1. Meet the ASUS EX-GTX1050TI-4G (Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti)
Nvidia has recently added two new gaming GPUs to its lineup of NVIDIA-Pascal based GPUs — the GeForce GTX 1050, starting at $109, and the GTXD 1050 Ti, starting at $139.
The Ti version has 4GB of DDR5, while the 1050 has half that. The 1050 Ti also has 768 CUDA cores, while the 1050 has 640.
The 4GB GTX 1050 Ti contains 768 CUDA cores clocked at 1,290MHz to 1,392MHz. (For comparison, the $200 3GB GTX 1060 holds 1,152 CUDA cores at up to 1,708MHz.) It is built around a new "GP107" graphics processor that offers all the same features as Nvidia’s other Pascal-based GTX 10-series cards - Ansel super screenshots, Fast Sync, simultaneous multi-projection, performance-boosting multi-resolution shading, and more.
The new card is designed to let you play your favorite games at 1080p and 60fps with good quality settings.
||GTX 1050 Ti
|Memory Bus Width
||1 x Native DVI-D output
1 x Native HDMI 2.0 output
1 x Native Display Port 1.4
GTX 1050 Ti custom boards are available from NVIDIA GeForce Partners, and today we have our hands the ASUS EXPEDITION-GTX1050TI-4G model.
The ASUS EXPEDITION-GTX1050TI-4G graphics card we are testing today is powered by the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPUs. It features an extra-durable design and consumes low power when run at stock clock speed keeps - below the 75W power limit provided by PCI Express (PCIe) expansion slots. The power to the graphics card is delivered by the slot, with no need for an auxiliary connection to the power supply.
The ASUS graphics card is produced using Auto-Extreme technology - an 100 percent-automated production process - and is built using premium Super Alloy Power II components that enhance efficiency, reduce power loss, decrease component buzzing under load, and lower thermal temperatures. It also includes GPU Tweak II for performance tweaking. With one click, the Gaming Booster function maximizes system performance by removing redundant processes and allocating all available resources automatically. An included 14-day XSplit Gamecaster license lets gamers stream or record gameplay via an in-game overlay. The overlay also displays GPU clock speed, temperature, and VRM usage, and has GPU Tweak II controls.
The ASUS Expedition GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card comes with a dual-ball-bearing fan that eliminates the problem of oil drying found in sleeve-bearing fans. With reduced friction, they also run smoother, further improving card lifespan and cooling efficiency.
The card's length is about 212mm and it has no power connector, as it is powered by the PCI Express slot:
Connectivity options include 1 DisplayPort 1 DVI-D port and
1 HDMI 2.0 port.
We tested the AMD Radeon RX 480 (8GB) 1080 using the following PC setup:
|| Core i7-6700K
|| ASUS Z170-A
|| DDR4-2133 8GB × 2 (15-15-15-35,1.20V)
|| 256GB SSD
| Graphics driver
||Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.10.2 Hotfix/ GeForce 375.57
|| Windows 10 Pro 64bit
|Other cards appearing in comparison charts
Radeon RX 460 (4GB) - "ASUS STRIX-RX460-O4G-GAMING"
GeForce GTX 950 (2GB) - "ASUS STRIX-GTX950-DC2OC-2GD5 -GAMING
GeForce GTX 960 (2GB) - "ASUS STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-2GD5"
GeForce GTX 1060 6GB - "ASUS STRIX-GTX1060-O6G-GAMING"
|Basic clock speeds of the cards that appear on this review
| GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
|| 1,290 MHz
|| 1,392 MHz
|| 7Gbps / 4GB
| Radeon RX 460
|| 1,200 MHz
|| 7Gbps / 4GB
| GeForce GTX 950 OC
|| 1,061 MHz (+ 37MHz)
|| 1,250 MHz (+ 62MHz)
|| 7Gbps / 2GB
| GeForce GTX 960 OC
|| 1,164 MHz (+ 37MHz)
|| 1,227 MHz (+ 49MHz)
|| 7Gbps / 2GB
| GeForce GTX 1060 OC
|| 1,552 MHz (+ 46MHz)
|| 1,780 MHz (+ 72MHz)
|| 8Gbps / 6GB
2. 3D Mark benchmarks
The performance of the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti in the 3DMark tests you see below is almost the same with what the previous generation GeForce GTX 960 card is offering. However, considering that GeForce GTX 960 we are seeing here is slightly overclocked, the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti has a small lead.
Compared to the entry-level AMD Radeon RX 460, the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti has about a 30% higher performance across the 3D Mark tests.
On the other hand, the the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB model, has a significant 60% lead, mainly in the the heavy 3D Mark Time Spy and Fire Strike benchmarks.
We should note her that the 3D Mark Fire Strike Ultra test was run at a 4K resolution, which is very demanding for the cards that feature 2GB of memory onboard (GeForce GTX 950/960). As their 2GB is not sufficient for 4K testing, the large differences in the various scores you see below for the GeForce GTX 950 and GTX 960 cards should be attributed to their memory and not only their GPUs.
3. Ashes of the Singularity, The Witcher 3: Wild Even Hunt
Below you see the results for the Ashes of the Singularity DirectX 12 title. The benchmark was run at full HD resolution, and we summarize the average FPS for the tests in both DX11 and DX12 APIs:
The GeForce GTX 1050 Ti ranked third under the "standard" settings, behind the GeForce GTX 960 OC, but took the second place under the highest ("Crazy" settings). Notice that the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti gave higher FPS under DX11 rather in DX12.
