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Palit GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost 2GB OC Video Card Review

We take a look at our first retail GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost in the form of an offering from Palit.

@ShawnBakerTW
Published Thu, Apr 11 2013 10:46 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 7:00 PM CST
Rating: 90%Manufacturer: Palit

Introduction and Package

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VIEW GALLERY - 33 IMAGES

Last month we saw the release of two new mid-range video card models from AMD and NVIDIA. Both heat up the mid $100 segment more than we've probably ever seen before. Hitting fairly firmly at the $149 mark, the HD 7790, which we've looked at from Sapphire, GIGABYTE and ASUS all did a good job of impressing us.

On the other side of the equation you've got the new GTX 650 Ti Boost from NVIDIA. Priced slightly higher, the model does offer twice as much memory with 2GB instead of 1GB, and offers slightly higher performance, as we saw in our original review of the reference card, which we looked at during the launch of the new model.

While we've managed to take a look at a few retail versions of the HD 7790, we're yet to see what's going on with retail versions of the GTX 650 Ti Boost. That's mainly due to the fact that AMD didn't offer a reference card at launch and instead relied on partners to promote the model, while NVIDIA released a reference card, and slightly after the AMD offering.

The process will as always be fairly standard with us moving from here straight into the box of the model before diving inside to find out what's going on with the bundle. Once we've done that we'll move onto the card itself before look at the specifications of this OC model. We'll quickly cover the testbed, the cards you'll see in our graphs here today before finally getting stuck into the performance side of things.

Package

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You can clearly see the model and above that you can see mention that we're dealing with an OC Edition. Across the bottom you can see it's a 2GB model and has the normal support for 3D Vision, PhysX, SLI, GPU Boost, PCIe 3.0 and a 28nm core.

The back of the box goes into a bit more detail on some of the main features like DirectX 11 and some of the main core specifications.

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Inside we've got a very typical bundle with not much being seen. Starting from the left we've got a Quick Installation Guide and next to that a driver CD. Finally we finish the bundle off with a DVI to VGA connector along with a Dual-Molex to 6-pin PCIe power connector.

The Card and Specifications

The Card

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Palit has opted for a dual fan setup over the single fan setup that we saw on the reference GTX 650 Ti Boost. Behind you can see the heatsink that takes up most of the card, and a pair of heat pipes across the bottom, which helps pull hot air away from the core. We're hoping this cooler results in quieter and cooler operation than the reference cooler, which we felt sat a little too high for a mid-range offering.

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There is a single 6-pin PCIe power connector at the back, while staying across the top, but moving closer to the front, you can see a single SLI connector, which gives the ability to run two of these video cards together in SLI mode.

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Finishing up with the connectivity side of things you can see we've got two Dual-Link DVI connectors on the right side - one DVI-D and the other DVI-I. To the bottom left you can see we've got a DisplayPort and HDMI connector while a vent in the top left half helps round off the I/O department.

Specifications

As we mentioned on the last page when covering the front of the box we're dealing with an OC variant of the GTX 650 Ti Boost here today. Out of the box a reference GTX 650 Ti Boost comes with a 980MHz core clock or 1033MHz core clock via Boost. As for the 2GB of GDDR5, that comes in at 6008MHz QDR.

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The Palit OC version comes in at 1006MHz or 1072MHz via Boost. Palit has also chosen to slightly increase the memory clock to 6108MHz QDR. This overall isn't a huge overclock, and I'm not sure we'll see too much of a change from the default speeds, but we'll find out soon enough on the following pages.

Benchmarks - Test System Setup

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We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASUS and Corsair.

Before we get into the performance side of things let's just quickly take a moment to cover the cards in our graphs today. Alongside our first retail GTX 650 Ti Boost from Palit, we've also got the reference GTX 650 Ti Boost running at both stock and overclocked speeds. Finally on the NVIDIA side we've got the MSI GTX 660 HAWK.

As for the AMD cards, we've got a bunch including the HIS HD 7750 and HD 7770 that we've overclocked. We've also got the Sapphire HD 7790 which comes overclocked out of the box along with the ASUS model which we overclocked even further.

