Feature Article

GTX 750 Ti Review: Minimal Power, Maximum Performance

Power play.

by

Usually a new Nvidia architecture is accompanied by the launch of new high-end GPU: Kepler launched with the GTX 680, and Fermi with the GTX 480. But with Maxwell, the company is taking a different approach. Not only is it launching Maxwell within the existing 700-series lineup, it's doing it with a midrange card, the £115 ($149) GTX 750 Ti.

The question is, why? The answer lies in Maxwell's architecture, which focuses on efficiency and performance per watt. That was partly true of Kepler too, but Nvidia has doubled down with Maxwell, and it's done so without shrinking its fabrication process down from 28nm. The company is claiming twice the performance per watt of Kepler, and--in the case of the GTX 750 Ti--performance on par with a GTX 480, but with a power consumption of just 60 watts.

Its resulted in a card that's very small, very quiet, and works without the need for a 6-pin power connector. This makes it an ideal fit for small form factor PCs like Steam Machines, or as an upgrade for cheap, off-the-shelf computers from the likes of Dell and HP that feature small power supplies without extra power connectors.

Specs

Nvidia's not revealing exactly how it's managed to get to such power savings without shrinking its fabrication process, and instead is citing "improvements to control logic partitioning, workload balancing, clock-gating granularity, compiler-based scheduling, and number of instructions issued per clock cycle" on Maxwell's streaming multiprocessor (SM).

GPUGK107 (Kepler)GK107 (Maxwell)
CUDA Cores384640
Base Clock1058 Mhz1020 Mhz
GPU Boost ClockN/A

1085 Mhz

GFLOPs812.51305.6
Texture Units3240
Texel fill-rate33.9 Gigatexels/sec40.8 Gigatexels/sec
Memory Clock5000 Mhz5400 Mhz
Memory Bandwidth80 GB/sec86.4 GB/sec
ROPs1616
L2 Cache Size256KB2048KB
TDP64W60W
Transistors1.3 Billion1.87 Billion
Die Size118 mm148 mm
Manufacturing Process28-nm28-nm

We also know that the SM itself is physically smaller thanks to a new design that splits them into four separate processing blocks, each with its own instruction buffer, scheduler, and 32 CUDA cores. Essentially, this means Nvidia can stuff more of these efficient SMs onto each GPU than it could with Kepler, resulting in better performance with less power usage. A beefy 2048KB of L2 cache, and a faster memory clock and bandwidth helps things along too.

Performance

Given it's a midrange card, the GTX 750 Ti isn't the best choice for pushing anything higher than 1080p, or indeed anything at ultra settings. However, its performance is impressive for a GPU that doesn't need a power connector (Nvidia is claiming substantial overclocking is possible too), and for one that retails at such a low price--and of course, it spanks the hell out of Intel's integrated graphics.

We tested the GTX 750 Ti on our trusty Ivy Bridge test rig, which features an Intel Core i5 3570K @ 3.4Ghz, 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 RAM, an ASUS P8Z68-V Motherboard, Corsair HX850 PSU, Arctic Cooling Freezer 13 Pro, and a Corsair Force GT SSD.

GameAverage FPS
Tomb Raider (High)61
Tomb Radier (Ultra, no tressfx)41
Metro Last Light (High, no tessellation)45
Metro Last Light (Normal, no tessellation)57
Bioshock Infinite (Very high)63
Battlefield 4 (High)52
Battlefield 4 (Ultra)31
Crysis 3 (High)35
Crysis 3 (Medium)45
Titanfall Beta (High, 2XAA)58

As our benchmarks show, the card does a brilliant job at 1080p, with most games running just shy of a steady 60fps at high settings. Amusingly, it also does a better job with Titanfall than the Xbox One does, running the beta of the new mech-based shooter at a cool 58fps at 1080p with 2XAA on. If you were thinking of plonking down a hefty £429 or $499 for an Xbox One just to play Titanfall, why not just chuck a 750 Ti into an old PC at home?

