ASUS Expedition GeForce GTX 1050 Ti review — 3x the performance per watt of the GTX 750 Ti
+ 14nm FinFET technology
+ Very efficient; 75W TDP
+ Card is cool and quiet even when under load
+ Very good overclocking headroom
+ Great value for money
- No RGB lighting
History does have a way of repeating itself. I still can remember the excitement over the GeForce GTX 750 Ti’s announcement. This time, it’s the new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, one of the most anticipated entry-level graphics card based on the new NVIDIA Pascal architecture. I am also very proud that Pokde.net was chosen to be among the first media to get a chance to review it. I would like to thank ASUS for giving us the opportunity to review this card. Without further ado, let’s check out the ASUS Expedition GeForce GTX 1050 Ti we have here.
This might be the first time you have heard about the ASUS Expedition series. ASUS announced the Expedition Series line, built for i-Cafés. Packed with premium components for great durability, ASUS debuted a motherboard and graphics card under this new line up, and the graphics card is none other than the ASUS Expedition GeForce GTX 1050 Ti.
As usual we have a picture of the graphics card itself in front with some basic information. The Expedition GeForce GTX 1050 Ti comes with 4GB of memory, doubled what most GeForce GTX 750 Ti are equipped with. Surprisingly, ASUS’ signature black and red theme that was synonymous with the ROG line up is back again, now in the Expedition series.
At the back, we find the Expedition GeForce GTX 1050 Ti features. Built for non-stop durability, the Expedition GeForce GTX 1050 Ti comes with dual-ball bearing fans which has lower friction, allowing them to run more smoothly and extend the card lifespan.
Targeted at the iCafe scene, the Expedition GeForce GTX 1050 Ti has passed the 144-hour diskless system test, including a 2 hours reboot test. Putting it simply, this is a card that is meant to go on and on without rest.
Inside the box we have the ASUS Expedition GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, a driver installer DVD, user manual and a World of Warship premium pass.
It feels good to see the signature black and red colour scheme back on the Expedition GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. The rectangular shaped cooling shroud is plastic.
Two fans with the dual-ball bearing 0dB technology is used to reduce friction, allowing the fans to run smoother and improving the lifespan. The fans will also remain off until the card reaches 55 Celcius, thus offering 0dB silence at low loads.
The Expedition GeForce GTX 1050 Ti doesn’t need a backplate to support its weight as the card is pretty short and light. There’s not much to see on this side, but worth noting is how clean and smooth the circuit board looks, thank to the ASUS Auto-Extreme technology.
Although the circuit board features traces for a 6-pin PCIe power connector, this card doesn’t feature the socket, which means that this card will not draw more than 75W of power.
My best guess is that the Expedition GeForce GTX 1050 Ti shares the same PCB with the higher-end ASUS’ GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics cards which may have a 6-pin PCIe power connector soldered there for more power and higher overclocking headroom. As the Expedition GeForce GTX 1050 Ti is designed for higher endurance instead of overclocking, the PCIe power connector would have been unnecessary. This also means that this card will only sip 75W at max, the same amount as its predecessor, the GTX 750 Ti, used.
With the lower TDP, heatpipes are unnecessary to cool down this card. The Expedition GeForce GTX 1050 Ti is cooled by a heatsink mounted directly on to the GPU. Unlike the ROG STRIX cards, the Expedition doesn’t come with any ASUS FanConnect headers.
SLI configurations will not be supported with the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, just like its bigger brother, the GeForce GTX 1060. Display connectivity, you can hook up your monitor via the single DVI-D, HDMI 2.0 or DisplayPort. The Expedition GeForce GTX 1050 Ti also supports NVIDIA G-Sync monitors, such as the ASUS ROG PG Series.
I’m glad to announce that we’re using a new benchrig for this review. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to our sponsors who have supporting us since the early days of Pokde.net.
|Processor||Intel Core i7-5820K|
|Memory||Avexir Blitz 16GB DDR4|
|Storage||Sandisk Ultra II 256GB|
|Power Supply||Cooler Master V850|
Game TestedWitcher 3, Battlefield 4, DOTA 2 Reborn, CS: GO, Overwatch
|OS||Windows 10 64bit Annivesary|
|GPU Driver||GeForce Game Ready Driver 375.57 (WHQL)|
|Utilities||Furmak, Fraps, MSI Afterburner 4.3 Beta 14, GPU-Z, OBS, Steam, Uniplay, Origin, GOG Galaxy|
|GPU Architecture||Pascal GP107|
|GPU||GeForce GeForce GTX 1050 Ti|
|Memory||4GB GDDR5 @ 7Gbps|
|Base/Boost Clock||1290 MHz / 1392 MHz|
|Card Dimension||212 x 111 x 38 mm|
Almost all the software used in this test are updated to the latest version. That includes the operating system, system drivers, BIOS and graphics driver.