The FPS Numbers Explained

When we benchmark our video cards and look at the graphs, we aim to get to a certain level of FPS which we consider playable. While many may argue that the human eye can't see over 24 FPS or 30 FPS, any true gamer will tell you that as we climb higher in Frames Per Seconds (FPS), the overall gameplay feels smoother. There are three numbers we're looking out for when it comes to our benchmarks.

30 FPS - It's the minimum number we aim for when it comes to games. If you're not dropping below 30 FPS during games, you're going to have a nice and smooth gaming experience. The ideal situation is that even in a heavy fire fight, the minimum stays above 30 FPS making sure that you can continue to aim easily or turn the corner with no dramas.

60 FPS - It's the average we look for when we don't have a minimum coming at us. If we're getting an average of 60 FPS, we should have a minimum of 30 FPS or better and as mentioned above, it means we've got some smooth game play happening.

120 FPS - The new number that we've been hunting down over recent months. If you're the owner of a 120 Hz monitor, to get the most out of it you want to get around the 120 FPS mark. Moving from 60 FPS / 60 Hz to 120 FPS / 120 Hz brings with it a certain fluidity that can't really be explained, but instead has to be experienced. Of course, if you're buying a 120 Hz monitor to take advantage of 3D, an average of 120 FPS in our benchmark means that in 3D you will have an average of 60 FPS, which again means you should expect some smooth gameplay.

Why are some graphs incomplete?

Adding new game benchmarks is a long, tedious and time consuming task as every video card has to be re-tested in those new benchmarks. Because of that reason we have always just evaluated our benchmark line up every six months. To stay up to date and current with the latest benchmarks and games available, we've changed our approach to adding new benchmarks.

Our benchmark line up will progress and be updated as newer more intensive games with benchmarks comes to light. While this will mean that initially you may only see a single video card in those particular graphs, as the weeks go on and we test more and more video cards, the results will grow quickly. This will help keep our benchmark line up as up to date as possible as we introduce and remove games on a constant basis.

Benchmarks - 3DMark 11

3DMark 11

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1

Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com

Product Homepage: http://www.3dmark.com/3dmark11/

Buy It Here

3DMark 11 is the latest version of the world's most popular benchmark. Designed to measure your PC's gaming performance 3DMark 11 makes extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11 including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading. Trusted by gamers worldwide to give accurate and unbiased results, 3DMark 11 is the best way to consistently and reliably test DirectX 11 under game-like loads.

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Starting off with 3DMark 11 you can see very little change when compared to the reference card. With only a small change in clock speeds, this is what we expected.

Benchmarks - Unigine Heaven Benchmark

Unigine Heaven Benchmark

Version and / or Patch Used: 3

Developer Homepage: http://www.unigine.com

Product Homepage: http://unigine.com/press-releases/091022-heaven_benchmark//

New benchmark grants the power to unleash the DirectX 11 potential in the gift wrapping of impressively towering graphics capabilities. It reveals the enchanting magic of floating islands with a tiny village hidden in the cloudy skies. With the interactive mode emerging experience of exploring the intricate world is ensured within reach. Through its advanced renderer, Unigine is one of the first to set precedence in showcasing the art assets with tessellation, bringing compelling visual finesse, utilizing the technology to the full extend and exhibiting the possibilities of enriching 3D gaming.

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You can see Heaven numbers are nearly identical. One point differs at 1920 x 1200, while the 1680 x 1050 number is exactly the same. This is probably more than likely a picture we're going to see throughout our testing as the factory overclock on offer from Palit isn't that huge.

Benchmarks - Phantasy Star Online 2

Phantasy Star Online 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.sega.com/?t=EnglishUSA

Product Homepage: http://www.pso2.com/us/html/index.html

Play Phantasy Star Online 2 and experience revolutionary combat in an action-driven, free-to-play multiplayer online RPG from SEGA. Take a journey into an immersive sci-fi fantasy narrative and explore mysterious worlds to unravel their secrets. Join fellow adventurers and fight against the legions of darkness to banish them from the galaxy.

Score explanation: Less than 2000: Please adjust your game settings because the processing load is quite heavy.

2000 through 5000: The game runs fine at the setting, if you have room, you can adjust some settings.

5001+: The game works wonderfully at this setting.

