Is the GTX 1650 Good for Gaming? Is it Worth the Money?

Nvidia gave their customers something to talk about with their new GTX 16 series back in February 2019. Nvidia’s GTX 16 series gave the gaming world some new budget-friendly non-RTX GPUs, which could potentially perform on par with AMD’s famous RX 500 series.

The weaker of the two basic variants was the GTX 1650 with 4GB of memory and an MSRP of $149, making it one of the cheapest cards on the market. But the question remains, is the GTX 1650 good for gaming?

Well, the precise answer to that question depends upon what kind of games you wish to play and at what settings. In short though, the GTX 1650 is still relevant for moderate level of gaming, but it may go obsolete soon with the release of newer and more demanding titles releasing as of 2022.

Nvidia released the card in April of 2019, with the sole intention of competing with the two years older RX 570 by AMD. The MSRP of both cards is close to each other, with some differences in the specifications.

With all budget-friendly cards like the GTX 1650, it is always a question whether these cards are worth it. The GTX 1650 is one of the cheapest options in the market, but can it perform well when put against the stronger competition? Let’s find out.

Specifications of the NVIDIA GTX 1050

The NVIDIA GTX 1050 is powered by Nvidia’s Turing processor, the TU117 (TU117-300-A1) which is a downsized version of the TU116. The processor is not the best in the market but holds its own. With DirectX 12 (DX 12_1) support and 4 GB of memory, the card is designed to support most modern games albeit at low graphics settings.

Of course, given the current standards, the memory size is not too great at 4 GB @ 128-bit speed. The GDDR5 memory type is what may surprise some people, but it is understandable for a budget card. The memory type does affect the speed of data transfer, with only an 8 Gbps effective memory clock.

Another compromise that Nvidia made for cost reduction is limiting the CUDA cores on the TU117 processor to only 896. While this may make sense to some, it puts a cap on the processor’s actual potential.

The TDP of the GTX 1650 is on the lower side, with only 75W power required to run the GPU. Additionally, the card does not require separate dedicated power from the GPU which is a plus. In other words, at 75W, the graphics card get all of its power from the PCIe slot itself.

So Is The GTX 1650 Good for Gaming?

NVIDIA GTX 1650 Zotac
Zotac GTX 1650

 

The on-paper specifications of the GTX 1650 are quite average in the current market. In order to analyze the real-world performance of the card, we need to benchmark the card.

Benchmark Results of NVIDIA GTX 1650

For the benchmarking results, we will include the much older GTX 1050 Ti, the GTX 1660, RX 570, and the RX 5500 (4 GB). This will give us a much wider perspective on the position of the GTX 1650 among other similar options.  

For the benchmarks, we will use Geekbench’s OpenCL benchmarks. The CUDA core benchmarks will be skipped as we intend to compare the performance with the RX 570 and RX 580 (CUDA is Nvidia’s technology).

Name Geekbench
(OpenCL)
PassMark
(G3D)
Userbenchmark.com
(% Percentile
NVIDIA GTX 1050Ti 22192 6306 31
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650  38315 7816 43.3
AMD Radeon RX 570 40810 8091 46.7
AMD Radeon RX 5500 40204 8821 55.1
Is the GTX 1650 Good for Gaming
NVIDIA GTX 1650 G3D Passmark Score png

The GTX 1650 is said to have succeeded the GTX 1050. Considering that fact, we can see that the GTX 1650 provides significantly higher performance than the Ti variant of the GTX 1050, for $10 extra.

This comparison is only useful if we want to understand the progression of the technologies and how far Nvidia has come. In practical terms, the GTX 1050 and all its variants are pretty much obsolete in today’s market and have no shot against modern GPUs.

Judging from the benchmark results, we can see that the GTX 1650 is not that far behind the RX 570, with both cards having similar performance in benchmarks.

The Geekbench OpenCL scores are only 2500 points apart which is not a lot. Now, this is important information, as the main competitor of the GTX 1650 is the RX 570 with a similar MSRP and really close benchmark results. The RX 570 beats the GTX 1650 when it comes to benchmarks, but for further examination, we need the real-life performance of both cards (more on this below).

Interestingly, the RX 5500 (4 GB) scored less than the RX 570 on Geekbench (606 points difference). This puts the card right in between the RX 570, and the GTX 1650.

The only advantage that AMD’s $169 Navi 14 GPU had over its competitors in this list is the Passmark scores, where the card beat the GTX 1650 and RX 570 by a score of roughly 1000 and 800 respectively. The real placement of the card among our subjects can only be determined by a detailed review of the in-game performance charts.

What we can conclude from these benchmark readings is that the GTX 1650 performs like an RX 570, just a little slower. The RX 5500 is also in the picture with a lower Geekbench score than the RX 570.

NVIDIA GTX 1650 Performance in Games

The benchmarks are a good way to find the effective speed of the GPU. However, to find the real-world performance index, we have to check the FPS that the card produces in games. To take the analysis a bit deeper, we will compare the performance of the GTX 1650 with the RX 570 (the closest card).

To get authentic results, we will turn to one of the most reliable sources of GPU benchmark results and performance tests, GpuCheck. We will fetch the average FPS that the cards get on all three main resolutions (1080p, 1440p, 4k).

To make it fair for both contenders, the baseline system in these performance tests is the same, which is an i5-8500. This processor does not bottleneck either of the GPUs and can easily handle the games that we are looking at.

