The Galaxy GTX 650 Ti BOOST
Galaxy is a fairly well known name in the video card industry and they have a reputation for putting out products that are typically less expensive than the competition, yet still integrating unique features that will catch consumers’ eyes. They certainly are not afraid to implement their own unique cooling solutions, some of which are more successful than others.
This particular model is a stock clocked unit (980 base, 1033 boost, and 6000 memory) that features a non-standard display output setup. It is also a non-standard cooling solution that reminds me of the Mach 5 racer. The card features DL-DVI, DB-15 (VGA) and HDMI ports. Triple monitor support is included, but the monitors will obviously all need to support these differing outputs. My suggestion here would be to purchase this card if a user was only going to use a single monitor. It also features the full 2 GB of memory.
The card sports a somewhat unique color scheme with a dark teal PCB offset by the grey cooling shroud and smoked/transparent fan. Except for the outputs, the PCB looks to be a reference design with what appears to be standard components for this class of card. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as it allows the price to be lower for the end user. By sticking close to the reference build from NVIDIA, the end user is unlikely to experience any real quality issues when running the card at stock speeds.
The cooler is certainly non-standard, but it is hard to say if it is better than stock. The aluminum heatsink does have two copper heatpipes embedded into the design to help transfer heat directly from the GPU throughout the entire heatsink. Aluminum dissipates heat better than copper, but copper transfers heat better than aluminum. The combination of the two should help to maximize cooling without dramatically impacting the weight or complexity of the cooling solution. The large 80 mm fan spins slowly and quietly at stock speeds. I did tend to hear the fan speed up when the card was running a 3D application, but the noise was not annoying or oppressive in volume. The shroud does help to direct the air out the front and back of the card. The fins of the heatsink also are situated to direct airflow in that manner as well. The rear panel has large openings for air to escape, so cooling does not seem to be an issue with this design.
The bundle is very minimal. There are the basic directions, a warranty card, driver CD, and a 4 pin molex to six pin PCI-E power cable. The card is well protected in a double box enclosure and surrounded by think foam. Anything less than a car running over this box should keep the card intact. Galaxy does feature a very solid overclocking utility that can be downloaded from their site. It covers all of the bases when it comes to power and clocks, but the aesthetics leave something to be desired.
The current price of this card is $179.99, but expect the price of this card to come down as we are seeing other 650 Ti BOOST units starting to go into the $164 to $169 range for the 2 GB units. This is not the catchiest looking card on the market, but it does seem very solid. Galaxy includes a 3 year warranty with this particular product.