Entry-Level Cards Launching October 25th
After a break of a couple of months in their Pascal launch schedule, NVIDIA is back again to launch a new Pascal desktop product. Following their near-perfect top-down launch schedule that started with GeForce GTX 1080 in May, being announced today and formally launching next week is the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti and GeForce GTX 1050. Aimed at the entry level discrete video card market, these products will round-out the GeForce 10-series desktop lineup.
Launching their low-tier cards last instead of first for the Pascal generation marks an interesting inverse of what happened with the Maxwell generation. In 2014 it was the low-end Maxwell 1 parts that launched first, only to be followed up by the other Maxwell 2 parts later on in the year. As a result, the Maxwell 2 family went through a full cycle – from release to retirement – before NVIDIA’s entry-level cards were refreshed. Out of all of the segments in the NVIDIA product stack, it’s fair to say that the entry-level was the one most due for a refresh.
And to that end, here we are with the GeForce GTX 1050 series. The previous GeForce GTX 750 series went very well for NVIDIA, so much so that the new 1050 series follows a number of beats laid out by its predecessor. NVIDIA is launching two cards – both of which are based on the new GP107 – which setup a two-tier product offering for the entry level market. The faster of the two cards is the GTX 1050 Ti, while the GTX 1050 follows closely to offer a bit less performance at a lower price point. And in order to maximize compatibility, both cards are being offered in configurations that draw their power entirely from the PCIe bus, forgoing the need for an external power connection.
|NVIDIA GPU Specification Comparison
|GTX 1060 3GB
|GTX 1050 Ti
|GTX 750 Ti
|5. 4Gbps GDDR5
|Memory Bus Width
Diving into the specs, we’ll start with the GTX 1050 Ti. Based on a fully enabled GP107 GPU, this card is arguably the backbone of NVIDIA’s entry-level offerings. All-told, it has 6 SMs enabled – 60% that of GP106/GTX 1060 – so GP107 is a bit more than half of a GP106. The rest of the Pascal architecture has been scaled similarly; GP107/GTX 1050 Ti retains 2/3rds of the ROP and memory controller configuration, meaning we’re looking at 32 ROPs attached to a 128-bit memory bus. Notably, this is double the number of ROPs found on GTX 750, so all other factors held equal, GTX 1050 Ti will see a massive jump in ROP throughput compared to its predecessor.
Unofficial GP107 Block Diagram
Feeding GTX 1050 Ti is 4GB of GDDR5 memory, clocked at 7Gbps. This is a budget card – and a power limited one at that – so NVIDIA has pulled back on the memory clocks compared to the other Pascal cards. Meanwhile power consumption starts at 75W, the maximum amount allowed to be pulled from a PCIe slot. I say “starts” because NVIDIA will be allowing partners to sell factory overclocked cards, and these cards will feature a higher TDP and an external power connector in order to meet the card’s power needs. The significance of offering a 75W-and-under card cannot be overstated; there is a sizable market for end users who would like to upgrade an OEM system but don’t have an external power connector, and this is a role the preceding GTX 750 filled very well. Meanwhile HTPC users who were holding out for a 75W card will be equally pleased, as now Pascal’s suite of media features are on a lower power card.
Joining the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti is its smaller, cheaper sibling, the GTX 1050. Based on a cut-down GP107 GPU, GTX 1050 drops 1 SM and 2GB of memory. This leaves us with a 5 SM (640 CUDA core) card paired with 2GB of GDDR5 running at 7Gbps. Otherwise it has the full ROP complement and memory bus, so while GTX 1050 loses some shader and geometry throughput, in other areas it holds firm. In fact due to the unusual clockspeeds of these cards – more on this in a moment – the GTX 1050 is actually clocked higher than the GTX 1050 Ti. So the net performance difference on paper is less than the loss of the SM; the smaller card should offer around 87% of the GTX 1050 Ti’s performance. With that said, unlike the last generation you don’t save any power versus the Ti card when going by the official TDP, as the GTX 1050 is also a 75W card, which happens to be 20W more than the GTX 750. Consequently while it’s still a card that can run on just PCIe slot power, by NVIDIA’s own numbers we may be looking at a relatively sizable increase in power consumption relative to its predecessor.
