Today we are taking a look at the new Asus GTX 750 Ti, the third Maxwell card we have reviewed since Nvidia launched back on February 18th. So far we have analysed the MSI GTX750 Ti OC Twin Frozr and the Palit GTX 750 Ti StormX Dual – both fantastic solutions … so we will be interested to see how the Asus solution stacks up.
The Asus GTX 750 Ti receives a modest core clock increase, from 1,020 mhz to 1,072 mhz. Unlike the Palit GTX 750 Ti StormX Dual the memory is left at the default speeds of 1,350mhz (5.4Gbps effective). All cards have 16 ROP’s, 53 TMU’s and 640 CUDA cores.
The Nvidia reference card is using 2GB of Hynix GDDR5 memory, but ASUS have opted for Samsung branded GDDR5.
The Maxwell SM architecture delivers improved efficiency and 35% more performance per CUDA core on shader limited workloads. Nvidia have changed the architecture with the SM scheduler architecture and algorithms having been rewritten to avoid stalling and further reducing the energy per instruction required for scheduling. Maxwell SM architecture enabled Nvidia to increase the number of SM’s to five in GM107, compared to two in GK107 – and all with only a 25% increase in die area.
Nvidia have explained that the organisation of the SM has been changed. Each SM has been partitioned into four separate processing blocks, each with their own instruction buffer, scheduler and 32 CUDA cores. GK107 Kepler could have a non power of two number of CUDA cores, with some shared. The new partitioning simplifies the design and scheduling logic which reduces computation latency and saves area and power demand.
Pairs of processing blocks share four texture filtering units and a texture cache. The L1 compute cache function is now combined with the texture cache function and shared memory is a separate unit, shared across all four blocks. Each Maxwell SM is smaller than a Kepler SM but delivers around 90% of the performance. The smaller area means that Nvidia can incorporate many more SM’s per GPU. The GM107 (v GK107) has 25 percent more texture performance, 1.7 times more CUDA cores and 2.3 greater shader performance.
Nvidia have improved Video capabilities with the latest hardware. Maxwell incorporates an improved NVENC block to deliver faster encode performance over Kepler – 6-8 times real time compared against 4 times. Nvidia report a 8-10 times faster decode rate too. Maxwell also has a new GC5 power state designed to drop the GPU power demand under light workload situations – such as when playing back video.
The Asus box lists some of the main specifications along the bottom, and a picture of the cooler is visible on the left side.
Inside, the accessories are minimal. A software disc and ‘Speed Setup’ documentation.
The Asus GTX 750 Ti 2GB is built around a black PCB. The cooler comprises two large fans which span the full length of the PCB.
This is the first GTX750 Ti we have tested which ships with two DVI ports on the I/O plate. The MSI and Palit cards have only been equipped with a single DVI port. Alongside these is a VGA connector, and a HDMI connector.
Bonus points for Asus.
This is also the only GTX 750 Ti solution we have tested that requires a 6 pin PCI e power connector for operation – all other cards get enough power from the slot. For some bizarre reason ASUS have positioned this PCIe connector right beside the I/O panel on the opposite end of the PCB.
We have to dock ASUS those bonus points already.
What does this mean? Well depending on the chassis design this means you will have to route the power cable either across the full length of the GTX 750 Ti PCB, or from below, up to the connector. We will be interested to see later in the review if this power connector really makes a difference to the overclocking capabilities of the hardware. Additionally, the Palit GTX 750 Ti StormX Dual doesn’t need any additional power connector, and its supplied in a much higher state of overclock out of the box (1,222mhz v Asus 1,070mhz).
The Asus cooler is a similar design to the cooler fitted on the Palit GTX 750 Ti StormX – you can see this here. The direct touch heatpipe Twin Frozr cooler on the MSI version of the GTX 750 Ti is leaps ahead of either ASUS or PALIT cards. You can see this here.
On this page we present some super high resolution images of the product taken with the 24.5MP Nikon D3X camera and 24-70mm ED lens. These will take much longer to open due to the dimensions, especially on slower connections. If you use these pictures on another site or publication, please credit Kitguru.net as the owner/source. You can right click and ‘save as’ to your computer to view later.
For our review today we are using the ForceWare 334.89 and Catalyst 14.2 beta drivers.