 1080
(Ultra Settings)
1440P
(Ultra Settings)
4K
(Ultra Settings)
Red Dead Redemption 224.921.614.6
Cyberpunk 207724.923.215.2
Shadow of Tomb Raider41.226.314.9
Grand Theft Auto 544.630.914.9
Metro Exodus29.822.914.9

NVIDIA GTX 1650 vs RX 570 Frame Rate Comparison

GTX 1650 4K Ultra
NVIDIA GTX 1650 4K at Ultra Settings
GTX 1650 1080P Ultra
NVIDIA GTX 1650 1080P at Ultra Settings
GTX 1650 1440P Ultra
NVIDIA GTX 1650 1440P at Ultra Settings

(Source: Gpucheck)

GTX 1650Not Intended for Enthusiast Gamers, Let Alone 4K Gaming

One thing is clear from this comparison: both the GTX 1650 and it RX 570 competitor  are not intended for high quality gaming. They barely support the latest games at >30FPS Ultra settings, let alone 1440 or 4K. The framerates are extremely low, and barely around 15 FPS for 4K gaming.

Even if you choose to play at 1080P (which is the minimum standard resolution), you will have to heavily tweak the graphics and dial them down to play them at decent frame rates.

Well, not much can be asked of an entry-level card such as the GTX 1650 or the RX 570 when it high end gaming anyways. The difference between the cards also does not add much to the conversation, with just a couple of FPS to separate the two.

1080p and 1440p performance of the cards is pretty similar in most games, with the RX 570 on top producing just a couple of extra frames. This was the story in all the games that were tested.

A similar result was seen with the Techspot.com’s detailed performance tests for GTX 1650 as well.

However, whether or not these few frames are worth the extra $20 is another story altogether. The GTX 1650 produced around 30-ish FPS for the most demanding games at 1080p Ultra settings according to GPUCheck.com Techspot.com’s tests indicate a slightly higher frame rate but they still hover in the 30-ish range for graphically demanding games like Metro Exodus.

On lower resolutions, higher framerates can be expected. The games appear to be playable with little to no stutter, and stable gameplay.    

All in all, with no raytracing or DLSS support, the GTX 1650 puts out a mediocre performance. The performance lifespan of the GTX 1650 is not expected to be a long one, as it does not really support higher resolutions.

Particularly for ultra setting gameplay, the GTX 1650 has already become obsolete.

GTX 1650 Makes Sense for Light Gaming Rigs

So in-short performance-wise, the answer to the question is the GTX 1650 good for gaming is a no IF you are an enthusiast gamer who wishes to play modern AAA titles at ultra settings.

NVIDIA GTX 1650 only makes sense if you are building an economical gaming PC. It is particularly great if you wish to play most games at medium graphics or you wish to spend most of your time playing online/eSports titles. 

Is NVIDIA GTX 1650 Worth the Money?

The GTX 1650 is one of those cards that Nvidia launches as the ‘budget option’. The main idea behind such cards is to sacrifice the performance to bring the MSRP down a notch.

Nvidia has done the same with the GTX 1650 by downgrading the original TU116 processor to a TU117 and reducing the CUDA cores to almost half the amount. For reference, the GTX 1660’s baseline variant has 1408 cores as compared to the 896 in the GTX 1650.

Having considered all aspects, we can move on to assess whether the GTX 1650 is worth the money. Also, are there better alternatives?

Name MSRP PassMark
(G3D) Score
Score per Dollar
GeForce 1650 $149 7816 52.4
Radeon RX 570 $169 8091 47.8
Radeon RX 5500 XT (4GB) $169 13987 40
GeForce RTX 3050 $249 12779 51.3
Radeon RX 6500 XT $200 9307 46.5
GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER $229 12759 55.7
GeForce RTX 3090 Ti $1,999 30079 15

The GTX 1650, from a score/$ standpoint, is the highest value for money card among the three GPUs that we compared. The performance of the card may be on the lower side, with an MSRP of just $149, this package packs a punch in terms of performance per dollar value.

The value for money part is obvious and needs no explanation. But is the GTX 1650 really worth the investment? Well, the investment in itself is not as hefty as some other GPUs demand.

The cheapest RTX card that you can get in the market is the RTX 3050 at $269, while older cards like the 1080 Ti still hold a strong value in the current market.

Also Read: Is RTX 3050 Good for Gaming?

In AAA titles, the GTX 1650 can put out some decent frames playing on lower resolutions and medium graphics, but it doesn’t really perform well at higher graphics quality settings at all even at low resolutions. Then again, it isn’t fair to expect a $149 entry-level GPU to outperform the more expensive mid-range GPUs.

For what it’s worth, the GTX 1650 does perform well for now on some games. However, the card will not stay in the conversation for long, and will certainly go completely obsolete sooner rather than later. The resale value will also go down with the time until the card becomes irrelevant.

A better option would be the RX 5500 XT (4 GB), as it performs slightly better in-game at the expense of just $20. If you have the budget for it, you can also consider the RX 5500 (8 Gb) variant which starts at $179.

Also Read: Is a 2GB Graphics Card Good for Gaming?

Final Words

The answer to the question is the GTX 1650 good for gaming depends on many factors such as your choice of games, your preference for graphics quality and your overall budget. 

In short though, it is generally not a preferably graphics card for any gamer who wishes for a high quality gaming experience.

You can get away with it if you simply wish to play popular online / eSports titles such as Rocket League, Fortnite on high graphics, but for modern AAA titles, the graphics card is already showing signs of going obsolete as it can be seen registering 30-ish frame rates for newer titles such as Cyberpunk 2077, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla etc on Ultra graphics. 

My recommendation would be expand your budget and invest in the RTX 3050, which replaces the GTX 1650 for the budget gaming segment.

Also Read: Graphics Card Hierarchy

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Author:

Atif Qazi
Atif Qazi is the founder of PCGuide101. He is a digital nomad who loves everything PC. He is a PC builder, tech enthusiast, engineer, and a lover of single player lore-rich RPG games.

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