An improvement on near perfection is what seems to be Asus’s aim with the GTX 750Ti OC. The card comes with a custom cooler design with twin fans an a factory overclock stabilised by a 6 pin connector that is not seen in stock models.
The GTX 750Ti is based on the first generation Maxwell architecture which offers tremendous performance per watt and is a mid range card that can match the performance of top end cards that precede it by about 4 years.
Specification of the Asus GTX 750Ti OC
Asus have factory overclocked the card as 1072 MHz for core clock with 1150 MHz for boost clock. The card packs 2GB of GDDR5 memory from Samsung clocked at 1350 MHz. It is covered by a custom cooler design with a large aluminium heatsink covering the chip and memory cooled by twin 45mm fans. It features a 6 pin power connector with a connection indicator LED. The dual slot back of the reference card came with 2 DVI ports and a mini-HDMI port.
The launch price for the Asus GTX 750Ti OC is ₹14,999.
We tested the GTX 750Ti not only for the average Frames per Second(FPS) but also for the 99th Percentile Frame time which tells us about the performance of the GPU within the second. Within the second testing is useful to understand micro-stutter which can render a game unplayable despite FPS being high. Fraps 3.5.99 allowed us to calculate both.
Since the card is a Mid-range GPU, we decided to use High or Very High settings in our benchmark games. We only pushed to Ultra where the game gave playable FPS. We tried to disable CPU dependent settings or minimise their impact where possible. VSync and frame buffering were disabled for testing. All tests were run at 1920×1080 on a single monitor configuration.
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE C3 @ 3.8GHz
Motherboard: ASRock 970 Extreme 3
RAM: 2x4GB G.Skill Sniper CL9 1600MHz, 2x2GB G.Skill Ripjaws CL9 1600MHz
PSU: Seasonic S12II Bronze 620W
HDD: 2xSeagate Barracuda 7200.12 1TB, 1xWesten Digital Red 3TB
OS: Windows 8.1 x64
NVIDIA Driver: 334.89, 337.50 (Beta)
While this system may not look like a purpose built test rig, we decided to use a normal usage PC so as to better reflect real world scores of the card. The games were also tested with a few applications like Antivirus, Browser, VOIP tool and others running in the background to get a realistic usage scenario. All HDDs were thoroughly defragmented prior to usage. Due to lack of equipment we were unable to conduct acoustic and power testing.
We also tested the Asus GTX 750Ti OC with the new 337.50(beta) drivers in our overclocking tests in search of maximum performance offered by the card.
3DMark 11 Firestrike
3Dmark is an artificial Benchmarking tool whose Firestrike Test is very thorough on DirectX 11cards powering High-end PCs. The full test run for Firestrike includes 2 GPU only tests, a CPU dependent Physics Test and a Combined Graphics and Physics Test. The Tool is also useful for stress testing a GPU when run on loop.
Given that we are looking for the Performance of the Card itself, one should look at the Graphics score and the FPS for Graphics tests 1 and 2. Had the test utilised PhysX, the scores for the Physics and combined tests would have been much higher. Note that the GPU temps never exceeded 62°C even under full load.
Batman Arkham Origins
Batman Arkham Origins is a game that’s been supported by NVIDIA and utilises their PhysX technology to handle physics. We used DX11 Normal settings for most options with FXAA high for antialiasing. PhysX was also set to Enhanced. We ran the inbuilt benchmark tool with a FRAPS timed run of 120 seconds.
The card performs significantly better than the stock variant beating it in the average and minimum FPS. Curiously it seems to have a higher 99th percentile frame time which suggests the performance comes at the price of slightly greater stuttering.
The Frame Time Graph shows a few significant spikes but these occurred mainly during the transitions between the benchmark scenes and should be ignored. However the graph looks quite rough even during the scenes though there wasn’t any noticeable microstuttering when we ran the benchmark.
Battlefield 4 uses the Frostbite 3 engine to push the visual processing boundaries of current hardware. Since Mantle is only for AMD cards, we ran the DX11 version with the Very High setting. The game offers no benchmark tool, so we used areas from the first single player campaign mission for the FRAPS run.
While the gain in performance is significant in terms of FPS, the anomaly with the higher frame time is seen again.
While the frametime graph looks rough, it is pretty consistent in its dips and spikes. There are no massive spikes and gameplay appeared fluid.
The Unreal Engine 3 powered Bioshock Infinite really pushed the boundaries of visual effects achievable with the ageing engine. It comes with a built in benchmark mode which runs for a lower time period than the standard 120s we used in other tests. We used Ultra Settings with DOF of for our runs.
The massive performance gap surprised us in this game. Even the frame time is significantly lower.
The frame time graph does have some noticeable spikes but they aren’t so high as to be noticeable in the game. The graph is quite smooth otherwise.
Company of Heroes 2
Relic’s Company of Heroes 2 is a tough nut to crack for quite a few GPUs, though it’s dependent on CPUs to a great degree as well. We used Medium Settings with Physics turned off and Low AA for the short 45s benchmark run the game offers.
The performance gain in this game is quite good, but it still dips into barely playable territory. The 99th percentile frame time is significantly lower.
While there is the odd spike, most of the frametime graph is quite tightly spaced. The game did not show any microstuttering in our test run.
CryEngine 3 was built to push the PC Hardware to its limits with Crysis 3 and deliver Maximum Eye Candy. We were able to run the game at SMAA x1 and Medium settings. The test run consisted of a section of the first mission for 120s as the game surprisingly offers no benchmark tool.
