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EVGA GTX 650 Ti BOOST SC Graphics Card Review

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We’re back today with another iteration of NVIDIA’s new GTX 650 Ti BOOST, this time from EVGA in the form of their GTX 650 Ti BOOST SuperClocked (SC for short). This card is obviously clocked above the stock GTX 650 Ti BOOST, but how much does that gain? Let’s find out.

Specifications & Features

As indicated by its name, the GTX 650 Ti BOOST SuperClocked is overclocked from the reference GTX 650 Ti BOOST. While memory frequency stays the same, the CPU base is frequency clocked up 92 MHz and the boost frequency by 104 MHz.

EVGA GTX 650 Ti BOOST SC Specifications

EVGA GTX 650 Ti BOOST SC Specifications

The 2 GB EVGA GTX 650 Ti BOOST SC has a $10 premium over the reference card and is priced at $179.99.

EVGA GTX 650 Ti BOOST SC GPUz

EVGA GTX 650 Ti BOOST SC GPUz

Of course, stock frequencies don’t necessarily tell the whole story with NVIDIA’s boost feature. This particular card actually clocks a little bit higher when running 3D, at 1149.7 MHz.

Stock Boost Frequency

Stock Boost Frequency

Specs look good, let’s find out how the card itself looks.

Meet the EVGA GTX 650 Ti BOOST SuperClocked

EVGA’s box is busy yet not too loud. The packaging provides ample protection too – bubble wrap for bumps & bruises and an antistatic bag for, well, static.

EVGA GTX 650 Ti BOOST SC Box

EVGA GTX 650 Ti BOOST SC Box

Box Rear

Box Rear

Box Interior

Box Interior

Well Protected

Well Protected

The accessories pack is slim, but that’s normal. You get the driver disc, a quick start guide, a MOLEX-to-6-pin PCIe power adapter, a DVI-to-VGA adapter and case badge. Certainly not bad for a card at this level. Don’t forget you also get that Free 2 Play game credit from participating eTailers.

Accessories

Accessories

Here we have the EVGA GTX 650 Ti BOOST SC in the flesh. The cooler probably looks familiar, it’s the same as that on EVGA’s GTX 660.

EVGA GTX 650 Ti BOOST SC

EVGA GTX 650 Ti BOOST SC

EVGA GTX 650 Ti BOOST SC

EVGA GTX 650 Ti BOOST SC

EVGA GTX 650 Ti BOOST SC

EVGA GTX 650 Ti BOOST SC

EVGA GTX 650 Ti BOOST SC

EVGA GTX 650 Ti BOOST SC

EVGA GTX 650 Ti BOOST SC

EVGA GTX 650 Ti BOOST SC

I like the style. The carbon fiber look isn’t gaudy, but when looked at in the right light is actually quite nice.

EVGA Carbon Fiber

EVGA Carbon Fiber

Video connections provided include two DVI, one HDMI and one DisplayPort output.

Video Outputs

Video Outputs

As this is a reference card, it comes with the same single 6-pin PCIe power connector and single SLI connector so you can connect two cards together (which we do in this review).

EVGA GTX 650 Ti BOOST SC

EVGA GTX 650 Ti BOOST SC

EVGA’s iteration looks good on the outside, let’s tear it apart and see what it looks like under that heatsink.

Under the Hood

I mentioned before that this was the same heatsink as resides on EVGA’s GTX 660 and that was a pleasant change from the paltry reference heatsink. This one contacts the vRAM chips and the power section. It also has plenty of surface area and the GPU portion is actually a single heatpipe cooler with lots of aluminum fins to cool the GPU. This is a significant improvement over the stock offering.

Heatsink Removed

Heatsink Removed

Heatsink

Heatsink

Single Heatpipe Cooler

Single Heatpipe Cooler

For a blower cooler, it’s also rather quiet. you can certainly hear it when it spins up – more so than larger coolers that aren’t a blower-style design – but it’s a good offering for what it is.

The PCB is pure reference. The only difference is the BIOS, and this one being stamped EVGA.

EVGA GTX 650 Ti BOOST SC

EVGA GTX 650 Ti BOOST SC PCB

PCB Rear

PCB Rear

EVGA GTX 650 Ti BOOST SC

EVGA GTX 650 Ti BOOST SC

EVGA GTX 650 Ti BOOST SC

EVGA GTX 650 Ti BOOST SC

The power section is the same five phase design – four on the GPU itself as pictured below and one on the memory that you can see above (bottom left photo, it is just below and to the right of the SLI bridge).

Power Section

GPU Power Section

Samsung supplies the GDDR5 memory clocked at 1502 MHz (6008 MHz quad-pumped GDDR5).

Samsung GDDR5

Samsung GDDR5

Lastly, we see the GTX 650 Ti BOOST GPU itself.

GTX 650 Ti BOOST

GTX 650 Ti BOOST

GTX 650 Ti BOOST

GTX 650 Ti BOOST

As normal, EVGA has chosen to go straight reference throughout, and especially for a card at this price point, it’s totally expected. You’ll hear no arguments about the card’s build quality from me.