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Looking at the PSO2 numbers you can again see very little difference between the two main cards we're comparing here today.

Benchmarks - Lost Planet 2

Lost Planet 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark - Test A Scene 1

Developer Homepage: http://www.capcom.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.lostplanet2game.com/

Lost Planet 2 is a third-person shooter video game developed and published by Capcom. The game is the sequel to Lost Planet: Extreme Condition which is also made by Capcom, taking place ten years after the events of the first game, on the same fictional planet. The story takes place back on E.D.N. III 10 years after the events of the first game. The snow has melted to reveal jungles and more tropical areas that have taken the place of more frozen regions. The plot begins with Mercenaries fighting against Jungle Pirates. After destroying a mine, the Mercenaries continue on to evacuate the area, in which a Category-G Akrid appears and attacks them. After being rescued, they find out their evacuation point (Where the Category-G appeared) was a set-up and no pick up team awaited them. The last words imply possible DLC additions to the game, "There's nothing to be gained by wiping out snow pirates... unless you had some kind of grudge."

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Lost Planet 2 sees a little bit of movement at the higher resolution, but no change at 1680 x 1050. As for playability, we've got good numbers at 1920 x 1200 and 1680 x 1050. As you'd expect, though, 2560 x 1600 isn't an option.

Benchmarks - Just Cause 2

Just Cause 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Dark Tower

Developer Homepage: http://www.eidos.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.justcause.com/

Just Cause 2 employs the Avalanche Engine 2.0, an updated version of the engine used in Just Cause. The game is set on the other side of the world from the original Just Cause, on the fictional island of Panau in Southeast Asia. Panau has varied terrain, from desert to alpine to rainforest. Rico Rodriguez returns as the protagonist, aiming to overthrow the evil dictator Pandak "Baby" Panay and confront his former mentor, Tom Sheldon.

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We see a little bit of positive moment at 1920 x 1200 and 1680 x 1050. Overall, though, the overclock does very little in terms of extra performance. Apart from 2560 x 1600, though, you can see we've got playable numbers at the other resolutions.

Benchmarks - F1 2012

F1 2012

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.codemasters.com/uk/

Product Homepage: http://www.codemasters.com

In F1 2012 players will feel the unparalleled thrill of becoming a FORMULA ONE driver with a host of new features, wide-ranging technical and gameplay advancements and extensive competitive and co-operative multiplayer components. F1 2012 will feature all of the official teams, drivers and circuits from the 2012 FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, including the debut of the 2012 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX at Austin, Texas and the return of Germany's famous Hockenheim circuit to the calendar.

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Apart from a 1 FPS fluctuation down at the highest resolution, you can see across the board the overclock brings with it no change to the numbers. Most importantly, though, we've got playable FPS at all resolutions including a 62 FPS average at 2560 x 1600.

Benchmarks - Metro 2033

Metro 2033

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.4a-games.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.thqnordic.com/

Metro 2033 is an action-oriented video game with a combination of survival horror and first-person shooter elements. The game is based on the novel Metro 2033 by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky. It was developed by 4A Games in Ukraine and released in March 2010 for Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360.[3] In March 2006, 4A Games announced a partnership with Glukhovsky to collaborate on the game.[4] The game was announced at the 2009 Games Convention in Leipzig;[5] a first trailer came along with the announcement.[6] A sequel was announced, currently titled Metro: Last Light.

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Metro 2033 sees no change across the board with the exact same FPS being seen at every resolution. That means playable numbers at 1680 x 1050, while at 1920 x 1200 we fall just shy of the 60 FPS number.

Benchmarks - Dirt Showdown

Dirt Showdown

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.codemasters.com/uk/

Product Homepage: http://www.codemasters.com/uk/dirtshowdown/360/

DiRT Showdown is the new arcade racing game from the team that brought you the award-winning DiRT series, uncaged in 2012. Pick up and play controls combine with electrifying events, frenzied crowds and stunning graphics to deliver high octane, dive in and drive thrills from event one.

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We continue to see this trend of barely any movement with the pre-overclocked GTX 650 Ti Boost from Palit. Considering the small overclock, it's really no surprise at all. We continue to be below the 60 FPS mark at all resolutions.

