Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost graphics card reviewed

Another graphics launch so soon? No, you aren’t seeing double. AMD and Nvidia have managed to roll out new mid-range graphics cards literally within days of each other. The two companies definitely aren’t pulling their punches lately.

AMD threw a mean left hook last Friday with the Radeon HD 7790, which features a brand-new graphics processor and a price tag in the $149-159 range. The card isn’t actually due out until early next month, but according to our testing, it trounces even the highest-clocked variants of Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 650 Ti—which also happen to cost more. As icing on the cake, the 7790 will also come bundled with a free copy of BioShock Infinite when it hits stores. Not bad, huh?

Well, insert boxing metaphor here, folks, because here comes Nvidia’s counterpunch. As of this morning, the GTX 650 Ti is yesterday’s news. The new hotness is the GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost, which promises better performance at a price tag only slightly higher than the Radeon HD 7790’s. As you’re about to discover, there’s more to this card than the name suggests—and it’s good news for gamers on a sub-$200 budget.

A wolf in sheep’s clothing

The name “GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost” is pretty evocative for the technically inclined. One pictures a card very much like the GTX 650 Ti, still with a partially hobbled GK106 graphics processor, only this time with the same GPU Boost functionality as higher-end members of the GTX 600 series. Thanks to GPU Boost, one goes on to assume, the GTX 650 Ti Boost simply achieves a higher core clock speed than the GTX 650 Ti when thermal headroom allows. This offers a slight performance increase, perhaps just enough to even the contest with the Radeon HD 7790, which is faster than the standard 650 Ti.

That’s partially true. But it’s not the whole story.

In reality, the GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost is much closer to a full-blown GeForce GTX 660. It has the same number of active ROP clusters, the same memory interface width, and the same two gigabytes of GDDR5 RAM. It also features the same clock speeds—980MHz base, 1033MHz Boost, and 1502MHz (or an effective 6008MT/s) for the GDDR5 memory. Even the reference board design is identical: 9.5″ in length, with one PCI Express power connector and a dual-slot, single-fan cooler that stretches past a stubbier circuit board.

The only difference between the GTX 660 and the GTX 650 Ti Boost is that, in the latter, one of the GK106 graphics chip’s five SMX units is disabled. As a result, the number of ALUs is cut from 960 to 768, and the number of texels filtered per clock is reduced from 80 to 64. The same goes for the vanilla GTX 650 Ti—but in that instance, Nvidia also lops off one of the 64-bit memory controllers and one of the ROP clusters. This leaves the GTX 650 Ti with a 128-bit memory interface and the ability to process only 16 pixels per clock. The 650 Ti Boost has the full 192-bit interface and can process 24 pixels per clock.

Nvidia uses a similar technique to pare down the GK106 chip for the GTX 650 Ti and GTX 650 Ti Boost. In both cases, the company can disable half of one of the two full-width GPCs, or it can prune the third, half-width GPC. Both methods result in the same number of units being disabled, and Nvidia claims there’s no performance difference between the two. As we noted in our GTX 650 Ti review, this approach gives Nvidia flexibility when repurposing defective GK106 chips, whose flaws might be in different regions.

Base

clock

(MHz)

Boost

clock

(MHz)

Peak

ROP rate

(Gpix/s)

Texture

filtering

int8/fp16

(Gtex/s)

Peak

shader

tflops

Raster-

ization

rate

(Gtris/s)

Memory

transfer

rate

Memory

bandwidth

(GB/s)

Price
GTX 650 1058 N/A 8 34/34 0.8 1.1 5.0 GT/s 80 $99.99
GTX 650 Ti 925 N/A 15 59/59 1.4 1.9 5.4 GT/s 86 $144.99
GTX 650 Ti Boost 980 1033 25 66/66 1.6 2.1 6.0 GT/s 144 $169.00
GTX 660 980 1033 25 83/83 2.0 3.1 6.0 GT/s 144 $214.99

Here’s how the GTX 650 Ti Boost compares to its compatriots. The $169 price tag is the official suggested e-tail price for the 2GB version of the card; the other prices were pulled from Newegg, where we sought the cheapest representative of each product.

As you can see, the 650 Ti Boost’s peak rates come awfully close to those of the GTX 660. The new card’s only handicaps are reduced shader performance, reduced texturing performance, and lower polygon throughput, which aren’t huge compromises considering the wide price disparity.

Okay, so there is another slight compromise: the free-to-play credit Nvidia bundles with the 650 Ti Boost is worth only $75, or half of what you get with the GeForce GTX 660. The credit is split evenly between World of Tanks, Hawken, and PlanetSide 2, allowing you to buy items and add-ons in each game. It’s not a bad deal for free-to-play junkies, but the credit does feel a little like a second-rate consolation prize compared to AMD’s Never Settle Reloaded bundles. For only $10 more, the Radeon HD 7850 2GB includes free copies of Tomb Raider and BioShock Infinite. And for $20 less, the Radeon HD 7790 ships with BioShock Infinite in the box—a far more exciting offer.

We’re told you can expect to find GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost cards in stores starting today, which means Nvidia’s counterpunch will actually beat the 7790 to the, uh, punch. Reference-clocked variants of the 650 Ti Boost will sell for $169, and so-called “superclocked” flavors should be available for a little more. If you don’t mind waiting until next month, Nvidia says its partners will also sell 1GB versions of the GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost for only $149—the exact same price as the stock 7790. Methinks I smell a price war…

EVGA’s GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost Superclocked

Nvidia sent us a reference version of the GTX 650 Ti Boost, which looks just like the reference GTX 660—and, according to the company, won’t actually be available in stores. The official line is that shipping products will “differ greatly” from it.

Luckily, we have one of those shipping cards in our labs: EVGA’s GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost Superclocked, which is slated to cost $179.99 when it hits stores tomorrow. At least from the outside, the EVGA card isn’t a drastic departure from the reference design:

It, too, is 9.5″ long. It has the same style of cooler and an identical assortment of display outputs: dual DVI, one DisplayPort, and one HDMI. The cooling shroud looks slightly different, however, and the GPU under it has had a few extra cups of coffee. Instead of using the default 980MHz base clock and 1033MHz Boost clock, EVGA cranks this puppy to 1072MHz and 1137MHz, respectively. You can see the effects of this increase on the card’s peak theoretical rates below:

Base

clock

(MHz)

Boost

clock

(MHz)

Peak

ROP rate

(Gpix/s)

Texture

filtering

int8/fp16

(Gtex/s)

Polygon

throughput

(Mtris/s)

Peak

shader

tflops

Memory

transfer

rate (GT/s)

Memory

bandwidth

(GB/s)

Radeon HD 7770 1000 N/A 16 40/20 1000 1.3 4.5 72
Radeon HD 7790 1000 N/A 16 56/28 2000 1.8 6.0 96
Sapphire Radeon HD 7790 1075 N/A 17 60/30 2150 1.9 6.4 102
Radeon HD 7850 1GB 860 N/A 28 55/28 1720 1.8 4.8 154
Radeon HD 7850 2GB 860 N/A 28 55/28 1720 1.8 4.8 154
GeForce GTX 650 Ti 928 N/A 15 59/59 1856 1.4 5.4 86
Zotac GeForce GTX 650 Ti 2GB AMP! 1033 N/A 17 66/66 2066 1.6 6.2 99
GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost 980 1033 25 66/66 2066 1.6 6.0 144
EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost SC 1072 1137 27 73/73 2274 1.7 6.0 144
GeForce GTX 560 810 N/A 26 45/45 1620 1.1 4.0 128
MSI GeForce GTX 560 Twin Frozr II 870 N/A 28 49/49 1760 1.2 4.2 134

On paper, the 650 Ti Boost Superclocked looks like a suitable competitor for the similarly priced Radeon HD 7850 2GB. Even the vanilla 650 Ti Boost is no slouch, however; it compares quite favorably to the Radeon HD 7790, whose only theoretical advantage seems to be its higher shader throughput. This is all theory, of course—for the practice, turn to the next page.

