EVGA GTX 1650 XC Review
Whenever it comes to this end of the marketplace the amount of choice is almost bewildering. More than almost any other item of hardware you'll ever buy, the amount you spend on a graphics card has a very real impact upon the amount of FPS you can expect to achieve. Knowing that most of us might dream of the RTX 2080Ti or similar cards, but have wallets more designed for low end gaming, manufacturers have umpteen card types available to tempt you, and each of those has countless variations from the various partner manufacturers. There was a time not that long ago when there were actually too many cards available and the pricing gap between each was so tiny that many cards didn't sell at all as there just wasn't a market for them. We thought those days were gone but the recent Nvidia business model has brought that back in full force.
The RTX 2080Ti is obviously king, then the regular 2080 is for those on a tighter, but still large, budget. The RTX 2070 fits those who want RTX goodness at 1440, the RTX 2060 is very much the pick of the bunch being affordable but extremely good. Like, seriously outstanding value for money. With the launch of the GTX 1660Ti, shorn of the RTX features that differentiated the new Turing GPUs from their Pascal brethren, we could just about see the point of a card that was fairly affordable but still gave good performance. The GTX 1660 was a harder sell, not being cheap enough compared to the competition to be an easy buy for the budgeteers, nor powerful enough to convince people to step away from the AMD packages that come with many free games. Now Nvidia have yet further saturated the market with the GTX 1650, which is nowhere near cheap enough to appear on anyones radar. Yes your finances might be limited, but very little extra money can bring you more performance from a card higher up in the range, or free games from the alternate brand. If you brought the GTX 1650 you'd be very disappointed as it struggles to beat the GTX 1050Ti, a card that proved wildly popular. Who'd want to spend what limited funds they have on a card which doesn't really make a difference? You want to have you jaw, relatively, dropped. Nvidia need to take a look in the mirror and decide if having a fleet of barely different cards at price points so close that an extra tenner will get you the next one up is a good business model.
The pricing is out of the hands of the partner vendors, with EVGA counted amongst them. That means that the above critique is solely levelled at Nvidia themselves rather than this particular model from this particular company as the base MSRP is out of their control. What they can control though is their choice of cooler and we have to say that we're struggling to understand why they felt the need to install a triple slot width cooler on the GTX 1650. As we saw on the previous page even with a hefty overclock in place this latest addition to the Nvidia Turing GPU line up is hardly toasty, and EVGA must have known this in their development. It's an odd choice made doubly so when you consider that these smaller form factor GPUs tend to find a home in systems based around mATX motherboards and small chassis which the EVGA XC doesn't seem to take into account. Triple slot! Even their RTX 2080Ti isn't this wide.
There is no denying the performance of the EVGA GTX 1650 XC though. At stock - albeit a stock that has a factory overclock - it is similar to the Gigabyte OC 4G, but it overclocks higher and that brings with it more performance and higher frames per second. It still isn't up there with the GTX 1660 which is extremely similarly priced and would probably make a better option if you're wanting a combination of affordable but decent FPS. We know that it's easy to say "hey for another tenner I could buy x, and for a tenner more than that I could get y" which, taken to its logical conclusion, ends up with you considering a RTX Titan despite having funds for a GTX 1650.The AMD range come with some very attractive games included and that's something else to be considered. After all, you want something to show off your new purchase and the EVGA just comes with Fortnite, which is free anyway.
We do think that at this end of the price spectrum with so many options available to you and the performance benefits to be found from even a small increase in outlay it does behove you to get the 1660, but if you are that funds or time limited then the EVGA GTX 1650 XC makes for an OK option but in reality it would have to be based on the aesthetics where it is quite big and chunky rather than that larger cooler bringing you extra FPS. Just make sure you're aware of how big it is and whether it will fit in your case. Its also worth remembering that extra size and money does NOT buy you a quicker card at either stock or overclocked when looking at our testing.
To recap its just a little bit too expensive and the extra cooler size and overclock doesnt really make any difference to the performance at the end of the day when compared with the cheaper 1650's we have looked at. There is a £15 cheaper version with a lower overclock though that looks exactly the same, if we had to chose we would buy that and then manually overclock it ourselves, it makes the pill a bit easier to swallow then.