- The Nvidia GTX 1650 is criticized for its slow performance and lack of power, especially for resolutions above 1080p.
- The card only has 4GB of VRAM, which can be a limitation for modern games and creative applications that demand higher amounts of video memory.
- Some versions of the GTX 1650 require an additional power connection to the power supply, causing inconvenience for buyers.
- The GTX 1650 does not support ray tracing, a feature that has become more popular in modern games.
- The GTX 1650 is considered outdated compared to newer and more powerful GPUs available on the market.
When the NVIDIA GTX 1650 launched in the Spring of 2019, many praised it for its ability to serve as a budget-conscientious choice for 1080p gamers. While this card is still available in 2023, criticisms of the card’s overall price in relation to its performance have become more prominent.
Some users feel that the card doesn’t provide enough power for the price, but others find it to be an acceptable 1080p graphics card for a budget build. So, what’s the verdict on this? Is the GTX 1650 a miss? Is it a buy?
Let’s talk about the biggest complaints about the Nvidia GTX 1650, so you know what you’re getting into. First, let’s pull up the hardware specs of this GPU, so you can better understand what you’re working with.
Nvidia GTX 1650: Specifications
|TMUs (Texture Mapping Units)||56|
|ROPs (Render Output Units)||32|
|Memory Size||4 GB|
|Bus Width||128 bit|
|Launch Date||April 23rd, 2019|
|Process Size||12 nm|
|Base Clock||1485 MHz|
|Boost Clock||1665 MHz|
|Memory Clock||2001 MHz (8 Gbps effective)|
|Power Draw||75 W max|
|Display Outputs||1x DVI, 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x DisplayPort 1.4a|
|Interface||PCIe 3.0 x16|
|DirectX Support||DirectX 12|
Reason #1: Performance Issues
One of the biggest complaints about the Nvidia GTX 1650 is its slow performance. To put it frankly, the GTX 1650 is just not a very powerful card.
It’s not a recommended card for any resolution above 1080p, and even at 1080p, it struggles to maintain high frame rates unless you are gaming on low to medium settings. This wouldn’t be such an issue if the graphics card were cheaper than it is.
At a cheaper price range at the time of writing than the GTX 1650 is the RX 580 from AMD, which outperforms the GTX 1650 by about 25% in performance ratings.
In order to illustrate this point, we’ve put together a sample of benchmark tests for some of the most popular games. All of these tests were conducted at a 1080p resolution with ultra settings enabled in the various games.
|Cyberpunk 2077||28 FPS|
|Watch Dogs: Legion||48 FPS|
|Red Dead Redemption 2||27 FPS|
|God of War||32 FPS|
|Dying Light 2||35 FPS|
|Grand Theft Auto: V||47 FPS|
This table showcases that the GTX 1650 just isn’t up to par with its $150 price point. This is especially true considering that you can find better cards, such as the AMD RX 580, for roughly the same price.
As you can tell by the 1080p ultra frame rates, gaming at either 1440p or 4K isn’t a good idea with the GTX 1650.
Where the problem really lies with the performance of the GTX 1650 is in the price-to-performance ratio. There are just too alternatives that beat the GTX 1650 in performance, and more and more are beginning to win over the GTX 1650 in terms of price.
Reason #2: Only 4GB of VRAM
As the tech behind games evolves and as resolutions continue to grow larger and larger, we keep seeing increases in the standard amounts of VRAM in graphics cards. VRAM is ultimately what gives you visual fidelity, and the more of it, typically, the better your graphics experience will be.
A lack of VRAM is one of the biggest complaints about the Nvidia GTX 1650. The issue with the GTX 1650 having only 4GB of VRAM lies in the potential limitations when playing modern game titles or using creative applications that demand higher amounts of video memory.
VRAM (Video Random Access Memory) is a critical component of graphics cards. It’s where all textures, frame buffers, and other graphics data required for rendering images on the screen are stored.
While 4GB of VRAM was sufficient for the majority of games at the time of the GTX 1650’s release, game developers have been pushing the envelope of graphical fidelity and texture quality ever since.
As a result, the most recent titles and software updates have begun to demand more VRAM to deliver higher-resolution textures, better geometry, and generally more detailed visual effects.
With games and creative applications becoming more resource-intensive, the 4GB VRAM of the GTX 1650 can quickly become a bottleneck. This is especially true if you are trying to play games at resolutions higher than 1080p.
Trying to game at 1440p or 4K with only 4GB of VRAM can cause a wide range of performance issues, such as stuttering, random frame rate drops, texture pop-ins, and other strange visual artifacts to appear on the screen.