Test Setup

Our test setup includes a 4.0 GHz i7 3770K with memory clocked at DDR3-1866 / 9-9-9-24. Competition comes courtesy the AMD HD 7790 and NVIDIA’s reference GTX 650 Ti BOOST. We also include GTX 650 Ti BOOST SLI numbers, stock and overclocked.

CPU i7 3770K @ 4.0 GHz
MB ASUS Maximus V Extreme
RAM G.Skill TridentX DDR3-2600 @ 1866MHz 9-9-9-24
GPUs EVGA GTX 650 Ti BOOST SC
GTX 650 Ti BOOST SLI
NVIDIA GTX 650 Ti BOOST
ASUS HD 7790 DirectCU II OC
OS Windows 7 Professional x64

One card is good….

EVGA GTX 650 Ti BOOST SC Installed

EVGA GTX 650 Ti BOOST SC Installed

…but two cards is better.

GTX 650 Ti BOOST SLI

GTX 650 Ti BOOST SLI

Quick note about SLI: The reference card was clocked at reference clocks. In SLI mode, PrecisionX couldn’t change the cards’ clocks independently, so there is a clock discrepancy between the two. SLI results with two EVGA SuperClocked cards will be slightly better than the results we have shown. It won’t be by much, but there will be a minor difference.

SLI Boost Difference

SLI Boost Difference

As you can see, there is a 78.4 MHz disparity between the cards. It shouldn’t really affect things too poorly, but just showing you it’s there for full disclosure.

Cooler Performance & Power Consumption

While the cooler on the EVGA GTX 650 Ti BOOST SC is better than the stock cooler, its default fan profile also likes silence. When adding in the increased frequency, that translates to slightly higher temperatures than the reference card.

EVGA GTX 650 Ti BOOST SC Cooler Performance

EVGA GTX 650 Ti BOOST SC Cooler Performance

Higher frequency of course means that you’ll have a little more power draw. It’s not much, but it’s there. SLI results actually weren’t too bad. When compared to higher-end cards, that weighs in about right. It’s very impressive you can run two GPUs and an Ivy Bridge setup with less than 400 watts!

EVGA GTX 650 Ti BOOST SC Power Consumption

EVGA GTX 650 Ti BOOST SC Power Consumption

Now to push the card a bit.

Overclocking

Being a reference card with just a BIOS that increases frequency a bit, you’re most likely not going to see 100+ MHz overclocks on this card. However, the card did still overclock well, and when considered relative to the SC’s stock frequency, it went further than the reference card, adding +70 MHz to the stock SC GPU freqency (which is 1207 MHz in GPUz and 1219.7 MHz actual). Memory stayed the same at +300 MHz (1652 MHz actual, 6608 MHz quad-pumped).

3DMark Vantage +70 / +300

3DMark Vantage +70 / +300

3DMark 11 +70 / +300

3DMark 11 +70 / +300

As a side note, I seem to have forgotten to include a screenshot of the overclocked SLI results. I was a little more conservative with SLI overclocking and only pushed +50 MHz on the core, with the same +300 MHz on the memory.

Overall, overclocking the EVGA GTX 650 Ti BOOST SC went quite well, especially since it was able to push further than the reference card!

Performance Results

All of our benchmarks are run per our GPU testing procedure guidelines, which you can check out right here. Long story short: benchmarks are run at their default settings and games are run with everything maxed.

Synthetic Tests

3Dmark 03 is looking better than reference clocks for the SC. SLI scaling isn’t too bad either.

3Dmark 03

3Dmark 03

As you can see, the difference in reference-to-SC clocks doesn’t make a huge difference in Vantage and SLI doesn’t scale all that well either. That’s not a card problem, it’s because vantage is becoming more and more CPU dependent with each new CPU generation. It’s been like this pretty much since Sandy Bridge came out.

3DMark Vantage

3DMark Vantage

3DMark 11 has good SLI scaling and continues to show the slight advantage in increased clocks. What you’re seeing here you’ll see is a trend – while the SC is obviously better at ‘stock’ clocks as expected, it also clocked higher when overclocking, so there is even a difference when both cards are clocked as high as they can go with stability.

3Dmark 11

3Dmark 11

SLI scaling is superb in GPU-bound Heaven.

HWBot Heaven

HWBot Heaven

Fire Strike for multiple GPUs is just plain busted still (Futuremark blames it on drivers), so we’ll leave SLI off this graph.

3DMark Fire Strike

3DMark Fire Strike

In benchmarks, things are looking good for both the SuperClocked card and SLI. Let’s get to some real world use.

Game Tests

You won’t see SLI scaling better than this. We’ll go over all the scaling percentages later, but you can see here the obvious great scaling over single card. As far as SC vs. Reference, you won’t get a huge difference in FPS numbers. It’s there and it is increased both stock and overclocked, but the actual FPS increase is little.