The GTX 750 Ti runs cool, runs incredibly quiet, and is fantastic value. You can chuck this thing into pretty much any old PC with a spare PCI slot and run the latest games without having to worry about crazy cooling or if your power supply can take the strain. Plus, you're getting all the great stuff that comes with an Nvidia card: the brilliant driver support, Shadowplay for recording gameplay clips, and GeForce Experience for one click setup of your games.

If you're after a great performing midrange budget card without any of the fuss, there's no better option than the GTX 750 Ti right now. High-end users hold tight: hopefully this a sign of great things to come from Nvidia's brand new Maxwell chips too.

Discussion

202 comments
Sandeagledhorn
Sandeagledhorn

i bought my pc way back in 2007,and i was wondering can you tell me what parts do i have to buy to make it run newer games.nothing expensive,but strong like the above article

Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU     E7200  @ 2.53GHz (2 CPUs), ~2.5GHz
2048MB RAM
2048MB RAM
DirectX 11
NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT

JURGMANDR
JURGMANDR

I was going to build my first PC soon and was wondering whether it's even worth it for me to put lower range card in or just save my money for a 780Ti.... I don't really care about playing games on Ultra settings or 4k resolutions, I just want solid framerates in the 45 fps+ range.

voreo
voreo

Im fine with my 270X. 
At least till i can afford to replace it with something nicer in a couple years. XD

I was on a HD 6570 (1gb) before. lols

Now im on a pc cable of playing what i have on high/ultra/max so im happy

Gamer_4_Fun
Gamer_4_Fun

"If you were thinking of plonking down a hefty £429 or $499 for an Xbox One just to play Titanfall, why not just chuck a 750 Ti into an old PC at home?" - That statement has to deal with the fact whether your PC CPU is strong enough not to be be a bottleneck.

obsequies
obsequies

with AA, and motion blur turned down or off it can change framerates from 30 to 120. Seems like most motion blur in games doesn't even make it look different, just dropped frames.

LordCrash88
LordCrash88

A hardware "review" without even a comparison with similar tech? Without real benchmarks? This article is a joke and Mark should be ashamed of himself for such a sloppy "Let's read the press release points to the publich" kind of review. He seems to think that the readers here are all totally clueless console guys who don't have any clue about hardware and therefore can't be confused with too much information.......

If you want serious information about hardware don't visit Gamepost.

HaloinventedFPS
HaloinventedFPS

it's a shame miners have drove up the price of AMD card, 7870 Ghz shits on the 750 Ti & was around $150, 7850 is also better than the 750 Ti & was around $100  

750 Ti should be $99, but Nvidia know they can charge a bit more because AMD cards are overpriced atm

Really hope this mining craze dies down soon & we get some nice price drops, DDR3 dropping in price would also be nice, it's a terrible time to build a budget PC at the moment

pcmusturdrace
pcmusturdrace

The consoles are x86 pc's now. I don't understand how this was a suprise. 

This good for people getting into pc gaming. If they already have a home pc with a decent cpu, all they have to do is click this thing in a slot for only 150$. 

Including the fact that pc games are cheaper. All you need is patience and very minimal DIY skills. 

formulawin
formulawin

I'm currently running an HD 6950, is this a decent upgrade?

prats93
prats93

A $150 graphics card that outperforms the $500 Xbone, lol.

veryDERPY
veryDERPY

so uhh...if this is like all nividia gpu can i assume this is a marginal upgrade from the 650 ti? or did i not read the article a all?

Chupacabra3332
Chupacabra3332

Will this card beat a XFX 7850 1GB DDR5 at 860MHZ? 7850s are 256 bit memory interface gpus. Its really amazing how much performance this Ti card can get without a 6 pin connector. Now Im thinking that I should have wait for the EVGA SC model...

rarson
rarson

The lack of any power connectors gives you a good idea of the performance of this card. Sure, Maxwell offers better efficiency, but you're still nowhere close to the high midrange with a card that doesn't include external power.