In addition, since the "Ashes of the Singularity" benchmark is actually stretching the memory of the cards, the lack of on board memory of both the GeForce GTX 950/960 resulted to their low overall performance under the demanding "Crazy" settings.
We are moving on with "The Witcher 3: Wild Even Hunt" game. We used the full HD resolution and measured the average FPS for each card.
The frame rate of the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti is almost identical to that given by the GeForce GTX 960 OC in the "medium" quality settings, and about 20% higher than the FPS produced by the AMD Radeon RX 460. Pushing the quality settings further will limit the average FPS to less than 40 for the GTX 1050 Ti.
4. Final Fantasy XIV: Blue Heavens of Ishgard, MHF benchmark
The Final Fantasy XIV: Blue Heavens of Ishgard game was tested at the highest quality settings under DirectX 11 and resolutions of full HD, WQHD, and 4K.
The GeForce GTX 1050 Ti scored 7,715 - meaning you can comfortably play the game in full HD. This is the second best score in this test and considering that the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti is powered by the PCI slot, the overall performance is very high.
In the DirectX 9 MHF benchmark, the GTX 1050Ti gave similar results with the GeForce GTX 960 OC across all the resolutions.
5. Dark Souls III, Assassin's Creed: Syndicate
In Dark Souls III game we tested the cards in resolutions of Full HD and 2,560 x 1,440 (WQHD).
The performance of GeForce GTX 1050 Ti is higher than the GeForce GTX 960 OC, and the recorded frame rate give the GTX 1050 Ti card the second place in this test.The card has a significant advantage over the Radeon RX 460.
In Assassin's Creed: Syndicate game , we measured the performance of the cards in 1,920 x 1,080.
The GeForce GTX 1050 Ti returned very high FPS and ranks second in the test, leaving the Radeon RX 460 with a lower performance of up to 50-60%. However, the GTX 1050 Ti did not manage to give more than 60 FPS on average even under low quality settings.
Assassin's Creed Syndicate's in-game menu recommends a 4GB graphics card for High, 3GB for Medium, and 2GB for Low. Contrary to this advice, the in-game VRAM meter shows High-quality textures can be applied on a 3GB card if other settings are dialed back. A 4GB card, meanwhile, can max out the game's settings if FXAA is used.
Obviously, the performance of the GeForce GTX 950 and GTX 960 models is very poor in high settings due to their low memory.
6. SteamVR Performance Test, power consumption
The SteamVR Performance Test is a free utility meant to evaluate whether your computer is ready to support VR content in its current form.
The two-minute SteamVR Performance Test runs several different scenes from the Aperture Science Robot Repair demo, measuring how many frames are rendered, how many frames drop below 90 FPS, average fidelity and if a frame's output is limited by the CPU. Once the benchmark completes, it provides out a somewhat vague "Not Ready," "Capable" or "Ready," with suggestions about how to improve performance.
The SteamVR Performance Test is not presenting the same sequence with the same detail settings. It's metric adjusts the image quality (fidelity) in an effort to maintain at least 90 FPS. Your score is determined by the average fidelity your hardware maintains, combined with the average frame rate.
The Geforce 1050Ti got a 2.8 fidelity score, which rated the card as "VR capable".
The GeForce GTX 950 wasn't up to par. We didn't expect it to return a "capable" result, though. With a score of 1.2, the GM206-based board suffered low fidelity in exchange for a high-enough frame rate. The GTX 960 is marginally better. It its way up to 2.8, enough to achieve medium fidelity.
The GTX 960 OC was also rated as "VR capable", but the Radeon RX 460 was not "VR Ready".
In any case, you should invest in a GeFOrce 1060 or higher GPU in order to be ready for VR gaming. A VR-ready system meets the specifications set forth by HTC and Valve for developers to target when they build VR games. Oculus is also asking for the same level of hardware for its VR system. Just because the SteamVR Performance Test says your system is "capable" doesn't mean you'll be able to run all the games, nor does it mean you'll enjoy the experience.
You should always follow the recommended and minimum specs for each VR title.
We measured the power consumption of the system during the benchmarks with each GPU. Both idle and maximum power figures we recorded.
The idle power consumption of the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti was 28W, a figure close to that measured for the rest cards (28-32W).
During almost all the benchmarks, the maximum power consumption of the GTX 1050 Ti was in the 80-125W range, pretty close to the consumption of the Radeon RX 460. Compared to the consumption of the GTX 950/960 cards, the GTX 1050Ti consumed some 20-30 Watt less during our benchmarks.
7. Final words
The price of the AMD Radeon RX 460 4GB and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti are similar, but our benchmarks showed that their performance is not. We measured some significant performance differences. A few games were in excess of 30% better performance playing on the ASUS EX-GTX1050TI-4G
versus the ASUS STRIX-RX460-O4G-GAMING (Radeon RX 460 4GB) video card.
As it stands right now, at similar prices the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti is superior in gameplay performance and experience in most of the games.
In any case, the ASUS EX-GTX1050TI-4G allowed an impressive level of gameplay experience at 1080p for this price under $180. However, it's not suited to 1440p gaming in any way.
In terms of overclocking, our ASUS EX-GTX1050TI-4G was running a smooth and steady 1735MHz without touching anything. So hardware enthusiasts are given something fun to play in order to get a further performance improvement.
In terms of power consumption, the ASUS EX-GTX1050TI-4G consumes nevertheless the same power as the Radeon RX 460 4GB card.
And as far as VR is concerned, the ASUS EX-GTX1050TI-4G was rated by the SteamVR Performance Test as "VR capable", although this doesn't mean you'll be able to run all the games, nor does it mean you'll enjoy the experience. You should always follow the recommended and minimum specs for each VR title.