Nvidia recently released the GeForce GTX 1650, their new $150 Turing graphics card. The company opted not to sample any GPUs to anyone. In fact, they deliberately held back the GTX 1050 driver so that reviewers who secured cards from third-parties couldn’t test the GPU.
That is unusual for Nvidia and not how they typically handle desktop GPU reviews. But we’ve got a pretty good idea why the Santa Clara-based chipmaker did it.
Nvidia GTX 1650 Gaming Performance
Reviews are out, and as it appears, the GTX 1650 is really not something you should consider buying. The card is not as good in terms of raw gaming performance as AMD’s options are around the market (via PCGamer).
The Radeon RX 570 performs better than the 1650 in benchmarks, and it’s available for as little as $140, and the lower memory version is even cheaper. The RX 570 certainly consumes more power than this new Turing card, but then, it’s a two-year-old part from the red team that is based on their previous Polaris architecture.
In fact, it’s not as good as buying a used GTX 1050 Ti when it comes to value, or stepping up to a GTX 1660 if you could get up to $220, then you’ll be able to get a much better performance – around 30% more FPS than the GTX 1650.
And, we are not only talking about the raw gaming performance here, but there is also the fact that the GTX 1650 lacks a key feature that the rest of the Turing series already has.
Not Worth It Even for Streamers
The GTX 1650 doesn’t feature Turing’s advanced NVENC encoder, but instead, this new budget GPU packs the older Volta multimedia engine. Volta’s NVENC is known to be 15% less efficient than Turing’s, which mean the 1650 will have worse game live streaming than expected.
So apart from basic architectural changes, the GTX 1650 has none of the extra value that Nvidia has been bringing to its graphics cards of this generation in the form of ray tracing and better NVENC performance.
The GTX 1650 is based on a new TU117 GPU, which is a cut-down variant of the TU116 that powers the GTX 1660 and 1660 Ti cards. From the looks of things, it’s clear that Nvidia has done something strange with this TU117 chip on the 1650 that makes it not at all worth while.
Now that shows exactly what Nvidia was trying to accomplish by hampering reviewers from getting the GTX 1650 driver ahead of time. They weren’t confident of what the 1650 would bring to the table, so they can try to hold off negative press for as long as they can.
Meanwhile, when people would be looking to buy in the first few hours, they should be able to buy it because there are no product reviews available out there. That’s why there were no performance leaks but only picture leaks prior to the launch.
That’s a deceitful move by Nvidia, and to be honest, they probably shouldn’t have even launched this product at all.