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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.

**Update 2/14/2013**
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.

**Update 3/24/2013**
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.

**Update 11/13/13**
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.
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on December 4, 2014
I have had this card for nearly a year. The AMD card that came in my computer crapped out after four years. With this card I have better frame rates in Flight Simulator X, making the game more enjoyable. Unfortunately I cannot say the same for Photoshop Elements and other Photo Editing software which are somewhat slower. Also I am forced to run CAD programing in 256 colors mode which severely "dumbs down" the display and causes me to have to exit the program to view reference documents, photo images or to do research on the internet as the 256 colors mode is nearly unreadable outside of the CAD program. My old AMD worked fine with the CAD and faster with the Photo Editing Software as well. I have tried using different "compatibility" settings in the CAD properties to no avail. I have updated drivers as they are released, hoping there will be some change that will solve the CAD display problem. So far there is no help there.
Other than those two problems I should say that the GTX 650 works "OK", and if you are a "gamer" with a midrange system it is still an excellent choice. I also like the NVidia GeForce Experience software, especially Shadow play which lets you capture videos while gamming.
It was delivered ahead of schedule and installed easily.
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on December 4, 2012
I like the free 3d modelling software package "Blender 3d" and recently it went to a new rendering system called "cycles" that works better with a Nvidia video card that has CUDA technology.

I could do a cycles render with just my CPU but doing so took a very long time. I got this as I wanted to make renders in a reasonable time and needed as much RAM as I could afford on the card.

This card came quickly, kudos to the shipping but a big thumbs down to the delivery mad who left it on my porch as he left it where it could have been blown off and fall several feet to the porch if I hadn't seen it quickly.

It installed quite painlessly, there was a minor issue but it was with my case, not the card's fault and it was easily overcome.

I rendered out a full raytraced scene in cycles that took over one hour in CPU mode using the graphics card instead and it rendered beautifully in 7 minutes.

The card has a fairly modest power demand and my current PS seems to be handling it easily. I didn't have to go buy a new high wattage card to feed this beast.

All in all my only complaint is that right after I ordered it as 135$ and before it arrived it went to 110$. That kind of left me steamed.

I hope it has good longevity, that's the only other thing that could make me feel bad about getting it.
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on October 24, 2012
This card replaced my old Asus GTX 275. The 275 was great but a massive power hog. The new GTX 650 is quiet, cool, and extremely efficient. Using a killawatt meter. My towers wattage (ie. power draw) dropped by 122 watts while gaming and 28 watts while idle. PCMark rated the card at a higher FPM rate (32 vs. 39) and a much better overall score. The card also runs at around 27C while idle and 54C while gaming.

If your a casual gamer that is concerned about efficiency, noise, and temperature, you can not go wrong buying this card!!!
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on September 5, 2013
The amount of options for graphic cards is overwhelming, I have a ASUS GeForce GTX 680 DirectCU II OC Edition 2048MB GDDR5, DVI, DVI-D, HDMI, DisplayPort, Overclocked GPU and GPU Tweak Utilities PCI-Express 3.0 Graphics Card Graphics Cards GTX680-DC2O-2GD5 on my main rig, and I had a PNY XLR8 GTX 470 1280MB GDDR5 PCI-Express HDMI Graphics Card VCGGTX470XPBon the computer I left at my mom's for when I visit form a different city, but a friend borrowed that card and I wanted to replace it with something as inexpensive as possible but not losing any performance by it.
The main advantage vs the 470 is power consumption, this card only uses one PCI E connector while the 470 was hungrier, but the 470 has a 320bit bus that keeps it a good performer at 1080p to this day.

This was the card that stroke the balance (it's been years since I went the AMD route and I wouldn't know where to start , I do have an ASUS AMD Radeon HD 5450 SILENT Series with 0dB Thermal Solution and 1 GB Memory Video Card EAH5450 SILENT/DI/1GD3(LP) from the days when the 4XXX series was unable to hook to three displays)

It is quiet and so far it has performed OK with the games I have thrown at it at 1080p under windows 8 (not old games, just running at 1080p with the Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 Quad-Core Processor, 2.6 GHz, 8M L2 Cache, LGA775 and 4 gigs of DDR3 I paired it to.
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on August 2, 2013
Summary: Perfectly quiet. Excellent performance. Automatically adjusts graphic settings for each game. Comes with power cable.

