Nvidia has had an exemplary year with their Pascal range of graphics cards. Power efficient and effective, these cards have ranged from the enthusiast to the mid-range, with cards such as the GTC 1080 and 1060 taking up positions on either ends of the scale. There’s still more to be squeezed from the chip before Nvidia moves on to something new, and the GTX 1050Ti is just another example of that. Although it’s not the headline performance you might expect, this little Pascal package packs a punch for its form factor.

The first thing you’ll notice when looking at the GTX 1050Ti (or the MSI version we received, since Nvidia isn’t doing their own reference model to keep costs down), is the lack of any power connectors. Both the GTX 1050 and 1050Ti are powered exclusively using the PCI-e connectors on your motherboard, with a recommended TDP of just 75W. Besides being ridiculously power efficient, this makes both versions of the GTX 1050 the easiest Nvidia cards on the market to use. Simply plug it in and play, which is an alluring aspect for those not keen on the nitty-gritty of PC hardware.

GTX 1050Ti Review 3

Of course it’s those same people that will likely not truly understand some of the concessions made to make that reality possible. The GTX 1050Ti we tested features only 768 CUDA Cores, coupled with a full 4GB of GDDR5 memory across a 128-bit bus. That’s a small amount of memory for modern games that are already asking for more, and it was evident in testing that even this Ti version (which features 2GB more memory than the smaller 1050) couldn’t keep up at times.

But thanks  to the advances of Pascal, the 1050Ti features rather admirable clock speeds. With 1290MHz and 1392MHz for both the Core and Boost clocks respectively, the 1050Ti was no slouch in speed. Those types of frequencies would almost be unheard of in a card this small just a few months ago, and it’s a testament to the design versatility of Pascal and its architecture. But all of that means nothing to the person hoping this small investment will ensure smooth 1080p – as Nvidia so forcibly marketed.

GTX 1050Ti Review 1

The proof of that lies in testing, and in a way the results were unsurprising. It’s clear that for its form factor, power requirements and ease of use, the GTX 1050Ti makes a very strong impression. Especially when looking at its performance with some of the year’s best looking titles.

Metro: Last Light

GTX 1050Ti Review - Metro Benchmark

Metro: Last Light still provides a powerful benchmark that really pushes even modern cards to their limits with its bevy of graphical settings. Running exclusively on 1080p (because this card really isn’t capable of pushing beyond that), it’s clear that the GTX 1050Ti really managed to hold its own. When compared to other mid-range cards we’ve tested the results might seem to pale in comparison, but there’s a lot to be said about what the GTX 1050Ti achieves in its price bracket

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

GTX 1050Ti Review - The Witcher 3 Benchmark

That extends to testing in The Witcher 3, which is arguably one of the most stunning games still on PC. At 1080p the GTX 1050Ti brought in some respectable numbers, which could easily push into a 60FPS lock with a little tinkering down to medium here and there. That’s a common thread in most testing, with the low power requirements and limited performance meaning full 1080p gaming is sometimes just a reach too far.

Grand Theft Auto V

GTX 1050Ti Review - GTA V Benchmark

That’s no more evident with GTA V, which really pushed the GTX 1050Ti when running its own benchmarks at the maximum setting (MSAA included). Still, the GTX 1050Ti manages to keep things mostly above 30FPS, and bringing down a few settings here and there easily brought that figure close to 60FPS. If you’re looking for slightly better than console performance at that point, the GTX 1050TI manages that with relative ease.


GTX 1050Ti Review - DOOM Benchmark

DOOM is where things get really interesting though. One of the most gorgeous games of the year, the fast-paced shooter also manages to be delightfully well optimised for PC. And in the case of the GTX 1050Ti, that really worked in its favour. With an average above 60FPS at the highest graphical settings the game has to offer, this really made a compelling case for the smallest Pascal card as a good entry point for PC gaming.


GTX 1050Ti Review - DOOM Benchmark

Of course the GTX 1050Ti isn’t only for hardcore 1080p gaming. Nvidia understand this, and have attempted to encapsulate the eSports market into their own marketing. Looking at its performance in Overwatch alone, there’s really no reason to dispute that either. This card will manage all competitive games out there without flinching, so if that’s the only reason you’re looking for an upgrade, there’s really no reason to look any further.

FireStrike/TimeSpy Benchmarks

FireStrike GTX 1050Ti

TimeSpy GTX 1050Ti

Excluding the more strenuous Extreme and Ultra tests, the GTX 1050Ti brought in decent test scores cross the standard FireStrike benchmark. DirectX12 performance in TimeSpy was also not too bad, although given the power behind the card its unlikely that you’ll be looking at future iterations and implementations of DirectX 12 for increased performance.