Reason #3: Power Connector Issues
One of the major selling points of the GTX 1650 is how efficient the card is. With a power draw of only 75 watts, it truly sips energy. Technically speaking, this allows for the card to get its power entirely from the PCIe x16 slot. This is great news in theory for small-form PC builders on a budget, but buyers beware.
Not all of the GTX 1650 cards sold on the market can be powered by the PCIe x16 lane alone. In fact, many models of the GTX 1650 sold by various third-party manufacturers require an additional power connection to the power supply.
Unhappy buyers are touting this as one of the primary complaints about the Nvidia GTX 1650. This makes it essential to check the power requirements of each GTX 1650 you buy, as there are versions of the card where you will need to account for the wire management and space required for the power connector.
If your power supply doesn’t have enough outputs, then you’ll need to upgrade it, which can be an unexpected hassle. As a low-powered GPU, it can fit into small spaces and isn’t a terrible option if you are building a home entertainment computer or a small build in general where you don’t plan on doing any heavy gaming.
Reason #4: No Ray Tracing
The GTX 1650 doesn’t have the hardware advancements that came about from the RTX series of graphics cards that enabled ray tracing. This means that if you’re gaming on a GTX 1650, you won’t be able to experience the improved lighting effects that you would get with an RTX graphics card.
While ray tracing was not a mainstream feature when the GTX 1650 was released, it has become more popular since. Plus, more game developers are utilizing ray tracing in their games.
As a result, modern games that make use of ray tracing technology might struggle with the GTX 1650, especially in regard to their framerates.
However, ray tracing isn’t in every game, and it’s debatable whether or not you need ray tracing. But either way, in 2023, it’s a nice feature to have.
If ray tracing is a crucial feature for you, you will want to consider upgrading to an RTX series card, such as the RTX 3060 or higher. The RTX series of graphics cards fully support hardware-accelerated ray tracing.
- NVIDIA Ampere architecture with ray tracing and tensor cores
- 12GB GDDR6 VRAM, PCIe 4.0 support, 1807 MHz boost clock
- IceStorm 2.0 Cooling, active fan control, metal backplate
- DisplayPort 1.4a, HDMI 2.1, 8K resolution, DirectX 12 Ultimate support
Reason #5: It Is Outdated
We need to talk about the elephant in the room: this GPU is downright ancient. With a release date in 2019, at least as far as graphics cards go, the 1650 is archaic. But why does age matter so much?
The GTX 1650 is based on the older Turing architecture from NVIDIA, while the newer and more powerful GPUs, like the Ampere-based RTX series, were already available when the GTX 1650 was released. This led to many feeling that the card was already outdated at its release.
A few years later, with the release of the 4000 series GPUs from NVIDIA, it does feel like it’s about time to retire the GTX 1650. Something important to note about the GTX 1650 is that it’s entirely likely that we will see price increases on the graphics card as the stock becomes lower the older the card gets.
This happens because as the GTX 1650 ages, it becomes less readily available due to both discontinuation and limited production. The longer away from the release of the GTX 1650 we get, users may have to resort to only buying second-hand GTX 1650, which won’t come with a manufacturer’s warranty.
The GTX 1650 is by no means a bad graphics card. It’s just an older card that is getting more and more outdated every time NVIDIA or AMD releases a new one. The biggest issue with recommending the GTX 1650 at the time of writing is that the card isn’t competitive in the price-to-performance range anymore.
You can get a better card from a previous generation for the same amount of money as the GTX 1650. Or go anywhere from an extra $50 to $100 to get a newer card with ray-tracing capabilities and a significant performance boost when compared to the 1650.
If you want to play at 1080p with high framerates and potentially upgrade to 1440p eventually, think about picking up a card like the RTX 3060 or the RX 6650. If you’re on a strict budget, the RX 580 is a similar-priced card that outdoes the GTX 1650 by a margin of about 20%.
|Performance Issues||The GTX 1650 is not a very powerful card and struggles to maintain high frame rates at 1080p unless gaming on low to medium settings. It is also outperformed by cheaper cards like the RX 580 from AMD.|
|Only 4GB of VRAM||The GTX 1650 only has 4GB of VRAM, which can become a bottleneck when playing modern game titles or using creative applications that demand higher amounts of video memory.|
|Power Connector Issues||Not all GTX 1650 cards can be powered by the PCIe x16 lane alone. Many models require an additional power connection to the power supply, which can be an unexpected hassle for buyers.|
|No Ray Tracing||The GTX 1650 does not support ray tracing, a feature that improves lighting effects in games and has become more popular since the card’s release.|
|It Is Outdated||Released in 2019 and based on the older Turing architecture, the GTX 1650 is considered outdated compared to newer and more powerful GPUs. As the card ages, it may also become less readily available and more expensive.|
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Rugged Studio/Shutterstock.com.