GP107 – An Enigma of a GPU
Having covered the basic specifications, I want to spill a bit more ink talking about the GP107 GPU. Reading the specs table, the GTX 1050 series cards are very unusual compared to their more powerful siblings. To be sure they’re still Pascal cards, but certain elements we take for granted about the Pascal family don’t apply here. At the same time there are certain elements we take for granted about x50 series cards which also aren’t applicable here. GP107 is, at the moment, an enigma of a GPU.
I’ll address what’s likely the elephant in the room first, which is the manufacturing process. To date all Pascal GPUs have been fabbed over at TSMC on their 16nm FinFET process. GP107 is not one of those GPUs. Instead, it’s fabbed on a 14nm process – NVIDIA’s specification sheet doesn’t technically state whose process – but by simple elimination it’s a very safe bet that they’re making the chip over at Samsung. Feature size is a red herring here, and instead the significance of this deal is that NVIDIA has not used a fab other than TSMC for GPUs for a long time. In fact we’d have to go back to 2003 to find an NVIDIA GPU fabbed somewhere else, when NVIDIA tapped IBM to help fab the ill-fated NV3x series (GeForce FX).
Suffice it to say, tapping another fab is a very big deal. There’s no second-sourcing here – GP107 is only being made on Samsung’s 14nm process and GP106+ only on TSMC’s 16nm process – but splitting orders like this may just as well be new territory for NVIDIA. As this is just a product announcement NVIDIA hasn’t said anything about the change in fabs, so let your imagination go wild here, but it definitely has some ramifications. I really need to get the GTX 1050 cards in house and on the testbed to figure out the full ramifications of this, but I think the most important change here is that a new process from a new vendor means that the voltage/frequency curve we’ve come to know with TSMC 16nm and Pascal has essentially been thrown out the window.
This in turn may explain the clockspeeds of the GTX 1050 cards. All of the other desktop GeForce 10-series cards have an official boost clock of 1600MHz+, with all but one of those cards being 1700Mhz+. The massive jump in clockspeed relative to Maxwell 2 is one of the signature elements of the Pascal architecture, and a major factor driving the significant performance gains of this generation compared to the last. The GTX 1050 series, by comparison, is only rated to boost up to 1455MHz for the GTX 1050, and lower still for the GTX 1050 Ti at 1392MHz.
Given that these are power-constrained cards, the final specifications of the cards are bound by a larger number of variables than usual – power curves, attainable frequency range, and now total power consumption – so I’m not even going to try to insinuate that the lower clockspeeds are solely a function of the change in fabs. However it’s very important to keep in mind that these lower clockspeeds come with a sometimes sizable increase in TDP relative to the GTX 750 series; instead of 55W/60W cards, we have 75W cards. So to use the fully enabled GTX 1050 Ti as an anchor point, power consumption has gone up 15W (25%) for a 28% increase in the boost clock, 1 more SM (20%), and somewhat decoupled from this, the doubled ROP count.
It’s telling then that NVIDIA has informed the press that the higher TDP cards with an external power connector are going to have much higher boost clocks. Whatever is going on under the hood, power plays a big part, and at a TDP limit of 75W, GP107 isn’t getting all the room it needs to stretch. Meanwhile it’s also noteworthy that NVIDIA’s own marketing materials call for GTX 1050 to have a 3x performance increase over GTX 650, and only a bit over 50% increase over GTX 750 Ti.