Our testing methods

I had very little time to put together this review. A GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost sample arrived at my apartment last Tuesday, but at the time, I was busy benchmarking the Radeon HD 7790 and its rivals. After working multiple 12- to 16-hour days and finally posting the 7790 review at midnight on Friday morning, I was left with exactly four days—including the weekend—to tackle the GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost.

A few compromises had to be made.

I wound up passing over two cards I had planned to test: the GeForce GTX 660 and the GTX 650 Ti 1GB, since I wasn’t able to obtain samples in time. I also had to re-use results from the 7790 review, since I didn’t have time to benchmark everything again at different settings. You might therefore see the GTX 650 Ti Boost overachieve in some of the tests on the next few pages. Just keep in mind that, if you see frame rates well above 60 FPS (or frame times well below 16.7 ms), chances are the card could happily handle higher detail settings while still staying close to the monitor’s refresh rate.

Anyhow, despite the tight deadline, I was able to supplement the new GeForces with a couple of extra cards in order to provide added context. I underclocked Zotac’s GeForce GTX 650 Ti 2GB AMP! Edition to simulate the company’s non-AMP! model, which retails for $164.99. That’s smack-dab between the 7790 and the stock 650 Ti Boost—a useful reference point. Also, since I didn’t have a vanilla Radeon HD 7850 2GB on hand, I tested an XFX Black Edition model underclocked to match the reference speeds. In terms of performance, this underclocked Black Edition card should be comparable to retail offerings like this one, which sell for $179.99—the same price as EVGA’s GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost Superclocked.

Oh, and all the Radeons except for the 7790 were re-tested using AMD’s Catalyst 13.3 beta drivers, which include all of the company’s latest frame latency optimizations. The driver AMD sent us for the 7790 review last week also included recent optimizations, but for some reason, they only seem to apply to the 7790—the Radeon HD 7850 and 7770 behave as they do with older driver releases.

You’ll find exact clock speeds and driver version numbers for the aforementioned cards in the last table on this page.

As ever, we did our best to deliver clean benchmark numbers. Tests were run at least three times, and we reported the median results. Our test systems were configured like so:

Processor Intel Core i7-3770K
Motherboard Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H
North bridge Intel Z77 Express
South bridge
Memory size 4GB (2 DIMMs)
Memory type AMD Memory

DDR3 SDRAM at 1600MHz

Memory timings 9-9-9-28
Chipset drivers INF update 9.3.0.1021

Rapid Storage Technology 11.6

Audio Integrated Via audio

with 6.0.01.10800 drivers

Hard drive Crucial m4 256GB
Power supply Corsair HX750W 750W
OS Windows 8 Professional x64 Edition
Driver revision GPU base

clock

(MHz)

Memory

clock

(MHz)

Memory

size

(MB)

Diamond Radeon HD 7770 Catalyst 13.3 beta 1000 4500 1GB
Sapphire Radeon HD 7790 Catalyst 12.101.2.1000 beta 1075 6000 1GB
XFX Radeon HD 7850 1GB Core Edition Catalyst 13.3 beta 860 1200 1GB
XFX Radeon HD 7850 2GB Black Edition (underclocked) Catalyst 13.3 beta 860 1200 2GB
MSI GeForce GTX 560 Twin Frozr II GeForce 314.21 beta 880 1050 1GB
Zotac GeForce GTX 650 Ti AMP! (underclocked) GeForce 314.21 beta 941 1350 2GB
Zotac GeForce GTX 650 Ti AMP! GeForce 314.21 beta 1033 1550 2GB
GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost GeForce 314.21 beta 980 1502 2GB
EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost Super OC GeForce 314.21 beta 1072 1502 2GB

Thanks to AMD, Corsair, and Crucial for helping to outfit our test rig. Asus, EVGA, Diamond, MSI, Nvidia, Sapphire, XFX, and Zotac have our gratitude, as well, for supplying the various graphics cards we tested.

Image quality settings for the graphics cards were left at the control panel defaults, except on the Radeon cards, where surface format optimizations were disabled and the tessellation mode was set to “use application settings.” Vertical refresh sync (vsync) was disabled for all tests.

We used the following test applications:

Some further notes on our methods:

  • We used the Fraps utility to record frame rates while playing a 90-second sequence from the game. Although capturing frame rates while playing isn’t precisely repeatable, we tried to make each run as similar as possible to all of the others. We tested each Fraps sequence five times per video card in order to counteract any variability. We’ve included frame-by-frame results from Fraps for each game, and in those plots, you’re seeing the results from a single, representative pass through the test sequence.

  • We measured total system power consumption at the wall socket using a P3 Kill A Watt digital power meter. The monitor was plugged into a separate outlet, so its power draw was not part of our measurement. The cards were plugged into a motherboard on an open test bench.

    The idle measurements were taken at the Windows desktop with the Aero theme enabled. The cards were tested under load running Skyrim at its High quality preset.

  • We measured noise levels on our test system, sitting on an open test bench, using a TES-52 digital sound level meter. The meter was held approximately 8″ from the test system at a height even with the top of the video card.

    You can think of these noise level measurements much like our system power consumption tests, because the entire systems’ noise levels were measured. Of course, noise levels will vary greatly in the real world along with the acoustic properties of the PC enclosure used, whether the enclosure provides adequate cooling to avoid a card’s highest fan speeds, placement of the enclosure in the room, and a whole range of other variables. These results should give a reasonably good picture of comparative fan noise, though.

  • We used GPU-Z to log GPU temperatures during our load testing.

The tests and methods we employ are generally publicly available and reproducible. If you have questions about our methods, hit our forums to talk with us about them.

Tomb Raider

Developed by Crystal Dynamics, this reboot of the famous franchise features a more believable Lara Croft who, as the game progresses, sheds her fear and vulnerability to become a formidable killing machine. I tested Tomb Raider by running around a small mountain area, which is roughly 10% of the way into the single-player campaign.

This is a rather impressive-looking game that’s clearly designed to take full advantage of high-end gaming PCs. The Ultra and Ultimate detail presets were too hard on these cards, so I had to settle for the High preset and leave the game’s TressFX hair physics disabled. Testing was done at 1080p.

