MSI GeForce GTX 650 Power Edition OC 1GB Review
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The Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 was released alongside the GTX 660 last month, but unlike the GTX 660, which was available in volume to reviewers the GTX 650 was nowhere to be found. The reason being Nvidia actually told their board partners to not sample the GTX 650 until after the reviews for the GTX 660 went live. They stated this was an effort to ensure the GTX 660 didn’t lessen the impact of the GTX 650, but this did raise some red flags for us, because usually when a product isn’t sent out to reviewer there is a reason other than some of the thunder could be stolen by its older sibling.
Now that the GeForce GTX 660 has been out for some weeks we finally secured a GTX 650 via MSI. The graphics card is part of the MSI Power Edition family, so it comes with high-end features such as a modular dual fan thermal solution, triple over-voltage, Military Class II components and an enhanced VRM design. In addition, the GTX 650 PE is based on the new GK107 GPU, which has only a single GPC giving it two SMX units that each includes 192 CUDA cores. In addition, the GTX 650 has a 128-bit memory interface with 1GB of GDDR5 memory, so it doesn’t have the same memory bandwidth as its older sibling.
In terms of completion, the GTX 650 is positioned right between the AMD Radeon HD 7750 and HD 7770. The problem is AMD has dropped their prices in light of the GTX 650, so when it comes right down to it the HD 7770 can be found for the same price as the GTX 650. The question is which one is a better buy?
As an overclocked version of the GeForce GTX 650 that comes with a modular dual fan thermal solution the MSI GTX 650 PE has a slight premium over the reference models. MSI has been trying to only increase the MSRP by $10 though, even though they use better components and the clock speeds are faster. This means instead of having a $119 MSRP as is the case with cards using the stock specifications, the MSI GTX 650 PE is going to hit the market at $129.