This year, Nvidia and AMD had avoided confrontation. Nvidia has taken the high-end graphics card market by storm with its Pascal GPUs. AMD has made a stunning entry into the mid-range with its Polaris. But inevitably, the two competitors would end up stepping on each other’s toes.
While waiting for the arrival of Radeon Vega in the first half of 2017, who will come to battle with the GTX 1070 and 1080, Nvidia launches its GeForce GTX 1050 Ti and GTX 1050 to attack the AMD RX 460 2GB and 4GB. Both of these new GeForce models use a new GPU, the GP107. It is composed of 3.3 billion transistors and manufactured in 14 nm FinFET by Samsung – an exceptional infidelity from Nvidia to TSMC.
Despite a different engraving, the GP107 retains the architecture of other Pascal GPUs. Of course, on such an economical map, some of Pascal’s features are no longer relevant. Simultaneous multiprojection (SMT), for example, which has proven to be very effective for playing multiscreen confugations or VR headsets, is no longer useful on a graphics card that is not powerful enough for such applications anyway.
That said, the GeForce GTX 1050 and 1050 Ti GTXs are expected to push the market between 100 and 150 Euros. Nvidia recommends a price of 125 euros for the GTX 1050 and 155 euros for the GTX 1050 Ti. With an accuracy of 5 euros, these are the recommended retail prices for the Radeon RX 460 2 GB and 4 GB. The targets are clearly marked! Let’s hope that the prices in the shop will be in line with these recommendations.
In 2014, the GeForce GTX 750 Ti was a huge success because it made it possible to play in Full HD on a 60W card. It drew all the power it needed from a single PCI-Express slot. Some GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GeForce GTX 1050 Ti should achieve the same feat by staying just under 75W. Others will voluntarily exceed this limit and equip themselves with a 6-pin power connector to leave more overclocking margin.
The GeForce GTX 1050 Ti has a full-featuredGP107 . The six Streaming Multiprocessors (SM) are activated, distributed in what Nvidia calls two Graphics Processing Clusters (GPC). This is a first difference: the four other existing Pascal GPUs group five SMs per GPC.
With 128 single-precision per SM (CUDA cores) floating point computing units, the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti has a total of 768 cores. Each SM also contains eight texture units (48 in total), a 256 KB register, 96 KB of shared memory and 48 KB of L1/texture cache.
The GP107 back-end has been reduced in the same proportions. Four 32-bit memory controllers provide a 128-bit bus. As on other Pascal GPUs, each controller is associated with eight ROPs and 256kB L2 cache, so that’s 32 ROPs and 1MB cache.
Nvidia offers the GTX 1050 Ti 4 GB of GDDR5 at 7 GT/s. The total memory bandwidth reaches 112 GB/s.
Nvidia never forgets to specify that optimizations brought by Pascal improve the effective bandwidth. This is what we wrote in our test of the GTX 1080 : ” The GP104’s color delta compression technique halves the amount of color information, and a new 4:1 mode reduces the amount of resources required when information between pixels is slightly different. There is also an 8:1 mode which uses 4:1 compression on blocks of 2×2 pixels, providing 2:1 compression on the differences between them. »
Compared to the GTX 1060, the GP107 has only 60% of the CUDA cores and texture units of the GP106, and 66% of the ROPs and memory bandwidth. But when the GP106 runs at 1506 MHz minimum, the GTX 1050 Ti starts at 1290 MHz. Boost frequency is also 75% of that of the GTX 1060.
|GeForce GTX 1050 Ti||GeForce GTX 950||GeForce GTX 750 Ti|
|Freq. GPU (Base/Boost)||1290/1392 MHz||1024/1188 MHz||1020/1085 MHz|
|Computing power (base frequency)||1981 MFLOPS||1573 MFLOPS||1305 MFLOPS|
|Texel throughput||61.9 GT/s||49.2 GT/s||40.8 GT/s|
|Cache L2||1 Mb||1 Mb||2 Mb|
|Memory rate||7 Gbit/s||6.6 Gbit/s||5.4 Gbit/s|
|Memory bandwidth||112 GB/s||106 GB/s||86.4 GB/s|
|Memory bus||128 bits||128 bits||128 bits|
|Board Power||75 W||90 W||60 W|
|Transistors||3.3 billion||2.94 billion||1.87 billion|
|Die surface||135 mm².||227 sq. m.||148 mm².|
|Introductory price (in dollars)||140||160||150|
Given the overciocking capability of our test specimen (we’ll talk more about that later) and the higher voltage sent to the GP107, compared to the GPU106, it seems that the nominal frequency of the GTX 1050 Ti is limited by the maximum TDP of 75W, more than by the physical capabilities of the chip. Fortunately, there will be GeForce GTX 1050 Ti with additional power connectors that can extract more performance from the GPU.
Now let’s take a look at the little sister, the GTX 1050. At 125 euros, it is placed right in front of the Radeon RX 460 2 GB – before the latter drops its price. Physically, the two copies that MSI was able to provide us seem identical. All differences are hidden under the large double-slot heatsink.