GeForce GTX 1050 2 GB video cards have been well-deservedly popular with budget fans for almost two years now. Recently, NVIDIA updated the line, introducing a modification with 3 GB of memory on board. This event has not received much attention, but in this case, not only the amount of local RAM, but also the configuration of the graphics processor and even the width of the memory bus. We decided to find out how all these transformations affected the performance of the video card, simultaneously comparing its results with those for the classic version of the GeForce GTX 1050 2 GB and the next model in the NVIDIA graphics line – GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4 GB.
GeForce GTX 1050 3 GB
The new graphics card uses the same GPU as for the GTX 1050/1050 Ti-GP107 adapters. This is a basic GPU with the Pascal architecture, used for the initial models of the NVIDIA GTX line. In the case of the GTX 1050 3 GB, the modification of the GP107-301 chip with a somewhat unusual configuration is used. In this case, all 768 computational units are activated, as well as 48 texture modules. In this part, he repeats the GPU used for the older model – the GTX 1050 Ti. Recall that the GTX 1050 2 GB uses a GPU with 640 computers and 40 TMUs.
|GeForce GTX 1050 Ti||GeForce GTX 1050 3 GB||GeForce GTX 1050 2 GB|
|The name of the crystal||GP107  GP107||GP107|
|The manufacturing process, nm||14||14||14|
|The area of the crystal, mm²||132||132||132|
|The number of transistors , billion||3,3||3,3||3,3|
|The clock speed of the GPU, MHz||1290/1392||1392/1518||1354/1455|
|Quantity stream processors||768||768||640|
|Number of texture units||48||48||40|
|The number of blocks of rasterization  32||24||32|
|Memory (type, volume), MB||GDDR5, 4096||GDDR5, 3072||GDDR5, 2048|
|Memory bus, bit||128||96||128|
|Effective memory clock speed, MHz||7008||7008||7008|
|Memory bandwidth, GB / s||112.1||84 , 1||112.1|
|Energy consumption, W||75||75||75|
Well, further simplifications begin. The developer disabled one of the four 32-bit memory controllers. As a consequence, the number of rasterizers (ROPs) also decreased by a quarter – from 32 to 24, and the volume of the internal L2 cache memory decreased from 1024 KB to 768 KB. To somehow compensate for the losses, NVIDIA increased the working frequency of the graphics processor. The base is set at 1392 MHz, and the average acceleration value is 1518 MHz.
The memory bandwidth of GeForce GTX 1050 3 GB video cards is reduced from 128 to 96 bits. With an unchanged memory standard (GDDR5) and the recommended effective frequency of 7000 MHz, the throughput has decreased from 112 GB / s to 84 GB / s. On the one hand, the manufacturer increased the processing power of the GPU, here it is even higher than that of the GTX 1050 Ti, on the other hand it markedly reduced the bandwidth of the memory bus. Developers of NVIDIA had to cram a 3-gigabyte version into a rather narrow niche between the GTX 1050 2 GB and the GTX 1050 Ti 4 GB. How successful they are, will show the game tests.
Let's try to immediately answer the obvious questions about why the manufacturer simply does not increase the memory size of the usual GeForce GTX 1050 to 3 GB, without adjusting the number of function blocks. The fact is that the architecture GP107 assumes the presence of four 32-bit memory controllers to which chips of the same capacity should be connected. To get the final 2 GB, the video card installs four GDDR5 chips of 4 Gbit each. The GTX 1050 Ti 4 GB uses the same chips, but with an increased data density of 8 Gbps. Of course, the easiest way to increase the memory capacity of the GeForce GTX 1050 would be to use 4 GB instead of 2 GB, but obviously the developers do not think so. First, it would increase the prime cost and the final price of the GTX 1050, and secondly, video cards in this configuration would level out the perception of the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti as the older model, simultaneously reducing the difference in performance of both models. All of the above is clearly not included in the plans of NVIDIA. As a result, we have a GeForce GTX 1050 3 GB in the proposed configuration with a 96-bit bus and a reduced number of ROPs, but with increased processing power of the GPU and higher frequencies. In this way, the developers immediately decide for themselves a few tasks. First, they reduce the cost of video cards. Three 8-gigabit chips certainly cost less than four chips twice as small. Secondly, they provide an increase in performance of the GTX 1050, without approaching the performance of the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti.
The claimed thermal package (TDP) for the new GeForce GTX 1050 3 GB remained at the same level – 75 W. Video cards can work without additional power, being content with the resources of the PCI Express x16 slot. For a system with such a graphics adapter, it is recommended to use a power supply with a power of 300 W.
