GALAXY GeForce GTX 750 Ti GC Review
GALAXY GeForce GTX 750 Ti GC
We looked in the past at different offerings from Galaxy and their Hall of Fame series aimed for the enthusiast and the professional overclockers. They were all great, especially the limited edition GALAXY Geforce GTX 780 Ti HOF V2, but being premium high-end graphic cards they come with a steep price.
Today we are looking at a model from the GC series, still factory overclocked but intended for the normal user instead of the power user / overclocker. The Geforce GTX 750 TI GPU, on which this card is based on redefines the performance per watt factor being based on the highly efficient 28nm Maxwell architecture.
We treated the Geforce GTX 750 Ti performance in our launch article and we were pretty amazed by the results, getting excellent performance from such a compact graphic card (you can see it for yourself here). In this article we will focus on GALAXY GeForce GTX 750 Ti GC, a custom implementation of the same GPU. We will see if the design used by Galaxy allows for lower temperatures and higher overclocking compared to the reference model and how big is the improvement.
Packaging & description
The graphic card comes in a small box, all the important features being printed on the front. In terms of accessories, the package is as basic as it can get: CD with drivers and XtremeTuner Plus utility, user manual and a PCI Express adapter 2 x MOLEX -> PCI-Express 6-pin. Regarding connectivity, we have one DVI-I port, one DVI-D port, one HDMI port and one DisplayPort.
As I said earlier, the card comes with increase out-of-the-box frequencies, but just for the GPU. So, we have about 100MHz higher frequency with the GPU running at a base clock of 1110MHz with Turbo Boost at 1189MHz while the reference model is running at 1020MHz (Turbo Boost at 1085MHz).
The cooler used is much larger than the stock one and also has dual-fans making the card dual-slot, making the VGA card much more aggressive looking than the single-slot / single-fan reference version. Another thing added to the Galaxy implementation for additional overclocking headroom is the PCI-Express 6-pin connector, missing from many other custom models.
Under the hood
The cooler which fits the video card is pretty large for the 60W TDP of the GTX 750 Ti and consists of a solid aluminium base and fins. The radiator is equipped with 2 fans, again a little bit of overkill for this GPU. The massive cooler allows the fans to stay very quiet on Auto fan profile, even after extensive overclocking.
The PCB is completely redesigned by Galaxy, being larger and having improved signal layout compared to the reference model. The VRM has also been enhanced to allow high frequencies and additional overclocking headroom. The GPU VRM has 3 phases, each based on 3 discrete power MOSFETs.
The GDDR5 memory comes from Samsung, being a 0.33ns part if we look up the model number: K4G41325FC-HC03. This means the memory on this card is actually underclocked because the IC’s are certified for 6000MHz instead of the 5400MHz they are run at on the GALAXY GeForce GTX 750 Ti GC. The memory is powered by a VRM with one phase based on 2 discrete power MOSFETs.
The IDLE temperature stabilized at 26 degrees C, having complete silence on my desk because the fans were barely spinning. Because it’s one of the most demanding benchmarks for mainstream GPUs, we ran the Performance preset of 3DMark11 and measured again the temperature. The maximum temperature reached during the test was 52 degrees C (at this speed, the fans got noticeable but not annoying at all). The LOAD temperature is very good considering the factory overclocking but also compared to the reference board which climbed up to 65 degrees C.
We already talked about performance in our review from February, so we will not return to this subject. Instead, the overclocking potential is what concerns us the most using MSI Afterburner for setting and monitoring. The Power Limit is set very low with all GTX 750 Ti BIOSes (38.5W) so we used Kepler Bios Tweaker 1.27 to up this limit to 65.5W.
The factory overclocking is a nice bonus, but we cannot be happy only with that. Finally, from a factory GPU clock of 1215MHz, I managed to get 1405MHz for the GPU and 1730MHz for the GDDR5 memory, a good gain considering that the voltages were kept at default and also the fan was on Auto.
Here, in the overclocking chapter we can see the fact that the cooler is oversized for the TDP of this GPU. Even running at 1405MHz the GPU was kept within 59 degrees C considering that the fans were set on Auto. The score was improved with 15.9%, a good performance increase for an already overclocked VGA card.
The GALAXY GeForce GTX 750 Ti GC could be purchased from the manufacturer’s website for 145$. The price tag set by Galaxy puts the card among the cheapest custom design GTX 750 Ti’s, cheaper than this you can find only reference based designs. The out-of-the-box frequencies are not very spectacular compared with other custom design boards from other manufacturers, but they are more than 100MHz over the NVIDIA reference.
The overclocking potential is very good, actually among the best I’ve seen for a Geforce GTX 750 Ti using stock voltage and cooling. Overall I can say that the custom implementation of Geforce GTX 750 Ti left me a good impression with solid built quality, oversized cooling and generous overclocking potential.
For my silent 24/7 system where I’m working and rarely start a game I would prefer the reference card because of its single-slot cooling and lack of PCI-Express 6-pin connect which makes airflow and cable routing much easier. On the other hand, for gaming and overclocking I would go with a custom implementation and Galaxy did a very good job at that.