The MSI GTX 1650 GAMING X

We benchmark the MSI GTX 1650 GAMING X

NVIDIA's latest graphics offering is the GeForce GTX 1650, a new mainstream entry featuring the latest Turing architecture and a low power requirement with cards starting at 75W that will require no external power – though as this is a partner-only launch (no reference card as with the previous GTX 16 series launches) some custom designs will offer factory overclocks and will make use of external power. This MSI GAMING X variant of the new GTX 1650 is one of these higher-power versions that board partners have the option of releasing, equipped with dual fans and a 6-pin power connector, and today we'll see how it performs at 1080p at its default settings.

The GTX 1650 will start at $149, bringing the current generation of NVIDIA's consumer graphics cards further into the mainstream. It is based on the new TU117 GPU, a smaller Turing core that offers 14 SMs and a total of 896 CUDA cores, down from 1408 cores in the GTX 1660 (TU116).

  GTX 1650 GTX 1660 GTX 1660 Ti GTX 1050 Ti GTX 1060 6GB
GPU TU117 TU116 TU116 GP107 GP106
Architecture Turing Turing Turing Pascal Pascal
SMs 14 22 24 6 10
CUDA Cores 896 1408 1536 768 1280
Tensor Cores N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
RT Cores N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Base Clock 1485 MHz 1530 MHz 1500 MHz 1291 MHz 1506 MHz
Boost Clock 1665 MHz 1785 MHz 1770 MHz 1392 MHz 1708 MHz
Texture Units 56 88 96 48 80
ROPs 32 48 48 32 48
Memory 4GB GDDR5 6GB GDDR5 6GB GDDR6 4GB GDDR5 6GB GDDR5
Memory Data Rate 8 Gbps 8 Gbps 12 Gbps 7 Gbps 8 Gbps
Memory Interface 128-bit 192-bit 192-bit 128-bit 192-bit
Memory Bandwidth 128 GB/s 192.1 GB/s 288.1 GB/s 112.1 GB/s 192.2 GB/s
Transistor Count 4.7B 6.6B 6.6B 3.3B 4.4B
Die Size 200 mm2 284 mm2 284 mm2 132 mm2 200 mm2
Process Tech 12 nm 12 nm 12 nm 14 nm 16 nm
TDP 75W 120W 120W 75W 120W
Launch Price $149 $219 $279 $139 $299

Pricing and Availability: MSI GeForce GTX 1650 GAMING X – $184.99, Amazon.com

This new GPU seems to be positioned to replace the GTX 1050 Ti, a card that launched at the end of 2016 starting at $139. Aside from using the latest architecture the GTX 1650 has higher specs across the board compared to the 1050 Ti, though it should be considered only for 1080p gaming given its 75W target and 4GB of GDDR5. The GTX 1650 should easily eclipse that outgoing Pascal in benchmarks, and variants with higher clock speeds – such as the MSI GAMING X we have for review today – will provide higher levels of performance.

Continue reading our review of the MSI GeForce GTX 1650 GAMING X graphics card

The MSI GAMING X

Looking outwardly quite similar to the previous GAMING X cards we have looked at in the GTX 16 series the GTX 1650 card is a little different upon closer inspection, with no backplate and just a 6-pin power connector vs. an 8-pin with both the GTX 1660 and 1660 Ti versions.

This is a factory overclocked card, with a Boost Clock of 1860 MHz vs. the stock 1665 MHz. It is still listed at 75W but the presence of that external PCIe power connector suggests that this will exceed that with the higher core clocks. Memory is 4GB of the GDDR5 variety, offering the same 8 Gbps speed as the GTX 1660.

Gaming Performance – 1920×1080

PC Perspective GPU Test Platform
Processor Intel Core i7-8700K
Motherboard ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-H Gaming
Memory Corsair Vengeance LED 16GB (8GBx2) DDR4-3000
Storage Samsung 850 EVO 1TB
Power Supply CORSAIR RM1000x 1000W
Operating System Windows 10 64-bit (Version 1803)
Drivers AMD: 18.50
NVIDIA: 430.39

Using the new 430.39 WHQL driver that launched with the GTX 1650 we ran this MSI card through a few 1080p benchmarks at default settings. As you will see, the results, while significantly better than the GTX 1050 Ti, are a little underwhelming compared to options such as AMD's Radeon RX 570 4GB.

These results speak for themselves, with the expected gains over the GTX 1050 Ti but not much more.

Conclusion

The results may not be earth-shattering, but the GTX 1650 is very much a mainstream option and makes the previous GTX 16 series cards seem a little more like enthusiast cards in comparison. And this is very much in keeping with the pricing of this GTX 16 series, with the expected segmentation as the various vendor cards hit the market starting at $149, with GTX 1660 cards starting at $219, and GTX 1660 Ti cards starting at $279.

Power draw with the GTX 1650 GAMING X is the lowest of this group – though some cards are currently missing and this will be updated

There's not much more to say here other than the GTX 1650 is a card with modest specs and the potential to run on board power alone, and this higher-powered MSI GAMING X version (which requires a 6-pin connector) presents a good mainstream option for 1080p gaming, though at $184.99 it would be worth moving up to a GTX 1660 if you can afford it.

But aside from more attractive options further up the chain in the 16-series family NVIDIA has a more pressing problem currently, and it's the pricing of the higher-performance Radeon RX 570 from AMD, currently selling for $129-139. This is pretty aggressive considering the performance advantage against even an overclocked card like the one we looked at here, and we will see how the market reacts (or if this lower RX 570 pricing is a temporary move to compete with this new launch).