Frame time

(ms)

FPS rate
8.3 120
16.7 60
20 50
25 40
33.3 30
50 20

Let’s preface the results below with a little primer on our testing methodology. Along with measuring average frames per second, we delve inside the second to look at frame rendering times. Studying the time taken to render each frame gives us a better sense of playability, because it highlights issues like stuttering that can occur—and be felt by the player—within the span of one second. Charting frame times shows these issues clear as day, while charting average frames per second obscures them.

To get a sense of how frame times correspond to FPS rates, check the table on the right.

We’re going to start by charting frame times over the totality of a representative run for each system. (That run is usually the middle one out of the five we ran for each card.) These plots should give us an at-a-glance impression of overall playability, warts and all. You can click the buttons below the graph to compare different cards.


We can slice and dice our raw frame-time data in several ways to show different facets of the performance picture. Let’s start with something we’re all familiar with: average frames per second. Average FPS is widely used, but it has some serious limitations. Another way to summarize performance is to consider the threshold below which 99% of frames are rendered, which offers a sense of overall frame latency, excluding fringe cases. (The lower the threshold, the more fluid the game.)

The 99th percentile result only captures a single point along the latency curve, but we can show you that whole curve, as well. With single-GPU configs like these, the right hand-side of the graph—and especially the last 5% or so—is where you’ll want to look. That section tends to be where the best and worst solutions diverge.


Finally, we can rank the cards based on how long they spent working on frames that took longer than a certain number of milliseconds to render. Simply put, this metric is a measure of “badness.” It tells us about the scope of delays in frame delivery during the test scenario. Here, you can click the buttons below the graph to switch between different millisecond thresholds.


Nvidia clearly has the upper hand in Tomb Raider. The $169, reference version of the GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost manages to outpace even the Radeon HD 7850 2GB, which sells for at least $180 at Newegg right now.

That said, I should point out a couple of caveats.

First, AMD tells us Crystal Dynamics’ latest Tomb Raider patch improves performance by up to 25% on Radeons. We were told to expect this update last Friday, but it didn’t come out until Monday, too late for me to re-test. Compounding the problem, Nvidia claims the patch may negatively affect performance with GeForce GPUs. Nvidia has previously complained about Crystal Dynamics not giving it sufficient time to optimized its drivers, and from what I hear, the two firms’ coordination issues are ongoing.

Second, the talents of our higher-end contenders are clearly wasted at these settings. With a card like the GTX 650 Ti Boost or the Radeon HD 7850 2GB, you’d want to crank up the detail to at least the “Ultra” preset. Doing so would enable tessellation and DirectCompute-accelerated hair physics, which could change the competitive picture to some degree. We’ll have to do more testing to find out.

Crysis 3

Yep. This is the new Crysis game. There’s not much else to say, except that this title has truly spectacular graphics. To test it, I ran from weapon cache to weapon cache at the beginning of the Welcome to the Jungle level for 60 seconds per run.

I tested at 1080p using the medium detail preset with high textures and medium SMAA antialiasing.


Both versions of the GTX 650 Ti Boost have problems with uneven frame delivery—and frequent latency spikes—in Crysis 3. Those problems don’t seem to hurt the cards’ FPS rankings:

However, our 99th-percentile frame time metric shows the GTX 650 Ti Boost cards at the back of the pack. Shockingly, the reference model even falls below the Radeon HD 7770. (The results are all awfully close, though.)


Our percentile curves nicely illustrate the problem. While our two GTX 650 Ti Boost variants have lower 50th-percentile frame times than the competition, those times start to rise around the 80th percentile. The Radeons—and even the other GeForces—don’t really begin to ramp up dramatically until above the 95th percentile, which suggests that they maintain both lower and more consistent frame times throughout a longer stretch of the run.


The early rise of their latency curves might look ugly, but the GTX 650 Ti Boost cards don’t look so bad in our “time spent beyond” metric. They fare poorly in the beyond-33.3-ms rankings, but not dramatically so. (493 ms is less than 1% of the 60-second run time.) What gives?

Well, look back up at the frame-by-frame graphs. Most of the see-saw pattern is sandwiched between 5 ms and 30 ms or so, with very few spikes above that threshold. The problem in this case isn’t really a propensity for long spikes that make the gameplay stutter (which our “time spent beyond” graphs isolate), but a very rapid oscillation between long and short frame times. If small, such an oscillation isn’t a problem. In this case, however, the oscillation is large enough to disrupt gameplay. It feels a little like wading through water: animation seems to speed up and slow down randomly, and input ranges from very responsive to noticeably laggy.

Considering the GTX 650 Ti 2GB doesn’t seem affected despite using the same GPU with fewer units at a lower frequency, I’m tentatively going to chalk up this problem to a driver optimization issue. I’m not sure why the GTX 650 Ti Boost would behave so differently otherwise.

Borderlands 2

For this test, I shamelessly stole Scott’s Borderlands 2 character and aped the gameplay session he used to benchmark the Radeon HD 7950 and GeForce GTX 660 Ti. The session takes place at the start of the “Opportunity” level. As Scott noted, this section isn’t precisely repeatable, because enemies don’t always spawn in the same spots or attack in the same way. We tested five times per GPU and tried to keep to the same path through the level, however, which should help compensate for variability.

I tested at 1920×1080. All other graphics settings were maxed out except for hardware-accelerated PhysX, which isn’t supported on the Radeons.




With no bizarre latency inconsistencies to spoil the fun, the GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost (and its superclocked sibling) return to the top of the scoreboard in Borderlands 2. This is another example of a game where the new $170-180 cards are so fast that a higher detail settings would be called for. In this case, I’d need a 2560×1440 display, since I’m already running Borderlands with the detail maxed out at 1080p.

By the way, the Radeon HD 7770 and 7850 1GB fare much better here than they did in our Radeon HD 7790 review. That’s all thanks to the new Catalyst 13.3 beta driver. Somehow, the previous driver we used—the one AMD sent us last week—included latency optimizations for the 7790 and not other Radeons. Strange.

Sleeping Dogs

I haven’t had a chance to get very far into Sleeping Dogs myself, but TR’s Geoff Gasior did, and he got hooked. From the small glimpse I’ve received of the game’s open-world environment and martial-arts-style combat, I think I can see why.

The game’s version of Hong Kong seems to be its most demanding area from a performance standpoint, so that’s what I benchmarked. I took Wei Shen on a motorcycle joyride through the city, trying my best to remember I was supposed to ride on the left side of the street.

I benchmarked Sleeping Dogs at 1920×1080 using a tweaked version of the “High” quality preset, with vsync disabled and SSAO bumped down to “Normal.” The high-resolution texture pack was installed, too.




The see-saw pattern is back, except this time, all the GTX 600-series cards seem to be affected. The Radeons do a better job of maintaining consistently low frame times throughout the test run, as our 99th-percentile graph and latency curves illustrate. Subjectively, I didn’t notice any of the weird slowing and speeding up that I saw in Crysis 3. However, the game did feel a little less responsive to input on the GeForces. That made driving a tad more difficult.

Again, the Radeon 7770 and 7850 cards all put together a stronger showing than they did last week. With the previous driver release we tested, those offerings felt even worse than the GeForces—sluggish and noticeably choppy.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Here, too, I borrowed Scott’s test run, which involves a walk through the moor not far from the town of Whiterun—and perilously close to a camp of Giants.