ASUS GPU Tweak II
The latest iteration of the original ASUS GPU Tweak II brings more responsive UI and features. The Gaming Booster in GPU Tweak II can also be very useful for gaming on systems with less than 8GB of memory. What it does is turn off Windows services for more usable RAM.
During the test, I noticed that the peak system power consumption never goes above 195 watts. By subtracting the 120 W (± 10 W) that the rest of the hardware consumes, this card only sips approximately 75 watts (± 10 W). Aimed at iCafe systems, these low power consumption figures will convert to higher profits over time. Now, let’s see the performance.
Surprisingly, the Expedition GeForce GTX 1050 Ti performs great on both DOTA2 and CS: GO all the way up to 4K. I was expecting to only run the games at 1080p, but with the result I got, I decided to run both games at 1440p and 4K resolutions too. So far the Expedition GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, is the very first card with a 75W TDP that has graced our labs to be able run both games smoothly at 4K. The GPU usage was above 90% all the time regardless of the resolution, showing that the Expedition GeForce GTX 1050 Ti was working hard to get these frame rates.
The Expedition GeForce GTX 1050 Ti performance is great in Battlefield 4 too. Running at 1080p resolution and Ultra graphics preset, I got an average frame rate of 71 fps. I tried to run the game at 1440p resolution, but it was quite uncomfortable to play, with an average frame rate of 40 fps. While the average frame rate of 40 fps should allow the game to be reasonably playable, the frame rate frequently dips to around 21-27 fps, making it very difficult to aim in the game. From the chart we can see the Expedition is much better compared to the ASUS STRIX GTX 960OC.
In Overwatch, I set the setting to “Epic” and set the render scale to 100% and managed to get average frames rates at 67 fps. I found it interesting that the card can drive the game well at 1440p too.
As I plotted out the data in Excel, I found out that the fps is quite stable and rarely drops to the minimum frame rate, which is a rather respectable 35 fps.
In Witcher 3, the frame rates drop to “cinematic” levels with the NVIDIA HairWorks is enabled. This is actually expected from an entry-level card like the Expedition GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. If you want to play the Witcher 3 with the ASUS Expedition GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, it is recommended to lower the resolution to 768p for smooth gameplay with more eyecandy.
ASUS Expedition GeForce GTX 1050 Ti performs very well in gaming and overclocking too. As usual I overclocked the card to see how far it can go without adding any voltage. I manage to get an extra 139 MHz on core clock and 700 MHz from the memory. This gave me a performance gain of around 10%.
Amazing? Consuming just 75W, the ASUS Expedition GeForce GTX 1050 Ti is quite a beast. Popular eSports titles like DOTA 2 and CS:GO can even be played at up to 4K. Good performance is observed throughout our list of gaming benchmarks too, with the exception of in The Witcher 3, but that is expected as even last-gen mid-range cards had trouble in it. And there is one more thing…
Notice any oddities in the GPU-Z screenshot above? The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti is actually manufactured on the 14mn FinFET process node. Rumors pointed to NVIDIA switching over to the 14nm process at Samsung, but we didn’t expect them to release a card based on the new process node so soon. The new process node does seem to yield even better power efficiency with the Pascal architecture, compared to the 16nm FinFET process the previous cards were based on. The ASUS Expedition GeForce GTX 1050 Ti has proven that it’s not only a good card for iCafe applications, but even for consumers, who will similarly benefit from its amazing performance per watt ratio. And not only is it power efficient, it is also quite cost effective at RM759! I award the ASUS Expedition GeForce GTX 1050 Ti with Gold Pokdeward.
We would like to thank our sponsors for our very own benchmarking rig – The PokdeRig. These companies believe in us and put their trust into what we do. They deserve all the love in the world!