Gigabyte GTX650Ti Boost SLI Review
There is a lot to like about the Gigabyte GTX650Ti Boost, especially in SLI. Let's look at the individual card first.
Obviously the main thing you notice is the Windforce cooler. We've given this a reasonable amount of stick in the past for being a good performing cooler than has the looks of a home-built offering. Sure enough on the GTX650Ti things haven't changed. The Windforce keeps the card 12°C cooler than the reference design, and remains a good performer when the two cards are close together in SLI. There is no getting away from those looks though. Without a shroud or any attempt whatsoever to tailor the cooler to the card, it still looks like something designed at home by someone with a couple of spare fans. Form over function to the nth degree.
Performance is better than the reference card in every test, with the Gigabyte offering gaining a handful of frames-per-second over the nVidia model in all of our games. A cooler card leaves more headroom for the drivers to boost the card a little further, and this is what gives us the better results.
SLI is where the cards really shine though. Two midrange cards paired up have often been the weapon of choice for those who desire the performance of the top-end model for a more affordable price, and the GTX650Ti Boost keeps this up with performance generally around the level of a GTX680. Naturally since the initial launch of the GTX680 the price has dropped significantly so a couple of GTX650Ti Boost's will only save you around £50 in comparison. This means that we'd probably say it was a worthwhile investment if you already own a single card to add another, rather than worthy of buying if you're upgrading in general.
The other key to remember is that eventually architectural limitations are unable to be overcome by pure clock speed. We saw from the very latest games that are the most demanding, Crysis 3 for example, that despite some excellent results the GTX650Ti is still by no means a full-fat card.
It all sounds rather negative, but when you're talking about a setup costing close to £300 then you have different expectations. If you are in need of a new GPU then we'd recommend spending your money on either a GTX670 or a HD7950. However, if you've already purchased one of the GTX650Ti Boosts, then another is a fine addition and will give a great boost to your performance. If you're in the market for a single model then the Gigabyte GTX650Ti Boost is cool, quiet and fast. Just be aware that even in SLI you still have to be judicious in your choice of detail settings. We're happy to award it our OC3D Silver Award.