In December, I bought a 7870 GHz Edition for $125. They've gone up since then, but damn that card was a bargain. I can play Tomb Raider at 2560x1440 with it maxed out. This card can't come close to that. That's the problem with low-end cards like this. There's no reason to buy a card that doesn't have power connectors on it unless you're really itching to game on a computer that doesn't have any six pin connectors, and in that case, you should probably upgrade anyway. It makes absolutely no sense to spend $150 on a card this slow when you can buy faster cards for the same or less. This is a $99 card. Overpriced.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

I am amused by how the electronic components and board sizes become increasingly smaller for video cards but their heat sinks do not. :D

Printul_Noptii
Printul_Noptii

Titanfall runs on  a modified Source Engine ! It will run perfect for most of mid-range PCs :P Why are people so concerned with Titanfall xD better set Metro Last Light as your FPS benchmark because that one needs a hefty GPU like the 770 GTX or 780 GTX, that one will max it out with ease but this card seems like a good deal for gamers with low budget I can see where it will find its customers :D

Gen007
Gen007

pretty incredible especially when you consider its power usage and size.  Still i cant recommend this for a full time game rig though. This is clearly bottom of the barrel maxwell and it dosen't have sli support. Otherwise id say grab two of these jams for cheap and you'd have a rig gonna outclass consoles this whole gen at 1080p. Once the main part of the maxwell line up drops its gonna be amazing and if Nvidia keeps in line with this awesome pricing a mid range maxwell will probably carry you through this whole gen of gaming at1080p at reasonable price.

DeadrisingX1
DeadrisingX1

Around 150 bucks? Wow, that's a pretty good deal!

Wahab_MinSeo
Wahab_MinSeo

@Sandeagledhorn  The NVIDIA GeForce GT 9600 only Support DirectX 10 but won't support DX11 games only Like Crysis 3, Call of Duty Ghosts and Future PC Games.

rarson
rarson

@Sandeagledhorn  

Uh, no sense in changing the chipset unless you're building a whole new machine. What I might suggest is adding another two gigs of RAM and possibly seeing if your motherboard supports a Core 2 Quad. You won't get much single-core performance increase, but it's way cheaper than replacing all the parts inside the computer, and a Q9550, for instance, overclocks pretty well. Plus, they're relatively cheap now.

For graphics cards, I would recommend a 7870. Get one while you still can. It's a high mid-range card, which is pretty much the best bang for the buck right now. I got mine for $150 just before Christmas, but due to demand, they've gone up. A 7870 is basically the same as an R9 270, but with two 6-pin connectors. If your power supply only has one, then I'd recommend the 270. Both cards can be overclocked to basically match the 270X, although I would think the 7870 probably has more headroom thanks to the extra power.

I'm running a Q9550 with 4 GB RAM and a 7870, and I can play all my games at 2560x1440 without problem.

Chupacabra3332
Chupacabra3332

@SandeagledhornIf youre on a budget I would recommend an AMD FX-6300 wich is better than Intel i3 3220, Its all about how much performance you can get for the less price possible, Intel will always be more expensive. That 9600GT is not a DX11 gpu as you know, so this Ti or Radeon R7 265 would be great for newer tittles (depending of how much power your PSU can handle). Maybe you can find a cheap Quad Core CPU that your motherboard supports. It would be the less expensive update yo could do. If you can find some articles from people that still have Quad Core CPUs and have enough FPS on demanding games this would be a smart choice, but I can´t confirm If a 775 socket Quad Core CPU would be good enough for gaming right now.


I had a Phenom X3 720 and a GT240 1GB DDR3 wich I changed for a FX-6300 and a Radeon 7850 1GB DDR5. The system had a good improvement overall.


