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Sunday, 8 January 2017

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MSI GTX 1050 Ti Gaming X 4G Review


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. MSI India was generous enough to lend us a sample today and courtesy to that we are bringing you today the review of the MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Gaming X 4G 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 1354Mhz which is a near 5% increase over the reference model. Memory is clocked at 1752Mhz and is untouched.

Packing and Accessories 


The packing from MSI for the GTX 1050 Ti is same as that of its other Pascal offerings with a little bit more red color and a larger product image.
The front sports the product name and the actual card's picture occupying most of the real estate. Mention to features such as DX12 support and TwinFrozr VI technology are clearly highlighted.

At the back nothing special is mentioned and we again hear about the new cooler and the revamped MSI Gaming App.

Inside we get a set of accessories neatly packed in a thin cardboard box under which you find the actual card safely wrapped in an anti-static bag perched in a thick styrofoam cavity. Accessories are humble in number and include a Driver DVD, stickers and decals for the cases, user guide and a leaflet reminding you to register your product online for effective warranty support.

Closer Look and Features


MSI stuck to their conventional design and color scheme with the GTX 1080 but have added some small yet noticeable changes that makes the GTX 1080 Gaming X an entirely new offering from grounds up. The unit measures in at 229x131x39mm.

The card is black and red equipped with the new TwinFrozr VI cooler which make the plastic shroud a bit more angular on the right side. This not only makes it look a bit more aggressive but also gels in well with the entire dragon theme. Left side is entirely black with red scale like highlights that actually light up in red color by default when the card is powered on.

Backside is barren with no backplate which is quite usual for a card in this segment and price. Its not too heavy or beefy so the practical need of a backlate is eliminated anyways.

Its a dual slot card & looking at the connectivity options we see that its a dual slot card with a DVI port, one HDMI port, and one DisplayPort. The HDMI port is 2.0b and the Display Ports are 1.3 HBR3/1.4 HDR ready.

The new TwinFrozr VI coolers comes with the newly designed TORX 2.0 fans which helps to push and dissipate 22% more air in and off the card for effective cooling. These fans don't spin at all as long as the temperatures are under 60°C after which they gradually spin wrt the temperature. MSI calls it their Zero Frozr mode which delivers pin drop silent performance.

Double Ball Bearings give the unique MSI TORX 2.0 Fans a strong and lasting core for years of smooth gaming. They also remain virtually silent while spinning under load, keeping your graphics card cool during intense and lengthy gaming sessions.

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! No SLI support is provided for the GTX 1050 Ti

Since the card doesn't generate much heat a simple single pipe heatsink arrangement is implemented to keep the card cool under load.

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 GTX 1050Ti MSI 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.

Benchmarks and Overclocking


Installing the MSI GTX 1050Ti Gaming X 4G was easy and it powered up like a breeze once we booted up the system.
GPUZ reported the correct frequencies with 1354Mhz on the clock and 1752Mhz on the memory.
For the benchmarks we used the following test setup configuration --

CPU: Intel Core i7 7700K 4.2Ghz
Motherboard: Aorus Z270X Gaming 7
RAM: Adata XPG Dazzle 16GB 2400Mhz Memory Kit
Cooler: Corsair H100i GTX (Push Pull Configuration)
Graphics Card: MSI GTX 1050 Ti Gaming X 4GB GDDR5
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 MSI GTX 1050Ti was a simple process and using the MSI Afterburner or any other utility yielded the same results. The highest frequency with respect to performance gains that we could obtain on our sample was 1554Mhz on the clock and 2002Mhz on the memory, anything above this either gave poor results, white dots or even system freeze.
One thing should be noted is that you cannot change the default fan setting son this card through Afterburner so the MSI gaming App is a must for that purpose.

AIDA64 Extreme Edition GPGPU

The 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 1.0

A 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.

Crysis 3


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.

Alien Isolation 


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'!

Battlefield 4


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


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.

Hitman 2016


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.

DOOM


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 MSI GTX 1050Ti Gaming X 4G 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 Verdict

The MSI GTX 1050Ti Gaming X 4G is the premium lineup from MSI and hence priced at $165 or Rs 15,000 in India. This puts the card right on the edge of the budget card segment but MSI surely justified the pricing with the entire package that it rolls out with the GTX 1050 Ti. The shroud, custom build PCB and even the TwinFrozr VI cooling solution are all incorporated very well in the product giving a premium finish to  budget oriented product.I'm personally impressed by the performance & its stability at high clock speeds which are both higher than most of the competitors priced even higher to this!
The MSI GTX 1050 Ti Gaming X is highly recommended if you are not on a strict budget, like some bling and want the best in the sub Rs 15,000 category giving you the perfect blend of aesthetics & performance.
I give it a 8/10 earning our Gold Award!

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