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GTX750Ti review

post #1 of 5
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GTX750Ti - The new generation of efficiency

Over the last few years, we have seen diminishing returns on performance with each new generation of chip lithography. As each node gets smaller chip makers are faced with a multitude of problems which get harder to overcome. One of these issues is heat and current leakage, having an increased number of transistors situated closer to each other can be quite a struggle to contain the increased heat. Chip makers are not only looking to increase performance but they're all trying to produce the most efficient chips too. Enter Nvidia's next architecture.


Maxwell
The entire gaming & mining world has long awaited the introduction of Maxwell from Nvidia, we all saw the roadmap posted by Nvidia over a year ago (clicky) claiming a huge increase in performance whilst being much more efficient than the current generation. Is the 750Ti a teaser of what is to come?

The engineers who worked on Kepler only had to look at their buddies who worked on the Tesla chips to double the performance per watt. Kepler had a number of efficiency issues, the main one being that the controller could not power down if the cores were idle, leaving your GPU sucking more power than was needed! Nvidia have now split the controllers up and allowed each controller to power down if the cores are idle, giving us incredible savings. Alongside that a lower memory bandwidth is used with Maxwell through upping the L2 cache size which saves further power.


Asus 750Ti OC specs
  • CUDA Cores - 640
  • Base Clock - 1072Mhz
  • Boost Clock - 1150MHz
  • 2048MB rated at 5400Mhz
  • 128-bit memory bus
  • 86.4 GB/s bandwidth

The specs may not look much, but this card packs a mighty punch for it's specifications! cool.gif
It is worth noting that this card comes with a 6pin power connector, as it's the OC version it cannot be powered solely off the PCIe slot.


The box & whats inside
The Asus line of cards are always a favourite among gamers, and the box is the same as previous generations we all recognise:


Inside it there wasn't much. The graphics card obviously, alongside the usual drivers CD and manual. I have placed one of my ref 290s next to it so you guys have a reference of the size:



The shroud on this card actually extends it quite a bit, much like the smaller GTX670s if you remember those little beasts:



My rig
I reverted everything back to stock for these tests. I don't find the need to overclock with my rig anymore either, she plays my games fine and mines the rest of the time.
  • CPU - 3930k @ stock.
  • RAM - 8GB Samsung Green @ stock
  • MB - Gigabyte X79-UD3
  • PSU - Corsair AX1200i
  • GFX - ASUS GeForce 750Ti OC @ stock.
  • DRV - Nvidia WHQL 335.23 (latest @ time)
  • CPU-Z & GPU-Z - (clicky)

Now lets get down to some figures. wink.gif


Heaven 4.0 & Valley 1.0
Heaven 4.0 & Valley 1.0 are standard benchmarks which are used across the world to test the performance of your GPU, once the benchmark is complete it gives you a score dependent on how your card performed (max fps, min fps, & frames drawn).

Although the card is aimed at the low-to-mid range gamers, benchmarks are used to stress your card and see far it can perform, for this reason I used the following settings for these benchmarks:


Heaven 4.0 results: The average FPS was 33, with a minimum of 7.6 and a maximum of 65.9! This gave me a score of 854, not bad eh? (clicky)

Valley 1.0 results: The average FPS was 36.3, with a minimum of 18.6 and a maximum of 66.3! A final score of 1520 (clicky)

Not only did the card perform amazingly well, the temperatures did not exceed 67 with a max (auto) fan speed of 57% . I don't know whether I've deafened myself with 3 ref 290s mining full blast, but I could not hear this card at all during either of the tests. The 3 Gentle-Typhoons on my radiator were louder than the card.



Crysis 3
Can it play Crysis? The popular question with all graphics cards. Yes, it can! smile.gif
I was surprised to find that I held an almost steady 60FPS with Crysis 3. I had the settings all on High, apart from motion blur being turned off & lens flare off. Anistropic filtering was 4x, I used FXAA to soften the edges. It looked wonderful, it was smooth and I was in the top three of the server within a couple minutes of joining!

The card didn't breach 66 with auto fan and actually boosted to 1202MHz at stock. Again, the fan was completely inaudible to me. Here is a snapshot of my Afterburner monitoring:



Metro Last Light Benchmark
Although the common thing for graphics enthusiasts to say is "Can it Run Crysis 3?", I believe a more demanding challenge is Metro Last Light which every graphics review should tackle. The game is simply beautiful to the eye, even the first still causes trouble for cards today.

