PC gamers looking to improve their graphics quality without emptying their wallets can check out graphics cards based on the Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti available Tuesday at a starting price of $150. The GTX 650 Ti uses the same Kepler architecture found in other GTX cards such as the $380 GTX 670, but at a far lower price point. You could get an even lower price by snapping up the GTX 650, but for about an extra $30 Nvidia says the GTX 650 Ti is up to 40 percent faster than the regular 650. Select versions of the GTX 650 Ti also come with a free copy of Assassin's Creed 3.
The reference design for Nvidia's new GTX 650 Ti features a 925 MHz core clock, 768 CUDA cores (double the amount in the GTX 650), and 1 GB of dedicated memory. The card uses one 6-pin PCI Express connector, and offers one HDMI and two dual-link DVI ports. Nvidia says you can expect the GTX 650 Ti to offer performance of about 42 frames per second on Battlefield 3, and around 40 frames per second on Borderlands 2 and similar games, on a 1920 x 1080 display. The GTX 650 Ti can support up to four separate monitors simultaneously depending on the version you purchase.
Card manufacturers may ship versions of the GTX 650Ti in different configurations. One example is Zotac's ZT-61103-10M, which will include 2GB of frame buffer memory and a DisplayPort connector. Clock speeds of different cards may also vary from one model to the next.
The reference design is one slot wide and less than six inches long, so may fit in compact cases. Power consumption is rated at 110 watts, so most PC power supplies should be able to handle the load.
Not every card will be as small as Nvidia's reference design. Gigabyte's GV-N65TOC-2GI will offer dual cooling fans to help cool down an overclocked GPU. Overclocked cards may also draw more power, but power consumption is still low enough to enable them to run in most PC systems with 350W or greater power supplies.
Nvidia is aiming the GTX 650 Ti at users who may be stepping up from older 9600 GT budget cards. At well under $200, the GTX 650 Ti is aimed at price conscious gamers who only upgrade every couple of years, and aren't willing to spend more than $200.
The Assassin's Creed 3 bundle offering won't be offered with every version of the GTX 650 Ti, so you need to check that the card you're buying includes a download coupon for the game. A quick check on Newegg showed versions of the GTX 650 Ti from Asus, EVGA, Gigabyte, MSI, and Zotac all included the Assassin's Creed 3 bundle. Prices on Newegg started at $155.