Nvidia took the market by storm with its Pascal graphics cards that brought out an unprecedented performance to power consumption ratio! With the mighty Titan X sitting on top of the mountain as the ultimate fancy of every gamer, the GTX 1080 followed by the GTX 1070 fuel the mid to high end market. While the GTX 1060 6GB and the recent 3GB edition are great cards the budget market was still craving for a Pascal card aimed strictly at 1080p gaming and nothing more.
The answer came in last month in the form of the GTX 1050 and GTX 1050Ti the bottom most step on the Pascal ladder. Asus India was generous enough to lend us a sample today and courtesy to that we are bringing you today the review of the Asus ROG STRIX GTX 1050Ti OC Edition Graphics Card.
With a GP107 GPU at heart the card comes with 768 CUDA cores, 48 texture units and 32 ROPs all of which is powered by a 4GB GDDR5 memory at 7Ghz connected to a 128 bit memory bus. Our samples comes clocked in at 1380Mhz which is a near 7% increase over the reference model. Memory is clocked at 1752Mhz and is untouched.
Packing and Accessories
Following the same new packing style of STRIX cards the Asus ROG GTX 1050Ti even comes in a black box with a multi-color STRIX marking on one side and the GeForce GTX 1050Ti 4GB GDDR5 on the other.
At the back peculiar features such as Fan Connect, Asus AURA and DirectCU II cooler type are neatly printed with brief descriptions.
Open the box and you'll find the accessories lying beneath the molded cardboard containing the card. The bundled accessories include, driver CD, Asus ROG wrist bands, a quick setup guide and Asus stickers.
Closer Look and Features
The Asus ROG STRIX GTX 1050Ti is really compact by the looks itself. Its a new design opted by Asus for their budget oriented cards and is same as that of the ROG RX 470.
Its an all black card with minute detailing all over. The shroud is made up of plastic and in terms of design is probably inspired from the U.S. Boeing–Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche combat helicopter!
At the back we can see the backplate with laser printed designs & the ROG logo neatly printed at one side. The card measures in at 24.1cm x 12.9cm x 4cm so you can fit this thing in almost any chassis in the market today.
Two heatpipes can be seen peeking out from the bottom of the card and well that's about it for the bottom area.
The top end encloses everything under it and has a RGB LED backlit ROG logo. No SLI connector is provided since that's not available for cards from GTX 1060 downwards.
To power this nifty little power house you need a 6-pin power connector so theoretically this card can reach upto 150W of peak power consumption which indicated to a promising overclocking headroom!
The DirectCU II cooler employed by Asus for the GTX 1050Ti is a pair of 100mm fans that don't spin till the card reaches 60°C
Looking at the connectivity options we see that its a dual slot card with two DVI ports, one HDMI port, and one DisplayPort. The HDMI port is 2.0b and the Display Ports are 1.3 HBR3/1.4 HDR ready.
An interesting feature over here is the inclusion of a four pin PWM fan connector which enables you to connect a case fan to the card. This in turn synchronizes the fan spin with that of the card's delivering not only quieter but also more efficient cooling experience as a whole.
Open up the card and you'll find that the card is a triple layer installation with the shroud, heatsink and the PCB.
The heatsink is dense with two 6mm heatpipes running throughout the mesh in a U shape manner. Both these pipes make direct contact with the GPU to maximize the cooling.
At the center we have the GP107 Pascal GPU based on the newer 14nm technology unlike the 16nm on which all other Pascal GPUs are based upon.
To power the STRIX GTX 1050Ti Asus went for Samsung GDDR5 memory chips and are model number K4G80325FB-HC28. These run at 1750 MHz (7000 MHz GDDR5 effective) and are 1GB each in capacity.
The power delivery system on the ROG STRIX GTX 1050Ti is a 4+1 phase solution which is good enough for a card of this stature. Four are for the GPU and one is for the memory ICs. These are what Asus calls the Super Alloy Power II components which greatly enhance efficiency, reduce power loss and achieve thermal levels that are approximately 50% cooler than previous designs.
Ditching their signature DIGI+ chips Asus went old school with the GTX 1050Ti and opted for a different voltage controller with model number uP9501PPGF641
For fan control and monitoring the ITE 8915FN-561620-CXA chip is placed at a corner on the PCB.
Benchmarks and Overclocking
Installing the GTX 1050Ti was easy and it powered up like a breeze once we booted up the system.
GPUZ reported the correct frequencies with 1380Mhz on the clock and 1752Mhz on the memory.
For the benchmarks we used the following test setup configuration --
CPU: Intel Core i7 5930K OC at 3.7Ghz on all six cores
Motherboard: Gigabyte X99 Gaming 5P
RAM: Kingston HyperX Predator 16GB DDR4 (4x4) 3000Mhz Memory Kit
Cooler: Antec Kuhler H2O H600 Pro
Graphics Card: Asus ROG STRIX GTX 1050Ti OC 4GB GDDR5 Graphics Card
Storage: Corsair Neutron GTX 480GB SSD
Power Supply: Corsair AX860i 860W 80+ Platinum
OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
GPU Driver: ForceWare 375.70
Overclocking the STRIX GTX 1050Ti was a simple process and using the Asus GPU Tweak II or any other utility yielded the same results. The highest frequency with respect to performance gains that we could obtain on our sample was 1530Mhz on the clock and 2002Mhz on the memory, anything above this either gave poor results, white dots or even system freeze.
