Alongside today’s launch of the GK106-based GeForce GTX 660, NVIDIA is also launching one other card: the GeForce GTX 650. In a nutshell, the GTX 650 is the long-awaited GDDR5 version of the GeForce GT 640, sporting higher clockspeeds and far more memory bandwidth than its DDR3-crippled predecessor.

  GTX 660 Ti GTX 660 GTX 650 GT 640
Stream Processors 1344 960 384 384
Texture Units 112 80 32 32
ROPs 24 24 16 16
Core Clock 915MHz 980MHz 1058MHz 900MHz
Shader Clock N/A N/A N/A N/A
Boost Clock 980MHz 1033MHz N/A N/A
Memory Clock 6.008GHz GDDR5 6.008GHz GDDR5 5GHz GDDR5 1.782GHz DDR3
Memory Bus Width 192-bit 192-bit 128-bit 128-bit
FP64 1/24 FP32 1/24 FP32 1/24 FP32 1/24 FP32
TDP 150W 140W 64W 65W
GPU GK104 GK106 GK107 GK107
Transistor Count 3.5B 2.54B 1.3B 1.3B
Manufacturing Process TSMC 28nm TSMC 28nm TSMC 28nm TSMC 28nm
Launch Price $299 $229 $109 $99

The fact that NVIDIA launched a performance-uncompetitive part in the GT 640 back in June was unfortunate, but not unexpected given the fact that NVIDIA was facing an even more serious supply shortage than they are now. By our reckoning NVIDIA didn’t want to introduce a desktop GK107 part that would be in high demand when they needed those GK107 GPUs for their more profitable mobile lineup, hence the need to hold off on a GDDR5 GK107 desktop card until now.

But as the saying goes, it’s better late than never. The GTX 650 should handily outperform the GT 640 in virtually all scenarios, and based on what we’ve seen with past DDR3/GDDR5 cards we wouldn’t be surprised to see gaming performance at least double. Furthermore the GTX 650 is clocked some 158MHz (18%) higher than GT 640, which will only increase those performance gains.

Speaking of performance, one thing that caught our eye was that NVIDIA has set the TDP of the GTX 650 at 64W, 1 watt lower than the TDP of the GT 640. Typically we see GDDR5 cards sport a higher TDP thanks to the memory’s higher power consumption, and this would be further driven up by the fact that the GTX 650 is clocked higher than the GT 640. Given the fuzzy nature of NVIDIA’s TDP ratings it’s almost certain that the GTX 650 will draw more power than the GT 640, but it may end up being a very small difference if these TDP values are anywhere near accurate.

With that said, NVIDIA is equipping the GTX 650 with a 6pin PCIe power connector – strictly speaking it shouldn’t be necessary for stock operation, but since this is a GTX card NVIDIA has professed a concern over power consumption when overclocking. Of course with the already high core clock of the GTX 650 it remains to be seen just how far GTX 650 can be overclocked. At the very least the lack of a boost clock means that overclocking will be a much more straightforward endeavor.

Of course the $64,000 question right now is whether all of this will be enough to make GTX 650 competitive with AMD’s Radeon HD 7770 and 7750, and unfortunately that’s an answer we’re going to have to wait to get. Although both the GTX 650 and GTX 660 are launching today, NVIDIA didn’t want to have the GTX 650 steal the GTX 660’s time in the limelight, so the press was not sampled ahead of time. We’ll be looking at the GTX 650 in the coming week, at which point we should have an answer to that question.

Summer 2012 GPU Pricing Comparison
Radeon HD 7950 $329  
  $299 GeForce GTX 660 Ti
Radeon HD 7870 $249  
  $239 GeForce GTX 660
Radeon HD 7850 $199  
Radeon HD 7770 $109 GeForce GTX 650
Radeon HD 7750 $99 GeForce GT 640
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  • Marlin1975 - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    Is that new pricing for the GT640? Most of the GT640s go for more then $99. Usuaully the prices shown are MSRP but the carsd can be had cheaper, rebate/sales/coupons/etc....

    Maybe they will drop and the GT650 can be had for around $100 or less after rebate?
  • Marlin1975 - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    Actually looks like Newegg has the GT650's for $120-160 range. Over priced compared to the 7770 IMO
  • StevoLincolnite - Sunday, September 16, 2012 - link

    Waaaay Overpriced when compared to the old Radeon 5770's which you can buy for next to nothing these days and then overclock them, Amazing how much the mid range and low-end have stood still in terms of performance for the last couple of generations.
  • Ryan Smith - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    I've always used the median price of the 6 cheapest cards, which right now on Newegg puts the GT 640 at $99. There are some above that, but there are also some below that.
  • nitrousoxide - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    I miss the days when that title only belongs to the big boss.
  • Arbie - Monday, September 17, 2012 - link

    I had an electric blue 440 with a six-pack. Now it's who has the most powerful graphics board. That's OK.
  • silverblue - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    Toms appear to have tested the 650 and it's about the same level as the 7750, but a good 20% or so behind the 7770. Still, different test environments and different test suites yield different test results. You can definitely say a couple of things though - the 650 is going to be quiet and frugal, and a big step up from the 450.
  • piggys - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    How would the 650 compare to the 560 SE. Both of them fall in my price range. Does 192 bit help the 560? The 650 is clocked higher at 1124mhz vs 776mhz 560. It also has more cores at 384 vs 288. There are some AMD 7770 in my price range, I could go with that too. So out these 3 which one would be the best? My MAX price is 130. Plan on buying it this weekend.
  • Meaker10 - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    Get the 7770.
  • prdola0 - Friday, September 14, 2012 - link

    Get the GTX650. Also, wait a bit before the prices settle. A week or two should do.

    If any two Nvidia/AMD cards are around the same performance and price levels, it's always better to get the Nvidia card. That's mainly because of traditionally better drivers, better game support and overall customer support on Nvidia's side. AMD still needs to work on that. If that doesn't matter anything to you, then I'd go for any of the cards.

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