When I first built a PC around 2000, I was paranoid about keeping all my components cool, and so I loaded up on fans. The result sounded like a vacuum cleaner. Ever since then, I've avoided putting fans in my PCs wherever possible. In my last PC, I ripped the fan off the stock CPU heatsink, and hung a 120mm fan over it, just to keep things quiet. Surprisingly, this worked just fine. For the same reason, I've stuck to fanless video cards in the past several years, to the detriment of performance.

Now, I've started over with a new computer, and was shocked by how quiet the stock Intel CPU fan was. It seems that fan technology has made some strides recently. Based on that, I took the leap, and bought a video card with a fan for the first time in thirteen years. This is that card, and I can't hear its fan at all.

The card performs fantastically on everything I've tried (e.g. SimCity, which is shockingly taxing, and Saints Row 3, which looks as least as good as it would on an Xbox 360). I've always hated tweaking graphic settings, and preferred console gaming just to avoid that. This card, though, comes with Nvidia software that will automatically tweak game settings, to match it's abilities.

Something not mentioned in the description, and that would have saved me a few bucks, is that the card comes with its own molex power connector. You don't have to order your own cable.
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on February 2, 2013
Gigabyte's GTX 650 OC 2GB is an excellent buy for the class which it falls into. The best feature is the large heatsink/fan combination which keeps the GPU cool yet produces very little noise. The small footprint the card has makes it excellent to use with mini-ITX systems as, in most cases, the card doesn't extent past the forward edge of the motherboard. This definitely allows for a higher degree of flexibility which is a major plus when available space is limited.

Gaming at 1080p is a pleasure with this graphics card. The 2GB frame buffer allows for larger amount of textures to be loaded which cuts down on swapping and stuttering. With the exception of a couple graphics intensive games such as Crysis 1 this card delivers a smooth gaming experience even when detail levels are set to the highest. A prospective purchaser of this graphics card must keep in mind that the video card is only one piece of several which will determine the performance experienced. Motherboard, processor, amount of RAM all contribute to the overall experience.
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on July 17, 2013
I use this to drive 3 monitors on Ubuntu, and it works perfectly. It's not going to set any performance records for gaming, but it's good for the price. After messing around with AMD cards for the last several years, I was amazed at how quickly and easily I was able to get this working. The open source drivers work okay, but the Nvidia drivers recommended by Ubuntu perform better.
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on December 24, 2013
replaced two nvidia geforce 8600 with two of these. totally pleased. easy install, included cables are very helpful. installer was fast, windows remembered by monitor configuration. Haven't really put these through their paces, but I'm already impressed, no more tearing on VLC with other tasks going. Windows experience score jumped from 5.1 to 7.1. I had a 4 monitor setup, with this I can have 6 digital and 2 dsub connected screens, adding a projector my setup as soon as I can get the screen hung. Maybe a 4K cheapo at 30Hz for pictures next? Nice to have options. 6 or 8 monitor support depending on how you're counting for $300 with tax? It's a steal, why wouldn't you. Cards run around 35-40C, brought my CPU temp down to low 70s with minimal fan.
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on June 3, 2014
The only issue I had with this card were the audio drivers. Because the HDMI ports need the Nvidia audio drivers they were taking control over my on-board Realtek sound driver. Problem is I do not use HDMI so I lost sound. After several painful days of research I found the answer was to remove the Nvidia drivers and custom reinstall with no audio drivers selected. Overall the card is not bad for casual gaming and video playback is slightly crisper. If your looking for a power house upgrade you would do better to look higher. If your like me it was a good budget buy for upgrading an on-board video .

PS, Even with the huge fan on board this card is very quiet..
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