This is a very typical MSI video card that sits in the low $100 price bracket. The model on a whole isn't great when it comes to performance as you see it struggle at 1680 x 1050 under most games. Of course the big thing to note is that our game settings are maxed out and there's always plenty of room to move when it comes to the detail of the game you're playing.
1680 x 1050 is going to be an option for this card as you see we're often sitting around 50 FPS and getting an extra 10 FPS with a detail drop isn't going to be too hard. The amount of detail drop is going to depend on the game, but if you're happy with those medium in game settings and you're gaming at 1680 x 1050, then this isn't a bad option at all. Of course if you're gaming at a lower resolution you're going to have even more head room when it comes to detail options. Also if you're playing something older or based on the Source engine, you're also going to get the chance to play with higher detail.
What I don't really like is the cooling option here in the sense that the extra fan option feels almost pointless. You can see that the numbers are extremely low when it comes to temperature and noise with the default setup that we wouldn't bother with the extra fan for the most part; especially if you're running the card at stock. Of course that might change when it comes to the overclocking side of things and because this is the only GTX 650 we've got so far and the simple fact that it's a Power Edition model we'll also be looking at the overclocking numbers in another article soon. When we do that we'll throw the second fan into the mix because if you're going to overclock you may as well make use of the extra airflow that can be offered.
It's easy to become a real FPS snob when you're in our position and test cards that go well into the hundreds of dollars. We turn around and look at this $99.99 video card after rebate and see it struggle under most our games and just feel let down by the model. But ultimately the price point is low and depending on what you're playing, this is a video card that is going to perform perfectly fine for those on a budget.
1680 x 1050 should ultimately be a playable resolution with this model out of the box under a lot of games. The detail is going to be what matters, though, for the most part max in game settings isn't going to be an option. Considering the price point, that's not a huge surprise.
As always MSI have put together a really nice video card here and we really look forward to looking at the overclocking side of things which is something we're doing this very second as I write this final thoughts. The numbers we managed to achieve are really exciting and we look forward to showing you those numbers soon.
If you're looking at spending $100 this is a good option and while this is the only GTX 650 we've tested so far, we wouldn't hesitate in saying it's probably more than likely one of the better options on the market just based off the reputation of not only MSI, but the Power Edition series which is a series that has always impressed us.
Being a Power Edition card, though, overclocking is such an important part of the model and like we just mentioned, our early results are looking really strong and we're looking forward to bringing the numbers we achieved to you soon. For now, though, we'll leave it at that.
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
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- Page 1 [Introduction and Package]
- Page 2 [The Card and Specifications]
- Page 3 [Benchmarks - Test System Setup]
- Page 4 [Benchmarks - 3DMark 11]
- Page 5 [Benchmarks - Unigine Heaven Benchmark]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks - Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks - Mafia II]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks - Lost Planet 2]
- Page 9 [Benchmarks - Aliens vs. Predator]
- Page 10 [Benchmarks - Just Cause 2]
- Page 11 [Benchmarks - Metro 2033]
- Page 12 [Benchmarks - Dirt 3]
- Page 13 [Benchmarks - Far Cry 2]
- Page 14 [Temperature Test]
- Page 15 [Sound Test]
- Page 16 [Power Consumption Test]
- Page 17 [Final Thoughts]
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