For some the idea of spending any more than $150 for a video card seems down right insane – as that will probably be more than they spend for the CPU. For others while they would love to have all the horsepower GTX 780’s offer they are working on a Small Form Factor build, and smaller is the key to happiness when it comes to SFF builds. This is why 760s and 750s were invented. Unfortunately for many the 760 is over-kill and older 650s are just plain power hogs by modern standards. This hole in NVIDIA’s line-up was quickly exploited by AMD and to help plug the stream of customers going to “Team Red” NIVIDA unveiled the 750 and 750TI series of videos cards. Today we will be looking at the 750Ti as it is so far the closest successor for the wildly popular 650Ti Boost Edition card. To be specific we will be looking at PNY’s XLR8 750Ti 2GB Overclocked edition card.
The 750Ti OC – as we will call it for brevity’s sake – is a very interesting card for numerous reasons. Firstly, unlike the other 7-series video cards, the new 750Ti series is not based on any core previously seen. Instead of a cut down, but supped up 6-series core – e.g. the 770 – or further cut down 7 series GK110 core, the 750’s features a low power ‘GM107’ variant of NIVIDIA’s upcoming ‘Maxwell’ architecture. While the GM107 is an extremely cut down version of future of NIVIDIA’s architecture, it did hint at the upcoming ‘full version’ of the Maxwell architecture making great strides in the power vs performance department.
Unfortunately, while it may hint at future greatness the typical 750Ti is not exactly a great replacement for the previous 650Ti Boost series. In fact, the typical 650Ti Boost beats the typical 750TI like it owes it a lot of money – something that should never happen. This actually brings us the real reason the PNY 750Ti 2GB OC is so interesting: its overclocked….a lot. Instead of a GM107 that barely edges past the 1GHz barrier (1020MHz) and only boosts itself to 1085MHZ, the PNY 750Ti 2GB OC jumps out of the gate with a base clock of 1202MHz that can be further boosted to 1281Mhz when-ever the card feels the need….the need for speed. The RAM is also overclocked from a lackadaisical 5,400 to a more respectable 6,008.
More importantly PNY achieves both of these factory settings without needing any additional power. The lack of a 6-pin PCIE connector may not sound like that big a deal for most, but for SFF builds a 60 TDP 750TI is much more enticing than the 650Ti Boost and its 140TDP. PNY being PNY have also further helped consumers as they have not gone with the usual wimpy heatsink and fan that NIVIDA calls for. Instead they have gone with a custom dual slot affair that promises to not only keep this highly overclocked core cool, but do so while at barely audible levels. Considering this card is less than 7 inches long we will be paying careful attention to this boast as if it does pull off both a small form factor and low noise desing it will be a great boon to SFF builders.
If all that was not enough to peak our attention, and we must admit to being underwhelmed with the 750Ti’s launch, what really pushed this model over the edge, and made us want to review this item so badly we purchased it ourselves, is the asking price. Usually ‘overclocked’ is another way of saying ‘higher priced’ and for the most part we can understand the increased asking price – the manufacturer has to not only do all the hard work but has to warranty an overclocked chip for the period of the warranty. Since this card comes with a lifetime warranty and has a great factor overclock we were expecting a large price hike when we first heard of this model. Instead the PNY 750Ti OC 2GB model costs only about 10 bucks more than what NVIDIA’s suggested MSRP is for a standard – read mediocre – 750Ti 2GB. On paper this little bad boy has a lot going for it, but the big question is it enough to really justify the 750’s existence or is the 750Ti -as some suggest – nothing but a demonstrator model for the upcoming 8-series. This is what we intend to find out. So buckle up, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride!