NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Budget Turing GPU Takes Flight, OEM Card Round-Up

EVGA GeForce GTX 1650
NVIDIA has been fleshing out its Turing GPU lineup at a steady clip since the introduction of its GeForce RTX series, which at the outset consisted of the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, 2080, and 2070. A GeForce RTX 2060 was not far behind, followed by a couple of Turing-based GTX parts, the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti and 1660. Now we can add yet another model to the mix—the GeForce GTX 1650.

The new addition comes as no surprise to anyone who follows the tech scene, particularly as it relates to gaming and graphics. That's because the GeForce GTX 1650 has been the subject of numerous leaks and rumors leading up to today's official launch. In fact, there is little in the way of surprises. This is the card we thought it would be, based on information that spilled online prior to its release.

Architecture, Specs, And Price

So, what exactly do we have? Let's start with a high level overview. As with the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti and 1660, the new GeForce GTX 1650 is Turing without the accompaniment or RT or Tensor cores. That means it lacks specialized hardware purpose built for real-time ray tracing and deep learning workloads, notably the kind that is used for NVIDIA's Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) technology.

Those are the primary differences between RTX and GTX cards in the Turing series. Cards within the GTX family offer gamers a more affordable path to Turing, which pound for pound is faster than Pascal, and more energy efficient. Technically, they also support real-time ray tracing via Microsoft's DirectX Raytracing (DXR) API—NVIDIA expanded support to 'regular' Turing and Pascal generation graphics cards with its most recent drivers, but for the most part, don't expect playable performance from this newest addition.

Underneath the hood, the GeForce GTX 1650 revs a TU117 GPU, as was previously rumored. NVIDIA says it's been "carefully architected to balance performance, power, and cost." While it lacks RT and Tensor cores, the TU117 GPU does include shader innovations found in Turing, including support for concurrent floating point and integer operations, a unified cache architecture with a larger L1 cache, and adaptive shading.

Finer grain specs include 896 CUDA cores, 4GB of GDDR5 memory, and a 128-bit memory bus, giving the card 128GB/s of memory bandwidth. The reference blueprint also calls for a 1,485MHz base clock and 1,655MHz boost clock. NVIDIA's hardware partners are free to overclock the GPU, and in fact some of them have.

NVIDIA has set the MSRP at $149, and of course street pricing will vary, depending on what kind of custom cooling solutions and factory overclocks third-party models wield. The other thing to look for is whether or not a power connector is required. This is a 75W card, so if sticking with reference specs (or close to them), it can just draw power from the PCIe x16 slot.

Extrapolating Performance Expectations

NVIDIA is not seeding cards for review, nor is it offering a Founders Edition model. We hope to get our hands on a custom model in the near future for a full review. In the meantime, we can look at the specs to get an idea of expected performance. To do that, let's have a look at the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti and 1660...

GeForce GTX 1660 Specs

The GeForce GTX 1650 is a budget offering with far fewer CUDA cores, less memory, a narrower memory bus, and lower memory bandwidth. For the most part, gaming at 2560x1440 (1440p) is going to be a tough ask from this card. Even 1920x1080 (1080p) could be a struggle at higher settings, depending on the game.

GeForce GTX 1660 Far Cry 5

That said, the GeForce GTX 1650 should be able to handle 1080p gaming at lower settings. We don't anticipate much trouble gaming at the resolution in something like Far Cry 5 (see our benchmarks of others cards above), and of course the sea of esports titles is fair game as well. The latter is where this card is likely to thrive.

In short, expect performance to land somewhere between a GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (768 CUDA cores) and a GeForce GTX 1060 (1,280 CUDA cores), if using Pascal cards as a barometer.

Here Come The OEM Cards

Zotac GeForce GTX 1650

NVIDIA has lined up the usual suspects for this launch, including ASUS, Colorful, EVGA, Gainward, Galaxy, Gigabyte, Innovision 3D, MSI, Palit, PNY, and Zotac. Specs and pricing will vary depending on the specific features of any particular SKU.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1650

Some of the models that have launched include:
  • ASUS GeForce GTX 1650 Dual OC
  • ASUS GeForce GTX 1650 Phoenix OC
  • ASUS GeForce GTX 1650 ROG Strix OC
  • Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1650 Gaming OC
  • Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1650 Windforce OC
  • Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1650 Mini ITX OC
  • Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1650 OC
  • MSI GeForce GTX 1650 Gaming X
  • MSI GeForce GTX 1650 Aero ITC OC
  • MSI GeForce GTX 1650 Ventus XS OC
  • Zotac GeForce GTX 1650 Destroyer PA
As an added bonus, for a limited time gamers will receive 2,000 V-Bucks and the Fortnite Counterattack Set with a qualifying purchase of a GeForce GTX 16 series graphics card, desktop, or laptop. Follow this link to find participating vendors.

ASUS GeForce GTX 1650

All of the above models leaked ahead of launch. They are starting to trickle into view on Amazon and other online retailers. Here are a few that are available to order right now...
Zotac is offering the cheapest model right now, and it also happens to come with a factory overclock. Plenty of more models are likely to emerge in the days and weeks ahead, though.