NVIDIA does not offer GeForce GTX 1050 reference adapters 3 GB. Manufacturers of video cards are free to use the appropriate design of printed circuit boards and cooling systems. Adapt the PCB from the GTX 1050 2 GB is not difficult. The companies have already submitted their versions of the devices and we will get acquainted with one of these video cards a little closer.
ASUS offers at the start one GeForce GTX 1050 3 GB model – ASUS PH-GTX1050-3G. The device belongs to the basic series of graphics adapters Phoenix.
The video card is delivered in a compact box. On the package there is a large photo of the device, in the bottom corner there is a notable indication of the presence of 3 GB of memory. The sticker announces an additional bonus for the owner – a 6-month free subscription to the WTFast service. Only a short manual and a driver disk are included with the video card.
For the ASUS PH-GTX1050-3G, a simple two-slot cooling system with a simple aluminum radiator is used, which is blown by an 80 mm axial fan with a double ball bearing
On top of the cooler covers a protective plastic cover in black. An additional power connector is not provided.
The video card is equipped with three GDDR5 memory chips. In this case, Micron D9SXD chips are used.
Three digital video outputs are output to the interface panel: DVI-D, HDMI and full-format HDMI. Approximately half of the plug is occupied by the grille for the output of heated air.
ASUS PH-GTX1050-3G offers the recommended frequency formula. The base frequency of the GPU is 1392 MHz with an average acceleration of up to 1518 MHz. The memory chips work at the nominal 7008 MHz.
The actual frequency of the GPU depends on the nature of the load. Periodically, the chip "fires" up to 1800 MHz, but often it's smaller. When using different game engines, the operating frequency was more often fixed either at 1683-1695 MHz, or increased to 1759 MHz. The graphic processor at the peak was heated to 69C while the fan rotation speed increased from the base 1200 rpm to 1500 rpm. Subjectively, the video card is not noiseless, but very quiet.
|Processor||Intel Core i7-8700K (3.7 / 4.7 GHz)||Intel, www.intel.ua  Cooler||Thermalright Archon Rev.A||Thermalright, www.thermalright.com|
|Motherboard||ASUS ROG MAXIMUS X HERO (Intel Z370)||ASUS, www.asus.ua|
|Memory||HyperX FURY HX432C18FW2K2 / 16, DDR4-3200, 18-21-21, 16 GB (2 × 8 GB)||HyperX, www.hyperxgaming.com|
|Storage||Kingston KC1000 480 GB||Thermaltake, www.thermaltakeusa.com|
|The monitor||Acer Predator XB271HK (27 ", 3840 × 2160)||Acer, www.acer.ua|
Proi In some projects bandwidth is critical, in others the amount of memory is important, computational performance is more important.
To evaluate the capabilities of the GeForce GTX 1050 3 GB, we used more than a dozen games and synthetic 3DMark from UL. For clarity, the indicators were compared with those for the closest relatives according to the graphical ruler – GeForce GTX 1050 2 GB and GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4 GB. The results turned out to be interesting and rather unexpected. The final diagrams were preliminarily divided into three groups for convenience.
Faster GeForce GTX 1050 2 GB
During tests we used Full HD resolution and average graphics quality settings. That is, typical conditions in which GTX 1050 devices often provide acceptable performance. In the course of tests, we also noted incidentally the memory capacity of the video card, which was occupied by this or that game.
The first group opens a fairly fresh project from Ubisoft. Far Cry 5 willingly uses more than 2 GB of memory, if this is possible. When choosing a preset with average graphics quality settings, we see a warning that in this mode you need about 2.6 GB of memory. In practice, about 2800 MB are used. In such conditions, GeForce GTX 1050 3 GB has a noticeable advantage over 2 GB modification – about 12% on the average frame rate / c and about 17% on the minimum. At the same time, the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4 GB provides an increase of 7-10%.
Similar results can be observed during the test of the campaign benchmark in Total War: WARHAMMER II . At the same time, the increase in the transition from 2 GB to 3 GB is even slightly higher. In the mode with medium settings, the game takes about 2600 MB of video memory. Apparently, the increase in the local buffer affects this, but bandwidth is not so critical.
Assassin's Creed: Origins gives the impression of a resource-intensive project. However, despite the external heaviness of the engine, in the mode with average settings the game uses about 2200 MB of video card memory. GeForce GTX 1050 3 GB has an advantage of 9.5-11% over the version with 2 GB of memory and only slightly inferior here to the "titanium" version of the adapter.
Rise of the Tomb Raider willingly uses large amounts of graphics card memory. Here we give only the averaged index for all three stages of the integrated benchmark. As you can see, GeForce GTX 1050 3 GB is preferable to GTX 1050 2 GB, but the gap is quite small – about 5%. But the GTX 1050 Ti 4 GB can add another 11% performance.
Using the selected mode for about 1700-1800 MB of memory, the game Tom Clancy's The Division catches some advantage of a 3 GB version of the video card, but small The difference is only in the average fps.
