The Geforce 10 series is claimed by Nvidia as “The world’s most advanced gaming solutions”. With the launch of the Titan X, GTX 1080, 1070, 1060, and now 1050 Nvidia is surrounding every budget for enthusiasts and gamers. The 1050 Ti stands to be an essential deal for a gamer on a budget. Today I will be looking at the GTX 1050 Ti by Zotac. Zotac is a company that derives its name from the words “zone” and “tact”. Zotac references these words and applies its expertise to its brand of PC components, systems, and product design. Zotac makes some of the most popular GPU solutions to date including its 10 series based GPUs. Let’s see how this card performs and if it can handle modern titles at reasonable frame rates.
The specifications are as follows:
GPU- GeForce® GTX 1050 Ti
CUDA cores- 768
Video Memory- 4GB GDDR5
Memory Bus- 128-bit
Engine Clock- Base: 1392 MHz / Boost:1506 MHz
Memory Clock- 7 GHz
PCI Express- 3.0
Display Outputs- DisplayPort 1.4 / HDMI 2.0b / DL-DVI
HDCP Support- Yes
Multi Display Capability- Triple Display
Recommended Power Supply- 300W
Power Consumption- 75W
Power Input- N/A
DirectX- 12 API feature level 12_1
Cooling- Dual Fan
Slot Size- Dual Slot
Supported OS- Windows 10 / 8 / 7
Card Length- 174mm x 111.15mm
Accessories- User Manual
Why the GTX 1050 Ti ?
Most who game on PC seek out the best performance for the price. Well, a few things need to be considered here! I find a common misconception of monitor resolution in reference to a GPUs potential. If your gaming on 1920 x 1080 (commonly known as 1080p), then getting the titan X begins to make less sense than investing your money in other components. A card of that magnitude was designed to push beyond 4k gaming. Unless you plan to upgrade in the future; Getting a more expensive card depends on what resolution you plan to play at.
The 1050 and 1050 Ti are basically the ultimate budget card for 1080p gaming with enough power to even push 1440p (2560 x 1440). The GTX 1050 series is powered by Pascal and includes all Nvidia Game ready technologies adding to the experience of the 10 series cards.
The GTX 1050 Ti uses the GP107 chip and is manufactured under the 14nm process. The main difference between the 1050 and 1050 Ti is in the number of cores enabled, speeds, and memory interface. The 1050 Ti comes with 768 cores enabled, distributed across 6 SM ( streaming multiprocessors). The memory on the 1050 Ti comes with 4GB clocked at 7 GHz of GDDR5 vs the 2GB of the regular 1050 models.
So if you plan to push the boundaries of 1080p the 1050 Ti is one of the best cards you can get for the money. It also doesn’t require a power connector and can be powered over your PCIe slot. It’s capable of only consuming 75W of power.
The front advertises the extended warranty, software, 4GB of memory, and that it’s and OC edition. The OC edition adds more value and higher boost / memory clocks out of the box. The firestorm logo represents Zotac’s overclocking software for this card. The back goes over its compact design a,d how you can turn your PC into fast and powerful gaming PC. It also lists the specifications and features that make this card “push the limit”.
The unit was packed well and unboxing the card shows the standard anti-statistic bag to help protect the card during shipping.
The accessories include:
- Sonix advertisement
- Zotac quick installation guide
- Handy slip telling you to download your drivers from Nvidia’s site
- Zotac GTX 1050 Ti card
The card is nice and compact and I like the black finish with chrome-like accents on the fans. The card looks very industrial and will give a nice vibe with any system configuration. if you’re unfamiliar with the Sonix, you can check out my review here. The Sonix is basically one of the fastest PCIe SSD NVMe drives I have tested.
Looking at the card you can see how compact the card is. It’s raised slightly from the dual fan design and offers a very minimalist design. Zotac offers a very compelling option powered by pascal. Pascal is one of the most advanced GPU architecture to date and should offer some very compelling performance for a very valuable price.
The Zotac 1050 Ti is game ready with all the tuned Geforce performance and it’s 10 series technology. This OC model offers a boost in performance allowing support for Direct X 12 features and will deliver its latest power-efficiency with smooth frame rates. You can also enjoy the latest gaming technologies like Nvidia Ansel, GameWorks, and Nvidia G-SYNC. Its biggest feature is the super compact design, Zotac claims it will fit 99% of systems.
The fan assembly offers a copper cold block contact for the GP107 chip and dual 6mm copper heat pipes. This will offer awesome temperatures for such a low powered card. The card in total will consume 75W or less. The heatsink is also pretty big for this style of card and will definitely dissipate heat at a decent rate. The fan assembly only requires a single fan header to operate both fans together. I also like the small Zotac logo on the side of the card but does show upside down depending your motherboard and case configuration.
The rear ports include:
- HDMI 2.0b
- Display Port 1.4
- DVI-D connector
The Zotac 1050 Ti OC edition features a pre-overclocked GPU that runs at 1392 MHz and can reach a boost of 1506 MHz. The card uses a 3+1 power phase design for power delivery and uses GDDR5. The memory used is a Samsung labeled chip K4g80325fB, and this chip runs at 1000 MHz. Effectively this is 8000 MHz!
