Zotac GTX 1050Ti Mini Review
2016 is about to end, and as the battle for the best bang-for-the-buck graphics card comes to a close, we now have Zotac’s newest offering for their 10-series family, the GTX1050Ti. This $139 graphics card is aimed towards budget gamers or those looking forward to their first build. Although not ‘VR Ready’, the card is still capable in playing VR games with some lags in more graphically intensive scenarios.
The most intriguing difference between the GTX1050Ti and it’s little brother the GTX 1050, is that the GTX 1050Ti features twice the ram as and more CUDA cores. This is a big factor, especially when running games that have large textures, utilizing more than 2GBs of RAM. The addition of more CUDA cores leads to faster computing and rendering times as well as higher framerates.
Compared to the GTX 1060, the differences can be easily identified. The CUDA core count of the 1060 is almost double the amount of the 1050Ti, as well as almost twice the VRAM. The GTX 1060 also boasts a higher clock speed, though all of this is sacrificed by consuming more power and requiring an external PCIe power slot. This card is a beast for modern 1080p gaming whilst maintaining minimal power consumption.
|GPU||Zotac GTX 1050 Mini||Zotac GTX 1050Ti Mini||Zotac GTX 1060 Mini|
|Base Clock||1354 MHz||1303 MHz||1607 Mhz|
|Boost Clock||1455 MHz||1417 MHz||1733 Mhz|
|Memory Clock:||7 GHz||7 Ghz||8 Ghz|
|Memory Size:||2GB GDDR5||4GB GDDR5||6GB GDDR5|
|Memory Interface Width:||128-bit||128-bit||192-bit|
|Memory Bandwith (GB/sec):||360||360||360|
|NVIDIA SLI Ready:||No||No||Yes|
|NVIDIA G-SYNC Ready:||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|NVIDIA GameStream Ready:||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|NVIDIA GPU Boost:||3.0||3.0||3.0|
|Microsoft Direct X:||12||12||12|
|Bus Support:||PCIe 3||PCIe 3||PCIe 3|
|Graphics Card Power:||75W||75W||120W|
|Recommended Power Supply:||300W||300W||400W|
The $30 price difference clearly shows that the 1050Ti is better.
The box of the GTX1050Ti is exactly the same as the GTX1050. Both cards feature a sleek and simplistic packaging. It is smaller and lighter than 2014’s Maxwell-based Zotac GTX 950 graphics card.
Construction and Design
The design of the card is exactly like the GTX 1050 Mini. There are no differences between the two, and the materials used for both cards are the same as well.
Both cards (1050 and 1050Ti Mini) feature an HDMI port, a DP port, and a DVI-I port. No analog connections are provided unlike past cards such as the GTX950 and GTx750Ti. This could be due to the shift that Nvidia is encouraging in using Digital signals instead of relying on analog signals considering that it’s 2016.
The same as the GTX1050, both cards feature no backplates. The same with the GTX1060 (though selected models do feature a backplate). With this price range, however, we weren’t really expecting anything fancy even if it is $30 more expensive than the GTX1050.
In our benchmarks, we used a benchrig featuring an overclocked 4790k, as well as an overclocked DDR3 Ram. To better simulate our tests and prove that there are no bottlenecking issues or component deficiencies, we used the same bench rig in both our GTX1080 and GTX 1050 benchmarks.
|GPU||Intel Core i7-4790k|
|GPU||Zotac GTX 1050Ti Mini|
|RAM||16GBs Corsair Dominator Platinum|
|MOBO:||Maximus VI Extreme|
|HDD:||2TB Seagate 7200rpm|
|SSD:||Samsung 850 EVO 250gbs|
We tested the games at their high settings as well as some games maxed out. We did not test online games such as Dota 2, CS:GO, and Overwatch, as those games are generally not graphically intensive, thus overall performance would be better than the one’s we tested out.
In battlefield 1, the GTX1050Ti came out strong handling the game at an average of 60FPS at 1080p. In 1440p the game was still presentable, but is no longer consistent with the 60FPS mark. 4K gaming is possible though not recommend since that the game averages a sub-30fps performance as well as dropping as low as 15fps in some scenes and areas.