At the same time though, keep in mind we’re looking at a generation and a half architectural jump from the GTX 750 series (GM107) to the GTX 1050 series (GP107). So NVIDIA has to spend quite a bit of their transistor budget on supporting new features, and not just graphical features like SMP and Feature Level 12_1, but also features like the new video display block and the full fixed-function HEVC encode and decode blocks. By virtue of being the smallest Pascal, GP107 spends relatively more die size and space on non-graphics features. For those reasons the transistor count is quite a bit larger than GM107; NVIDIA has gone from 1.87B transistors to 3.3B, an increase of 76% (greater than the increase for any of the other Pascal GPUs). Or to put this another way, GP107 is 75% of the transistor count of GP106. Die size meanwhile stands at 135mm2, down a bit from the 148mm2 die size of GM107.
Ultimately GP107 is not just another Pascal GPU. While it offers the same feature set, there’s more than meets the eye, and it will be interesting to see how things shake out in benchmarking and overclocking. Ahead of launch, this is easily the least predictable GPU and card set of the entire Pascal family.
GTX 1050 Series Launch Info – No Reference Cards, GTX 1050 Ti Available Next Week
Getting back to the cards at hand, let’s talk about positioning, pricing, and availability. As these are NVIDIA’s entry-level cards, it goes without saying that they’re not targeted at NVIDIA’s usual horde of PC gaming enthusiasts. These cards won’t have the power to run games at 1080p with all the bells and whistles turned up – that’s really what the GTX 1060 is for – but instead they’re meant to be the next step up from integrated GPUs. This is a market that the GTX 750 series served very well (and judging from market share, NVIDIA sold well to), and the GTX 1050 will do the same. From specifications alone, the GTX 1050 series should be head and shoulders above the Intel GT2 iGPU found on Skylake/Kaby Lake.
Unlike the GTX 750 series, NVIDIA won’t be producing any reference cards this time around, Founders Edition or otherwise. So all GTX 1050 series cards are going to be vendor custom designs. Expect a mix of cards that follow the 75W TDP and cards that offer factory overclocks in exchange for a higher TDP. If for some reason you’re after a slot-powered card, be sure to check the specifications closely.
Meanwhile, although NVIDIA is listing the launch date as the 25th for both cards, from what NVIDIA has told me at the product briefing, in reality this isn’t quite the case. GTX 1050 Ti should in fact be available next week, right in time for the launch. However NVIDIA is not expecting GTX 1050 to be in stock for a few more weeks. Vendors can sell the cards as soon as they have them, so indeed the retail embargo ends on the 25th, but if the GTX 1050 interests you, don’t expect to be able to buy it until around mid-November.
Finally, let’s take a look at the completive landscape. Besides the outgoing Maxwell 1 and Maxwell 2 cards, the current-generation competition for the GTX 1050 series is AMD’s already-launched Radeon RX 460. The $109 GTX 1050 is the very clear counterpart to the 2GB RX 460. Meanwhile the $139 GTX 1050 Ti is in a bit of a different place; the cheaper 4GB RX 460 cards are running closer to $120 right now, so the GTX 1050 Ti is essentially $20 more expensive, which is a small but still significant difference given the overall low prices of entry-level cards. Still, it means that AMD’s two-month run as the sole supplier of current-generation entry-level video cards is about to come to an end.
|Fall 2016 GPU Pricing Comparison
|Radeon RX 480 (8GB)
|GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
|Radeon RX 480 (4GB)
|Radeon RX 470
|GeForce GTX 1060 3GB
|GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
|Radeon RX 460 (4GB)
|Radeon RX 460 (2GB)
|GeForce GTX 1050
Gallery: GeForce GTX 1050 Series Announcement Slide Deck
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 & 1050 Ti Power Consumption Results
Power Consumption Results
Measurement Methodology & Graphical Illustration
The measurement and analysis software we’re gradually transitioning to, PresentMon, integrates a whole host of sensor data with the frame time measurements. We’re including the reader-friendly version of our oscillography measurement graphs as well, of course.
The measurement intervals are twice as long. There’s also a hardware-based low-pass filter and software-based variable filter in place (the latter is a feature of the software used to analyze data; it’s designed to evaluate the plausibility of very short load peaks and valleys). The resulting curves are a lot smoother than the old ones; we hope you derive more value from them as a result.
You’ll find more information about our power consumption test methodology in The Math Behind GPU Power Consumption And PSUs.
You’ll find a larger number of bar graphs, and higher-resolution versions of our power consumption charts that you can expand by clicking on them. We restructured our topic sections, added more comparison bar graphs, and, finally, added different scenarios to our measurements. In addition to power consumption, we also examine current to determine whether the graphics card stays within all of its relevant specifications. Our test equipment doesn’t change, though:
Swipe to scroll horizontally
|Power Consumption Measurement
|Contact-free DC Measurement at PCIe Slot (Using a Riser Card) Contact-free DC Measurement at External Auxiliary Power Supply Cable Direct Voltage Measurement at Power Supply
|2 x Rohde & Schwarz HMO 3054, 500MHz Digital Multi-Channel Oscilloscope with Storage Function 4 x Rohde & Schwarz HZO50 Current Probe (1 mA — 30 A, 100 kHz, DC) 4 x Rohde & Schwarz HZ355 (10:1 Probes, 500 MHz) 1 x Rohde & Schwarz HMC 8012 Digital Multimeter with Storage Function
Power Consumption at Different Loads
In addition to our usual measurements, we’re also including some additional games, rendering paths, and quality settings. With the sole exception of Metro: Last Light, resolution is being limited to 1920×1080. These entry-level graphics cards just aren’t meant for any more than that.
This time around, we’re using the values from our highest sustainable overclock to represent peak power consumption (we went as high as 1911 MHz). Nvidia’s 75 W power target didn’t seem to be a limiting factor; we increased the target by 25% and didn’t see consumption rise at all. In other words, the 1050 Ti hit its limit at that frequency.
Let’s take a look at how total power consumption evolves during the warm-up pass.
It’s plain to see that consumption stays about the same, which tells us that there are no significant losses all the way up to the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Gaming X 4 GB’s operating temperature.
Power Connector Load Distribution
Now we can examine power consumption more closely by looking at its distribution across two 12V rails (the motherboard slot and six-pin connector) during a realistic gaming load and a stress test.
Registering just 36 W during the stress test and 21 W while gaming, the motherboard slot is barely used. This is due to the fact that just one of the GPU power supply’s three phases (the memory modules) and the board components (fans and LED) draw from it. The other two GPU power supply phases are routed through the six-pin connector instead. And that’s why MSI includes it. The 70 W that the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Gaming X 4 GB draws at stock settings are already higher than the 66 W maximum you can see through the motherboard slot, according to the PCI-SIG’s specs.
Here are the corresponding graphs for gaming and our stress test. Click on them for a larger version.
The PCI-SIG’s specifications only apply to current, meaning power consumption results on their own don’t tell the whole story. Our readings put the motherboard slot well below 3 A. Given a ceiling of 5.5 A, the card has plenty of room to spare. This is hardly surprising in light of our low power consumption measurements for this connector. The 5.5 A figure would have been slightly exceeded if it wasn’t for that six-pin connector, though.
We also have larger graphs for the current measurements.
We would have loved to test GeForce GTX 1050 Ti and vanilla 1050 cards without power connectors as well, since those are the ones flirting with the motherboard slot’s ceiling. But as we explained on page three, the launch sampling just wasn’t what we hoped it’d be.
Power Consumption Comparison with Other Graphics Cards
Finally, we’d like to know how GeForce GTX 1050 Ti stacks up against other cards. We’re using the peak power consumption numbers for this comparison because that’s what we presented previously.
Image 1 of 3
It’s interesting that GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Gaming X 4 GB has a high possible power target at 75 W plus 25%. However, it doesn’t use it. Due to the maximum stable clock frequency of 1911 MHz, the card starts throttling just under 75 W.