The game was run at 1920×1080 using the “Ultra” detail preset. The high-resolution texture pack was installed, as well.




The new GeForces return to the top of the standings in Skyrim.

The Radeon HD 7850 1GB and 2GB aren’t far behind according to our 99th-percentile frame time metric, but their occasional latency spikes seem to be taller and more frequent. Our “time spent beyond” graphs bear that out. At the 16.7-ms and 33.3-ms thresholds, the Radeons are clearly behind the GeForces—and that’s despite using the new Catalyst 13.3 betas.

Battlefield 3

I tested Battlefield 3 by playing through the start of the Kaffarov mission, right after the player lands. Our 90-second runs involved walking through the woods and getting into a firefight with a group of hostiles, who fired and lobbed grenades at us.

I kept things simple, using the game’s “High” detail preset at 1080p.




Chalk up one last win for the 650 Ti Boost and 650 Ti Boost Superclocked. All the current-gen cards have similar latency plots and curves, and subjectively, there’s no appreciable difference between how the game plays on each of them. However, the new GeForces do crank out more frames—and lower-latency frames—than their peers.

Power consumption

Under load, the GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost draws substantially more power than other cards in its price range. The differences at idle only amount to a few watts, though.

(I should reiterate that I underclocked faster cards to emulate both the Radeon HD 7850 2GB and the GeForce GTX 650 Ti 2GB. As a result, the data for those cards may not be exactly representative.)

Noise levels and GPU temperatures

Both the reference 650 Ti Boost and the EVGA variant have hamster wheel-style blowers, and they’re not particularly quiet, as the numbers above demonstrate. I could hear a distinct growling or grumbling coming from the fans on both models, even at idle. When running a game, the growling turned into a sort of buzzing, not unlike the sound of an old fluorescent tube—and there was white noise added to the mix. The noise might be forgivable if the cards stayed particularly cool, but they don’t appear to.

The Radeon HD 7850 1GB was also a little loud under load. The XFX Black Edition we underclocked to simulate a reference-clocked 7850 2GB was practically silent, no doubt thanks to its dual-fan cooler, though it did run a little hot. For what it’s worth, the cheapest card XFX offers with the same cooler costs $230. Other card vendors make cheaper dual-fan versions of the 7850 2GB—this Gigabyte model is available for $195.

Conclusions

We’ll once again wrap things up with a couple of value scatter plots. In both plots, the performance numbers are geometric means of data points from all the games we tested. The first plot shows 99th-percentile frame times converted into FPS for easier reading; the second plot shows simple FPS averages. Prices were fetched from Newegg, the GPU vendors, and the card makers, depending on what was appropriate.

The best deals should reside near the top left of each plot, where performance is high and pricing is low. Conversely, the least desirable offerings should be near the bottom right.


That pile-up at the top of the 99th-percentile plot is caused by the Radeon HD 7850 1GB, the Radeon HD 7850 2GB, and the GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost SC overlapping.

And that tells you much of what you need to know.

In a strange reversal of roles, it’s Nvidia who has suffered from unruly frame latencies this time. Both versions of the GTX 650 Ti Boost fared poorly in Crysis 3 and Sleeping Dogs. They scored easy victories in the other games, but their 99th-percentile frame latencies weren’t substantially higher than those of the Radeons. Averaging the scores with a geometric mean gives us a virtual tie between the like-priced AMD and Nvidia cards. (The average FPS rankings tell a different story, but we think the 99th percentile metric paints a more accurate picture of in-game performance.)

Now, to be fair, it seems highly probable that Nvidia’s issues in Crysis 3 are due to a temporary driver bug rather than a deep-seated problem. The standard 650 Ti is unaffected, even though it’s based on the same GPU. A fix may not be forthcoming for Sleeping Dogs, which has been out for seven months and exhibited problems on all the GeForce cards. AMD has gotten cozy with the studios behind many of the latest triple-A PC releases, and the recent troubles with Crystal Dynamics suggest this may have been done at Nvidia’s expense. GeForce owners may encounter lackluster optimizations in some games.

But let’s not get bogged down in speculation. Right now, the Radeon HD 7850 2GB offers equivalent performance per dollar to the GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost according to our 99th-percentile metric. It consumes less power, as well, which makes it easier to cool quietly. Last, but not least, it comes with a much more tantalizing game bundle: Tomb Raider and BioShock Infinite. Given those factors alone, the Radeon looks like the better choice—even if you have to pay a $10 premium over the vanilla GTX 650 Ti Boost.

The 650 Ti Boost has definitely made the 7790 less appealing, though. For $20 more, the Nvidia card opens the door to higher resolutions and detail settings. And there’s a good chance the 1GB, $149 version of the 650 Ti Boost due next month will also be quicker than its Radeon competition. Our scatter plots show a negligible difference between the 1GB and 2GB versions of the Radeon HD 7850 at the 1080p resolution and detail settings we used. If there’s a similarly small gap between the 1GB and 2GB flavors of the 650 Ti Boost, then Nvidia could very well knock the 7790 out cold.

In any event, it’s nice to see all this activity in the $150-200 price range. That’s the sweet spot for folks who game on 1080p monitors, and the more choices there are, the better.

Comments closed
    • Chrispy_
    • 6 years ago

    I’m just re-reading this review based on trying to decide whether a 1GB 7850 on offer is worth it over the more expensive 650 Ti Boost.

    One thing that struck me was how disorganised Nvidia is on the value scatter plots. Both 99th% and Average FPS, there’s a clear progression with AMD of “spend more, get more performance”

    With Nvidia, the results are a mess, the 650 Ti Boost and it’s factory-OC versions completely disrupting (and confusing) the product stack across both charts.

      • NovusBogus
      • 6 years ago

      It’s because Nvidia is represented by three flavors of the 650ti and one previous-gen card, if they included 650 and 660 there would be a similar price-performance progression.

    • ashleytehone039o
    • 6 years ago
    • OmarCCX
    • 6 years ago

    Thinking about getting two of these in SLI…

    I don’t plan on upgrading from a single 1080p monitor anytime soon, so it’ll do quite nicely.

    • Cyril
    • 6 years ago

    Correction: The GTX 650 Ti Boost’s texture filtering rate is 66 texels/clock (or 73 texels/clock for the EVGA version), and the peak polygon throughput is 2066 Mtris/s (or 2274 Mtris/s for the EVGA version) because of the disabled SMX. I’ve updated the theoretical rates tables to reflect this.

    Sorry, folks. Tight deadlines led to some typos in those tables. Should have caught those earlier.

    • alienstorexxx
    • 6 years ago

    is the 7850 1gb identically priced as the 2gb version?

      • Cyril
      • 6 years ago

      Looks like it’s a little cheaper (~$170 vs. ~$180) at Newegg right now. The cheapest versions of each model both cost $180 at Newegg earlier this week, though.

    • jonjonjon
    • 6 years ago

    instead of posting a chart with dB for the noise you should upload videos of the video cards at full load like tomshardware did. your noise chart means absolutely nothing to me but the videos in the link below give me a good idea of what i can expect.

    [url<]http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-670-test-review,3217-14.html[/url<]

    • TravelMug
    • 6 years ago

    [quote<]"We were told to expect this update last Friday, but it didn't come out until Monday..."[/quote<] The tubes were clogged...

