Playing with the EVGA GTX 1050

Posted by Jon Peddie on November 10th 2016 | Discuss
Categories: Hardware Review,
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A lot of power for not too much money

We’ve been testing—OK, let’s be honest, playing games—using EVGA’s GTX 1050 AIB, on our Alienware Aurora (4-GHz Intel Core I7-6700K, 16 GB), with a 2560 × 1440 Asus monitor, with the resolu-tion set at HD (1920 × 1080). Along the way, we did manage to run some benchmarks, and the conclusion is the EVGA AIB is great board. Now let’s be clear. It is not a high-end enthusiast-class AIB like a Pascal Titan X or a GTX 1080, and it costs only 9% of what a Titan X sells for. But it gives a heck of a lot more than 1/11th the performance, so for budget-constrained enthusiast gamers, this is a great AIB. 

The compact AIB is half the length of its big brother, the 1080, and the 1050 doesn’t require a power cable, so the user’s PC could have a lower wattage, and less expensive PSU, too—and EVGA just happens to a full catalog of those things. 

There are, as the photo shows, three ways to connect a monitor to it—DVI (remember DVI?), HDMI, and DisplayPort—and you can connect all three at once if you’ve got the monitors. Now a word about monitors and resolution. EVGA says this is meant to be a HD gaming card—i.e., 1080p. However, we ran it at 4K with no problems and spent a few irrecoverable hours, ah, testing it, with FO4—it ran flawlessly. 

But we followed the guidelines when benchmarking it, and the accompanying, boring, charts show the results— probably the same thing you’ve seen on a dozen other websites. 

When examining a mainstream, budget-priced AIB, the Pmark is very important. We get criticized for using it in high-end AIBs because, we’re told, high-end enthusiasts don’t give a damn about how much power they use, or how money they have to spend. When we were kids that was called extravagant. Today it’s called entitled. 

In the fps tests of the games, the GTX 950 generally beat the GTX 1050, and that fact that its additional price and power consumption weren’t great wasn’t enough to lower its score. 

Comparison of Nvidia mainstream AIBs

As the chart shows, we had trouble getting the older GTX 650 ti to run in Dx12.

What do we think? 

The GTX 1050 is a return to the GTX 650 form factor. The GTX 1050 is a more compact design than the GTX 950 (the GTX 950 was 4.3 x 7.9 inches, and the GTX 1050 is 4.3 x 5.7 inches). The GTX 950 also had heat pipes and other sinks that are not needed on the GTX 1050. This allows the AIB to be priced in the $110 range rather than at $150, where the GTX 950 was introduced. This lower price will hopefully encourage thrifty consumers to level up rather than be constrained by their embedded graphics. 

The EVGA GTX 1050 doesn’t support SLI. We think that was to prevent a user from buying two of them and getting better performance at a lower price than he or she might from a GTX 1060 or 1070. 
Nonetheless, the 1050 is a great deal. There is a larger version, with more shader cores and a higher clock, the GTX 1050 ti, which sells for between $195 to $225 (with 4GB). We’re looking forward to getting one of them to try next. 

In the meantime, we’ll keep testing, the 1050 on FO4 and ROTR.

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