For the benchmarks we have compared the card's performance with that of the Asus ROG STRIX RX 470 OC and Asus ROG STRIX RX 480 8GB OC at their default clock speeds.
AIDA64 Extreme Edition GPGPUThe AIDA64 GPGPU test not only calculates the read, write and copy speed of the graphics card and processor but is also very useful in observing the SHA-1 Hash and AES-256 score. These are indications of how well the GPU can handle number crunching or real life image or video rendering. Higher score shows a better card.
The results seen over here are extremely impressive for a budget oriented card.
Unigine Heaven 4.0 and Unigine Valley 1.0A compilation of 26 beautiful scenes rendered and run via the raw GPU power of the system. It emulates any game or graphical work that you'll perform on the system scoring it on various parameter. We ran the test on Custom preset and settings at 1920x1080 resolution, quality to ultra and extreme tessellation.
These two benchmarks utilize the full 4GB VRAM on the GTX 1050Ti hence quite an accurate real-world rendering power can be made out from the results.
3D Mark Fire Strike
Fire Strike by 3D Mark is a test suit that plays a cinematic scene to determine the FPS, GPU temperature and CPU temperature scaling everything via a cumulative score. It is a great tool to benchmark your GPU since the render is mostly GPU & memory dependent.
3D Mark 11 Professional Edition
Another variant of the Fire Strike by 3D Mark, used mainly for scoring the GPU performance.
I can't start gaming benchmarks without running my all time favorites Crysis 3 but its a game that no system loves! The CryEngine 3 behind this scenic beauty can bring down any system to its knees and I mean any system. I set everything to Ultra at 1920x1080 resolution with MSAA 4X and motion blur high.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
The latest installation of Lara Croft in the spectacular Rise of the Tomb Raider 2016 with stunning graphics and rich location makes it a great game to benchmark with while enjoying in the due course! We used DX12 and settings were at Ultimate on full HD resolution.
Its a great game for people, like me, who love to hunt down Xenomorphs or aliens with guns blazing all over the place. The game is highly optimized for PC and supports DirectX 11 with Tessellation, real-time Direct Compute radiosity, and shadows making it an ideal game to benchmark with settings at Ultra.
Batman Arkham Knight
Since the game is powered by Epic's Unreal Engine 3 and supports DX11 tessellation so playing this game on 1920x1080 resolution with all settings maxed out can be any modern system's 'worst nightmare'!
Based on the DICE's Frostbite Engine 3 this game not only taxes a CPU and GPU both by reproducing lush details on the screen but also utilizes the DX11 and DX11.1 features coupled with 64-bit binaries! Settings were at Ultra with antialiasing deferred at 2x MSAA and ambient occlusion enabled.
Fallout 4 takes place in post-apocalyptic Boston in the year 2287, 210 years after a Nuclear war. Bethesda's Creation Engine drives the game's strong first- and third-person presentation. The game takes advantage of DirectX 11 and can be highly taxing on most of the PC hardware. At full HD resolution shadow quality was set to high along with everything else cranked to max.
Far Cry Primal
A game that takes the concept of going back in time a bit too far, set in pre-historic central Europe where man is still fighting the forces of nature to become the dominant species on Earth. Based on Ubisoft's latest Dunia Engine, the game takes advantage of DirectX 11 and is heavily taxing on high-end GPUs. We used Very High preset at 1920x1080 resolution since that's what is considered the sweet spot for this game.
Ashes of the Singularity
Developed by Oxide Games & running on the Nitrous Game Engine Ashes of the Singularity is a real-time strategy game set in the future where descendants of humans (called Post- Humans) and a powerful artificial intelligence (called the Substrate) fight a war for control of a resource known as Turinium.
We've used the in-built benchmarking tool and the result is shown in an average of all the graphical tests conducted over various locations and topographies of the game. DX12 API, Quality set to Extreme, 4xMSAA and everything else to high.
Agent 47 is back and in this sixth installation of the infamous Hitman series everything is notched up ranging from gameplay to graphic engine. The game uses an in-house game engine by IO Interactive called the Glacier game engine that is one of the first to leverage DirectX 12. The sole purpose of including this game in our benchmark today was to see how the GTX 1050Ti performs in DX12 mode.
Settings are at Ultra on full HD resolution.
Finally we've introduced this much awaited titled to our benchmarks! Developed by ID Software Doom or popularly written as DOOM is a reboot of the older Doom series. Its fast and scary with more than enough variety of guns that you can ever imagine or even use!
Its OpenGL and quality is set to Ultra.
Noise & Temperature
The fans on the Asus ROG STRIX GTX 1050Ti don't spin till the card hits 60°C or more. We recorded the maximum temperature in Celsius that our card hit during extensive gaming & sound was measured in decibels from a distance of 3 feet. This was performed for both stock and overclocked speeds.
My VerdictWhile the Asus ROG STRIX GTX 1050Ti is a great card with all the fancy bells and whistles including the Asus Aura RGB lights and the very innovative Asus fan control technology paired with a hefty cooler that does a near perfect job to keep this card cool we still find some points to compain about.
So if you are building a new PC with a budget card then the Asus ROG STRIX GTX 1050Ti OC can be a worthy choice over other present gen competitions as it offers more performance per watt mixed with some cool features but its a pass for those who own the aforementioned cards.
I give it a 6/10 earning our Bronze award.