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Upgrade from a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti to These 4 Cards Today

upgrading from a 1050 Ti

Upgrade from a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti to These 4 Cards Today

The graphics card is one of the most vital pieces of hardware for PC gaming. While the past few years brought a wide range of difficulties to upgrading a graphics card, these problems have largely cleared up, and there’s never been a better time to upgrade an older graphics card like the GTX 1050 Ti. 

When compiling this list, we wanted to pick cards that were the equivalent of the GTX 1050 Ti in 2016 when it was released — nothing in a completely different price or performance bracket. This means we looked mainly at mid-range cards that support smooth performance in both 1080p and 1440p resolution. Let’s check them out!

Our Top Picks for GTX 1050 Ti Upgrades

If you have a GTX 1050 Ti, you might already be familiar with the inner workings of where it stands in relation to other graphics cards on the market. If you’re not, then to recap: it was a viable low-end to mid-range card at the time of its release, but that was nearly seven years ago. Today, it pails in comparison to the current lineup of GPUs

Features like ray tracing and DLSS have changed the game quite literally. And besides NVIDIA GPUs, there have been tons of updates from AMD over the years. Plus, you can’t forget about competition from Intel, a newcomer on the scene — at least as far as graphics cards go.

#1 Best Overall Upgrade: AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT

Best Overall
PowerColor Fighter AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT
$349.99
  • 16Gbps memory clock speed
  • 7680 × 4320 resolution
  • 12GB GDDR6 memory
  • 2581MHz boost clock speed
  • 192-bit memory interface
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03/10/2024 01:42 pm GMT

The AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT takes our top spot for the best upgrade from a GTX 1050 Ti on the market right now. It’s a mid-range graphics card released by AMD two years ago, in 2021. Even though it’s two years old and officially a generation behind, it’s still a great graphics card and one of the better-priced options on today’s market. 

While the price of the Radeon RX 6700 XT hovers around $300 and $400, it delivers around a 350% boost in performance when compared to the GTX 1050 Ti. It features 12GB of VRAM, compared to the lowly 4GB of VRAM in the GTX 1050 Ti. Performance is noticeable in games and other video applications, too.

If you’re looking to upgrade what was a mid-range purchase in 2016 with a mid-range graphics card in 2023, it’s hard to beat the RX 6700 XT. It’s a great graphics card, and while it may require a PSU upgrade, it’s worth it if you want to play the most recent titles, as well as ones from a few years ago.

It will require your PSU to provide 650 watts or more. But, in return for feeding it this much power, you get a solid gaming card capable of 100 FPS performance in both 1440p and 1080p. The only real critique we have of the RX 6700 XT is that it has weaker ray tracing performance than NVIDIA cards, but ray tracing performance isn’t a deal breaker for us. 

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
AMD’s RX 6700 XT provides top-notch 1080p and 1440p resolution performance.It isn’t the cheapest upgrade, priced at around $300 (depending on the manufacturer). 
Delivers 12GB of VRAM, a big improvement over the GTX 1050 Ti’s 4GB of VRAM. Delivers weak ray tracing performance when compared with NVIDIA GPUs. 
In the lineup of current and last-gen GPUs, it’s one of the best performance-to-price values. 

Best Value Upgrade from a GTX 1050 Ti: AMD Radeon 7600

Best Value
Radeon RX 7600
$269.99
  • 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM
  • 128-bit memory bus
  • Perfect for 1080p gaming
  • Clock speed: 1875 MHz
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/10/2024 01:11 pm GMT

If you want to pick up a current-generation graphics card at a solid price, we recommend the AMD Radeon RX 7600. It comes under $200, provides you with current-gen performance in a 1080p resolution, and can even handle some light 1440p resolution gaming, assuming you are willing to turn down a few settings. 

It provides great value thanks to its smaller size and reasonable pricing for a 1080p graphics card. It’s not much more powerful than the previous generation of Radeon RX graphics cards, but if you upgrade from a GTX 1050 Ti, you can expect to receive around a 144% performance boost, according to recent benchmarks.

Memory-wise, the RX 7600 comes with 8GB of VRAM, double that of the GTX 1050 Ti’s 4GB of VRAM, but less than our top pick, which comes with 12GB of VRAM. This translates to better rendering speeds than the GTX 1050 Ti, but less than the RX 6700. It strikes a smooth spot for anyone upgrading from a GTX 1050 Ti who plans to play games at 1080p and is on a tighter budget. 

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
AMD’s RX 7600 is a great pick for 1080p gaming.It can be a power-hungry card, drawing up to 165 watts of power.
It comes with 8GB of VRAM, which is double that of the 1050 Ti.Offers weaker ray tracing performance when compared to NVIDIA GPUs. 
It is currently one of the best performance values in this price range.