If you go AM3+ I would recommend a cheap ASUS M5A78L-M LX PLUS motherboard. Despite I dont have this one, Its the best budget option for this socket.


If not, go with the newer and higher APU models from AMD for some 720p gaming, but dont expect high rates on 1080p.

Wahab_MinSeo
Wahab_MinSeo

@JURGMANDR  That's Sucks if you don't care about higher resolution make your eyes relax and you can focus easy on gameplay and yes we need at least 60fps+ to play games fair with multiplayer.

rarson
rarson

@JURGMANDR  

A 780 Ti is expensive overkill. Here's a general rule of thumb: for cards that exceed $500, you're paying a lot more for a little increase. The sweet spot is usually somewhere around $200-$300. A good card in this price range will get you 80% of the performance for 50% of the price. And once that card becomes too slow for you, you can take that other $300 you saved and buy a new $300 card that will be much faster than a 780 Ti.

If you're gaming at 1080p, a $280 card like the R9 270X will be able to max out most games, even with a relatively slower CPU. I play most of my games at 2560x1440 on a 7870, and that's a bit slower than the 270X.

BestJinjo
BestJinjo

@HaloinventedFPS  Not really impressive at all.

The 750 Ti offers lower overall performance than the card it replaces at $149, the GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost, and it's also slower than the Radeon R7 265. Since Nvidia has killed off the 650 Ti Boost, the Radeon R7 265 captures the value title at $149. If you base your buying decision solely on price and performance, then the Radeon is the card to choose.
http://techreport.com/review/26050/nvidia-geforce-gtx-750-ti-maxwell-graphics-processor/12

On context, it's even worse. HD7850 has been $150-160 for 12 months, HD7870  has been $170-200 for 12 months. The only impressive thing is the power consumption. The uninformed and NV fanboys will be all over this though. 

404FredNotFound
404FredNotFound

@HaloinventedFPS  This is currently a US problem tho every where else the prices are normal, here in Portugal I can get a 290x for 500 euros, witch is a little on the high side since the 780 is 30-50 euro less depending what card you pick.

BestJinjo
BestJinjo

@formulawin  Not worth it at all. A worthy upgrade is 75-100% of the speed of your current card, that would be GTX680/770 or HD7970GE/R9 280X or faster. Otherwise, just keep waiting. 

pcmusturdrace
pcmusturdrace

@formulawin  The performance would be slightly worse with this card, but you would get better wattage.

diggyphelps
diggyphelps

@Chupacabra3332  The cards are almost dead even. If you wanted a real upgrade then you'd look to a R9 270x/GTX 760 equivalent.or better.

rarson
rarson

@Chupacabra3332

A high-end Core 2 Quad is just fine for gaming. The C2Q is a good deal faster than a Phenom II at the same clocks. The biggest increase will be from the GPU, so it makes a lot more sense to pick up a Q9550 off ebay for cheap and spend a bit more on a card, like a 7870 or R9 270. As I said in my other comment, I'm gaming with a Q9550 and 7870 and I can game pretty well at 2560x1440.


By pairing it with an AMD GPU, I'll also be able to alleviate some of the CPU deficiency with Mantle once more games start to take advantage of it, although it seems to be off to a slow start (no surprise there).

Wahab_MinSeo
Wahab_MinSeo

@rarson @JURGMANDR  The GTX 780 ti can't handle all games at 2560x1600 or 2560x1440 ultra settings with Anti-aliasing it won't give you 60fps+


Yes for Now the GTX 780 ti is the best single GPU in the market it will be comparing to GTX Titan Black!

JURGMANDR
JURGMANDR

@rarson @JURGMANDR  Thanks for the advice. You're not the first person to recommend the R9 270X so maybe I'll have to pick that up. 

Gamer_4_Fun
Gamer_4_Fun

@BestJinjo: Two biggest flaws of AMD cards for me is how amazingly unstable it is, mostly due to the terrible cooling system and design, which makes the cards overheat and it makes it work below specifications of the card and hence slower performance. Another thing with AMD cards are that their drivers aren't as solid as Nvidia drivers.