As mentioned earlier in the review – notice the ridiculous placement of the PCI e power connector, close to the I/O plate on the opposite side of the PCB. This will make routing difficult in some cases, especially if all your cables are fed from holes in the middle of the chassis. The Asus GTX 750 Ti OC sadly won’t operate at all unless this connector is in place.
We are using one of our brand new test rigs supplied by PCSPECIALIST and built to our specifications. If you want to read more about this, or are interested in buying the same Kitguru Test Rig, check out our article with links on this page.We are using an Apple 30 inch Cinema HD monitor for this review today.
Palit GTX 750 Ti (1,202 mhz core / 1502 mhz memory)
MSI GTX750 Ti Twin Frozr OC (1,085mhz core / 1,350mhz memory)
eVGA GTX760 SC (1072mhz core / 1502mhz memory)
Sapphire R7 265 Dual X (925mhz core / 1400mhz memory)
VTX3D R9 270X X Edition (1,080mhz core / 1400mhz memory)
ASUS R9 270 Direct CU II OC (975mhz core / 1,400mhz memory)
VTX3D HD7870 Tahiti LE (975mhz core / 1500mhz memory)
VTX3D VChamp HD7850 (1000mhz core / 1225mhz memory)
ASUS HD7850 (860mhz core / 1,200mhz memory)
Gigabyte GTX650TI (1,033mhz core / 1,350mhz memory)
Windows 7 Enterprise 64 bit
Unigine Heaven Benchmark
Unigine Valley Benchmark
Total War: Rome 2
Metro Last Light
Alien V Predator
Splinter Cell Blacklist
All the latest BIOS updates and drivers are used during testing. We perform generally under real world conditions, meaning KitGuru tests games across five closely matched runs and then average out the results to get an accurate median figure. If we use scripted benchmarks, they are mentioned on the relevant page.
Unigine provides an interesting way to test hardware. It can be easily adapted to various projects due to its elaborated software design and flexible toolset.
A lot of their customers claim that they have never seen such extremely-effective code, which is so easy to understand.
Heaven Benchmark is a DirectX 11 GPU benchmark based on advanced Unigine engine from Unigine Corp. It reveals the enchanting magic of floating islands with a tiny village hidden in the cloudy skies. Interactive mode provides emerging experience of exploring the intricate world of steampunk.
Efficient and well-architected framework makes Unigine highly scalable:
- Multiple API (DirectX 9 / DirectX 10 / DirectX 11 / OpenGL) render
- Cross-platform: MS Windows (XP, Vista, Windows 7) / Linux
- Full support of 32bit and 64bit systems
- Multicore CPU support
- Little / big endian support (ready for game consoles)
- Powerful C++ API
- Comprehensive performance profiling system
- Flexible XML-based data structures
The Asus GTX 750 Ti OC scores well, averaging just under 50 frames per second, a little behind the higher clocked MSI GTX750 Ti OC TF.
Valley Benchmark is a new GPU stress-testing tool from the developers of the very popular and highly acclaimed Heaven Benchmark. The forest-covered valley surrounded by vast mountains amazes with its scale from a bird’s-eye view and is extremely detailed down to every leaf and flower petal. This non-synthetic benchmark powered by the state-of-the art UNIGINE Engine showcases a comprehensive set of cutting-edge graphics technologies with a dynamic environment and fully interactive modes available to the end user.
We test with the settings above at 1920×1080.
Another healthy score, around a frame per second faster than the Sapphire R7 265 Dual X.
Futuremark released 3DMark Vantage, on April 28, 2008. It is a benchmark based upon DirectX 10, and therefore will only run under Windows Vista (Service Pack 1 is stated as a requirement) and Windows 7. This is the first edition where the feature-restricted, free of charge version could not be used any number of times. 1280×1024 resolution was used with performance settings.
As expected., the modest overclock means the ASUS GTX750 Ti OC scores a little higher than the Nvidia reference solution we use a base position.
3DMark 11 is designed for testing DirectX 11 hardware running on Windows 7 and Windows Vista. The benchmark includes six all new benchmark tests that make extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11 including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading. After running the tests 3DMark gives your system a score with larger numbers indicating better performance. Trusted by gamers worldwide to give accurate and unbiased results, 3DMark 11 is the best way to test DirectX 11 under game-like loads.If you want to learn more about this benchmark, or to buy it yourself, head over to this page.
