Often when I start a review project like this one I begin with a series of questions about fitness. In the case of this hardware in question (an MSI GTX 750ti) my questions were primarily related to fitness across operating systems for: gaming, and video production related tasks. I could speculate that while many consumers would be interested in the performance details against hardware like a GTX 1050ti or perhaps against an older graphics card like the stock Nvidia Quadro 600 that came with my workstation. There are benchmarking sites that can tell how different on paper such things perform under expected loads and stresses but very few in depth comparisons. I'd like to note that as Nvidia pushes towards the newest RTX products and the Quadro 6000 this article will be more for builders than for testers.
The MSI GTX 750ti is a large card, it woefully covers the pci-e port in my Dell Precision T1650 completely requiring me to use either a riser or a USB Wifi adaptor. This was somewhat expected and while I take a small hit on available bandwidth it is mostly due to the power difference between a 428 Gbps wifi card and an allegedly 1 Gbps USB dongle that, in truth, gets around 128 Mbps. This is of course assuming one doesn't find a smaller form factor card which is entirely possible under different brands, thickness however may remain a factor when compared to something like the Quadro 600. That said the graphics improvements were immediately impressive.
GTA 5 which ran well enough with the Quadro 600 looks stunning with the GTX 750ti
Just Cause 3 which had visible slowdown with the Quadro 600, and now looks incredible even with moderate or higher settings
Specs On System
the GTX 750ti boasts 640 Cuda cores, 1058 Mhz Graphics Clock (when not overclocked), 2 Gb GDDR5 Dedicated Graphics Memory (Default) DX 12 compatibility, 8Gb shared mem (probably can change this as well) and the system in question is using an Intel Xeon CPU E3-1225 V2 @ 3.20 GHZ with 16 GB installed Ram. This is up a full GB of Video Memory and really is a stark improvement in many ways performance wise. The video rendering projects times were reduced by 2/3 with better looking raw output times (if obviously faster uploads on this rig in this scenario hadn't made the overall edit to YouTube time roughly the same.)
Vs GTX 1050ti
*Speculation - this would perhaps require I look into a slightly higher power supply, for while a 75w card isn't usually a challenge, (roughly the same as the Quadro 600) I can guess that really the increase in shared memory might pull more power overall and if there is an increase in heat or anything I haven't prepared this rig for that. I may very well assume that the graphics improvements would be impressive, but the goal here was to evaluate fitness.
Upgrades And Indecision
It's a tough call when a change in graphics cards might need more costly upgrades to a system. It makes me wonder "where" the newest cards would rate on power & performance and when a 75w card that doesn't require much thought, (1050ti or better) will pop onto the market for a similar price point. I'll say my rig is a gently used workstation that frankly destroys anything I could afford for even triple the cost on the new market - indeed even the off lease stuff that could compete would be at least 400 - more before any RTX product costs were factored in. My Rig was $200 + $50 for the MSI GTX 750ti card + $30 for the Wifi options (not accounting for the crappy usb one I had to make due with for about 3 days while I waited.) Ebay was my source, I have no regrets.
Will I upgrade? Not for awhile
There is a point where a system is just about exactly what you are after, good on all fronts: good for games, good for work, fast enough, reliable enough, better than you expected. Are there games it simply wont play? Maybe a few but then what does that say about gaming these days. I know mine will play 91% of the 7000 top games, 68% of those at recommended or best settings. How long will that be the case? - Time will tell.
Fitness To Purpose
Shockingly good, I can't find many tasks that even give this rig pause, and believe me I can slow down a PC. I'd give the PC an overwhelmingly high score already, but the Graphics card is what we're evaluating for fitness and I have form factor as a variable for folks with case size limitations. (real or imagined lets just ding it a half point for covering that pci-e.)
- Form 4.5
- Power 5
- Speed 5* - Against comparable it's improved, against higher end I have no test bench
- Thermal 5 - Stays cool under heavy loads - never went above 63c
- Ease Of Use 5 - Handled every test admirably well
Overall 4.9 = Incredibly Fit & Very Viable
- The Drivers that came out 2 days ago worked better than the ones last month. The game videos featured were on year old drivers and yes, there are visible improvements due to drivers which I spotted yesterday. In Just Cause 3 the colors were a bit crisper, etc.