Atmospheric Final Fantasy XV with a standard graphics quality profile used about 2900 MB of memory. It would seem that the real freestyle for the GeForce GTX 1050 is 3 GB and the opportunity to prove itself, but it limited itself to a 6% advantage over the GTX 1050 2 GB, while the GTX 1050 Ti 4 GB ahead of here the starting model by at least 20%. But even in this case, taking into account the modest absolute figures, you will have to additionally jam with the settings in order to get a comfortable number of frames / c.
At the peak of popularity ARK: Survival Evolved there were many manuals with recommendations on tuning graphics in this game. "Survivors" with weak video cards had a hard time. Large open spaces with many elements require appropriate resources. With average graphics quality settings, the game consumes about 2800 graphics card memory and here the novelty with its 3 GB on board is very handy. With such common frame rates / c, a 15% increase is already felt even without performance measurements.
At the level of GeForce GTX 1050 2 GB
The advantage of GeForce GTX 1050 3 GB over 2 GB version is not always obvious. Especially when the game has 2 GB of memory and does not need to access the system RAM to store the necessary data. For example, the game Deus Ex: Mankind Divided with medium quality settings in Full HD mode is sufficient 1900-2000 MB of memory. Here we register the minimal advantage of GeForce GTX 1050 3 GB over the younger model. At the same time, the GTX 1050 Ti gives an increase of almost 15%.
The situation was similar to the The Witcher: Wild Hunt requiring only 1400 MB of video memory.
In the average number of frames, both GTX 1050 were almost the same in Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands although the version with 3 GB of memory suggested a higher minimum fps. During the tests, the game used about 2300 MB.
Slower GeForce GTX 1050 2 GB? !!!!
The increased amount of memory used in the game obviously puts the GeForce GTX 1050 3 GB in a more favorable position, but does not guarantee an advantage over 2-gigabyte version. A clear example of this is Far Cry Primal .
If there is enough volume, the project uses 2800-3200 MB of video card memory. It would seem that the GTX 1050 has 2 GB just no chance, but in practice, a version with a smaller buffer capacity has a 4% advantage over the average number of frames / c and identical values at the minimum. Of course, the amount of memory is important here, but, as it turned out, its bandwidth is even more important.
In the game WoT after updating the graphics engine to owners of more or less productive video cards with average settings is no longer interesting, I want more. Because during the tests we used the Ultra preset. The GeForce GTX 1050 is generally enough for this mode, but we can not help but note a slight advantage of the 2-gigabyte version. The version with the increased volume steadily conceded 1-2 frames. As for the memory used, this is 2100-2200 MB in 1920 × 1080 mode.
The most surprising result was the game Dirt Rally . In this already "hackneyed" project, even in a mode with a high quality graphics that does not consume more than 1900-2000 MB of memory, the GeForce GTX 1050 3 GB stuck to the last position, yielding a 2-gigabyte version of about 10%. Memory bandwidth, reduced number of ROPs and internal L2-cache. This combination in a particular case turned out to be unsuccessful for the new model with 3 GB of memory.
Another example that reveals the weaknesses of the GeForce GTX 1050 3 GB is the classic test 3DMark Fire Strike which uses only about 1 GB memory card. Here, the novelty lost to the version with 2 GB of about 5%. The difference is a bit small, but it is there, and a decrease in performance in the class of basic game graphics cards is definitely not what you expect from conditionally new models.
A certain discount should be made for the fact that the test included top versions in its classes. GeForce GTX 1050 2 GB represented the GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1050 G1 Gaming 2G, and the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti – ASUS ROG STRIX-GTX1050TI-O4G-GAMING. Of course, their frequency configurations were aligned with the recommended formulas, however, unlike the novelty, both models are equipped with power connectors, which provided additional power reserve and the possibility of slightly more aggressive operation of the GPU Boost.
On the other hand, all the GeForce The GTX 1050 3 GB is offered without an additional power connector, so these conditions correspond to current practice.
In general, we can say that the GeForce GTX 1050 3 GB in most cases still has an advantage over the GeForce GTX 1050 2 GB. As you can see, an additional gigabyte of memory is often in demand even with medium graphics quality settings. Actually, this is one of the reasons for the appearance of the GTX 1050 with an increased amount of local RAM. The results show that the developers managed to squeeze in a new model between the classic version of the GTX 1050 and GTX 1050 Ti, while keeping the strong leadership in the class in the past.
The GeForce GTX 1050 3 GB is also good because it reduces or eliminates the use of a graphics card random access memory. Given the current prices for memory, basic gaming platforms are often equipped with 8 GB, which is often barely enough for the operating system and game engines. In such conditions, there is simply nothing to share with the video card. This is especially sensitive for owners of such configurations without a solid-state drive.