Same as Battlefield 1, Doom 2016 proved to be easy for the GTX 1050Ti to drive as 1080p performance is phenomenal considering it is an entry level card. Performance reached up to 72FPS as an average while going down as low as 42 in some areas. 1440p gaming is presentable as well although the game received a massive framedrop from 72 to 42. 4K gaming is okay although some people might find it unsatisfying to play at below 30fps, with framedrops reaching to 17fps.
Fallout 4 was generally the most favored game of 2015 after the release of The Witcher 3 and the PC edition of GTA V. Fans of both old and new loved the new installment thanks to its wide story line, beautiful graphics, and expansive environment. Performance wise, the game proved to be easy to drive for lower end systems but can also give high-end graphics cards a hard time.
The GTX1050Ti managed to almost set a 60fps average for the game at Ultra settings. Turning down a few settings, however, will achieve that 60fps mark and even higher. In 1440p the game averages 30fps which is considered as playable, though there are occasional drops to 22fps, while in 4K the game is slightly lagging but can still be played if wanted. Lowering the settings, however, will make the performance significantly better.
Grand Theft Auto V
GTA has been a favored series internationally, while the first generation games weren’t considered as graphically extensive even for AGP systems, the HD versions – GTA IV and GTA V, proved to be the same for lower GPUs as well.
Despite being friendly to lower end cards, GTA V is still very demanding especially in graphically extensive areas such as forests. Even cards such as the original Titan or Titan Z fails in maxing out (with advance settings off) the entire game at 1440p, let alone in 4K. Though for Pascal the story is better. The GTX 1050Ti manages to reach an almost 60fps performance while averaging a 30fps mark on extensive areas, at max settings with advanced settings off. The game is also playable as well in 1440p and 4K, and for those wanting to play the game smoother, turning down the settings would be feasible.
The 2016 of Hitman is personally one of our favorite games so far, and asides from the story the game has, the game provided an amazing environment as well. During our benchmarks, the GTX 1050Ti proved well, playing the game in ultra settings with an average of 36fps. While it might not be invigorating to others, considering that this is an entry level graphics card of the Pascal micro-architecture and it doesn’t require any external PCIe power connections, it still provided an overall solid performance.
During 1440p the game averaged around 24fps, and is equal to the performance of Rise of The Tomb Raider.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Rise of The Tomb Raider is graphically better than it’s predecessor, Tomb Raider 2013. The GTX1050Ti’s performance isn’t overall better than the original GTX 1050. In 1080p the GTX1050Ti manages to get an average of above 30fps, although by a slight margin. 1440p gaming, however, states the difference of performance, dropping over 33% in framerates leading to 24fps. Unfortunately, the story is the same considering that the game frequently drops to as low as 16fps, and even up to 6fps in worst situations. 4K gaming is worse though, as performance dropped 33% once more from 1440p, leading the game unplayable when in intense areas.
This is, however, played on max settings with AF16x. Turning down the graphics to just high will make the game smoother, allowing the game to even reach 60fps or more provided that the right settings are given.
The Witcher 3
The Witcher 3 is a very demanding game graphically. In our GTX1050Ti benchmarks, we scored a sub 28fps average on high settings, as well as drawing as low as 21fps in some certain areas. In 1440p, however, gaming performance dropped around 25% leading only to a 21 fps average. Unfortunately, there are several frame drops in the game and during intense scenes and environments, the game would lead only to 15-20fps, depending on the situation.
For the average gamer in mind, the $139 option is a very compelling one as no other card within the price range would match it’s overall performance and proficiency as of this writing. Which means for most gamers on a budget or 1st time builders, the Nvidia GTX1050Ti is a great option for a pascal-based upgrade that would bring around 3x overall better performance over the GTX750Ti as well as consuming as minimal power consumption as possible.
Mini-ITX builds on the otherhand has a different factor, as most cards wouldn’t fit the general Mini-ITX case, Zotac’s Mini edition of the 1050Ti provides solid performance. We only hope that the card would’ve at least been optimized for VR gaming or at least on par with the GTX970, but considering the price tag and power consumption, the GTX1050Ti stands on top as it performs an overall better performance than a GTX960 whilst almost reaching the 970 performance.
All in all, Zotac’s GTX1050Ti Mini is a great all around card that is aimed for builders looking for their first rig or average/casual gamers.