    • CaptTomato
    • 6 years ago

    For people with older PC’s, use a 7790+Bioshock…….your old system will probably be limited by CPU/ram just as mine was with a 6850 in some games.
    Bioshock is rating highly everywhere.

    • Krogoth
    • 6 years ago

    650Ti is marginally faster than 7790@stock when it is doing arm-chair overclocking (which is what Boost does). Otherwise, it yields nearly identical performance in most titles.

    $149-199 tier is very exciting now. 2Megapxiel gaming with a little AA/AF on the side under modern titles. You can’t really complain at the given price points. 660Ti and 7870 now look silly at their current price points. They are not that much faster and are nearly twice the price. Hopefully, Nvidia/AMD will do some price cuts on those cards. That is unless they are doing another refresh at $249-299 price point.

      • alwayssts
      • 6 years ago

      Looks like you see what I see, infamous Krogoth of Impressions.

      It seems pretty obvious a Hainan part is coming; slightly faster than 660ti. IOW, a card that is smack between 7870 and new 7950 (boost) as well as 660ti and 670. Not much faster than a 7870LE for all intents and purposes, but probably a shorter FF card with slightly lower power consumption.

      I think AMD is simply waiting for the market to adjust to what you have just stated. When we see ~$250-270 660ti’s, which AMD has clearly tried to influence with pricing of Tahiti LE, they will launch said card between it and 7950. Currently with 660ti being ~280, it would launch directly on top of 7950 at $300 or launch at less stealing 7950’s current value position, which would do nothing but impact AMD’s own market positioning.

    • mdkathon
    • 6 years ago

    With the HTPC/Big-Picture thing becoming more and more of an option I would love to see some in depth reviews of these @ 720P resolution with ultra-high/extreme settings.

    Currently I sit about 8.5 feet from my 55″ 1080P LCD. I cannot for the life of me see any real differences between running native vs. 720P in games, and usually I can really crank up my visual settings dropping to 720P.

    Just a suggestion. I think it’d be nice to see what the sweet spots are for CPU/GPU @ 720P with modern games.

      • auxy
      • 6 years ago

      You have bad vision. I can tell the difference between 1080p and 720p -immediately- from across the room on our 42″ Philips. I don’t know the distance, but it’s surely more than 8.5 feet; more like 12-15. (゚ー゚;)

      If you want to play games at 720p, play console games. Just a thought.

        • moose17145
        • 6 years ago

        [quote<]You have bad vision.[/quote<] Hey! As someone with HORRENDOUS vision I take offense to that! At least I have absolutely perfect teeth. Like perfect enough that I still have all my wisdom teeth and will never need them pulled and never needed braces growing up. Just sucks that the price of perfect teeth is apparently terrible eyesight... 🙁 Edited to fix my failure at BBC code

    • Star Brood
    • 6 years ago

    First one to start bundling Blizzard credits with their graphics card gets my vote. I still don’t have Diablo 3 or the SC2 expansion, and that would save me plenty of $$.

    Otherwise, this new card appears to be everything I’m looking for. Someone can correct me on this, but from what I’ve read the you can’t do 2x DVI and 1x HDMI with AMD, you have to have the third monitor running off of the Active DisplayPort. I set up a 660 Ti for my dad and we have 2x DVI and 1x HDMI running just fine.

    • Myrmecophagavir
    • 6 years ago

    The tables on the first two pages show different specs for the plain 650 Ti. Neither seems to give the correct peak tflops.

      • Cyril
      • 6 years ago

      Fixed, thanks.

    • Shinare
    • 6 years ago

    I just purchased an XFX 7850 2G based largely on the 7790 review and my need for a “Modern upgrade” to my aging 8800GTX. I could not overlook the excellent game package as well as TR’s reviews and I thought about the possible future need for more gfx memory. The extra $10 was a no brainer to get the 7850 over the 7790.

    I was a little afraid as I read through this today that I may have been too hasty in my purchase. However, If I take into account the 2 excellent games that came with my card, as well as the $20 rebate that brings my XFX 7850 2G to $159 I’m still happy with my choice and can’t wait till I get the chance to see the improvement over the 8800GTX.

    Now, on the other hand, hopefully my Conroe 3.0GHz based system with 8GB of DDR2 can keep up with it.

      • Krogoth
      • 6 years ago

      That 7850 is going to be CPU-bound in most games, but it will still yield an improvement over 8800GTX especially if AA/AF is thrown into the mix.

      • anubis44
      • 6 years ago

      Be sure to overclock that 7850! I had two Asus 7850s temporarily, and both overclocked to 1150MHz without any additional voltage. At that speed, your 7850 will seriously crush the GTX650 boost, and probably the GTX660 for that matter, in most games, and still be virtually silent. If you have a dual-bios switch like my Asus cards did, you can also safely flash the bios on the card so you don’t have to use software to overclock. Check out the techpowerup bios database and forums for info on your exact 7850 and which bioses will be compatible.

        • Krogoth
        • 6 years ago

        I’m afraid overclocking the 7850 isn’t going to help here outside of synthetic benchmarks, since OP is running an overclocked E6600 chip. The 7850 at stock is already CPU-bound.

          • flip-mode
          • 6 years ago

          dat truth.

          • sschaem
          • 6 years ago

          He might be capped by the CPU, but I bet in most games he can crank-up the visual to the point where he become GPU limited.

          Most games have option that will max out the GPU without touching the CPU.
          Usually just maxing out AA/AF in 1920x is enough to make you GPU limited on those cards.
          Most feature are actually 100% GPU bound, so turning them to the max got zero CPU impact.
          Texture & shader is a good example.

    • Voldenuit
    • 6 years ago

    Cyril, thanks for the review! I do feel that it’s missing some 660/7870 benchmarks to put the midrange cards (7790, 650Ti Boost) in perspective, though. Any chance of adding those in if/when TR revisits the 2 GB 7790 and/or 1 GB 650Ti Boost?

      • My Johnson
      • 6 years ago

      Yeah, I’m hoping TR revisits for a good midrange card throwdown what with the new games being released and driver updates.

    • southrncomfortjm
    • 6 years ago

    “The 650 Ti Boost has definitely made the 7790 less appealing, though. For $20 more, the Nvidia card opens the door to higher resolutions and detail settings.”

    Are either the new 650 Ti or 7790 that appealing compared to the 7850? A little patience for a sale will net you the 7850 for between $160 and $200, with 2 great games. Plus, the 7850 is a monster overclocker.

    I still say that a 7850, on sale, is the best value deal in graphics cards at the moment. I just picked up the 2GB MSI Twin Frozr III OC variant of the 7850 2 weeks ago, along with Tomb Raider and Bioshock, for $169 after MIR and feel pretty good about it. I actually like the GTX 660 better as a card, but it was more expensive and didn’t offer two of the best games that will come out this year as a bonus. $75 in free to play credit is a massive joke of a bonus.

      • flip-mode
      • 6 years ago

      This. I just ordered a 7850 2GB (for someone else) after reading this review for $185. And the 7850 probably has the lead in GPU compute but I’d need to see some benchmarks *ahem* to be sure about that.