Again, the performance results slot in as we would expect, just above the reference clocked GTX750 Ti.
3DMark is an essential tool used by millions of gamers, hundreds of hardware review sites and many of the world’s leading manufacturers to measure PC gaming performance.
Futuremark say “Use it to test your PC’s limits and measure the impact of overclocking and tweaking your system. Search our massive results database and see how your PC compares or just admire the graphics and wonder why all PC games don’t look this good.
Again, just as expected, the score was slightly behind the higher clocked MSI GTX750 Ti OC.
Aliens V Predator has proved to be a big seller since the release and Sega have taken the franchise into new territory after taking it from Sierra. AVP is a Direct X 11 supported title and delivers not only advanced shadow rendering but high quality tessellation for the cards on test today. To test the cards we used a 1920×1080 resolution with DX11, Texture Quality Very High, MSAA Samples 1, 16 af, ambient occulsion on, shadow complexity high, motion blur on.
Playable at 1080p and slightly ahead of the VTX3D Vchamp HD7850.
Sleeping Dogs started development as an original title, but was announced in 2009 as True Crime: Hong Kong, the third installment and a reboot of the True Crime series.As a result of the game’s high development budget and delays, it was canceled by Activision Blizzard in 2011. Six months later, it was announced that Square Enix had picked up the publishing rights to the game, but the game was renamed Sleeping Dogs in 2012 since Square Enix did not purchase the True Crime name rights.
This game is still a system killer at these maximised settings. We test at 1920×1080.
This is a demanding engine – proving a little too much at these settings for the modest hardware we are testing with today.
Tomb Raider received much acclaim from critics, who praised the graphics, the gameplay and Camilla Luddington’s performance as Lara with many critics agreeing that the game is a solid and much needed reboot of the franchise. Much criticism went to the addition of the multiplayer which many felt was unnecessary. Tomb Raider went on to sell one million copies in forty-eight hours of its release, and has sold 3.4 million copies worldwide so far.
We test with the Ultimate profile, as shown above @ 1920×1080.
The Asus GTX 750 Ti OC drops a little below the sweet spot of 25 frames per second a couple of times, leading to a little juddering on specific parts of the environment. While the extra 2 frames per second seems very small, the Palit GTX 750 Ti StormX Dual gives a smoother overall gaming experience at these settings.
Total War ROME 2 is the eighth stand alone game in the Total War series, it is the successor to the successful Rome: Total War title. The Warscape Engine powers the visuals of the game and the new unit cameras will allow players to focus on individual soldiers on the battlefield, which in itself may contain thousands of combatants at a time.
Creative Assembly has stated that they wish to bring out the more human side of war this way, with soldiers reacting with horror as their comrades get killed around them and officers inspiring their men with heroic speeches before siege towers hit the walls of the enemy city.
This will be realised using facial animations for individual units, adding a feel of horror and realism to the battles.
To test the cards today we use the ULTRA profile settings shown above at 1920×1080.
Generally, a smooth overall experience, although we did notice one drop to 24 frames per second, below what we would normally consider the sweet spot for a perfect experience. The additional overclock on the other GTX 750 Ti cards help push them to 25 minimum frames per second.
Dirt Showdown is the latest title in the franchise from Codemasters, based around the famous Colin McRae racing game series, although it no longer uses his name, since he passed away in 2007.
Today we test the hardware at 1920×1080 with the Ultra profile and 8 x MSAA.
This engine has been highly optimised for AMD hardware, as indicated by the results. However if we look at the Asus GTX750 Ti on its own merits, the frame rates are held above 30 at all times.Metro: Last Light takes place one year after the events of Metro 2033, proceeding from the ending where Artyom chose to call down the missile strike on the Dark Ones. The Rangers have since occupied the D6 military facility, with Artyom having become an official member of the group. Khan, the nomad mystic, arrives at D6 to inform Artyom and the Rangers that a single Dark One survived the missile strike.
4A Games’ proprietary 4A Engine is capable of rendering breathtaking vistas, such as those showing the ruined remnants of Moscow, as well as immersive indoor areas that play with light and shadow, creating hauntingly beautiful scenes akin to those from modern-day photos of Pripyat’s abandoned factories and schools.
We test this game with the built in benchmark with very high quality settings at 1920×1080 – details shown in the image above.