During all testing the card itself was incredibly quiet under load, with the core temperature never exceeding 60 degrees Celsius at its peak. The fan itself really never got called in to too much action, and it’s clear that the power drawn from the PCI slot is more than enough for the card to hit its boost clocks and stay relatively cool. Overclocking performance is limited though, and Nvidia have put in some heavy restrictions to ensure you don’t draw too much from your board in the process.

But again for the market that’s being aimed for, that’s not even a selling point. The idea behind the GTX 1050Ti is simplicity at a low cost, and Nvidia have really check all those boxes in terms of performance per watt and compact design. Pricing is a bit of a touchier subject, especially with local pricing brought into the fold.

GTX 1050Ti Review 2

Recommended retail pricing is usually a guideline instead of a rule, but locally the price for a GTX 1950Ti can vary wildly. MSI usually comes in the cheapest with cards just over R3000.00, but fancier cooling spikes that well into R4000.00 territory. In that space the GTX 1050Ti is directly competing with local pricing of the AMD RX 470 – a superior card which isn’t as easy to use, but will certainly boost framerates in all departments. On the lower end it competes with the RX 460, which is more in-line with what Nvidia is offering. In that race the GTX 1050Ti would be the better choice, so it’s really down to what third-party you choose.

But in any case you’ll be hard pressed to find a card this easy to use with the performance that it boasts, and I came away pleasantly surprised without how capable such a tiny card could be. The GTX 1050Ti isn’t the benchmark-breaking Pascal card you might have hoped for to finish up the 2016 year, but it’s certainly a card that could open the doors for far more PC gamers in the future. With an entry price that isn’t prohibitive and performance to match, it’s an easy sell for some old-fashioned 1080p gaming.

Score 4/5 Stars


Last Updated: November 28, 2016

MSI GTX 1050Ti
Ease of use, price and performance all contribute to a card that shows off just how versatile Pascal can be. The GTX 1050Ti isn’t the fastest card on the market, but it’s the one most new PC gamers are likely to pick up.


  1. I’ve been between two minds for some time now. Geoff told me the 1050ti was good bang for buck, and this article provides some nice figures to back that up.

    I’m just awaiting pricing from [redacted], depending on the pricing they come back with, I’ll make a choice


  2. Ottokie

    November 28, 2016 at 11:40

    At R4k I would rather recommend someone to buy a PS4 instead.


    • Admiral Chief Argonian

      November 28, 2016 at 11:43



      • Ottokie

        November 28, 2016 at 11:49

        “Multi platform gamer” is the word you are looking for 😛


        • Admiral Chief Argonian

          November 28, 2016 at 11:51



    • HvR

      November 28, 2016 at 12:02

      *Half a PS4


      • Ottokie

        November 28, 2016 at 12:06

        PS4 BETA is still at that price…or pretty close


  3. Andre Fourie

    November 28, 2016 at 11:50

    R4000???? Thank F@#k I’m a console peasant.


    • Lord Chaos

      November 28, 2016 at 11:53

      Let them have cake. 😛


    • Raptor Rants

      November 28, 2016 at 14:20

      You can get for R2500 if you shop around. But sadly yes PC prices have taken massive knocks thanks to the rand/dollar.

      Where one could build a decent 1080p gaming system for R6k you no longer can in ZA.

      Sad that our economy is tanking.


      • Magoo

        November 28, 2016 at 15:00

        My build is over 2 years old, spent just over 6k on it. Can do 1080p in most cases, medium-high. Can always do 1080p even if I have to go low-medium. But the sad thing is, if I had to build the same PC from scratch – it would be more expensive now.


        • Raptor Rants

          November 28, 2016 at 15:10

          If I had to build my PC now it’d also probably be more expensive than when I bought it.
          And that would be buying the internals only without the PSU.


  4. Magoo

    November 28, 2016 at 13:57

    There is no point in this thing coming to South Africa. Quick look on Amazon shows the 1050ti at around $140-160. 1060 3gb at around $230-250 (Both EVGA/MSI). It makes sense there but local pricing doesn’t work with linear conversion. You could get a 1060 for just R0-R600 more.

    Am I wrong?


  5. tevselect

    November 28, 2016 at 15:01


    PS4 Pro 1TB Awesome Deal. Check out this deal from Tevs Elect



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