Review: NVIDIA GTX 750 Ti

[[Introduction]]

EDITOR’S NOTE: We had a hard disk crash, so we weren’t able to put the GTX 750 Ti through actual game benchmarks. We did however manage to run synthetic benchmarks so we have posted those first. We will be updating this article with game benchmark scores at the earliest possible opportunity. We apologize to our readers for this.

NVIDIA GTX 750 Ti_3qtr

NVIDIA has just announced the launch of its latest range of entry-level GPUs, the GTX 750 and the GTX 750 Ti. What’s interesting about these GPUs is the fact that they are using NVIDIA’s latest graphics chipset architecture, dubbed Maxwell. The previous generation (Kepler) powered most of the GeForce 600 series as well as the 700 series.

The new Maxwell chip’s main attraction is the fact that it consumes significantly less power than the previous generation. This is an important factor when it comes to building high-performance, low-power systems, for example a Mini-ITX gaming machine. With the launch of Valve’s Steam Machine, such systems are going to become increasingly popular and Maxwell looks like a good option for system builders.

Illustration_1

In terms of architecture, NVIDIA has changed the Maxwell architecture quite significantly from the previous Kepler. Each Streaming Multiprocessor (SM) is now partitioned into four separate blocks, each with its own buffers, scheduler and 32 CUDA cores.

The scheduler architecture and algorithms have been improved, resulting in a 35% increase in performance per CUDA core and twice the performance per watt. Speaking of power consumption, the GM107 (GeForce GTX 750Ti) consumes a maximum of 60 watts while the previous generation GTX 650 Ti  has a 110W TDP. In fact, the reference NVIDIA GTX 750 Ti card doesn’t even have a PCIe power connector; it draws all the power it needs from the PCIe slot. However, some 3rd party vendors will offer cards with power connectors in order to exploit the GM107’s overclocking potential.

If we put things into a table, comparing the GK107 to the new GM107, it would look like this:

Specs_table

NVIDIA’s GTX 750 Ti reference card is a full-height card that measures slightly less than 15cm long (or around 6 inches). As previously mentioned, there’s no PCIe power connector and the cooler is a small fan plus heatsink unit that doesn’t look very powerful or efficient. The good news is that this means the new GPU is REALLY power efficient and therefore it doesn’t need a very large cooler. During our benchmarking, the card never exceeded 64 degrees Celsius in a room with an ambient temperature of around 27 degrees.

GPU-Z

For those of us who prefer a Small Form Factor (SFF) PC, the GeForce GTX 750 Ti would be able to fit most cases, except those that require a half-height card. Due to its very short length, it would also go will with Mini-ITX cases and motherboards, where space is at a premium. However, it does take up two PCIe slots as the fan blocks the adjacent connector.

At the rear panel, the card sports three connectors: two DL-DVI (Dual-link) and one mini-HDMI. If NVIDIA intends for this card to be installed in SFF gaming boxes, they should ditch the DVI interface and use normal HDMI ports instead. Most users don’t have a Mini-HDMI to HDMI cable as these aren’t commonly found.

NVIDIA GTX 750 Ti_bracket

 

[[Performance – Synthethic Benchmarks]]

Moving on to performance, the NVIDIA GTX 750 Ti was tested using the following hardware:

Testbed specsStarting off with 3DMark 11, the GeForce GTX 750 Ti posted scores a score of 5,735 for the Performance profile which puts it in between the GTX 660 and the GTX 650 Ti. With the Extreme profile, it managed 1,768 which is consistent with the fact that this card is supposed to come in between the GTX 660 and the GTX 650Ti. These numbers are from reference boards and also 3rd party cards which are clocked at stock speeds.

3DM11_chart

For 3DMark Vantage, we ran both the Performance and Extreme profiles, which are the ones commonly used. Again, the GTX 750 Ti is wedged between the two cards mentioned earlier. 3DMV_chart

 Do stay tuned for more game benchmarks…