MORE: Best Graphics Cards
MORE: Desktop GPU Performance Hierarchy Table
MORE: All Graphics Content
Power Consumption Results
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The most interesting in the reviews
Foreign thematic resources were the first to receive copies of GeForce GTX 1050 and GeForce GTX 1050 Ti video cards from NVIDIA partners, and at least half of online publications got MSI Gaming series accelerators. The top models from Micro-Star are endowed with enhanced power and cooling systems, a 6-pin power connector (which is not required by default for the GTX 1050/1050 Ti) and factory overclocking.
MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Gaming X 4GB
NVIDIA clearly divided cards based on the GP107-400 and GP107-300 cores in terms of buffer memory: the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti received four gigabytes of GDDR5, and the GTX 1050 received half the amount of VRAM. This marketing move largely determined what results the new items show in modern games. So, according to TechPowerUp, the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB has almost no difficulty in providing a frame rate of 30 fps in games at a resolution of 1920×1080. Moreover, in Battlefield 4, Batman: Arkham Knight, DOOM, Fallout 4, Grand Theft Auto V, Just Cause 3 and Rainbow Six: Siege (the list goes on), gamers will be able to set the resolution to 2560×1440 without fps dropping below the specified value.
The performance of the GeForce GTX 1050 2GB, in turn, begins to limp even at 1920 × 1080 and maximum graphics quality settings. This combination of parameters most likely will not be able to be used in the «heavy» games Anno 2205, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, F1 2016, Hitman, Rise of the Tomb Raider, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Total War: Warhammer . According to the final graphs (see above), it can be seen that the GeForce GTX 9 versions50 and GTX 960 with 2 GB of memory on board, worthy successors appeared.
Overclocking of both advanced and modest-looking versions of the GeForce GTX 1050/1050 Ti is quite good, but it’s embarrassing that in most cases the testers could not increase the core and memory frequencies above the «magic» 1911/2002(8008) MHz. We hope that the restriction will be lifted even before serial copies of video cards hit the stores.
Temperature and noise performance of new products are unlikely to cause inconvenience to end users. Depending on the efficiency of the cooling system and frequencies, both the GeForce GTX 1050 and GTX 1050 Ti heat up to a maximum of 60-70 ° C.
The power consumption of the above-mentioned MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Gaming X 4GB card reaches 75 W only when it is overclocked to 1911/2002(8008) MHz. More modest solutions with a single fan and nominal frequencies (especially those related to the GTX 1050 series) can consume up to 60 watts.
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, although weaker, is at least twice as economical as the Radeon RX 470 (Tom’s Hardware graph)
Note that sales of new products based on the NVIDIA GP107 chip have already started in the US and Western Europe at prices starting at $109 (excluding sales tax).
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> GIGABYTE GV-N105TG1 GAMING-4GD
At the moment, NVIDIA offers budget gamers two affordable video cards: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050. users. This is well understood by NVIDIA partners, who have flooded the market with all sorts of modifications to these graphics adapters. We, in turn, continue to acquaint you with them.
GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1050 Ti G1 Gaming 4G (GV-N105TG1 GAMING-4GD)
Technical process, nm
Number of CUDA cores
Rated / dynamic frequency of the graphics core, MHz
1366 / 1480 («Gaming»)
Video memory type
Nominal / effective memory frequency, MHz
1752 / 7008
Memory bus width, bit
Memory bandwidth, GB/s
1 x DVI-D
Optional PCIe power connector
1 x 6-pin
Minimum recommended power supply power, W
Dimensions from the official website (according to measurements in our test laboratory), mm
219 x 118 x 40 (233 x 118)
Latest drivers can be downloaded from the company’s website GIGABYTE or GPU Manufacturer Site
Packaging and delivery
On the shelves of stores, the video card will be easily recognizable by its colorful cardboard box, the color scheme of which is designed in black and orange, and the main focus is on the key advantages of GIGABYTE GV-N105TG1 GAMING- 4GD. However, there is no table of the main characteristics here. But if you use the QR code on one of the side faces, you can get to the official website, where everyone can quench their informational thirst.
The kit includes only the essentials — paper instructions and a software CD.
GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1050 Ti G1 Gaming 4G is designed in the style of the older members of the GIGABYTE G1 Gaming line. But given that we have an energy-efficient model, there is no need for an overall cooling system. As a result, we have quite compact dimensions — 219 x 118 x 40 mm (233 x 118 mm according to our measurements), which makes the video card compatible with a very wide range of compact cases. On the reverse side there is a metal stiffening plate.
A completely original black PCB is designed for this graphics adapter. The topology is quite familiar for cards of this series: the GPU is located in the center, memory chips are soldered around it, and power elements of the power subsystem are located in the front part.
The GPU power subsystem has four phases, and the memory power supply is single-phase (the reference version uses a 3+1-phase design). The components themselves correspond to the proprietary Ultra Durable VGA concept: solid capacitors and ferrite chokes are used. Chip 9 acts as a PWM controller0013 ON Semiconductor NCP 81174 .
The accelerator supports the monitoring function, which is the responsibility of the controller Holtek HT 32 F 52241 based on ARM Cortex-M0+.
The reference NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card has a claimed power consumption of 75W, which allows it to operate without additional power. But GIGABYTE engineers have taken care of an additional 6-pin PCIe connector, which guarantees the supply of the necessary power in the conditions of overclocking experiments. Thanks to the good location, the cooler does not make it difficult to disconnect the PCIe cable.
The younger representatives of the NVIDIA Pascal line are designed for single operation, so the printed circuit board is devoid of MIO connectors that allow you to form multigraphic bundles to combine computing resources in the NVIDIA SLI mode.
External interface set includes:
- 1 x DVI-D;
- 3 x HDMI 2.0b;
- 1 x DisplayPort 1.4.
Reference design includes three DisplayPort, one DVI-D and one HDMI. Recall that if you are the owner of old monitors with an analog D-Sub (VGA) interface, then you should separately purchase an HDMI or DisplayPort to VGA adapter, since this number will not work with DVI-D.
The GPU-Z utility has reported that the GIGABYTE GV-N105TG1 GAMING-4GD is based on a 14nm NVIDIA GP107 GPU with 768 CUDA cores, 48 texture units, and 32 raster units. By default, the «Gaming» profile is used, in which the GPU frequencies reach 1367 and 1481 MHz. The «OC» mode offers even higher settings: 1392 and 1506 MHz respectively. The reference speed formula is 1290/1392 MHz.
The video card is equipped with 4 GB of GDDR5 memory, recruited using four Samsung K4G80325FB-HC28 chips, which operate at a reference effective frequency of 7008 MHz. Data exchange between the graphics core and memory is carried out through a 128-bit bus, which is capable of passing 112 GB of information per second.
The real trend of recent years is the presence of RGB-illumination, which is also in the tested card from GIGABYTE. The logo with the name of the company is highlighted on the top end, which can be configured at your discretion in the Xtreme Engine proprietary utility. By the way, the inscription «FAN STOP» lights up only when the cooler switches to the passive mode.
The GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1050 Ti G1 Gaming 4G graphics card is equipped with a proprietary WINDFORCE 2X cooler. Structurally, it consists of three sections of aluminum plates, which are pierced by two copper heat pipes with a diameter of 6 mm. The contact points are soldered. The technology of direct contact of heat pipes with the GPU has been implemented to speed up heat dissipation. Through additional inserts with thermal interfaces, the central section removes excess heat from memory chips. But for the power components of the power supply unit, a separate finned radiator is provided.
The active part of the CO is presented in the form of two 87 mm Power Logic PLD09210S12HH fans mounted on a plastic casing. They rotate in different directions and have a special shape, which, according to the manufacturer, helps to reduce turbulence and increase airflow.
The stiffening plate performs not only a decorative role, but also supports the cooler, reducing the load on the printed circuit board, and also takes part in cooling.
In the automatic fan speed control mode, at maximum load, the graphics chip heated up to 60 ° C, and the propellers themselves worked at 37% (1146 rpm) of their maximum power.