NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti Review: 1080p Gaming without a Power Connector

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti
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by Rob Williams on February 24, 2014 in Graphics & Displays

It’s often hard to get excited about a new $149 graphics card, but NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 750 Ti becomes one of the rare exceptions. For starters, it doesn’t require a power connector, and it has half the TDP requirement of its nearest competitor – all despite promised performance improvements. What more can be said? Read on!

Best Playable: 1080p Single Display

For about as long as GPU-accelerated games have existed, an ideal performance target has been 60 frames-per-second. Owing thanks to this is the standard 60Hz monitor, which delivers its best result when the framerate matches its refresh rate. To make sure the monitor’s refresh rate and game’s framerate keep aligned, to avoid visible tearing, VSync should be enabled.

While I believe our Best Playable results will appeal to any gamer, they could especially prove useful to those intrigued by livingroom gaming or console replacements. The goal here is simple: With each game, the graphics settings are tweaked to deliver the best possible detail while keeping us as close to 60 FPS on average as possible.

Because our Metro Last Light and Total War: SHOGUN 2 tests are timedemos, and because this kind of testing is time-consuming, I am sticking to six out of the eight games I test with for inclusion here.

Our regular benchmark tests showed that the R7 260X and 750 Ti are about the same, with NVIDIA getting the slight edge. The differences are so minor, that the Best Playable settings for each game have been kept identical for both cards – giving us the benefit of gaining results for both Best Playable and apples-to-apples.

 Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
1920×1080MinimumAverage
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti4656
Graphics Settings
& Screenshot
Environment:HighShadow:Normal
Texture:HighReflection:Normal
Anti-aliasing:FXAAGod Rays:Off
Ambient Occlusion:OffVolumetric Fog:On
Motion BlurOn 
Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag - Best Playable - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti
AMD Radeon R7 260X5160
Graphics Settings
& Screenshot
Environment:HighShadow:Normal
Texture:HighReflection:Normal
Anti-aliasing:FXAAGod Rays:Off
Ambient Occlusion:OffVolumetric Fog:On
Motion BlurOn 
Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag - Best Playable - AMD Radeon R7 260X

With the standard settings I use for AC IV, NVIDIA’s card came a little bit ahead of AMD’s. But something odd happened when I tested the card with the Best Playable settings: The roles reversed. I can’t summon the logic to explain why this is the case, but multiple tests proved these results to be consistent.

 Battlefield 4
1920×1080MinimumAverage
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti5168
Graphics Settings
& Screenshot
Texture Quality:HighTexture Filtering:High
Lighting:HighEffects:High
Post Processing:HighMesh:High
Terrain:HighTerrain Decoration:High
Anti-aliasing Deferred:OffAnti-aliasing Post:Off
Ambient Occlusion:Off  
Battlefield 4 - Best Playable - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti
AMD Radeon R7 260X4962
Graphics Settings
& Screenshot
Texture Quality:HighTexture Filtering:High
Lighting:HighEffects:High
Post Processing:HighMesh:High
Terrain:HighTerrain Decoration:High
Anti-aliasing Deferred:OffAnti-aliasing Post:Off
Ambient Occlusion:Off  
Battlefield 4 - Best Playable - AMD Radeon R7 260X

NVIDIA’s 750 Ti somehow lagged behind the R7 260X in AC IV, but it manages the opposite with BF 4.

 Crysis 3
1920×1080MinimumAverage
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti3655
Graphics Settings
& Screenshot
Anti-aliasing:OffTexture:Medium
Effects:MediumObject:Medium
Particles:MediumPost Processing:Medium
Shading:MediumShadows:Low
Water:LowAnisotropic Filtering:x16
Motion Blur:MediumLens Flares:Yes
Crysis 3 - Best Playable - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti
AMD Radeon R7 260X3654
Graphics Settings
& Screenshot
Anti-aliasing:OffTexture:Medium
Effects:MediumObject:Medium
Particles:MediumPost Processing:Medium
Shading:MediumShadows:Low
Water:LowAnisotropic Filtering:x16
Motion Blur:MediumLens Flares:Yes
Crysis 3 - Best Playable - AMD Radeon R7 260X

AC IV and BF 4 saw the tested cards swap places, but with Crysis 3, the results are what I’d consider identical.

 GRID 2
1920×1080MinimumAverage
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti4959
Graphics Settings
& Screenshot
Multisampling:4x MSAANight Lighting:High
Shadows:UltraAdvanced Fog:On
Particles:UltraCrowd:Ultra
Cloth:HighAmbient Occlusion:Low
Soft Ambient Occlusion:OffGround Cover:High
Vehicle Details:HighTrees:Ultra
Objects:UltraVehicle Reflections:Ultra
Water:HighPost Process:High
Skidmarks:OnAdvanced Lighting:On
Global Illumination:OffAnisotropic Filtering:Ultra
GRID 2 - Best Playable - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti
AMD Radeon R7 260X5058
Graphics Settings
& Screenshot
Multisampling:4x MSAANight Lighting:High
Shadows:UltraAdvanced Fog:On
Particles:UltraCrowd:Ultra
Cloth:HighAmbient Occlusion:Low
Soft Ambient Occlusion:OffGround Cover:High
Vehicle Details:HighTrees:Ultra
Objects:UltraVehicle Reflections:Ultra
Water:HighPost Process:High
Skidmarks:OnAdvanced Lighting:On
Global Illumination:OffAnisotropic Filtering:Ultra
GRID 2 - Best Playable - AMD Radeon R7 260X

Once again, we see a difference of a mere 1 FPS. I don’t want to think of the caffeine kick required to notice that difference in the real-world.

 Sleeping Dogs
1920×1080MinimumAverage
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti6275
Graphics Settings
& Screenshot
Anti-aliasing:NormalHigh-res Textures:On
Shadow Resolution:HighShadow Filtering:High
Ambient Occlusion:HighMotion Blur:High
World Density:Extreme 
Sleeping Dogs - Best Playable - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti
AMD Radeon R7 260X6271
Graphics Settings
& Screenshot
Anti-aliasing:NormalHigh-res Textures:On
Shadow Resolution:HighShadow Filtering:High
Ambient Occlusion:HighMotion Blur:High
World Density:Extreme 
Sleeping Dogs - Best Playable - AMD Radeon R7 260X

Sleeping Dogs is AMD’s game, but the latest optimizations in NVIDIA’s GeForce drivers helped give the 750 Ti a lead.

 Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist
1920×1080MinimumAverage
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti6072
Graphics Settings
& Screenshot
Texture Detail:MediumShadow:Medium
Parallax:OnTessellation:Off
Texture Filtering:16xAmbient Occlusion:Field AO
Anti-aliasing:Off 
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Blacklist - Best Playable - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti
AMD Radeon R7 260X5177
Graphics Settings
& Screenshot
Texture Detail:MediumShadow:Medium
Parallax:OnTessellation:Off
Texture Filtering:16xAmbient Occlusion:Field AO
Anti-aliasing:Off 
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Blacklist - Best Playable - AMD Radeon R7 260X

It looks like we couldn’t wrap-up the Best Playable results without some oddball findings. For whatever reason, AMD’s card performed better on average, but NVIDIA’s better at the minimum. Regardless of how these results are interpreted, though, one thing’s for sure: Both play at above 60 FPS, which is important.