By now you're all familiar with the nVidia GTX650Ti Boost. A good performing card for the money.
Inno3D, a Hong Kong based company, have been around for 15 years and manufacturer the full range of nVidia cards. Their latest addition is the iChill cooler which combines two fans with long lasting HerculeZ bearings to a heatsink with a large surface area which should provide excellent cooling.
Without further ado, let's get on with the review and see how it performs.
With 2GB of GDDR5 backing up the 768 cores on the GTX650Ti Boost, the iChill is architecturally fairly standard stuff.
|Graphics Clock-Base Clock / Boost Clock (MHz)||980 / 1033|
|Processor Clock (MHz)||1960|
|Texture Fill Rate (billion/sec)||62.7|
|Memory Clock (MHz)||6Gbps|
|Standard Memory Config (MB)||2048|
|Memory Interface Width||192-bit|
|Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec)||144|
|Bus Support||PCI-E3.0 X16|
|Certified for Windows 7||Yes|
|Supported Technologies (3D Vision, 3D Vision Surround, CUDA, DirectX 11, PhysX, SLI)||Yes|
|Multi Monitor||3 active monitors in 3D mode + 1 monitor in 2D mode|
|Maximum Digital Resolution (per output)||2560x1600|
|Maximum VGA Resolution (per output)||2048x1536|
|Standard Display Connectors||HDMI, DP, Two Dual Link DVI|
|InternalAudio Input for HDMI||Internal|
|Standard Graphics Card Dimensions:||ã€€|
|Maximum GPU Temperature (in C with ambient temperature 55c)||97 C|
|Maximum Graphics Card Power (W)||140W|
|Minimum System Power Requirement (W)||500W|
|Supplementary Power Connectors||One 6-pin|
|Number of Fan||2|
|Driver CD Kit||1|
|6-pin PCI-E Power Cable||1|
The iChill cooler fits well upon the small GTX650Ti Boost PCB and certainly looks different to a lot of the coolers we've seen. With the sturdy aluminium cover and the six big screw heads it's almost like a girder. Unlike the reference 650s the Inno3D offering requires two 6pin power inputs. We're not sure why as it's not a factory overclocked model.
One thing we can't ignore though is how bent the cooler was upon arrival. It works perfectly well and if you couldn't see it you'd never guess. Nonetheless it's not something we like to see, and we can't imagine it was designed like this.
There is a sturdy plate to help keep the GDDR5 and power phases of the card cool. Connectivity is the usual nVidia selection of HDMI, DisplayPort and a couple of DVIs.
Inno3D GTX650Ti Boost iChill
Intel Core i7-3960X @ 4.6GHz
ASUS Rampage IV Extreme
Corsair Dominator Platinum
Corsair Neutron GTX
Windows 7 x64
All that cooling performance and extra power inputs allows us to overclock the iChill to a decent degree, with the memory in particular being happy to give another 200MHz.
Blimey. There is no doubt that the iChill cooler is well named. A frankly unbelievable maximum temperature whether the card is stock or overclocked. Outstanding. Other manufacturers will definitely be forced to sit up and take notice of such amazing low temperatures.
3D Mark Vantage
At stock the Inno3D is pretty indistinguishable from the other GTX650Ti Boost's that we've reviewed, and the overclock only gives us a shade more in the benchmark.
3D Mark 11
The consistency of the 650 range is shown with the results in 3D Mark 11 too, with the Inno3D giving results nearly identical to the other models we've tested.
Our first result in which the overclock makes a significant difference, 3D Mark gains 5% in the Fire Strike test.
Consistency seems to be the watchword so far in our testing. Hopefully something exciting will happen or this will be the least interesting review to write in a long time.
Batman Arkham City
Because every single card now maxes out BAC at 64 FPS we've dispensed with the maximum frame-rate graph, which has now become meaningless. It's a little bit of a surprise to see the OC a frame shy of the stock card, but one frame isn't anything to start rending your garments over.
