MSI GTX 1050 Ti Gaming X Review
When we reviewed the ASUS Expedition Edition of the GTX 1050 Ti it was at a time when the Ti was expected to come in well below £150, and the AMD RX models were still at their higher price. Since then the latest nVidia card has proven to be more expensive that first postulated, whilst AMD have slashed the price of their mid-range RX cards. This makes the relative performance deficit of the GTX 1050 Ti seem larger than it did merely a week ago. It's a microcosm of how fast things can change in the hardware world.
Fortunately the MSI Gaming X has sufficient additional performance to still make the GTX 1050 Ti worthy of your consideration.
As a Gaming X model it stands at the top of the relevant MSI model range, with the fastest factory overclock they offer on a card. Additionally the decision to still give the card a 6pin PCIe power input smooths out some of the GPU Boost 3.0 performance to give a good average boost clock speed, again giving more performance than we saw from the ASUS variant. At this end of the market where the cards are all very similar in performance it all comes down to clock speeds. There just isn't enough architecture on the chip to make a difference by throwing more Unified Shaders/CUDA Cores at the problem unlike the flagship cards.
As you could see from our test results the stock MSI Gaming X consistently out-performed the Expedition Edition, and even in the few tests we had where we'd overclocked them the stock MSI was about the same level as the overclocked ASUS. Of course that's partially because it also demands more power from your system, but we think that when the overall system power draw is this low we'd happily trade a few watts here and there for a smoother gaming experience. That extra performance doesn't come at a heat or noise cost though. Sure the MSI draws 20W more than the ASUS, but it's only 3°C hotter at maximum loading and the quality of the Twin Frozr VI cooler means that it's easily dissipated at a seriously low volume. With most of us having our towers within touching distance a card that whines can be really irritating, but there are no such issues here at all.
With the price difference between the GTX 1050 Ti and RX cards narrowing greatly there is a serious decision to be made about your needs. If you purely want absolute gaming performance and damn the noise of power requirements then the MSI AMD cards are probably the ones you should lean towards. However, if you want an Nvidia card that is well rounded offering that is easier to live with and looks gorgeous in your case, then the MSI GTX 1050 Ti Gaming X is a stonking little card and wins our OC3D Gamers Choice Award.