Chupacabra3332
Chupacabra3332

@diggyphelps I dont know If the concept "dead" is quite right, yes the R9 GPUs have better performance overall, but at the time the R7 260X came out here (3 months ago) It cost almost the same that the XFX 7850 and that 260X is 10-16 percent less powerful than the 7850, the power consumption is almost identical. I wouldnt buy a R9 270X cause It has too much power consumption for the PSU I have and Its only 25% better than the 7850, hell I would have to spent another 90-95 dollars for that card. 

Despite all that, this Ti looks like a good buy If the price is right here in Latín America.

Wahab_MinSeo
Wahab_MinSeo

@rarson @Chupacabra3332  Old PC Specs is worthy but Bad when get newer because you still can play the new games at 40-65fps on lowest settings all you need the resolution how much can your PC handle at 1366x768 if your monitor 1920x1080 you can't Use 1080p all games only old games, because of your PC is So old and Games get heavier need more Power and faster newer PC!

rarson
rarson

@JURGMANDR

Another good option would be the GTX 770. It's a good performance bump over the 270X for a bit more money (around $340 or so). You might want to compare the two and see where you want to budget your money.

The 270X is a really great card. I have a 7870 which is very similar, and I love it. But I also paid $150 for it. Bitcoin mining has really driven the cost of AMD cards up, so you may want to consider waiting. Note that Nvidia's pricing has also gone up accordingly, just due to the nature of competition (as seen by this 750 Ti, which really should be priced at $99).

Your other option is to snag a 7870 while you can. There's one for $200 after rebate on Newegg right now, which is a relative bargain considering the pricing of these other cards. The 7870 is basically slightly faster than a 270, a little slower than a 270X, but pretty comparable if you overclock it. I would probably choose the 7870 if I were building a $600-$800 build, or the 770 if I was willing to spend a bit more. The 7870 and R9 270/270X all use the exact same GPUs; the only difference is the board designs, the clocking, and the power requirements.

rarson
rarson

@Gamer_4_Fun  

Cooling is entirely up to the AIB makers. Often, when a card launches, the AIBs use reference coolers because they want to launch the cards quickly. AMD's reference coolers tend to be louder and warmer than Nvidia's reference designs. But I'm not sure what you're talking about with instability. I've never encountered any heat-related stability issues with a working cooler, mainly because even AMD's crappy reference designs keep the GPUs much cooler than their design temperature limit.

AMD's drivers are a weak point, but in general, I rarely have problems with them. This might be due to the fact that I buy midrange cards. Piecing together a high-end system is almost always a practice of balancing parts and tweaking software.

While the high-end buyers seem to like Nvidia's support better than AMD's, and Nvidia certainly has more resources devoted to driver development, I actually find that on the lower-end stuff, Nvidia's drivers can be quite aggravating. I also much prefer the layout and function of the Catalyst Control Center over Nvidia's equivalent.

Iloveconnie
Iloveconnie

@Gamer_4_Fun  People always say AMD/ATI drivers arent as solid as nvidia but i ran ATI cards for years and had no issues... maybe its a crossfire thing?

404FredNotFound
404FredNotFound

@Rushaoz @GLOK1132 @prats93  Sry but you simply have no idea what you are talking about mate, even tho this new generation is using x86 architecture comparing both with PC is still Apples and oranges, due to how the games are coded for Consoles vs PCs, I could delve in the matter, can't be bothered tho.

rarson
rarson

@Chupacabra3332  

You can buy a R9 270 and overclock it to get near 270X performance with only one 6-pin power connector. I think you'll have a hard time getting that much performance with only one 6-pin in another card, unless Nvidia comes out with something special. I wouldn't hold my breath. It's never a good sign when the company launches a new architecture with a low-end card.