NVIDIA HAS unveiled the latest Pascal-based GPUs, the GTX 1050 and GTX 1050 Ti, taking the next-gen graphics technology firmly into the budget space with prices of £115 and £139 respectively, even cheaper than the previous-gen GTX 950.
The specs of the GTX 1050 were leaked in early September, so Nvidia's announcement isn't a huge surprise. At the heart of the GTX 1050 is the GP107-400 chip with 640 CUDA cores, a base clock speed of 1,354MHz and a boost clock speed of 1,455MHz. Typical configurations will have 2GB of GDDR5 memory.
The GTX 1050Ti, meanwhile, has 768 CUDA cores (the same as the current GTX 950) with a base clock speed of 1,290MHz and a boost clock speed of 1,392MHz. The Ti will typically come with 4GB of GDDR5 memory.
This compares with the clock-speed of, for example, the Asus GTX-950 Strix with a base of 1,026MHz and a boost of 1,190MHz.
Both GPUs use a 128-bit memory bus with improved bandwidth, up from 6.6Gbps to 7Gbps. Various other enhancements in memory compression ought to add to the performance. GTX 1050 graphics cards should be more power efficient, rating at a 75W thermal design, 15W lower than the GTX 950.
In practical terms, this means that the cards will allow PC gamers to comfortably play the latest 1080p games at 60 frames per second while the GPU sips just 75W.
Nvidia, which is pummelling rival AMD while maintaining a technology edge, claimed that the GTX 1050 Ti is, on average, 40 per cent faster and more than 128 per cent more power efficient than the "closest competitive product" at stock speeds.
In this instance, Nvidia said that it tested the GTX 1050 at 1080p on a number of relatively recent games against the AMD RX460 using the latest drivers for both cards.
AMD, meanwhile, is expected to release more GPUs based on the rival Polaris architecture in 2017.
Both companies offer big advances in graphics processing for end users, partly as a result of the shift to 14nm and 16nm FinFET process technology in the manufacturing of the products.
The keen prices of the Pascal GPUs will almost certainly lump retailers with unwanted stocks of existing GTX 950, 960 and 970 parts now that Nvidia has introduced the GTX 1050, 1060 and 1070 to add to the high-end, high-priced GTX 1080 and the new Titan X.
For example, Maplin has already cut the price of the GTX-950 from £144.99 to £114.99, but customers will almost certainly be better off buying the GTX-1050 at the same price.
Nvidia said that GTX 1050-toting graphics cards will be available in all good computer shops, as well as some rubbish ones, from next Tuesday. µ
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