        • cosminmcm
        • 6 years ago

        DUKE NUKED

      • raghu78
      • 6 years ago

      i agree. the HD 7790 needs to move to USD 130. at 160 sq mm die size which is similar to HD 5770 and HD 6770 die size its definitely possible. the HD 7850 2GB needs to come down to USD 180 with factory overclocked versions like PCS+ HD 7850(1 ghz) and XFX HD 7850 black edition (975 mhz) selling at USD 200. with the game bundle that would put the AMD back as the best card / deal at and below USD 200. HD 7870 at USD 220 and HD 7870 Tahiti LE at USD 250 round off the mid range AMD stack.

      • My Johnson
      • 6 years ago

      Yeah, the game bonus also influenced my purchasing decision. While I think that the GTX 660 is a superior card, I still chose the 7870 over it based on the game bundle alone.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 6 years ago

      I was reading your pro-7850 post, totally expecting something in particular then…yup, here it is:

      [quote<]I just picked up the 2GB MSI Twin Frozr III OC variant of the 7850 2 weeks ago[/quote<]

    • phez
    • 6 years ago

    amd are you even trying anymore?

    • brute
    • 6 years ago

    your are so dremy, cryil ♥

      • derFunkenstein
      • 6 years ago

      +1 for interestlyness.

    • albundy
    • 6 years ago

    “which should be available later today for $169”

    Yikes! the normal 650ti is selling for $70 less!

      • Voldenuit
      • 6 years ago

      [quote<]"which should be available later today for $169" Yikes! the normal 650ti is selling for $70 less![/quote<] It's worth pointing out that the $169 SKU is for the 2 GB 650Ti Boost. the 1 GB 650 Ti Boost is supposed to go for $149. Also, where are you getting a 650 Ti for $99? Are you shure you're not thinking of the [url=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127703<]vanilla 650?[/url<] That's a lower performing part on a different GPU core (GK107 instead of GK106).

        • alienstorexxx
        • 6 years ago

        meanwhile on nvidia headquarters

        [url<]http://img839.imageshack.us/img839/8122/missionaccomplishedk.jpg[/url<]

    • deruberhanyok
    • 6 years ago

    I think GTX 655 would have been a less confusing name, but hey, that’s video cards for you.

    I really think one of the companies should team up with Capcom. Just picture it – NVIDIA releases the GeForce GTX 650, then the GeForce GTX 650 Ti, then the GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost, then the Super GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost, then the Super GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost Turbo, and finally the Super GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost Turbo EX+ Alpha Hyper Fighting Rainbow Championship edition.

    Then they take the Super GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost Turbo EX+ Alpha Hyper Fighting Rainbow Championship edition and rename it the GeForce GT 740, and the cycle begins anew.

    Still, naming conventions aside, it looks like a nice, uh, boost in specs for lower price than the 660. I was looking at cards the other day thinking “eh, 660 is a bit out of my budget, but the 650 Ti could use a little more power” and this appears to hit the sweet spot.

    Also, pre-emptively countering AMD’s counter punch to NVIDIA’s punch? It’s a good thing NVIDIA installed that trace-buster-buster when they did.

      • jihadjoe
      • 6 years ago

      That’s probably the one thing tha I miss from the GTX280 days. They did well calling the upgraded SKU GTX285, instead of something silly like GTX280Ti.

      Of course, if a product goes through more than one upgrade the numbering could get silly. Would you like a GTX657.5, sir? It’s about 5% faster than the GTX655

    • Silus
    • 6 years ago

    It’s very funny that a list of games dominated by titles “friendly” to AMD, still doesn’t provide a very rosy picture to Radeons. One would expect that things like Crystal Dynamics has done with Tomb Raider, would make AMD clean the house, but even that one ends up faster on NVIDIA hardware. A testament to better drivers across the board, even when they’re being mined by very suspicious tactics by the developer and AMD.

      • Krogoth
      • 6 years ago

      You really need to stop drinking Jen-Hsun’s private kool-aid. It’s embarrassing to say the least.

    • OU812
    • 6 years ago

    Why test the GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost with the GeForce 314.21 beta drivers when this site just yesterday showed that the VHQL 3.14.22 drivers were released?

    [url<]https://techreport.com/news/24560/new-geforce-drivers-optimized-for-bioshock-infinite[/url<]

      • superjawes
      • 6 years ago

      Maybe they did this testing two or more days ago and just finished the writeup?

        • Cyril
        • 6 years ago

        [quote<]Maybe they did this testing two or more days ago and just finished the writeup?[/quote<] Pretty much. It takes about one full day to write a TR graphics card review. Testing was already finished when those drivers came out, and I had far too little time to re-test.

          • OU812
          • 6 years ago

          [quote<]Pretty much. It takes about one full day to write a TR graphics card review. Testing was already finished when those drivers came out, and I had far too little time to re-test.[/quote<] Cyril will you be using the VHQL 3.14.22 drivers when you test the GTX 650 Ti Boost 1GB cards?

            • Cyril
            • 6 years ago

            We always make sure to grab the latest drivers when starting work on a new graphics review.

          • My Johnson
          • 6 years ago

          Wow, you write that fast? Damn.

      • chuckula
      • 6 years ago

      OK! Anti-hypocrisy time!

      Please stop whining for the exact same reasons that I noted below for Bensam123 except that this is to counteract your Nvidia fanboyism instead of his AMD fanboyism.

      You see, I know I’m right when fanboys from both camps mod down my posts in a single article thread based on their own biases.

        • OU812
        • 6 years ago

        Grow up chuckie. If that even is possible for such a spoiled child as yourself.

    • flip-mode
    • 6 years ago

    People, for the sake of humanity, take 3 minutes to go and read the testing notes before asking stupid questions (I am guilty myself!!!!) like “der, duh, um, WTF Cyril – did you use a different driver”.

    • windwalker
    • 6 years ago

    Looks interesting, but not good enough to buy yet.
    Now that we have suitable mainstream GPUs it’s time for card manufacturers to step up and build high quality silent implementations.
    That’s what I want to buy.

    • sarahNL93144
    • 6 years ago
    • roadkill1
    • 6 years ago

    As a GTX660 owner I feel totally offended and cheated and betrayed by Nvidia. That’s it, I’m going over to AMD. I payed roughly 210 Euros ($270) for a GTX 660 back in November and now they re-release the same freakin’ card at $180 ?!?! @#*$^&* you, nvidia

      • chuckula
      • 6 years ago

      Welcome to the world of technology!
      How much money will you save by buying an AMD card to replace the card you already own?
      If you already owned a 7850, would you feel the same about the 7790, or is it only Nvidia who pulls these stunts?

        • A_Pickle
        • 6 years ago

        Seriously! November was nearly five months ago! That’s an eternity in tech!

        • roadkill1
        • 6 years ago

        I’m saying that even now the gtx660 sells for $230. that’s a normal price, considering it was $270 in November. But $170 just because it’s renamed? I’m not saying the gtx660 should be cheaper, but the 650Ti boost should be a bit more expensive

          • PixelArmy
          • 6 years ago

          ???

          Only the specs TR listed look the same… The 660 non-Ti still destroys this… and you probably got a good game bundle (Borderlands 2?)

