Nvidia gave their customers something to discuss with their new GTX 16 series 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?
The precise answer to that question depends on what kind of games you wish to play and in what settings. In short, though, the GTX 1650 is still relevant for moderate gaming, but it may go obsolete soon with the release of newer and more demanding titles released as of 2022.
Nvidia released the card in April 2019, intending to compete with AMD’s two years older RX 570. 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, whether these cards are worth it is always a question. The GTX 1650 is one of the cheapest options in the market, but can it perform well 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-, as 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 may surprise some people, but it is understandable for a budget card. The memory type affects the data transfer rate, with only an 8 Gbps effective memory clock.
Another compromise 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 gets all of its power from the PCIe slot itself.
So Is The GTX 1650 Good for Gaming?
The on-paper specifications of the GTX 1650 are pretty average in the current market. 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 broader perspective on the position of the GTX 1650, among other similar options.
For the benchmarks, we will use Geek bench’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).
|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|
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 helpful 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 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. This is essential information, as the main competitor of the GTX 1650 is the RX 570 with a similar MSRP and close benchmark results. The RX 570 beats the GTX 1650 regarding 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 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. A detailed review of the in-game performance charts can only determine the accurate placement of the card among our subjects.
We can conclude from these benchmark readings 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 must check the FPS 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: an i5-8500. This processor does not bottleneck either of the GPUs and can easily handle the games we are looking at.
|Red Dead Redemption 2||24.9||21.6||14.6|
|Shadow of Tomb Raider||41.2||26.3||14.9|
|Grand Theft Auto 5||44.6||30.9||14.9|
NVIDIA GTX 1650 vs. RX 570 Frame Rate Comparison
GTX 1650Not Intended for Enthusiast Gamers, Let Alone 4K Gaming
One thing is clear from this comparison: the GTX 1650 and RX 570 competitors 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 (the minimum standard resolution), you will have to heavily tweak the graphics and dial them down to play them at decent frame rates.
Not much can be asked of an entry-level card such as the GTX 1650 or the RX 570 for high-end gaming. The difference between the cards also does not add much to the conversation, with just a couple of FPS to separate the two.
The 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 Techspot.com’s detailed performance tests for GTX 1650.
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. However, 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 long, as it does not 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 build an economical gaming PC. It is particularly significant 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 Nvidia launched 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 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?
|Score per Dollar|
|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 we compared. The card’s performance may be lower, 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 worth the investment? Well, the investment is not as hefty as some other GPUs demand.
The cheapest RTX card you can get in the market is the RTX 3050 at $269, while older cards like the 1080 Ti still hold a substantial 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. Still, it performs poorly at higher graphics quality settings, even at standard resolutions. Then again, expecting a $149 entry-level GPU to outperform the more expensive mid-range G isn’t fair.
The GTX 1650 does perform well for now on some games. However, the card will not stay in the conversation for long and will undoubtedly go completely obsolete sooner rather than later. The resale value will also decrease with 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. Considering the budget, consider the RX 5500 (8 Gb) variant, which starts at $179.
Also Read: Is a 2GB Graphics Card Good for Gaming?
The answer to the question is the GTX 1650 is suitable for gaming and 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 preferable graphics card for any gamer who wishes for a high-quality gaming experience.
You can get away with it if you wish to play popular online / eSports titles such as Rocket League and Fortnite on high graphics. Still, the graphics card is already showing signs of going obsolete for modern AAA titles. It can be seen registering 30-ish frame rates for newer titles such as Cyberpunk 2077, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, etc., on Ultra graphics.
I recommend expanding your budget and investing in the RTX 3050, which replaces the GTX 1650 for the budget gaming segment.
Also Read: Graphics Card Hierarchy