MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Gaming X 4G Review

November 7, 2016 // 11:04 a.m.

Tags: #gp107 #gtx-1050-ti #msi #msi-geforce-gtx-1050-ti-gaming-x-4g-review #nvidia #pascal

The Card

MSI has five different GTX 1050 Ti SKUs in its lineup, although their availability may vary by region. Either way, the Gaming X 4G is its top-end model and it currently retails for just under £165, which is roughly £20 more than the most basic cards available. As ever, it seeks to justify this extra outlay with a factory overclock and improved cooling.

While a number of GTX 1050 Ti cards have tiny PCBs and no power connectors, this is not one of them. That said, its 229mm length measurement won't be a problem for many cases at all these days, and it allows MSI to use a large cooler – paired with such a low power, small GPU this should result in some very low temperatures and noise levels indeed.

MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Gaming X 4G Review MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Gaming X 4G Review - The Card
Click to enlarge

The red and black plastic cooler shroud with its aggressive angles and highlights will be familiar to anyone who's seen a GTX 10-series Gaming X card from MSI already, although the cooler is smaller than the true Twin Frozr VI design used on the GTX 1060 and above, using 92mm Torx 2.0 fans instead of 100mm ones. There's also no RGB lighting here as we've seen before, although we can't say it'll be missed. Instead, the MSI logo along the top edge is backlit in white and red LEDs light up sections of the front-facing shroud. There's no backplate either - a card of this size and weight doesn't really need one, but we'd still prefer it if one was included given the price premium, if only for the improved aesthetics.

MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Gaming X 4G Review MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Gaming X 4G Review - The Card
Click to enlarge

MSI uses the reference display outputs and it's a decision that's easy to understand – they're well suited to a card of this calibre.

Where MSI deviates from the reference design is the clock speeds. The card ships running with a base clock of 1,354MHz, a 5 percent increase over the reference speed that gives the card a boost clock of 1,468MHz. With the MSI Gaming App, you can also activate the card's OC Mode, which sets base and boost clocks of 1,379MHz and 1,493MHz respectively and also bumps the memory frequency from 7Gbps to 7.1Gbps. This is the setting that we've done our testing with, although a Silent Mode is also available which is simply the reference clocks. Factory overclocks are appreciated but we do think MSI could have pushed the card further on both fronts and is being somewhat conservative here given what we know Pascal GPUs to be capable of.

MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Gaming X 4G Review MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Gaming X 4G Review - The Card
Click to enlarge

Another divergence from baseline specifications is the addition of a 6-pin PCI-E connector. This will allow you to push the card's power limit further in third-party overclocking tools and hopefully achieve higher clock speeds when overclocking. That said, it also excludes anyone looking to upgrade a basic PC that may not have the requisite connection from their PSU.

MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Gaming X 4G Review MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Gaming X 4G Review - The Card
Click to enlarge

The oversized PCB looks sparse, populated as it is by the tiny GP107 GPU, four memory chips and a 3+1 phase power design. MSI is using its Military Class IV components for the VRMs which include, for example, the Super Ferrite Chokes, which are said to be of a higher quality than run-of-the-mill ones.

MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Gaming X 4G Review MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Gaming X 4G Review - The Card
Click to enlarge

A single, 8mm heat pipes makes direct contact with the small GPU, transferring heat via the S-shape through the span of aluminium fins. Thermal pads make partial contact with two of the memory chips, but the other two are left untouched, as are the VRM components – they'll only be cooled as a secondary result of air passing through the fins above. Usually this would be a point of concern but in a card with power requirements this low it's nor a major issue. Note also that while some hot air will find its way out through the rear I/O panel, the vast majority is going to end up back in your case.

Specifications

  • Graphics processor Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, 1,379MHz (1,493MHz boost)
  • Pipeline 768 stream processors, 48 texture units, 32 ROPs
  • Memory 4GB GDDR5, 7.1Gbps effective
  • Bandwidth 113.6GB/sec, 128-bit interface
  • Compatibility DirectX 12, Vulcan, OpenGL 4.5
  • Outputs/Inputs 1 x DisplayPort 1.4, Dual Link DVI-D, 1 x HDMI 2.0
  • Power connections 1 x 6-pin PCI-E, top-mounted
  • Size 229mm long, 131mm tall, dual-slot
  • Warranty Three years

Discuss this in the forums

QUICK COMMENT

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

WEEK IN REVIEW

TOP STORIES

SUGGESTED FOR YOU