Nvidia has just launched their new Pascal GPU GP107 as the GTX 1050 and the GTX 1050 Ti which will take on the AMD Radeon RX 460. GP107 is a lower-end GPU designed for 1920×1080 resolution and for gamers who are on a tight budget. We received a ($149.99) PNY GTX 1050 Ti 4GB card and a ($159.99) PNY GTX 1050 Ti XLR8 Overclocked Gaming Edition which we are going to compare with our factory overclocked XFX RX 460 4GB card which we bought from Newegg last week and now sells for $149.99. We are also going to compare the two PNY GTX 1050 Tis with six other competing cards using our updated 28-game benchmark suite.
The AMD Polaris RX 460 arrived in August as a 2GB or 4GB 75W card on 14nm FinFET that now sells beginning at $99, depending on its vRAM capacity and core speeds. AMD has concentrated on launching the medium to low end while Nvidia began with the high end GTX 1080 and has moved down to the low end. The natural comparison we will make is between the $149 reference clocked PNY GTX 1050 Ti 4GB card versus the factory overclocked $149 XFX RX 460.
Now it’s Nvidia’s turn to launch their two new entry level GeForce gaming cards starting at $109 for the GTX 1050 and $139 for the GTX 1050 Ti today from Nvidia’s add-in card partners. For this evaluation, we are going to focus on the two PNY GTX 1050 Ti cards. This time there are no GTX 1050/Ti Founders Editions, and for a change, the 135 square mm GP107 GPU die is fabbed at Samsung on their 14nm process instead of at TSMC at 16nm as are the rest of the Pascal cards.
Nvidia suggests that the new GTX 1050 offers 3 times the performance of the Maxell GTX 650 as shown above. Both the GTX 1050 and the GTX 1050 Ti are 75W cards that do not require a PCIe connector as an easy upgrade for gamers with a 300W power supply. The PNY GTX 1050 Ti does not use any PCIe connector while both the XFX RX 460 and the PNY GTX 1050 Ti XLR8 OC edition use a single 6-pin connector.
The low end or entry-level market is quite important to both AMD and Nvidia as PC gaming is growing fast, and more than half of all video games released in the USA are released on PC compared with the other half which are shared by the PS4 and the XBox One consoles. Part of this resurgence in PC gaming is fueled by eSports and the availability of inexpensive but quality video card for the most popular resolution, 1920×1080.
The GTX 1050 2GB
PNY offers a GTX 1050 2GB version which is priced ten dollars over the base GTX 1050 at $119.00 and it uses the reference clocks.
The GTX 1050 uses no extra power cable making it ideal for games with small capacity power supply units (PSU) and it is a good upgrade for GTX 750 Ti users. However, we are going to compare the performance of the GTX 750 Ti with the reference clocked PNY GTX 1050 Ti to see if it is a worthwhile upgrade at $149 as both cards draw their power only from the PCIe slot.
The GTX 1050 Ti
The GTX 1050 Ti features 768 CUDA cores, the same memory configuration as the GTX 1050, and it is clocked at 1.35GHz. Some partner cards will use a 6-pin PCIe connector for overclocking as PNY does for its GTX 1050 Ti XLR8 Overclocked Editon, and evidently some of the GTX 1050s will clock to 1.9GHz.
The PNY GTX 1050 Ti base clock is at 1366MHz core clock which is 76MHz over Nvidia’s reference clocks, and the Boost is 1480MHz, which is clocked 88MHz over Nvidia’s guaranteed boost, and it is priced $20 over Nvidia’s entry level pricing for the base GTX 1050 Ti.
Like all of the other Pascal cards, the GTX 1050 and the GTX 1050 Ti include support for all of Nvidia’s Pascal features including Simultaneous Multi-Projection technology, which allows them to seamlessly project a single image simultaneously to both eyes. And like the other more expensive Pascal cards, the GTX 1050/1050 Ti can support using up to four displays simultaneously.
The GTX 1050 and the GTX 1050 Ti also supports Nvidia Ansel technology, a game-capture tool that allows gamers to explore and share gaming art in new ways. With Ansel, users can compose their gameplay shots by pointing the camera in any direction and from any vantage point within a gaming world, and then capture 360-degree stereo photospheres for viewing with a VR headset or with Google Cardboard. For a recap of Nvidia’s Pascal architecture see our GTX 1060 Founders Edition launch article.
The $149 PNY GeForce GTX 1050 4GB & the $159 GTX 1050 Ti XLR8 OC vs. the factory overclocked $149 XFX RX 460
AMD is evidently dropping the pricing on the RX 460 to $99 for the entry-level base 2GB cards and to $169 for the base RX 470 in advance of the release of the GTX 1050s. However, AMD’s premium overclocked partner cards’ pricing has mostly remained the same on Newegg with some softening in the form of mail in rebates. All of these cards have low power requirements and are aimed at the HTPC or small form factor PC enthusiast as well as at the gamer on a tight budget. The GTX 1050 and the PNY GTX 1050 Ti 4GB edition have no power connector and are aimed at enthusiasts with low power PSUs. The GTX 1050 and GTX 1050 Ti are also aimed at 1920×1080 resolution and especially at the eSports gamers.
Our Big Picture Test bed of Competing Cards
This evaluation is focused on performance, and we will especially compare the PNY GTX 1050 Ti 4GB and the XLR8 Overclocked Gaming edition against the XFX RX 460 4GB overclocked edition. We will also compare the performance of 6 other competing video card configurations including the GTX 1060 3GB, the GTX 960 2GB OC, the GTX 950 2GB OC, the GTX 750 Ti, the GTX 1060 3GB, and the RX 470 to determine where the new PNY GTX 1050 Tis fit in terms of performance vs pricing.
Our testing platform is Windows 10 Home 64-bit, using an Intel Core i7-6700K at 4.00GHz which turbos to 4.4GHz for all cores as set in the ASRock Z7170 motherboard’s BIOS, and 16GB of G.SKILL DDR4 at 3000MHz. The settings and hardware are identical except for the drivers being tested.
We test 28 games and 2 synthetics featuring our newest 2016 games, Shadow Warrior 2 and Civilization VI, and we are also including Ashes of the Singularity, Hitman, Total War Warhammer, Gears of War 4, and Rise of the Tomb Raider using DX12. We have also added Futuremark’s DX12 benchmark, Time Spy, and will compare gaming performance with maximum settings at 1920×1080.
Here is our test bed:
- PNY GTX 1050 Ti XLR8 OC Edition – $159
- PNY GTX 1050 Ti 4GB – $149
- EVGA GTX 1060 3GB – $199
- ASUS Strix GTX 950 OC 2GB – $137
- ASUS Strix GTX 960 OC 2GB – $159
- PowerColor Red Devil RX 470 4GB – $184
- XFX RX 460 4GB – $149
Let’s take a closer look at the new PNY GTX 1050 Ti 4GB and the GTX 1050 Ti XLR8 Overclocked Gaming Edition.