Top positive review
13 people found this helpful
Excellent midrange GPU
on February 13, 2013
First let me start with my system specs before replacing my graphics card:
AMD FX Series Quad Core FX 4100 Processor 3.6GHz
8GB DDR3 SDRAM
NVIDIA GeForce GT520 1GB
500 Watt Power Supply
1TB - SATA III - 7200 rpm HD
24X DVD±RW Dual-Layer Super-Multi Drive
Windows® 7 Home Premium 64-Bit
Why they thought they should put a GT520 in a rig like this is beyond me but anyways, once I found out that i had such a crappy GPU I desperately wanted to upgrade without breaking the bank. I shopped around for a while and did some research on various cards before settling on this one. One thing that stood out to me is that most of the cards I was looking at have mini HDMI ports. This one has a regular size HDMI which is what I wanted so I wouldn't have to buy a new HDMI cord. It also came with a code for a free pandarian pet in WoW. I don't play WoW so I will give it to my friend who does but I thought I would put that in here since it wasn't advertised and caught me by surprise. I got it last night and quickly opened my case and removed the puny GT520 and very easily installed my new GTX 650. After a couple reboots I had all of my drivers installed and resolution set and it was time to test out the games.
Before I begin I am running all of my games in 1920x1080 resolution on a 46" 120Hz Samsung HDTV.
The first game I tried was Star Wars: The Old Republic. I maxed out the settings just to see how it performed and would back it down if needed. I started it up and it was flawless. Absolutely beautiful with a great framerate and no lag. Detail and lighting effects are superb. I enjoyed this game before but now it looks amazing and runs so smooth.
Then I tried Homefront. With my previous card I wasn't able to play Homefront because it would freeze up and crash the game at the end of the intro right before you get to control your character. I was never able to find a fix for this with the GT 520. Again, I maxed the settings and started up the game. Solid graphics, not mind blowing but still good. The main point is that now I can actually play the game. Framerate is smooth like butter.
Red Faction: Armageddon was next. On the GT 520 It ran like molasses. It was like I was playing in slo-mo. Since installing the GTX 650 I did not max the settings for this game but instead left it at a high setting just below max. It runs great. No lag, lighting effects are awesome, the debris from the destruction in this game demands a lot of processing power and so far the GTX 650 seems to handle it really well. I'm still having problems with the cutscenes stuttering but I have a feeling that its a problem with the game files not with the GPU.
So far those are the only games I have had time to test. I will be testing a few more over the next couple of days and will update my review afterwards.
Bottom line is that most things I have read about this card is that it is a middle of the road GPU that has more RAM than it can use and that it is outperformed by amd cards that are the same price and slightly higher end nvidia cards from previous series but in my opinion it is a great card for the price and also keep in mind that this particular brand/model is overclocked out of the box. It is not a monster but if you are looking to upgrade from a low end garbage card to something that will run recent games extremely well and newer games at medium settings all for under $150 then I would recommend this card.
I tried out Red Faction Armageddon again after finding a fix for the stuttering problem thanks to a fellow steam member and it runs great in windowed mode at 720. Still having trouble playing in 1080 or in fullscreen on any resolution. Again, I think its the game and not my hardware setup.
I also tried out Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Highest settings, absolutely beautiful, fluid framerates, great detail.
I will be trying out a few others like supreme commander 2, the last remnant, just cause 1 & 2, and Diablo III within the next day or so and I will update again.
Supreme Commander 2 and Diablo III run beautifully in 1080 at max settings although its a bit smoother in 720. With both of these games however I have to set my display settings in Windows 7 to 100% as far as size or else the mouse cursor is invisible. Normally I liked to have it set at 150% because as I said before its hooked up to my 46" HDTV so unless I'm 3 feet away from the screen it is very hard to read things on the screen.
I have had plenty of time to evaluate this thing. I have played all kinds of games on it now. Tomb Raider, Hitman Absolution, Batman Arkham Asylum and Arkam City, Sleeping Dogs, Section 8, pretty much every thing I have thrown at it plays flawlessly in perfect 1080 at max settings. I use my computer as a media center as well so i thought I would mention that I can play multiple HD Video files, a DVD, HD video streaming and have a game running all at once and it doesnt even flinch. I'm thinking about getting multiple monitors. I have never had a problem with overheating. It runs smooth, quiet, cool, and efficient. This will be my last update. I would give it 10 stars if I could. I fully recommend this card.