Earlier this month Nvidia released their new Maxwell based GTX 750 Ti graphics card, and we were on hand to review the excellent MSI Twin Frozr solution on launch day. Today we take a look at another Nvidia partner card, the Palit GTX 750 Ti StormX Dual, featuring a substantial core and memory clock increase and custom dual fan cooler. Is it worthy of a shortlist?
The new Palit GTX 750 Ti is a modified design featuring dual fans and an extended plastic shroud.
Palit have decided to overclock their solution extensively, increasing the core clock speed from 1,020mhz to 1,202mhz. The GDDR5 memory also receives a large clock bump, increased from the reference card speeds of 1,250mhz to 1,500mhz (6Gbps effective). This should give a noticeable speed increase over both the Nvidia reference solution, and the MSI Twin Frozr card, which was clocked at a more modest 1,085mhz.
The Nvidia reference card is using 2GB of Hynix GDDR5 memory, but like MSI, Palit 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 Palit GTX 750 Ti StormX Dual 2GB arrives in a nicely designed box, with some details of the hardware on various sides.
Not much of a bundle, just a quick installation guide and a software disc.
The Palit card is actually no bigger than the reference PCB design, but the cooler has been extended to allow for the dual fans. We will take a closer look at this shortly when we disassemble the card.
Like all other GTX 750 TI cards we have tested to date, there is no need for a PCI E power connector.
The Palit GTX 750 Ti StormX Dual connectivity, above. While the reference card omits the VGA connector completely, both MSI and Palit cards include one, which is unusual in 2014. Alongside this is a HDMI port and dual link DVI connector.
The tiny PCB has swapped out HyniX GDDR5 memory for high grade Samsung memory – clocked higher at 1,500 mhz (6Gbps effective).
The little aluminum heatsink resides inside the outer plastic shell and falls out when the card is dissassembled. The MSI Twin Frozr cooler is the best GTX 750 Ti cooler so far, you can see it on this page.
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 334.67 / 334.89 and Catalyst 14.1 beta 1.6 drivers.
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.
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 Palit GTX 750 Ti StormX Dual scores very well in this benchmark, averaging just over 54 frames per second.
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.
Excellent results, scoring just behind the Asus R9 270 Direct CU II OC solution.
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.
Good indications of strong performance with older Direct X 10 titles.
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.
The healthy overclock on the Palit GTX750 Ti StormX Dual ensures the card can slightly outperform the reference clocked HD7850.
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.
The latest version of Futuremark's 3DMark shows the Palit GTX750 Ti StormX Dual scoring just behind the Sapphire R7 265 Dual X solution at 4,788 points.
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.
Perfectly playable at 1920×1080, averaging 69 frames per second, and holding above 40 frames per second at all times.
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.
A demanding title at these settings, proving too much for the modest hardware which struggles to maintain playable frame rates during the more intensive sections of the environment.
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 Palit GTX 750 Ti StormX Dual may not achieve the same average frame rates as the Asus HD7850, however the minimum frame rate is slightly better, which means it plays a little smoother overall.
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.
Good performance results, averaging 45 frames per second at these settings.
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.
An optimised game for AMD drivers/hardware, although the Palit GTX750 Ti StormX Dual scores well, averaging above 30 frames per second 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.
The high overclock ensures that that Palit GTX 750 Ti StormX Dual can pull 5 frames ahead of the reference 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.
GRID 2 is perfectly playable on the Palit GTX 750 Ti StormX Dual, even at these high settings, averaging 53 frames per second. Performance is only a couple of frames behind the Sapphire R7 265 Dual X.
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.
Splinter Cell: Blacklist proves too demanding at these settings and the only cards able to hold a 25+ frame rate are the R9 270, HD7870 Tahiti LE and GTX760.
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.
The reference GTX750 Ti struggles to maintain smooth frame rates at this resolution, although the substantial overclock on the Palit GTX750 Ti StormX Dual means the card is much smoother throughout.
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 we noted earlier in the review, the cooler isn't as impressive as the Twin Frozr fitted to the MSI GTX 750 Ti. This directly translates into a noticeable temperature difference between the cards. The MSI solution runs at 49c under load when gaming, and the Palit card 57c. Still, these are impressive results.
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 Palit GTX 750 Ti Storm X Dual is a quiet card, although it is outperformed by the more substantial cooler on the MSI GTX 750 Ti Twin Frozr.
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.
As shown in the previous review, the GTX 750 Ti is an incredibly efficient graphics card, demanding around 60 watts under gaming load.
To overclock the Palit GTX750 Ti StormX Dual 2GB, we used the latest version of MSI Afterburner, which is based on Riva Tuner.
The additional overclock pushes performance a little higher, from 6,152 points to 6,314 points.
The GTX750 Ti launch has been very positive for Nvidia. While AMD have been tweaking solutions from a couple of years ago Nvidia released the completely new Maxwell architecture, designed to deliver minimal power consumption and heat output.
The reference GTX 750 Ti is a fantastic price focused graphics card, although Nvidia custom partner solutions so far have been remarkable. The Palit GTX 750 Ti StormX Dual reviewed today adopts a dual fan cooling solution with a massive core overclock – to just over 1,200mhz. Palit have completely overhauled the reference design, replacing the 1,250mhz rated Hynix memory with high grade Samsung GDDR5, clocked much higher … at 1,502mhz (6Gbps effective).
In real world terms, the Palit GTX 750 Ti StormX Dual 2GB is the fastest GTX 750 Ti we have tested, outperforming the MSI GTX750 TI OC Twin Frozr by a clear margin. In some of our tests today, the Palit GTX750 Ti actually managed to outperform the Sapphire R7 265 – which other partner cards failed to accomplish.
Frame rate performance is not the only selling point of the Palit GTX 750 Ti StormX Dual 2GB. Under load, the card is quiet, and it runs very cool at all times, peaking at 57c when gaming. That said, the MSI Twin Frozr cooler is clearly superior, thanks to the thick heatpipes and larger heatsink. Some might say the MSI Twin Frozr cooler is actually overkill for the GTX750 Ti, but we commend MSI for wanting to supply the best cooler they possibly could.
The Palit GTX 750 Ti StormX Dual has still no requirement for an external PCI e power connector, so it takes all the power it needs from the PCIe slot on the motherboard. When gaming, the solution only demands 60 watts of power which is truly exceptional.
If you are in the market for the fastest possible GTX 750 ti, then the Palit GTX750 Ti StormX Dual should one of your final shortlist choices. At only £107.94 from DABS, it is a truly fantastic price to performance purchase.
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- massive ‘out of the box' overclock.
- good cooling proficiency.
- Samsung GDDR5 memory is clocked at 1,500mhz
- additional overclocking headroom.
- very competitively priced.
- Can compete on a frame rate basis with AMD's R7 265.
- No SLi capability.