The GEFORCE GTX 1050 is NVIDIA’s latest range of graphics cards based on the Pascal architecture with a 16nm FINFET process. Does it live up to its name?
A graphics card is a specialized processor unit that primarily handles complicated computations and calculations related to 2D and 3D graphics.
Over time, with the latest advancements in technology, the functions of these cards have become so varied and powerful that they’re now supplementing the CPU in speeding up various tasks.
Apart from assisting with graphics, one such task that GPUs have evolved to do is cryptocurrency mining. Even with all this, the GPU is still a gamer’s piece of hardware. NVIDIA’s GEFORCE GTX 1050 is one such graphics card.
What Is the GEFORCE GTX 1050?
The GEFORCE GTX 1050 is NVIDIA’s latest range of graphics cards based on the Pascal architecture with a 16nm FINFET process.
The 16nm process and smaller die size allows NVIDIA to cram more transistors into the silicon chip, thereby improving the efficiency and performance of the graphics card.
This allows the 1050 to provide up to 30% more performance compared to the previous generation.
The GTX 1050 is capable of calculating up to 1.8 trillion floating point calculations per second and comes with 3 DisplayPort and 1 HDMI output ports as the standard. It can also handle up to 48 Texture Mapping Units (TMUs) and 32 Render Output Units (ROPs) per second.
According to NVIDIA’s reference design of the GTX 1050, the graphics clock speed and processor clock speed are pegged at 1354 MHz and 1455 MHz, respectively.
However, the specifications with regard to the clock speed of the card might vary according to the manufacturer of the card, as they usually tend to boost the clock speeds slightly in order to differentiate their products.
The price range of the GTX 1050 is primarily dependent on 3 factors—the card manufacturer, the boost clock speed, and the memory configuration.
You can get a GTX 1050 for around $130 to $200 from any online marketplaces such as Amazon, Best Buy, Micro Center, Newegg, Memory Express, and Electronic Fry’s, among others.
How It Compares
We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.
Based on NVIDIA’s Pascal architecture, the GEFORCE GTX 1050 is a huge leap forward from the previous generation. Being at the mass-market end of the graphics card scale, the GTX 1050 is a capable and affordable piece of hardware that brings a great gaming experience to your PC.
The GTX 1050 can be found on Amazon for around $130 to $200 depending on the boost clock speed and the standard memory configuration.
The standard 2-Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1050 comes with 640 CUDA cores, graphics clock speed of 1354 MHz, and processor clock speed of 1455 MHz. The 3-Gigabyte version has slightly higher numbers with respect to the CUDA cores, hovering at around 768.
Also, the base graphics and processor clock speed are pegged at 1392 and 1518 MHz, respectively.
You get a choice of two different GDDR5 memory sizes in the GTX 1050—2GB and 3GB. The memory interface width at 128-bit is higher for the 2GB version than the 3GB version, which has a paltry 96-bit width.
Also, the memory bandwidth is slower in the 3 GB version at around 84 GB/sec, as opposed to 112 GB/sec in the 2GB variant.
The power draw of the GTX 1050 is rated at 75 Watts, which is pretty minimal compared to other alternatives. The maximum GPU temperature under load is measured at 97 degrees Celsius.
The GTX 1050 supports a host of technologies such as 3D Vision, PhysX, G-SYNC, ShadowWorks, and Ansel.
The GTX 1050 delivers up to 1.5 times the speed and power efficiency when compared with the previous generation graphics cards.
With full G-SYNC support, you can expect the card to output tear-free and smooth animations. Although the GTX 1050 is marketed as an entry-level graphics solution, the card performs pretty well and maintains a frame rate of up to 60 FPS in Gears of War and Dirt Rally in medium to high settings.
The card seems to be doing particularly well in e-sports titles such as CS: GO, Dota 2, and League of Legends. This might primarily be due to the fact that these games can be played even on low-end hardware.
NVIDIA might have rushed the GTX 1060 to not lose any market share to its rival AMD, but the card’s performance says otherwise. In order to cash in on the whole VR scene, the GTX 1060 comes with full support to VR applications and games.
With the technological advancements of Pascal architecture, the 1060 model takes the lead with respect to gaming when compared with the previous generation GTX 980.
There’s not much of a difference between the 3-Gigabyte and the 6-Gigabyte variant of the GTX 1060. Apart from the CUDA cores, which is set at 1152 and 1280 respectively, the base clock speed and the boost clock speeds are the same across the board for both the variants.
The base clock speed is set at 1506 MHz and the boost clock speed is at 1708 MHz.
