The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Review, Feat. Gigabyte, Zotac, & EVGAby Ryan Smith on October 9, 2012 9:00 AM EST
Meet The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 650 Ti OC 2GB Windforce
Our final card of the day is Gigabyte’s entry, the GeForce GTX 650 Ti OC 2GB. Like the other cards in today’s review this is a factory overclocked model, with Gigabyte shipping the core clock at 1033MHz, 107MHz (12%) over reference and the same overclock as Zotac. Meanwhile the memory clock is unchanged at 5.4GHz.
With the weakest factory overclock of the bunch, Gigabyte’s claim to fame here will be their design, which significantly deviates from NVIDIA’s reference design. The PCB itself is clearly based on NVIDIA’s (right down to the 5.75” length) and is otherwise unremarkable, but Gigabyte’s cooler is another Windforce 2X cooler, making it significant different from the much smaller open air coolers on the rest of the cards we’ve seen. Though the design of the cooler in use depends on the specific model of card, all of Gigabyte’s Windforce coolers share the same basic design, featuring a long aluminum heatsink that runs the length of the card (if not beyond), attached to the GPU through the use of copper heatpipes (2 in the case of the GTX 650 Ti).
Meanwhile air movement is provided by a pair of ridiculously large 100mm fans that run the length of the heatsink. In fact “ridiculously large” is about the single best two-word description there is for the GTX 650 Ti OC’s Windforce cooler. As we’ll see it’s going to be very effective, but in all likelihood it’s overkill out of the box. Because of the length (and significant overhang) of the Windforce cooler, Gigabyte’s card measures 9.3” long and you’ll need an extra inch of vertical clearance too to fit the behemoth.
Outside of cooling, Gigabyte’s card is otherwise very typical for a GTX 650 Ti. Gigabyte has equipped the card 2GB of Hynix 6GHz GDDR5, so when you overclock – and with a cooler this big you must – there is at a minimum a fair bit of memory headroom to play with. Meanwhile along with the minor PCB changes Gigabyte has changed the display ports to fit their needs. Gigabyte’s card uses a stacked DL-DVI-D design, augmenting that with a full-size HDMI port and a VGA port. With the increasing performance and ubiquity of iGPUs, VGA ports have finally started to fall out of favor, so Gigabyte is alone in shipping their card with a VGA port instead of a DVI-I to VGA dongle.
Rounding out the package is the usual collection of power adapters and a quick start guide. While it’s not included in the box or listed on the box, the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 650 Ti OC works with Gigabyte’s OC Guru II overclocking software, which is available on Gigabyte’s website. OC Guru isn’t quite up to the gold standard of overclocking software, but it’s functional, sleek, and gets the job done, which is great as with a cooler this large this card demands to be overclocked.
Wrapping things up, the Gigebyte GeForce GTX 650 Ti OC comes with Gigabyte’s standard 3 year warranty. Gigabyte will be releasing it at an MSRP of $174 ($169 without AC3), $25 over the price of a reference-clocked GTX 650 Ti and $5 less than the most expensive card in our roundup today.