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Even more TL:DR...

  • 1050 is fast for a bus powered graphics card,nearing the GTX960 depending on the specific flavour of GTX 1050/1050 Ti board
  • Is efficient in providing that performance
  • Highly overclockable without needing voltage tweaks
  • Runs cool
  • Consumes less power than its predecessor
  • Includes the full set of GTX 10 series/Pascal hardware and software features such as h.265 video, Ansel screen capturing and ShadowPlay video record/streaming
  • Released at a low price.

While GTX 1050 is better than its predecessors, as is the case with progression it competes with AMD Radeon RX 460 card at the same price. On paper, GTX 1050 is much faster on paper with almost twice the pixel throughput performance plus the RX 460 is limited to 8x PCI Express lanes - a narrower bus interface for data transfer.

NVIDIA provided some of their own numbers comparing 1050/Ti to RX 460 but I no longer relay such information to our readers as the tests involved often have their settings skewed to provide elegant numbers that look good when published.I would rather do my own hands on objective testing with our own hardware.

For the time being, that can only be between older NVIDIA and AMD cards. We did not compare the RX 460 to GTX 1050 ourselves due to unresolved issues and differences of opinion with AMD's PR department.

I don't have many criticisms of the GTX 1050 and these mainly come down to the unique board implementations from each Add-In-Card partner. Many of these only have three display outputs (One DVI-D, One HDMI 2.0b one DisplayPort 1.3+) when the GPU can support 5, the coolers on cheaper cards are often average. Our ZOTAC 1050 card does not have a fan monitor but the Gigabyte 950 does, general build quality and finally the price.

NVIDIA could have priced the 1050/Ti even cheaper, I would have liked to see $99/129 instead of $109/139 USD to give parity with AMD and help the exchange rate and tax of other regions.

The GTX 1050 is a cheap yet performant GPU with universal case and power supply compatibility, that can run games smoothly at medium or high at 1080p or output to the latest displays, if that is all you need then this GPU is for you.

NVIDIA might release even cheaper cards in the future with fewer cores but I do not think they would be useful for the same applications and the GTX 1050 will likely still be the best bang-for-buck going forward.

Don't like NVIDIA? Rather gnaw your left arm off than have to live with their 'telemetry' whitewashed by some tech blogs? Fine. That is your decision and there are options. The RX 460 is available at similar prices albeit with its own shortcomings in specifications such as a much weaker pixel and bus throughput capacity.

I do not recommend buying a GTX 950/960 new unless the price is right either, for the GTX 1050/Ti the price is right especially if you are in North America

The RX 470 with 2304 AMD Graphics Core Next (GCN) cores is even an option for approx $30 to $50 US more but then we get into the 'how long is a piece of string' discussion for GPU spending as products are available at such pricing tier.

Not only is the price is right but the GTX 1050 uses a stable and feature-filled driver and software set that is regarded as the gold standard by the industry.

AMD's own Radeon 'Crimson' Driver changelog for November shows very critical bugs not only with day to day tasks but their own Raptr game client. Some of the known issues listed have existed for months.

GTX 1050 is a must buy for the cost concious gamer.

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