The card requires no auxiliary power connector. It’s powered totally over the PCIe bus and only consumes up to 75W of power. Installing the card could be easier than just plugging it into the correct PCIe slot. Normally this is reserved for the first PCIe slot on your motherboard, but please check you manual for the best slot. Also be sure to keep in mind despite the compact form factor this card does take up 2 PCIe slots.
Testing GPUs can be a lot of fun! Not only do you get to play games to check for performance, you can also easily overclock your card for extra performance. I will be looking at Zotac’s Firestorm software to inspect overclocking gains, test the cards performance with a few games, and benchmark results from Uningine heaven benchmark. I will be checking out Titanfall 2 and Overwatch for the average fps recorded. Titanfall 2 is a newer game and Overwatch is a popular game, these two titles will allow us to see where this card stands for the price per performance ratio. I will also do a quick test using Aida64 extreme using their built in GPU test to see the cards memory and CUDA performance. Using the Firestorm utility I will compare temperatures using fan curves. I will be comparing the GTX 1050 Ti vs the GTX 1060 so we can see how pascal cards scale against each other in performance.
Noise level won’t be too much of an issue here as the card only pulls a max wattage of 75W. You can also adjust fan curves using the overclocking software. Since the card doesn’t require a lot of power it won’t require a high fan speed to stay cool.
I also switched up things a little bit from my standard test bench. I decided since this is a budget card try to use some budget parts. Normally I would be using an i7 and a higher end motherboard, but switched those out for some more budget oriented components.
My test bench is as follows:
- ViewSonic XG2703-GS Monitor
- Motherboard- Gigabyte GA-H110m-S2H
- CPU: Intel Core I3 6100 3M
- Network Card- Netgear AC 1200 USB
- Cooler- Raijintek 240mm AIO
- Memory- Anarchy X 8GB DDR4 2800MHz
- Video Card: Nvidia GTX 1060 vs Zotac GTX 1050 Ti
- Storage- Toshiba VX500 512GB (Boot) / Seagate 3TB/ Zotac Sonix 480GB
- Power Supply- Corsair RM650X / Sleeved CableMod red/black cables
- OS: Windows 10 x64 Pro
- Headphones- Creative H7
Zotac’s Firestorm utility is new and improved. You can download the software here. The software allows you to fine tune your graphics card, change your fan speeds, and monitor your cards health and information.
The left side displays GPU and Memory speeds. The yellow bar represents the GPU clock and the blue is the Memory clock. The middle is for dialing in your speeds for each as well as the power and temperature targets. This isn’t a guide for overclocking but you can learn more about the dials here. That guide linked is for a GTX 1080 but the same principals apply. You can also unlock your voltage adjustments and targets by clicking the “lock” icon to the right. The right side is where your temperatures are displayed and where you can adjust fan curves and speeds for your card. The bottom right offers monitoring, BIOS updating, and help.
This Zotac card overclocked well and I was able to push an effective clock of 1517 and is 125 MHz faster than the already pre-overclocked settings. I was able to also push the memory to an effective speed of 2127.
Memory and CUDA performance is excellent compared to the GTX 1060, the 1050 Ti really cuts it close for your money. If you’re looking for a budget card this is it! The GTX 1060 is better but you have to ask yourself at what cost ? The GTX 1060 will be a better option for higher resolutions with the VRAM. but for 1920 x 1080 the 1050 Ti stands strong.
The average temperature recorded was during benchmarking and gameplay sessions. The GTX 1060 is basically doubled because of a few reasons. My overclock was set high, and the type of card I have is a blower style. The 1050 Ti only consumes a max TDP of 75W vs the 1060’s 120W.
The average FPS for the 105 Ti is outstanding for pascal performance. The GTX 1060 as expected will be much higher , but the 1050 Ti is definitely beyond playable for a modern title like Titanfall 2.
Similar story with Overwatch. The 1050 Ti will definitely be playable with great frame rates but compared to the GTX 1060 here the average FPS is much higher. If you’re expecting to paly any modern game at 1920 x 1080 the 1050 Ti should be fully capable of handling the game with very capable frame rates.
Benchmarking also shows the same results. The 1050 Ti is lower but still stands to show promising results compared to a much more powerful card from the same architecture.
The above video may contain spoilers from Titanfall 2. The video will show the capabilities of the GTX 1050 Ti on a demanding modern title I did have the card overclocked which will add to the average FPS I got while playing the game.
If you’re looking for one of the best budget cards available for 1920 x 1080 the GTX 1050 Ti is going to be your sweet spot. I feel like the performance greatly exceeds what the average person will expect for a card at this price point. Even the regular GTX 1050 will be an upgrade over Nvidia’s last generation fo cards. This could be the ultimate upgrade for someone looking to get into PC gaming.
There is not a whole lot to fault here for the price. You could consider an alternative AMD card but what Nvidia and Zotac offer here and with Nvidia’s ecosystem its hard to pass up. I actually prefer GeforceExperience myself and have always preferred Nvidia over AMD. You can buy the Zotac GTX 1050 Ti right now for $172.00 (ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1050 Ti OC Edition 4GB GDDR5 128-bit DL-DVI Graphic Card (ZT-P10510B-10L)).