The memory interface width at 192-bit for both the variants is higher than that of the GTX 1050. This width increase has helped with increasing the memory bandwidth to 192 GB/sec.
Unlike the GTX 1050, the 1060 model draws more power at around 120 Watts with a maximum GPU temperature under load at 94 degrees Celsius.
Also, the 1060 model, being more powerful, requires a 6-Pin supplementary power connector in order to power the cooling fans on the card. In addition to the technologies supported by the GTX 1050, the 1060 model is also VR ready.
The GTX 1060 output almost 2 times the performance of the GTX 1050 in synthetic benchmarks such as Parallax, MRender, and Gravity. With regard to games though, the 1060 model gave around 1.5 to 2 times more framerates per second in 1080p resolutions.
The framerates of e-sports such as CS: GO and League of Legends easily got to triple digits. All of this, with just a slight bump in the power consumption, puts the GTX 1060 in a very good spot for enthusiastic gamers.
As more and more people are seen shifting to 1440p instead of the 1080p resolution, NVIDIA has decided to follow suit with the GTX 1070. The 1070 is made for 1440p gaming with almost double the transfer bandwidth of the 1050.
The graphics card is not just good for silky-smooth gaming but also excels at video editing, conversion, and streaming tasks as well.
The GTX 1070 ups the CUDA cores to a whopping 1920, which is more than three times that of the GTX 1050. The base graphics and processor clock speeds also get a slight boost to around 1506 MHz and 1683 MHz, respectively.
Unlike both the previous graphics cards, the 1070 comes in only one memory configuration—8GB. This was made possible due to the use of a 256-bit memory interface width. This width has also helped increase the memory bandwidth to 256 GB/sec while maintaining a speed of 8 GBPS.
All of this comes at a slight cost; the power draw has increased to 150 Watts, which is just a 30-Watt increase compared to the GTX 1060. The card also requires an 8-Pin supplementary connector in order to provide the power.
The GTX 1070 supports all of NVIDIA’s technologies including full support for SLI HB Bridge as well.
The GTX 1070 provides a more flexible gaming experience due to its ability to handle games at 1080p and 1440p resolutions in ultra-high and high settings.
It can even do a good job of powering games at 4K resolution although you might have to tone down the settings for it to work smoothly. People obsessed with performance will love the 1070 as it provides more control over overclocking.
NVIDIA has been successful in creating one of the fastest ever single GPUs in the GTX 1080. Thanks to the Pascal architecture, the 1080 goes head-to-head with the much pricier and more advanced Maxwell powered Titan X, and even outperforms it in almost every aspect.
With 2560 CUDA cores, the 1080 offers the maximum computational power among the 10-series graphics cards. The base clock and boost clock speeds are also the highest at 1607 MHz and 1733 MHz, respectively.
The GTX 1080 comes in an 8-Gigabyte configuration and utilizes the much faster GDDR5X memory configuration (GDDR5X is almost twice as fast as GDDR5). But, it utilizes the 256-bit memory interface width, which is the same as that of the 1070.
When it comes to the memory bandwidth and speed, the 1080 destroys the 1070 with 320 GB/sec and 10 GBPS, respectively
Similar to the 1070, the GTX 1080 also supports NVIDIA SLI HB Bridge but offers more leeway and flexibility.
The power draw is not all that different either as it consumes just 30 more Watts than the standard 1070 with an 8-Pin supplementary power connector.
The 1080 is one of the fastest graphics card available on the market right now. This allows the card to blaze through with triple-digit framerates across the board when gaming in 1080p.
The rates get a little lower but still sustains well above the 60-fps mark in 1440p resolutions. Gaming in 4K is extremely good as the card manages to not fall below the 30-fps mark even with the settings maxed out. NVIDIA’s hardware enhancements and support for HEVC decode and encode help crush 4K video editing, conversion, and streaming tasks.
We conducted meticulous research on the technical specifications, performance, and various customer reviews. We also compared the GEFORCE GTX 1050 with graphics cards that are above its league to get a fair idea of where it stands. The 1050 is not for everyone as it only caters specifically to a group of people.
Being an entry-level product, it is perfect for people who are starting out with gaming. People who are into competitive e-sports are also sure to love the card, as it is not demanding, does not put too much strain on the computer, has low heat and noise levels, and doesn’t break the bank.
These aspects are essential as some e-sports can last for hours on end, if not for days. The one major group of people who might want to stay away from the 1050 are those into serious video processing and editing.
The graphics card is not capable of comfortably handling any video conversion or processing over 1080p resolutions. On careful consideration of these factors, we award the GTX 1050 a rating of 3 Stars out of 5.
Featured image from Pixabay