The stock card yet again seems to have lower 99th percentile frame time, but gets beaten in the fps department.
Barring the initial spike there aren’t many other noticeable spikes in the frame time graph. The gameplay seemed smooth for the most part though we did notice when the fps dropped in some areas.
Far Cry 3
Far Cry 3 is a visually impressive game that lacks a benchmark mode. We used High Settings with 2xMSAA and SSAO and the test run consisted of a 120s sample from the game’s single player campaign where we spent some time goofing off in the open world.
The card beats the stock variant in every aspect but the minimum fps, where it dips a little lower.
Barring the huge spike at the start which was noticeable as microstutter in the gameplay, the rest of the graph is pretty tightly spaced and the game ran smoothly in that section. The FPS is near constant for the most part.
GRID 2 from Codemasters is one of the few games in our test suite that has no allegiance to either NVIDIA or AMD, which makes it a neutral candidate to better judge the GPU’s performance. We used Ultra Settings to run the benchmark tool offered by the game.
The stock card is beaten on all parameters as expected. This is significant since the game being tested is vendor neutral.
While the frame time graph may look rather rough, it doesn’t have any huge spikes. The benchmark run was quite fluid with no visible microstuttering, though fps drops were noticeable in some areas.
While the game is ageing, Sleeping Dogs is still a stunner when it comes to running benchmarks. We pushed the settings to Extreme with extreme AA and ran the game’s built in benchmark run.
With such a marginal gap, we were quite surprised by the result. The higher frame time seems to be the norm with the oc variant.
The spikes in the graph are caused by the game transitioning between benchmark scenes and should be ignored. Notice how tight the rest of the graph is, which demonstrated as crisp gameplay in our run.
Tomb Raider (2013)
Tomb Raider introduced us to a new Lara with fabled TressFx hair that behaves a lot more realistically than the prerendered mop we were used to. However the card does not seem to cope well with this technology and we had to drop it in our test run. We used Very High settings with TressFX off. The Test run was shorter since the benchmark tool offered by the game runs for less than out 120s target time.
There is a marginal gain in this game but the frame time is again higher in the oc variant.
The frametime graph is pretty consistent though it has regular spikes. There was a hint of microstuttering noticeable because of this.
Total War: Rome II
Total War: Rome II is another CPU heavy game that offers significant visual goodness. It offers a benchmark tool that focuses more on GPU power though and that is what we used for our test run of 120s. We set the game to Very High and Unit Size to Small so as to reduce the impact of the CPU. Antialiasing was off and so was Unlimited Video Memory so the game could scale down visual settings if it reached a bottleneck.
The performance difference is negligible but the card seems to have a huge issue with getting lower 99th percentile frame times. It’s quite possible the card was bottlenecked by the CPU in this game.
The graph is pretty rough with huge dips and spikes throughout the run. The FPS graph also tells a similar tale.
While we were unable to conduct detailed acoustics testing on the card due to lack of equipment, we were able to get a rough idea of how quiet the card is even at full load. Asus’s cooling solution impoves greatly on the stock design with its fans being inaudible over our HDDs even at 100% rpm. While this was never reached in our benchmark tests the card is very quiet in normal operation. We kept the case at 1m distance with the side panel open.
The card runs cooler than the stock sample with temperatures failing to breach even 70°C while overclocked and under stress. The idle temperatures lie around 40°C with a 32°C ambient temperature.
While Maxwell’s biggest selling point is its insane power efficiency, we were unable to test due to lack of equipment. But the Asus card sacrifices this slightly for greater performance through overclocking. It has a TDP of 60W.
The card comes factory overclocked and is bundled with Asus’s own GPU Tweak utility to further overclock it. One can easily push the card to the limits defined by the utility and also some way above it. To go beyond these restrictions one can use MSI Afterburner. We decided to stick to the utility and were able to push the core clock to 1207MHz with boost clock at 1285 MHz and the Samsung VRAM chips to 1400 MHz. All our tests however, were conducted in the stock configuration.
We ran 3DMark to check improvements in the overclocked performance and the graphics score increased from 4345 to 4716.
We also ran the benchmark offered by the game Thief to get a real world idea of the performance gains. We used High settings for our runs which concluded in less time than our standard 120 second runs.
The card comes bundled with Asus’s own GPU Tweak overclocking utility and is supported by NVIDIA technologies like GeForce Experience, ShadowPlay, PhysX and GSync.
The Asus GTX 750Ti OC promises greater performance thanks to its extra 6 pin power connector that supports greater overclocking over the stock card. In doing so it sacrifices the Unique Selling Point of the Stock card of being a Plug and Play upgrade. It requires the PSU to have a gpu power cable which gears it more towards budget gaming pcs.
The build quality of the card is of the same high standards as can be expected from an Asus product. The cooler design is brilliant with the fans being nearly silent when the card is idle. The card still manages to offer exceptional performance per watt but not quite as much as the stock card due to its greater power draw.
While the card comes factory overclocked it can be pushed even higher with 10-13% gains in the clocks. While these gains are quite impressive we believe the pricing of the card is a bit on the higher side when we consider value for money. For this we award it the iLL Gaming Bronze Award.
We are extremely grateful to Asus for providing us with a review sample.
+New Architecture offers more performance per watt
+Good for Mid-Range 1080p gaming
+Small form factor makes it suitable for cramped cases for Living Rooms
-Pricing is higher than the value for money sweet spot.
-Doesn’t fully utilise the extra power offered by the 6 pin slot to achieve maximum overclocking potential