As this is a benchmark, again I cranked the settings up a touch. It achieved a maximum FPS of 71 and a low of 17, if I were to be playing the game I would certainly take the SSAA down a touch. I kept Nvidia PhysX off also. As demanding as MLL is, I think this card did quite alright.




Overclocking
The 750ti I received showed up as having Samsung memory, as you can see in the previous GPU-z. This gave me a sign that it would overclock well, we all know what Elpida means when you fire up GPU-z on your new card.



I pushed an extra 100MHz on the core easy with an extra 125mhz on the memory. It could have went further, the card now boosted to 1300MHz. Now remember that this card has quite a low power usage, it isn't going to pull monster overclocks alongside the Matrix Plats, Lightnings, Classified etc. To do this with only consuming a couple more watts, 20w I believe, is extremely good. The cards temperature did not go up, and the fan increased an extra 100rpm only.

Heaven 4.0 overclocked & Valley overclocked, added an extra 100+ points to each.
Heaven overclocked: clicky! - Increase of 120 points.
Valley overclocked: clicky! - Increase of 110 points.
An average of around 10% FPS extra. Nice!

The computer temperatures after those two runs:




Mining
Well it seems like the mining crazy has really taken off. I have joined the race myself with 6 290s. So here's a little mining test stock & overclocked for you guys, thanks to the Corsair AX1200i I can also monitor how the much the card is pulling.

My computer stock, which has a HDD, SSD, D5 pump & stock 3930k pulled around 90w at idle:


With the settings:
Quote:
-i 0 -l T5x24 -C 1 -H 2

I managed to do around 255Kh/s Scrypt on ~70w @ stock: clicky!

With an overclock of +100 core & +475 memory, I managed to pull out just under 300. The wattage crept up to about 110w, which is still pretty efficient if you ask me: clicky!

I did not have much time do other testing, but I'm pretty certain that downclocking the card and finding it's sweet spot will provide way better results than that. You can get BIOS editors for the cards which will decrease or increase the TDP of the card etc. I also think as CUDAMiner is optimised and the drivers are optimised, we'll see performance gains.


Verdict
I think this card is perfect for the budget build gamer, it reminds me a lot of the GTX670 though a little weaker, but not by far. And most certainly more power efficient.

Nvidia have really thrown it out there with efficiency and I'm excited to see what the flagship GeForce Maxwell chips will bring. Especially as they achieved these power savings just through architectural changes, the 750 & 750Ti cards are still on the same 28nm node as Kepler.

As for the mining side, I think with a little tweaking it's perfect, but the extra cost of PCI-E risers, motherboards etc would put me off. The noise does attract me though, a rig with 6 of these Asus 750Ti's would certainly be quieter than 2 ref 290s. Having said that, 750Ti is still a solid choice for miners and in my eyes is Nvidia's way of stealing momentum from AMD being the usual choice for all GPU miners.

For the price it is a bargain, and for the budget gamer build it is an even better bargain. A decent little starting rig could be built for under £500 with one of these which I would expect to be better than a PS4/Xbox one.

You can buy these from Overclockers right now:
Asus GeForce GTX 750Ti 2048MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card £131.99



I would like to give a special thanks to Asus for providing the card to review. Cheers! smile.gif
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post #2 of 5
would this card play Dota 2 / games of that general quality maxed out?
Thinking of getting one for my gf but not quite sure. She used to have a 550 ti and i could play dota like medium to high settings alright, this one better?
post #3 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by illuz View Post

I think this card is perfect for the budget build gamer, it reminds me a lot of the GTX670 though a little weaker, but not by far. And most certainly more power efficient.

Thanks for the review even though I disagree with you on the bold. The GTX 750 Ti is not in the same league as the GTX 670. GTX 670 is actually a much stronger card when it comes to GPU power. and can play current games on much higher settings.
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post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by illuz View Post

It is worth noting that this card comes with a 6pin power connector, as it's the OC version it cannot be powered solely off the PCIe slot.

Nope. I have a card without the 6pin connector and it's OC'd way further than this card comes from the factory. Check out the 750Ti club thread for reference.
Quote:
Originally Posted by protzman View Post

would this card play Dota 2 / games of that general quality maxed out?
Thinking of getting one for my gf but not quite sure. She used to have a 550 ti and i could play dota like medium to high settings alright, this one better?
It's better than 560 and when OC'ed it's biting at the heels of 660.
Edited by Loladinas - 3/24/14 at 10:58am
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post #5 of 5
Have you tried running the Thief benchmark? The run you did with Metro LL, was the card at stock or overclocked? What was Tesselation set to when the Metro bench was run OP?
Edited by jason387 - 3/24/14 at 12:04pm
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