A demanding benchmark script, but the results are as we would expect, just ahead of the reference clocked solution.
Grid 2 is the sequel to the racing video game Race Driver: Grid. It was developed and published by Codemasters. The game includes numerous real world locations such as Paris, numerous United States locations, and many more, and also includes motor vehicles spanning four decades. In addition, it includes a new handling system that developer Codemasters has dubbed ‘TrueFeel’, which aims to hit a sweet spot between realism and accessibility.
We test at 1920×1080 with the Ultra image quality preset, as shown above. 8x MSAA was enabled to improve image quality.
Good results, holding between 40 and 50 frames per second between most of the environments we tested.
Splinter Cell Blacklist is the sixth installment in the series.
The game begins with Sam Fisher and his old friend Victor Coste who are about to depart from Andersen AFB in Guam when an unknown enemy force destroys the entire base.
Assisted by hacker specialist Charlie Cole, Sam and Vic manage to escape, although Vic is injured after protecting Sam from a grenade. Soon after, a terrorist group calling itself “The Engineers” assumes responsibility for the attack and announce that it was the first of a deadly countdown of escalating attacks (called “The Blacklist”) on United States assets, declaring that they will halt the attacks only after the U.S. government accomplish the demand of calling back all American troops deployed abroad.
We test with a series of high image quality settings as shown above and with 4x MSAA and 16 x Anisotropic filtering enabled.
Too demanding for both the AMD R7 265 and Nvidia GTX750 Ti at these high image quality settings.
Battlefield 4 (also known as BF4) is a first-person shooter video game developed by EA Digital Illusions CE (DICE) and published by Electronic Arts. The game is a sequel to 2011′s Battlefield 3. Battlefield 4 is built on the new Frostbite 3 engine. The new Frostbite engine enables more realistic environments with higher resolution textures and particle effects. A new “networked water” system is also being introduced, allowing all players in the game to see the same wave at the same time. Tessellation has also been overhauled.
We test the Sapphire R7 265 in both ‘Direct X’ and ‘Mantle’ modes and compare against the new GTX750 Ti cards and the Gigabyte GTX650Ti. We are using the latest patch as of 12th February 2014.
Generally, a good experience, although a couple of environmental locations do force a frame rate, close to, and a little below 25 frames per second.
The tests were performed in a controlled air conditioned room with temperatures maintained at a constant 24c – a comfortable environment for the majority of people reading this.Idle temperatures were measured after sitting at the desktop for 30 minutes. Load measurements were acquired by playing Crysis Warhead for 30 minutes and measuring the peak temperature. We also have included Furmark results, recording maximum temperatures throughout a 30 minute stress test. All fan settings were left on automatic.
The cooler performs almost identically to the one installed on the Palit GTX 750 Ti StormX – peaking at 58c under gaming load. The Twin Frozr on the MSI GTX750Ti is in a different league, but it is considerably over engineered for a budget gaming card.
We have built a system inside a Lian Li chassis with no case fans and have used a fanless cooler on our CPU. The motherboard is also passively cooled. This gives us a build with almost completely passive cooling and it means we can measure noise of just the graphics card inside the system when we run looped 3dMark tests.
We measure from a distance of around 1 meter from the closed chassis and 4 foot from the ground to mirror a real world situation. Ambient noise in the room measures close to the limits of our sound meter at 28dBa. It isn’t a real world situation to be measuring with a case panel off only a few centimeters away from a video card.
Why do this? Well this means we can eliminate secondary noise pollution in the test room and concentrate on only the video card. It also brings us slightly closer to industry standards, such as DIN 45635.
KitGuru noise guide
10dBA – Normal Breathing/Rustling Leaves
20-25dBA – Whisper
30dBA – High Quality Computer fan
40dBA – A Bubbling Brook, or a Refridgerator
50dBA – Normal Conversation
60dBA – Laughter
70dBA – Vacuum Cleaner or Hairdryer
80dBA – City Traffic or a Garbage Disposal
90dBA – Motorcycle or Lawnmower
100dBA – MP3 player at maximum output
110dBA – Orchestra
120dBA – Front row rock concert/Jet Engine
130dBA – Threshold of Pain
140dBA – Military Jet takeoff/Gunshot (close range)
160dBA – Instant Perforation of eardrum
The Asus GTX 750 Ti OC is a quiet solution, rating very close to the Palit GTX 750 Ti StormX Dual.
