It's strange to find a new range of graphics card architecture being headlined with one of their lowest end cards, and without its own new numbering system. The higher end 700 series from Nvidia such as the 780 Ti, the 770 and the 760 all use the Kepler architecture, whilst the recently released 750, and 750 Ti run on the next generation Maxwell architecture. Usually we see the next generation of cards fronted by the most powerful card of that series. The 600 series brought us the 680 and 670 first, with the lower end models arriving weeks later.
However, this release perhaps gives us an insight as to just how power efficient the new Maxwell range will be, as well as a glimpse into possible performance. We know Nvidia have been working on improving the power efficiency of their cards for some time now with various projects such as 'Green Light', and it's great to see their hard work is really starting to pay off.
RushKit takes a look at the MSI GTX 750 Ti:
|Graphics Engine||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750Ti|
|Interface||PCI Express x16 3.0|
|Memory Interface||128 bits|
|Core Clock Speed(MHz)||1085 (Boost Clock: 1163) (OC mode)|
1059 (Boost Clock: 1137) (Gaming mode)
1020 (Boost Clock: 1085) (Silent mode)
|Memory Clock Speed(MHz)||5400|
|Outputs||1xDual-Link DVI-D, 1xDSub, 1xHDMI|
|Display Output (Max Resolution)||2560x1600|
|DirectX Version Support||11.2 API (feature 11_0)|
|OpenGL Version Support||4.4|
|Card Dimension(mm)||250 x 128 x 37 mm|
This is the second non-reference 750 Ti we've taken a look at and we have to say we're very impressed with the design. The reference card comprises of a very short PCB with a core only cooler. This shows that it doesn't need a massive cooler to actually cool it, but regardless, a larger cooler will always mean better performance, and potentially lower fan speeds to maintain the same temperatures, which should result in a lower overall noise. MSI have kept their Twin Frozr IV design which we already know performs incredibly well. Unlike the reference cooler, MSI's version does cool the vRAM chips too which should result in a longer life span.
As we've seen on a few of the more recent MSI cards, they now come with three presets for overclocking; Silent Mode, Gaming Mode, and OC Mode. The Silent and Gaming modes would be more for gaming purposes depending on how intensive the game you're playing is, whilst the OC mode would be more for benchmarking purposes, or trying to get the best frame rates possible in your favourite game. It's really great to see features like this from MSI, especially on lower end cards as it gives customers who possibly don't know how to manually overclock themselves the ability to get extra performance in games.
Like the reference design card, MSI's 750 Ti doesn't require any external power connections which means this card is incredibly efficient. The PCIE slot on the motherboard can only deliver a maximum of 75 watts of power, which means even under load whilst overclocked, the MSI 750 Ti can't draw any more power than that. This means you could get away with a very small power supply, making this ideal for smaller form factor systems. Theoretically, you'd be able to run a system with a Haswell, or Ivybridge i3 processor and the 750 Ti on as low as a 200 watt power supply, assuming it was of reasonable quality. This may make the 750 Ti a perfect choice for a low end gaming system.
Another point to note about the MSI 750 Ti is the Hi-c Capacitors, along with the Military Class components. These offer great reliability and longevity over time, and should also run cooler and may yield better performance. Thanks to its 93% efficiency the MSI 750 Ti will also help keep your power requirements to a minimum, and should also offer better overclocking stability.
The 750 Tis do give us a great insight as to just how well the higher end Maxwell cards may be able to perform. The MSI 750 Ti gives a maximum factory overclock of 1163MHz, and even more can be achieved from using MSI Afterburner overclocking utility. For reference, a GTX 780 only comes clocked at 928MHz which will hopefully mean Maxwell cards will over good overclocking potential.
We're really impressed with the MSI Twin Frozr GTX 750 Ti. It looks great, performs really well, and all whilst keeping heat and power requirements to a minimum, making it ideal for a low end system or HTPC.
Thanks to MSI for providing the card. You can discuss your thoughts on the OC3D Forums.