Aliens vs. Predator DX 11 Benchmark

Aliens vs. Predator DX 11 Benchmark

Interestingly, Batman AC lost a single FPS with the overclocked SC result. I think we can safely blame run variation for that little tidbit.

Batman: Arkham City

Batman: Arkham City

BF3 is another with great SLI scaling.

Battlefield 3

Battlefield 3

Surprisingly, Civilization V came out with superb SLI scaling. At the high end (think GTX 680 / HD 7970), Civilization V is all but CPU bound. When considering lower tier cards like the GTX 650 Ti BOOST, SLI actually makes a very significant difference.

Civilization V

Civilization V

Dirt 3 is looking good, for stock and SLI results. Surprisingly the SLI overclocked cards came in just slightly (less than one FPS) worse than stock.

Dirt 3

Dirt 3

Metro scales, because it’s totally GPU bound. It also shows the smallest difference in single card clocks, gaining a mere 0.3 FPS stock and overclocked.

Metro 2033

Metro 2033

Obviously, two cards are better than one. Scaling looks solid throughout many of our tests. The EVGA GTX 650 Ti BOOST SC bests its Reference cousin throughout, both at stock and overclocked.

SLI Scaling

This chart is pretty self-explanatory. Interestingly, the titles in alphabetical order as we present them make for an up-down-up-down pattern in SLI scaling (benchmarks excepted, which also measure CPU capability).

GTX 650 Ti BOOST SLI Scaling

GTX 650 Ti BOOST SLI Scaling

It looks like you can expect anywhere from 74% to 88% SLI scaling in our testing when adding a second GTX 650 Ti BOOST, which is not bad at all. You’ll never see 100% multi-GPU scaling and this is a pretty solid showing.

SLI vs. Higher End GPUs

Here we have one more graph – what the pair of GTX 650 Ti BOOSTs look like versus some higher-end offerings.

GTX 650 Ti BOOST vs. Higher-end GPUs

GTX 650 Ti BOOST vs. Higher-end GPUs

They actually did quite well for themselves, as well they should for ~$340. However, if you have that much to spend all at once, I’d recommend going with an HD 7970, which can be had for as little as $370 after rebate. If you don’t have that much to spend and just need some more power down the road, adding a second GTX 650 Ti BOOST isn’t a bad way to go at all.

Final Thoughts & Conclusion

This little card did very well for itself and outpaced its reference cousin. When stacked on top in SLI, it performed with the big dogs. It even overclocked very well, surpassing the reference GPU. We really have no way of knowing if there SC GPUs go through rigorous binning, or if most GTX 650 Ti BOOSTs can do SC frequencies without even needing to worry about it. There will of course be variations from GPU to GPU, but this particular card did well and surpassed the reference card’s overclocks. As always, YMMV, but EVGA sends factory sealed cards, so I assure you they didn’t cherry pick this one.

Coming in at $179.99, the EVGA GTX 650 Ti BOOST SuperClocked is just a smidgen more than the reference GTX 650 Ti BOOST, and I think it’s worth that small premium. At this price level, every dime counts, but when you buy the SuperClocked card, you’re getting a guaranteed base overclock from the start. For that peace of mind, it’s worth $10. What’s more, right now it has a $10 mail-in-rebate, so technically, it’s priced right where the reference card is. You also get the $75 credit for in-game purchases in NVIDIA’s F2P bundle.

All told, the EVGA GTX 650 Ti BOOST SuperClocked is a solid card for a good price. It has a better-than-reference cooler (which is quiet for a blower-type cooler) and it overclocks well, all of which lines up to make it easily Overclockers Approved.

Overclockers_clear_approved

– Jeremy Vaughan (hokiealumnus)

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Discussion
  1. Indeed
    Reviews of cards like this without any representation from a $180 competing card model are virtually useless. How this performs against a $150 card is not that interesting. It would be an interesting to see what the difference is between this 2gb and a 7850 1gb, but you don't have that. I understand that video cards don't grow on trees, but almost anything would be better than ignoring the comparison. It frankly looks biased.

    As it stands, if I'm looking for a value comparison so I can spend my money wisely, I can't come here; you aren't providing a useful comparison.


    Rather than clutter the graphs with a bunch of extraneous regurgitated information that we already published on a just-above-reference card, those results were omitted in favor of a comparison to the reference card and SLI results.

    If you would like to look back at our launch day review of the GTX 650 Ti BOOST, those graphs contain results from the HD 7850. To make a long story short, they are very close to dead even.
    Reviews of cards like this without any representation from a $180 competing card model are virtually useless. How this performs against a $150 card is not that interesting. It would be an interesting to see what the difference is between this 2gb and a 7850 1gb, but you don't have that. I understand that video cards don't grow on trees, but almost anything would be better than ignoring the comparison. It frankly looks biased.

    As it stands, if I'm looking for a value comparison so I can spend my money wisely, I can't come here; you aren't providing a useful comparison.