Benchmarks - Nexuiz

Nexuiz

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.alientrap.org/

Product Homepage: http://www.nexuiz.com/

Nexuiz is an Arena First Person shooter coming soon to consoles. Nexuiz is fast paced with extremely competitive game play. IllFonic brings Alientrap Software's Nexuiz to next-gen gaming consoles around the world while staying true to the game play refined over the years through development. IllFonic introduces a new Victorian influenced art style that is simultaneously futuristic and sophisticated. Nexuiz for consoles is powered by CryENGINE 3.

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Nexuiz performance actually falls back slightly when overclocked. It's not too important, though, as even if we saw a massive boost in performance, we'd still be below the 60 FPS mark at all resolutions.

Benchmarks - Sniper Elite V2

Sniper Elite V2

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.rebellion.co.uk/

Product Homepage: http://sniperelitev2.com/us/age.html

Sniper Elite V2 features detailed sniping simulation with advanced ballistics, taking into account gravity, wind, velocity, bullet penetration, aim stability and more. Guaranteed to provide players with the most realistic simulation of military sharpshooting yet available.

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Looking above you can see that the overclock doesn't impact overall performance at all. We've got a playable 60 FPS at 1680 x 1050, but after that performance is just too low.

Benchmarks - Sleeping Dogs

Sleeping Dogs

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://eu.square-enix.com/en

Product Homepage: http://www.sleepingdogs.net/

The core gameplay of Sleeping Dogs consists of giving the player an open world environment in which to move around freely. Sleeping Dogs is played as an over-the-shoulder, third-person perspective action-adventure game with role-playing elements. The player controls Wei Shen, a Chinese-American police officer, as he goes undercover to infiltrate the Sun On Yee Triad organization. On foot, the player character has the ability to walk, run, jump, climb over obstacles and swim, as well as use weapons and martial arts in combat. Players also drive a variety of vehicles including cars, boats, and motorcycles.

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We continue to see very little change from the extra MHz on offer from Palit here. What's important, though, is that we do have playable numbers at both 1920 x 1200 and 1680 x 1050. It's only when we move to 2560 x 1600 that we see performance drop below the 60 FPS number that we're after to provide a solid gaming experience.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2

Far Cry 2

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01

Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long

Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.farcry2.com/

Buy It Here

The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more.

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The overclock brings with it a little bit of movement to Far Cry 2, but overall performance is just as you'd expect, with playable numbers across the board.

Benchmarks - Hitman Absolution

Hitman Absolution

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.ioi.dk/

Product Homepage: http://hitman.com/

Hitman: Absolution is an action-adventure stealth game developed by IO Interactive and published by Square Enix. It is the fifth entry in the Hitman game series, and runs on IO Interactive's proprietary Glacier 2 game engine. Before release, the developers stated that Absolution would be easier to play and more accessible, while still retaining hardcore aspects of the franchise. The game was released on 20 November 2012, which is in the 47th week of the year (in reference to the protagonist, Agent 47).

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Looking above you can see that across the board performance is almost identical when compared to the reference clocked card. While our minimum numbers aren't too bad at 1920 x 1200 and 1680 x 1050, we'd prefer to see the averages to be a little higher.

Benchmarks - Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.nixxes.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.tombraider.com/us/base/agegate?refer=184&

Tomb Raider is an action-adventure platform video game. Published by Square Enix, Tomb Raider is the fifth title developed by Crystal Dynamics in the Tomb Raider franchise. As the first entry in a new Tomb Raider continuity, the game is a reboot that emphasizes the reconstructed origins of the culturally influential lead character Lara Croft. Tomb Raider was released on 5 March 2013 for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows to universal critical acclaim.

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The minimum numbers haven't changed much here, but the averages are a little all over the place. Overall, though, the numbers are below where we want them to be in the minimum department at all resolutions.

Benchmarks - BioShock Infinite

BioShock Infinite

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://irrationalgames.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.bioshockinfinite.com

BioShock Infinite is a first-person shooter video game and the third installment in the BioShock series. Previously known as "Project Icarus", it is being developed by Irrational Games and was released worldwide on the Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 platforms on March 26, 2013. BioShock Infinite is not part of the storyline of previous BioShock games but features similar gameplay concepts and themes.