To admit, initially we were quite skeptical about the overclocking of the GeForce GTX 1050 3 GB model in question. The absence of an additional power connector and a 100% hard-limit Power Limit parameter is often a verdict for further acceleration of the video card. The memory from Micron with the recommended 7000 MHz specs also did not promise any surprises.
What was our surprise when the working frequency of the chips was increased from 7008 to 9000 MHz with the progressive increase. In this case, the throughput was practically restored to the original position for other versions of the GTX 1050 – up to 108 GB / s. The base frequency of the chip was increased to 1,462 MHz. However, the operating frequency of the GPU is a very variable parameter, especially in the case of a severely limited Power Limit.
On average, the clock speeds slightly increased, but under load, the processor frequency could drop to 1,700 MHz. Of course, in this case, we were much more interested in overclocking memory, and also practically the effect of its acceleration. Note that the increase in frequencies did not affect the temperature mode of the GPU operation in any way.
The overclocking effect is quite tangible. After a further boost in most cases, the GeForce GTX 1050 3 GB almost managed to overtake the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4 GB. Конечно, последнюю также можно дополнительно форсировать и увеличить отрыв, но сам факт отличного разгона памяти и хорошего практического эффекта конечно порадовал.
Дополнительные 7–12% – желанная прибавка производительности в таком классе адаптеров.
Мы все же рекомендуем ориентироваться на базовые показатели, потому как разгон – это дело случая и везения. Нам еще предстоит выяснить, в случае с GeForce GTX 1050 3 ГБ возможность значительно повысить частоту чипов памяти стала счастливой случайностью или все же закономерность.
На наш взгляд, успех GeForce GTX 1050 3 ГБ будет зависеть от ценовой политики разработчика, производителей видеокарт и дистрибьюторов на местах. NVIDIA не объявляла рекомендованную стоимость представленной модели, очевидно предоставив возможность производителям скорректировать значения в зависимости от спроса.
GeForce GTX 1050 3 ГБ уже появляются на рынке. В Украине самые доступные модификации предлагаются от $175 (~4600 грн.), хотя стоимость на онлайн-площадках еще заметно колеблется в зависимости от поставщиков и аппетитов интернет-магазинов.
Если говорить о рассмотренной ASUS PH-GTX1050-3G, то она стоит на $15 дороже модификации ASUS PH-GTX1050-2G с 2 ГБ памяти. Цена базовых моделей GTX 1050 2 ГБ начинается со $155, тогда как даже за самые недорогие GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4 ГБ просят минимум $200.
При разумном ценообразовании у GeForce GTX 1050 3 ГБ есть все шансы со временем заменить 2-гигабайтовые версии. Полагаем, что во всей этой истории именно такое развитие предусмотрели в NVIDIA. Все же 3 ГБ – это 3 ГБ. Большинство потенциальных покупателей таких видеокарт вряд ли будут вдаваться в технические подробности. Магия больших цифр работает безотказно. Справедливости ради нужно сказать, что все же в большинстве случае GeForce GTX 1050 3 ГБ имеет преимущество над GeForce GTX 1050 2 ГБ. Даже несмотря на, ужас-ужас, уменьшенную разрядность шины памяти.
На GeForce GTX 1050 3 ГБ стоит обратить внимание тем, кто выбирает относительно недорогую видеокарту для игровой системы начального уровня. Особенно в случаях, если ПК оснащен 8 ГБ оперативной памяти. Уменьшение разрядности шины со 128 до 96 бит неприятно, но реальные последствия такого упрощения в этом классе устройств не столь критичны, хотя могут напоминать о себе в некоторых проектах. С помощью разгона нам удалось подтянуть производительность почти до уровня таковой для GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4 ГБ, но это все же дело случая.
В целом продукт оставляет двоякое впечатления, хотя позитива все же больше. Как мы уже упоминали, многое будет зависеть от реальных розничных цен. Если версия с 3 ГБ будет стоить лишь немногим дороже модификаций с 2 ГБ, то именно такой вариант будет в целом предпочтительнее. Никаких революций, подарков от производителя и предложений от которых невозможно отказаться. NVIDIA оптимизирует свою линейку, стараясь дополнительно снизить себестоимость базовых устройств. Хорошо когда интересы разработчика и потребителей совпадают.
Появления на рынке GeForce GTX 1050 3 ГБ в целом говорит о том, что ближайшее время не стоит ожидать появления устройств начального класса на базе GPU с новой графической архитектурой. В этом году наверняка все внимание будет уделено топовым решениям. С одной стороны немного жаль, с другой – можно уже сейчас выбирать подходящую модель, не опасаясь купить видеокарту перед самой сменой поколений.