwise, nice to have a new LP king.

    Reply
      • Chrispy_
      • 4 weeks ago

      It’s absolutely bonkers that they go to all the trouble of designing the card to be half-height, and then don’t fit the half-height backplate as standard. I’ve even had them arrive with NO backplate and had to just jury-rig something.

      I’m also wary of buying half-height cards now, simply because I’ve had a disappointing success rate when it comes to the half-height bracket being compatible with the card it ships with, assuming it even ships with the card at all.

      Reply
        • Leader952
        • 4 weeks ago

        Usually they come with both full size and half size brackets. All you need to do is remove one screw and the two on the DVI connector.

        Reply
          • Chrispy_
          • 4 weeks ago

          70% of the time they come with the half-height bracket, and the manufacturer’s website may be inaccurate regarding whether it is supposed to be included or available separately. In the early days I made the effort of trying to obtain brackets but the manufacturer will just give you a list of distributors for your region who are neither interested in selling a quantity of one to an individual, nor do they have the half-height bracket in stock because it’s not profitable to carry.

          On rare occasions the half-height bracket included is for an older variant of the card or a variant with outputs of a different variety and/or in a different location. That’s only happened a couple of times and it was the same vendor in both cases (Inno3D) and I wouldn’t have mentioned it were it not for ET3D commenting on a similar experience.

          Reply
        • ET3D
        • 4 weeks ago

        The annoying things about it was that I contacted MSI, they were kind enough to send me a replacement bracket, and it had the exact same problem!

        Reply
          • Chrispy_
          • 4 weeks ago

          Yeah. I figure that they have too many damn variants to keep track of them all properly.

          You look at a single SKU launch like the GTX 1650 for example and most vendors will make like 15 variants of just the 1650. It’s why I’m so frustrated that the half-height specific cards just don’t come as a pre-built half-height solution. Why should the customer always need to remove the full-height bracket using a combination of screwdriver and hex socket just to fit what the damn thing was SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED FOR in the first place?! 🙂

          Reply
    • Usacomp2k3
    • 4 weeks ago

    The lack of Displayport is a deal-killer.

    Reply
    • derFunkenstein
    • 4 weeks ago

    RIP ribbon connector for VGA displays.

    And looking at that DVI port, RIP analog outputs entirely.

    Reply
      • drfish
      • 4 weeks ago

      Were you lurking during our PCI version conversation in Slack, grandpa?

      Reply
        • derFunkenstein
        • 4 weeks ago

        No, I’ve been in the “office” on a conference call since 7 TR time, and looked at this when I got bored. 😆

        Reply
          • farmpuma
          • 3 weeks ago

          Most video cards with DVI-I come with an adapter to VGA, but I don’t think the option is available with DVI-D. I use one with both my GTX 550Ti and GTX 650Ti.

          Reply

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This