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We continue to see that the overclock brings with it barely any change. An extra FPS is seen at 1680 x 1050, but above that, the numbers are identical. Overall we're also below the 60 FPS number that we want.

Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF

High Quality AA and AF

While we test all our games with maximum in-game settings, turning on Anti-Aliasing (AA) and Antistrophic Filtering (AF) helps take the intensity of our testing to another level.

Here we see video cards go from playable FPS to an unplayable FPS and the real power houses continue to help break that 60 FPS mark we always aim for to provide a smooth gaming experience.

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You can see we continue to get some strong performance at 1920 x 1200 with some playable numbers. Moving to 2560 x 1600, though, remains unplayable.

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When we move to our other AA and AF tests, the performance is just too low, with these intensive settings on the new mid-range offering.

Temperature Test

The temperature of the core is pulled from MSI Afterburner with the max reading used after a completed run off 3DMark Vantage and the Performance preset.

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Compared to the reference cooler we can see that a couple of degrees has been shagged off the load temperature. It's probably still a little warmer than we'd like, but hopefully the noise levels look good.

Sound Test

Pulling out the TES 1350A Sound Level Meter we find ourselves quickly yelling into the top of it to see how loud we can be.

After five minutes of that we get a bit more serious and place the device two CM away from the fan on the card to find the maximum noise level of the card when idle (2D mode) and in load (3D mode).

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While running a bit warmer, the Palit GTX 650 Ti Boost is extremely quiet, sitting third from the bottom in our graphs.

Power Consumption Test

Using our PROVA Power Analyzer WM-01 or "Power Thingy" as it has become quickly known as to our readers, we are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated graphics cards installed. Keep in mind; it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into AC wall socket).

There are a few important notes to remember though; while our maximum power is taken in 3DMark06 at the same exact point, we have seen in particular tests the power being drawn as much as 10% more. We test at the exact same stage every time; therefore tests should be very consistent and accurate.

The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum - only a SSD hard drive is used with a single CD ROM and minimal cooling fans.

So while the system might draw 400 watts in our test system, placing it into your own PC with a number of other items, the draw is going to be higher.

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Power draw is a little higher than our reference card as you'd expect due to the overclock. On the whole, though, the numbers are pretty low.

Pricing, Availability and Final Thoughts

This Palit 2GB GTX 650 Ti Boost pre-overclocked with a custom cooler is going to set you back around the $169.99 mark which is around $20 more expensive than the HD 7790 1GB. The important thing to remember here, though, is that you're dealing with a video card with twice as much memory. What we really want to test, though, is the 1GB version of the GTX 650 Ti, which brings with it a cheaper price, and if past experience is anything to go by, it will bring with it similar performance.

While the temperature side of things doesn't change too much when compared to the reference model, the noise levels are extremely strong on this Palit offering. I think it's fair to say that most people would prefer a card that runs quieter more so than anything else, especially when the temperature levels on a whole are perfectly fine anyway.

I think the big difference between these two new mid-range models from AMD and NVIDIA is the bundle. Out of the box what we see is very similar. Manual, driver CD and a connector or two. What we don't see here, but see online, is the fact that the AMD offering comes with a copy of BioShock Infinite that can be redeemed via Steam. If you have the game already or simply just have no interest in it then the value of that goes down, but if you don't have it or do want it, then the value of the overall card goes up.

For the most part the GTX 650 Ti Boost is faster than the HD 7790. It's also more expensive than the AMD offering. The final decision of which card to buy is more than likely going to come down to personal preference on if you like NVIDIA more than AMD, or vice versa.

What we would've really liked to have seen was Palit do a little more with the overclock. On a whole you can see the small bump they gave us did very little for extra performance. More often than not we saw the Palit offering scores almost identical with the reference clocked card. The cooler is what really separates this from the reference design. It will be interesting to see if other brands continue to be lenient with the overclock, or decide to be more aggressive.

The Palit offering here today is an attractive option that offers a cooler that is extremely quiet and good performance considering its mid-$100 price point. The mid-range battle between NVIDIA and AMD is extremely heated at the moment, and ultimately the people that really win are the consumers, as both companies work hard to get your money.

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Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

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