          [b<]Note to nvidia, fix your crappy bundle![/b<] Bioshock might be the only thing the 7790 has going for it (luckily there's only 2 listed at Newegg as of 1pm GMT).

          • derFunkenstein
          • 6 years ago

          …oh. You were serious? I take it all back, you’re a doofus.

          • jihadjoe
          • 6 years ago

          More expensive graphics cards for everyone! How dare these manufacturers offer similar performance at reasonable prices. >:(

      • MadManOriginal
      • 6 years ago

      Eh, it’s 4 months after you bought and 6 months after the GTX 660 release. I own a GTX 660 too, and although I got a better price, I kinda sorta felt the same way when I first heard of this card but unless it’s readily available for sub-$150 in a 2GB configuration right away I’m not too bothered. I got to use my card for months already.

      Plus, I expect the GTX660 to have better longevity because of 25% more shaders. It’s like the 9600GT versus 8800GT/9800GT. The 9600GT performed nearly as well as the 8800GT but didn’t have the longevity as games got more shader-heavy.

        • nanoflower
        • 6 years ago

        Hey, I just bought a 650 TI a couple of weeks ago. If I knew this was coming out I might have gone for this card since it will be available for about the same price. Though I got a copy of Borderlands 2 with the card instead of being stuck with in game credit for games that I don’t play.
        But that’s always a risk.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 6 years ago

      I got the subtle sarcasm.

        • A_Pickle
        • 6 years ago

        Well lookitchu, Mr. Smarty-Pants.

          • My Johnson
          • 6 years ago

          Are you being sarcastic?

      • jihadjoe
      • 6 years ago

      I bet 680 owners felt the same way about the 670,
      and 670 owners said the same thing when the 660Ti came out…

      • GrimDanfango
      • 6 years ago

      Well, from the glance I took at the current prices in the UK, there’s about £10 difference between the 660 and the 650 Boost.
      They haven’t undercut the 660… the 660 has simply depreciated since you bought it. I too bought one at ~£200 back in November, and now I can get the same one for £160, and some brands are as low as £140.

      That’s the way technology works… if you buy something, it’ll be worth a lot less in 5 months time.

      • Voldenuit
      • 6 years ago

      Wait, you got mad because a vendor releases a new product with a better price/performance than their old one? Where I come from, [i<]we call that progress.[/i<]

        • roadkill1
        • 6 years ago

        It’s not a new product ! It’s the same ! Selling the same products simultaneously but with two different prices how is that progress ?????

          • derFunkenstein
          • 6 years ago

          Except it’s not actually the same. Fewer CUDA cores/ALUs.

          • Voldenuit
          • 6 years ago

          That’s economic progress. It doesn’t have to be technological. Plus, it’s not the same product – the 650Ti Boost has the same number of ROPs but one less SMX. In either case, consumers get more choice and more value from AMD and nvidia raising performance in the $150-170 space.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 6 years ago

            Yeah I’m thinking it’s finally possibly worth replacing my GTX 460. A 650Ti Boost is a pretty big jump over a 650Ti, and is so close to a vanilla 660 that I’m surprised it’s not called 660 SE.

      • Arclight
      • 6 years ago

      You still got the better card, just look at other reviews [url<]http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_650_Ti_Boost/25.html[/url<] Stop complaining

        • Voldenuit
        • 6 years ago

        [quote<]@roadkill1 (#7) You still got the better card, just look at other reviews [url<]http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_650_Ti_Boost/25.html[/url<] Stop complaining[/quote<] Agreed. I bought a 660 GTX in December and don't feel cheated in the least. I also agree with southerncomfortjm that the 7850 is probably the most attractive price/performance deal at the moment, especially (and I never say this) because of the game bundles.

    • flip-mode
    • 6 years ago

    That escalated quickly. Really quickly. I figured Nvidia would fire back with something but I was really expecting just a price cut and not a lesser crippled GK106.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 6 years ago

      By the name of the card, I expected an OC’d GTX 650 Ti, not a nearly-full 660. This should be 660 SE, I guess, because that name seems closer to what the card actually is. Surprisingly nice.

    • Bensam123
    • 6 years ago

    Gawdzooks Cyril… Not to be mean, but this like completely scrubs the conclusion from the 7790 review. The 7790 went from looking like a card that easily replaces the 7850 to just another notch in the rung.

    What happened? Did you test the 7850 in the 7790 review with older drivers or 7790 private beta drivers? If that’s it almost looks like you can’t even make a accurate conclusion based on this till the 7790 ends up with the same drivers as the rest of the 7XXX series.

    Did you try the 7790 with the 13.3b3 drivers just to see what would happen? Sometimes they include newer hardware drivers in with the builds before they’re released to the public.

    “…since I didn’t have time to benchmark everything again at different settings.”

    Why? What changed?

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I’d rather wait a day for a better executed review then something that meets a deadline. I read reviews here regardless of how late or early they come out. This one sorta came out… haphazard or so it seems.

    It appears this is irrelevant or incorrect as this is listed in the testing section.

    “Oh, and all the Radeons except for the 7790 were re-tested using AMD’s Catalyst 13.3 beta drivers, which include all of the company’s latest frame latency optimizations. The driver AMD sent us for the 7790 review last week also included recent optimizations, but for some reason, they only seem to apply to the 7790—the Radeon HD 7850 and 7770 behave as they do with older driver releases.”

    All but the 7790 were retested with the 13.3b3 drivers. They still weren’t labeled in the graph and no comparison points were made between the 7790 and the 7850 (testing the 7850 with the 7790 drivers, 7790 with the 7850 drivers, or reusing them so people can see the performance increase between the two).

      • chuckula
      • 6 years ago

      I’ll make a deal with you: If you promise to stop nitpicking each and every benchmark/driver/card selection/graphical setting that TR uses for these benchmarks, then I promise not to do the exact same thing when they compare the desktop GPU in Haswell to Trinity. Deal?

        • flip-mode
        • 6 years ago

        Edit: Downvote me, everyone, for not taking the 30 seconds to read the testing notes. I do not deserve to live. /End last edit. Original garbage follows:

        I wouldn’t say he’s nitpicking in this case. Look in the 7790 review at the 99th percentile performance of the 7790 relative to the 7850 1GB and then go look at the relative performance between the two in this review just a week later. Something changed; I think it must have been something with the test settings. But still, just one week later TR has essentially torpedoed it’s initial appraisal of the 7790. Thank god the card wasn’t available to buy in the intervening week, or there might be some people getting upset.

        Edit: no, there must have been a new driver used for the rest of the Radeons because the scores for the 7790 and the Geforce cards tested last week remain the same this week.

          • chuckula
          • 6 years ago

          From the review: [quote<]The driver AMD sent us for the 7790 review last week also included recent optimizations, but for some reason, they only seem to apply to the 7790—the Radeon HD 7850 and 7770 behave as they do with older driver releases. [/quote<] From AMD's own notes it looks like the 7790 already had the same optimizations applied. Using the newest Catalyst drivers helps the 7850 to perform better, so I don't think it's anti-AMD bias here. It wouldn't hurt to have the 7790 use the newer drivers just to make sure they maintain the optimizations, but at the same time, I wouldn't expect miracles if AMD's own team told Cyril to use the drivers he used. I think we are missing something here: The more expensive 7850 (with beefier hardware) outperforms the less expensive 7790 (with less hardware). Why should this be considered shocking or controversial?