To test power consumption today we are using a Keithley Integra unit and we measure power consumption from the VGA card inputs, not the system wide drain. We measure results while gaming in Crysis Warhead and the synthetic stress test Furmark and record both results.
The Asus GTX750 Ti may have a 6 pin PCIE power connector, but our tests show that it is really not needed. The card never draws more than 75Watts, even when under the highly synthetic Furmark stress test. When gaming, it consumes 64 watts of power.
Asus supply a new version of their GPU Tweak on the software disc bundled in the box. We installed this to test how far we could push it.
We were a little surprised to see that the ASUS GPU tweak software hit a memory limit at only 1,400mhz, so we tried the latest version of MSI’s Afterburner tool.
MSI’s Afterburner software gave better results, hitting a peak of 1,604mhz on the memory. The core clock speed was limited to 1,207mhz and it was perfectly stable at these speeds. This translated into a 12.6% additional overclock on the core, and a 18.8% additional overclock on the memory.
Sometimes overclocking a card past the ‘out of box’ speeds doesn’t give much reward, but we can’t say the same when overclocking the GTX 750Ti. The increase in performance is noticeable and well worth the time.
We have been singing the praises of the Maxwell architecture since Nvidia launched it in February this year. It is such an improvement on the previous generation that Nvidia really do deserve an enormous amount of praise.
If you are a frame rate junkie then Nvidia’s GTX 750 Ti may seem underwhelming at first, but pause for a moment and think of the potential for high end solutions down the line. The Maxwell architecture is unmatched in regards to performance per watt. In real world terms, the coolers on these graphics cards have to deal with less core heat, the fans can spin slower – which means less noise is emitted under any given situation.
Considering the GTX 750 Ti is manufactured on the 28nm process bodes well for the future. When Nvidia move to the 20nm process later this year we should see even bigger gains filtering up through the product line, including high end graphics cards that are faster, but run cooler and demand less power at the socket. It really is a win-win for their partners and we are positive that Nvidia have a very strong 24 months ahead of them.
So far we have reviewed the Palit GTX 750Ti Storm X Dual and the MSI GTX750 Ti OC Twin Frozr – both of which earned our highest award. The Palit card was overclocked almost to the redline at 1,200mhz right out of the box, performing exceptionally well in our tests. The MSI GTX750 Ti OC Twin Frozr was more modestly clocked, but shipped with an incredible Twin Frozr cooler, not often seen on a budget graphics card.
How does the Asus card compare?
First impressions are mixed. We generally do love the ASUS coolers and we noticed that ASUS have implemented an additional DVI connector, which earned it bonus points. Sadly when we scanned around the PCB, we noticed that this is the only GTX750 Ti solution we have tested which requires an additional 6pin PCIe power connector.
To compound matters, ASUS have bizarrely moved the connector close to the I/O backplate, which means you have to run the power cable the full length of the PCB to reach the connector. In some smaller cases this will be an issue. Even if you have a larger case it still looks messy.
Not only does the addition of a PCI E connector negate one of the major benefits of buying a GTX 750 Ti in the first place, but we found during our tests that the ASUS GTX750 Ti doesn’t actually need the power from the connector, drawing only 63 watts of power when gaming, well within the rated 75 Watt limit of the PCI e slot.
We would also advise against using the bundled GPU Tweak supplied on the software disc when overclocking the ASUS GTX750 Ti. The memory clock speeds were limited to a measly 1,400mhz. Using MSI’s Afterburner meant we could get stable clock speeds of 1,600mhz+ from the high grade Samsung GDDR5 memory. The final manually tweaked clock speeds were excellent, but sadly not markedly better than those we achieved with the Palit or MSI solutions.
Right now you can buy the ASUS GTX750 Ti from Overclockers UK for £131.99 inc vat. We have been instructed by ASUS however that prices will drop below the £130 mark next week on various etail stores.
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- Excellent performance per watt.
- Good overclocking headroom.
- Ludicrous position for a PCIe 6 pin power connector.
- Doesn’t actually need the 6 pin power connector.
- Weak out of the box overclock.
- MSI’s Afterburner gave better overclocking results than ASUS GPU Tweak.