Power Consumption and Conclusions

So with performance that is within 5-10% of the AMD Radeon R7 260X, but well behind that of the upcoming R7 265, one key advantage of GM107 is supposed to be power consumption.  Let's take a look at our results.

The GeForce GTX 750 Ti is the most power efficient GPU tested here today.  Drawing just 184 watts in the whole test system, the GM107 GPU is using 31 watts less power than the rival product, the R7 260X.  If you consider the performance advantage that the GTX 750 Ti has, up to 10% in a couple cases, the dramatic power delta is definitely a technical achievement for NVIDIA.  The R7 265 though, drawing only 10 watts more than the R7 260X, is putting up some impressive performance numbers too.


Performance and Features

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti is an interesting product.  If you look just at the performance numbers and consider no other aspects of these products, the GM107-based GPU is not really a stand out piece of hardware.  It is able to outperform the Radeon R7 260X 2GB card by 0-10% depending on the game, but at a $10 price premium.  With AMD's timely release of early reviews on the Radeon R7 265, the GTX 750 Ti has another problem as the larger, more power hungry Pitcairn based AMD product is clearly the performance leader.  If pricing stands where it is today, and that is something that is clearly up in the air for most of AMD's Radeon product line, then the GTX 750 Ti would be a second place finisher to the more powerful R7 265; at least for gamers that are interesting solely in game performance.

Of course, there are lot of other factors to consider with cards in this price range.  Power consumption clearly favors the GeForce GTX 750 Ti and the lack of a requirement for an external power connection (on the reference model at least) means that users in constrained areas like home theater boxes or even Steam Machines may find value in the GM107.  

The GTX 750 Ti, even in the reference form, is also much quieter than the R7 265 and R7 260X cards we have been testing.  Again, for users in certain environments or sound sensitive use cases, that will push buyers to lean towards the NVIDIA option.  

Pricing and Availability

The big sticking point here for this story is pricing and availability.  I fully expect the GeForce GTX 750 Ti to be available today for the MSRP of $149.  The Radeon R7 260X 2GB cards are currently for sale for $139 at Amazon.com and Newegg.com.  The wildcard is the availability of the Radeon R7 265 for the MSRP of $149.  

Why are we worried?  Check out the prices of the R9 270 that is SUPPOSED to be selling for $179: Newegg.com at $239 and up, Amazon.com at $229 and up.  The R7 265 is so similar in architecture to the R9 270, I see no reason why this price different wouldn't occur this time as well.  Whether it be from GPU shortages or coin mining crazies, the R7 265 is likely to be going for MORE than the $149 AMD wants it to.  

And if it does, every dollar increase makes the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti look a tiny bit better.

Final Thoughts

NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 750 Ti brings the Maxwell architecture to the world for the first time and is an exceptional demonstration of the power efficiency of this new design.  Though launching with a mainstream product instead of the standard enthusiast class graphics card, NVIDIA's attempt to target the high volume market with GM107 is likely as much due to technical reason as it is business or marketing.  Using the same 28nm process technology as the previous generation of GPUs isn't ideal and working on a smaller, higher yield piece of silicon helps make sure they have as little risk as possible.

Had the GTX 750 Ti released just a couple of weeks ago before the announcement of the AMD Radeon R7 265, and before the sudden price changes it supposedly brought, the results would have been even stronger in NVIDIA's favor.  Performance would have been more directly advantageous and we wouldn't have had to present many caveats between the comparisons.  As it stands now NVIDIA's new mainstream baby is a great product that has a lot of advantages in power, noise and technology, but one that can't claim a dominant performance lead.  

« PreviousNext »