            • derFunkenstein
            • 6 years ago

            if anything it’s pro-AMD because their other cards are performing better now.

            • Bensam123
            • 6 years ago

            THERE IS NO BIASED HERE! I didn’t even point out Nvidia cards, I’m JUST looking at AMD results. WTF is wrong with you people. Stop using pop culture psychology terms that don’t even apply.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 6 years ago

            So am I – I’m saying, just looking at the AMD results here, it’s a marked improvement for the non-7790 cards. Turn that frown upside-down!

            • flip-mode
            • 6 years ago

            I’m not suggesting any bias. I haven’t had time to read the review, only look at the final results, and there’s a big difference in the performance of the 7850 1GB (and 7770) since last week. I don’t know what to attribute it to since I haven’t read the review. Is it drivers or test settings? The HD 7790 looks to perform exactly the same as last week, and so does the GTX 650 Ti-Not-Super-Boost-But-Not-Non-TI, so I’m assuming a new driver was used for the non-HD 7790 Radeons.

            • Bensam123
            • 6 years ago

          • Bensam123
          • 6 years ago

          Yup… And people hop all over me because they assume some sort of stupid bias. I’m not even pointing out Nvidia results or anything like that, I was pointing out the difference in trends between a review that was published four days ago and one that was published today.

          This should really alarm anyone because it means that either the results from last friday or the results from this review have relatively little meaning when trying to generalize them to other cards and making purchasing decisions based off of it. One of the two is no longer valid and people shouldn’t simply shove their heads in the ground and pretend they are.

          Cyril said he reused “some” of the scores from last week, he doesn’t tell you which scores he reused or why they changed, which I would say is a very big factor in determining which cards to make a purchasing decision based off of.

          “I also had to re-use results from the 7790 review…”

          Which results? Why? Why weren’t they labeled? What has changed? This reminds me of the quality I saw in TR reviews close to a decade ago, much has changed in terms of standards.

            • flip-mode
            • 6 years ago

            No, I’m kinda mad at you now for raising a stink before reading and now you’re not owning up to it.

            • Bensam123
            • 6 years ago

            Nah, that paragraph was definitely not there last night. The results still aren’t labeled in the graphs.

            • Cyril
            • 6 years ago

            Incorrect. The paragraph was in my original draft, which was edited last night and posted this morning at 7AM CDT.

            And it’s not our policy to label results differently when they’re taken from another review, unless we’re comparing multiple sets of results for a single product in a single article.

            • Bensam123
            • 6 years ago

            Or the results use two different sets of drivers and the results may change by a decent margin? I mean that’s the whole point of pointing out the driver version in the methodology section.

            I guess I’m blind then, but I’m almost 100% certain that last paragraph was not there. I checked over it a few times and pointed this out again because I pointed out similar in your review from last friday.

            • Cyril
            • 6 years ago

            As I stated in the test notes, the Radeon HD 7770 and Radeon HD 7850 1GB were re-tested with the new Catalysts because of the latency discrepancy we noticed last time. The 7850 2GB, GTX 650 Ti 2GB non-AMP!, GTX 650 Ti Boost, and GTX 650 Ti Boost SC weren’t tested last week, so their results are new, as well.

            That leaves 7790, GTX 650 Ti 2GB AMP!, and GTX 560. The numbers for those cards were re-used from last week’s review, as you can probably tell if you compare the numbers.

            This is really a lot more straightforward than you make it out to be.

        • Bensam123
        • 6 years ago

        If I promise not to question the validity of a scientific study you’ll stop being a fanboi? So I’m at -5 and you’re at 0… Hrmmm…

        • cegras
        • 6 years ago

        Bensam, only make the deal with chuckula if he agrees to stop with the ARM scarecrows.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 6 years ago

      If you can’t read anything beyond the graphs you don’t deserve an answer.

      • flip-mode
      • 6 years ago

      Right from the Test notes dude:

      [quote<]Oh, and all the Radeons except for the 7790 were re-tested using AMD's Catalyst 13.3 beta drivers, which include all of the company's latest frame latency optimizations. The driver AMD sent us for the 7790 review last week also included recent optimizations, but for some reason, they only seem to apply to the 7790—the Radeon HD 7850 and 7770 behave as they do with older driver releases.[/quote<] Both you and I deserve massive downvotes for not taking the 30 seconds to read it before posting. And I think you need an additional call out for spazing out every time a GPU review gets posted. I'm tempted to create a throw-away account just to give you and I the downvotes we deserve.

        • UberGerbil
        • 6 years ago

        Now [b<]that[/b<] is how to do a [i<]mea culpa[/i<]. Congratulations, you do deserve to live after all!

          • flip-mode
          • 6 years ago

          Yeah, well, I get sick of the fact that I’m so damn lazy that it borders on being illiterate.

            • Bensam123
            • 6 years ago

            Don’t downplay yourself, I’m pretty darn certain that was not there last night when I initially made the post. The testing section is now quite a bit more flushed out.

            • Cyril
            • 6 years ago

            Why did you make this incorrect (see above) assertion [i<]three times[/i<] in the same thread mere minutes apart?

            • Bensam123
            • 6 years ago

            It followed the line of discussion.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 6 years ago

            To make himself feel better about being illiterate.

        • Bensam123
        • 6 years ago

        WTF I’m pretty sure that wasn’t there last night because I checked 2-3 times before making this post.

    • chuckula
    • 6 years ago

    For the record, while the “650 TI Boost” may be a better performing GPU than the 7790, it has an insanely bad and confusing name when there are already 650 *and* 650 TI models on the market that are not the same card!

      • sweatshopking
      • 6 years ago

      the second i saw that name, i said wtf.

      • flip-mode
      • 6 years ago

      You’re 100 percent right about that.

      • Peldor
      • 6 years ago

      Somewhere a marketing director cackles with glee.

        • nanoflower
        • 6 years ago

        Sadly you are likely right. There will be people buying 650s and 650 TIs thinking they are the same as the 650 TI Boost, if they don’t have someone around to help explain the difference. They won’t know why their performance isn’t what they expected so they will just blame Nvidia and say “Nvidia sucks” even though it’s an issue with what card they bought vs the performance they thought they were getting.

          • JustAnEngineer
          • 6 years ago

          NVidia’s evil marketing geniuses do suck.

      • ClickClick5
      • 6 years ago

      Expect anything different from Nvidia? They have been doing this since….well a long ass time.

      THE NEW GEFORCE 760 GTX TI BOOST POWER EDITION LIMITED XXL!!!!

      • sschaem
      • 6 years ago

      Not any more confusing the AMD 7870 LE…

      I wonder if at some point we are going to have a third party product name translator 🙂
      Go to google and say translate from “AMD speak to geek speak”

      “7870 LE” “Thaiti 1536:975/1500:256”
      “7870” “Pitcairn 1280:1000/1200:256”

        • derFunkenstein
        • 6 years ago

        7870 LE is WAY more confusing, because LE implies to me lower performance, but if those are ALU counts and clock speeds / RAM speed and bus, then the “LE” wins out all over the joint.

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