Sleeping dogs has a single frame improvement with the overclock, although it's clear that the more expensive GTX670 has a lot of extra power beneath the hood.
Strange things are afoot with the Inno3D iChill, being the first card we've tested to drop below the sixty frames-per-second average in Bioshock Infinite. Across the board, despite an identical test setup, the Gigabyte version out-performs the iChill.
The opposite is true in Crysis 3. Despite only reaching 20FPS that's a 20% improvement over the Gigabyte GTX650Ti Boost and although the average frame-rate is the same as the reference card the experience is a lot smoother.
Far Cry 3
We keep going back and forth here don't we. This time round even the overclocked Inno3D GTX650Ti Boost iChill isn't capable of matching the results we saw from the Gigabyte card and only just bests the stock reference model.
It might only be another single frame improvement but the overclock shows some benefit in the latest adventures of Agent 47.
The less-demanding Mafia 2 returns us to the status quo in which the GTX650Ti Boosts are indistinguishable from each other.
Whilst Metro 2033 gives us a frame improvement over the standard cards, it's not enough to produce a playable experience.
Resident Evil 5 - DX9
Capcoms controversial Zombie shooter runs, as we've often said, so smoothly that it would be playable on a toaster, and this well-optimised engine is highlighted by the 6 frame improvement when the iChill is overclocked.
Resident Evil 5 - DX10
If the DX9 result was good for the iChill the DirectX 10 result is even more impressive with the overclock giving us 7 FPS average better than the stock result, which is just a frame better than the Gigabyte.
Resident Evil 6
Continuing the "pick a GTX650Ti Boost, any GTX650Ti Boost" theme, the results in Resident Evil 6 continue the unchanging pattern.
Tomb Raider works a little better, although the overclock is less than the stock result. The minimum and maximum frame-rates are on a par with each other, and overall it's a bit better than the reference or Gigabyte options.
Demonstrating how well built the cards are, Unigine Heaven with 0x AA gives us identical performance.
Increasing the image quality with 8x MSAA doesn't change the outcome.
The extra performance of the overclock helps give us a couple of frames in Unigine Valley. There is still a big drop off in performance from the demanding XHD preset when compared to the standard image quality.
Finally CatZilla, and we return to the situation in which any GTX650Ti Boost performs like any other.
If there is one thing that our testing of the Inno3D GTX650Ti Boost iChill has revealed, besides how incredibly long the card name is, is that the GTX650Ti Boosts are all nearly identical in performance. Whether it's the reference card, the Windforce Gigabyte one, or the Inno3D on test today they all are capable of extremely similar results in both the benchmarks and gaming tests.
So if it doesn't really matter in performance terms which one you buy, then the additional elements provide the difference between a purchase and a skip.
The Inno3D has one thing against it, and a couple of things in it's favour.
Firstly the odd decision to double the power inputs to two six-pins has to be counted against it. The reference card and the Gigabyte both make do with a single 6pin, and the Inno3D doesn't provide sufficient overclocking beastliness to make the extra power a requirement. Secondly the heatsink on our review model was significantly bent. It didn't impact performance at all but we're concerned about what could have possibly caused such a bend. However, we're confident that this an unlucky one-off.
On the plus-side the cooler is incredible. It looks great for starters. Fitting the card like a glove and looking nice in any setup, it makes the card look a lot pricier than its actual midrange value. The cooling performance is near unbelievable. If we hadn't checked it ourself and it provided the same result in both stock and overclocked trim, then we'd struggle to think there wasn't some shenanigans going on.
So the Inno3D GTX650Ti Boost iChill is a cool, quiet, good looking and on-par performing GTX650Ti. Price is unavailable at time of press but assuming that it comes in at the £150 price-point of the other GTX650Ti Boosts then the cooling performance alone is enough to make it on to anyone's shortlist and for that reason we're awarding it our OC3D Silver Award.
Thanks to Inno3D for supplying the GTX650Ti Boost iChill for review. Discuss your thoughts in the OC3D Forums.