Power and Conclusions

What about power consumption? One of the key tenets of this experiment was that the GTX 1050 Ti could offer a significant upgrade in performance without stressing the power supply in these PCs enough to cause stability concerns. In my testing, I never once had a crash or a lock up; everything seemed to run great.

As you can see from this data, the MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti OC only added about 46 watts when running Doom at the presets shown above. That’s likely on the low end of the power draw from the GPU, though NOT utilizing the Intel HD Graphics 520 will save a bit on the CPU side. Even if we max out the power draw of the GPU (to 75 watts) that puts it at less than 180 watts of power draw on the power supply. Remember that the ASUS machine had a 350 watt PSU while the Dell Inspiron has a 240 watt unit. Both should be perfectly suited to run these gaming configurations for the long haul.

Conclusions

Every once in a while, I find it’s critically important to go through an experiment like this as a technical reviewer. It resets my mindset on what the general consumer is dealing with on a daily basis. I am often blinded by the likes of the GTX 1080, 8-core processors, water cooling and $250 cases. This is not how the majority of the PC gaming world operates; instead the large majority of users on Steam and Origin are running machines closer in specifications to what we were focusing on today.

It’s obvious at this point that the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, starting at $139, offers a fantastic upgrade option for consumers that have existing OEM or under-powered PCs and want to get their feet wet with the wonderful world of PC games. If you are targeting a 1080p display, which again, the vast majority of consumers are doing, then this class of GPU is a great balance between cost and performance.

Just look at these performance improvements over the integrated graphics.

  Dell Inspiron 3650 ASUS M32CD-B09
3DMark Sky Diver 8.9x 6.6x
3DMark Fire Strike N/A 7.6x
Dirt Rally 5.6x 5.1x
Rise of the Tomb Raider 17.0x 9.5x
Doom 11.1x 6.6x
Power Increase N/A 46 watts

When we review new graphics cards from NVIDIA or AMD I am usually impressed by performance changes of 25-40%. When a new flagship beats the competing card by that much, we consider it a huge win for the industry. Here we see changes of 510% to 1700%!! That isn’t a performance improvement, it’s a fundamental life experience change.

There are plenty of other discrete GPU options on the market, including other GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics cards from other vendors, many of which would provide similar gains. What cards like the GTX 1050 Ti offer is significant experience changes without the need to upgrade your power supply, motherboard, or other components, opening up the world of PC gaming to a much wider established audience.

Let me know your thoughts below – did you have a machine like these that you upgraded? Did someone in your family? I’m amazed by the kind of shift these level of products offers for a huge potential user group!

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