Best Upgrade for Ray Tracing: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 Eagle OC

Best for Ray Tracing
GeForce RTX 4060 Eagle OC
$309.99
  • 8GB GDDR6 128-bit memory interface
  • WINDFORCE Cooling System
  • NVIDIA DLSS 3
  • Full ray tracing
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/10/2024 03:41 pm GMT

If ray tracing is an important feature for you, and you want to experience ray tracing at a 1080p resolution, we recommend the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 Eagle OC. The card we have highlighted is the Eagle O.C. version of the card from Gigabyte, which gives a slight performance boost to the base model of the RTX 4060

Priced around $300, the RTX 4060 from NVIDIA is designed to give you top-notch 1080p performance and entry-level ray tracing features. According to recent benchmarks, the RTX 4060 delivers a 300% total performance boost over the GTX 1050 Ti. Most of this large performance boost comes from the ray tracing, which is not available in the GTX 1050 Ti. 

This is one of the best 1080p cards, and playing compatible games with ray tracing can be a visual treat that truly upgrades your experience with greater lighting effects. It’s especially noticeable in 1080p in titles such as Cyberpunk 2077, where Night City really comes alive with ray tracing turned on. 

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Delivers great performance at 1080p resolution with ray tracing turned on.It can be both difficult to find and overpriced at times.
It is reasonably priced when found at or below MSRP.It is more power-hungry than the competing AMD graphics cards.

Best Budget Upgrade: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050

Best Budget Upgrade
ZOTAC GeForce RTX 3050
$199.07
  • Twin Edge OC
  • 8GB GDDR6
  • NVIDIA Ampere architecture
  • GPU clock speed: 1807 MHz
  • IceStorm 2.0 Advanced Cooling, FREEZE Fan Stop
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03/10/2024 10:52 pm GMT

If you’re upgrading from a GTX 1050 Ti but you’re on a tight budget, consider the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card. This 1080p graphics card from the last generation of RTX GPUs is priced at around $220 and provides a performance boost of around 120%. Considering how close it is to a GTX 1050 Ti in terms of price in 2023, the RTX 3050 is an easy way to get a big performance leap with some next-gen features without breaking the bank. 

You will need more power to run an RTX 3050, with a minimum power draw of 130 watts compared to the GTX 1050 Ti’s 75-watt requirement. This is one area where going with an AMD card is a better idea if you want to run a low-watt power supply. Bu any PSU that’s 500+ will be fine for an RTX 3050 build. 

We think the RTX 3050 is the sweet spot for a budget-conscious upgrade from the GTX 1050 Ti. It’s only around $50 more expensive than a GTX 1050 Ti in 2023, bringing a huge performance boost. The GTX 1050 Ti is an old card at this point, and it’s worth it to spend the extra money to upgrade to an RTX 3050. 

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Offers great price-to-performance value compared to the GTX 1050 Ti, giving you a 100% increase for a similar-priced card.It’s the weakest card on this list, but it still outperforms the GTX 1050 Ti by a large margin.
Delivers solid 1080p performance at a great price.It’s more powerful than entry-level AMD graphics cards.
It is one of the most in-stock NVIDIA graphics cards on the market.

How to Pick the Best GTX 1050 Ti Upgrade: Step-by-Step

When picking out an upgrade for a GTX 1050 Ti graphics card, there are four crucial things you want to keep in mind:

  • Compatibility
  • Performance
  • Budget
  • Case size

Let’s review each of these criteria in more detail.

Compatibility

When you’re buying a new graphics card, you will want to make sure you have enough power to run it and the rest of your system from your power supply, and you will need to make sure you have the correct slot for the graphics card on your motherboard. 

While PCIe standards tend to be backward compatible (if you have a PCIe 5.0 motherboard, you can still use a PCIe 4.0 graphics card), it doesn’t work the other way around. Lesser PCIe slots in motherboards will be incompatible with supporting higher PCIe standard graphics cards.

Typically, you will want to match the graphics card PCIe standard to that of your motherboard for the best compatibility and performance. Always check your power supply before committing to a new upgrade and confer with the graphics total power draw, or TPD. Typically, you will want a power supply with significantly more power than your GPU requires. 

Electronics Components on a Modern PC Computer Motherboard with PCI and PCI-Express slot.
Make sure your motherboard has PCI 5.0 or at least PCI 4.0 compatibility to take full advantage of your new graphics card.

Performance

Always refer to some benchmarks that compare your current graphics card and whichever cards you are considering upgrading to. You will want to make sure that your new potential card is more powerful than your current one, and you’ll want to find a comfortable price-to-performance ratio for yourself. 

The most recent graphics card generations from AMD and NVIDIA offer high-performing 1080p graphics cards and ones that perform well at a 4K resolution, too. If you’re coming from a 1050 Ti, just about any newer series card will be an upgrade. But you still need to check the stats to avoid getting a bad deal.

Budget

While this aspect will be entirely up to you, you will want to find a graphics card that fits your budget. If you are building a new PC from the ground up, remember that while the GPU will be one of the most expensive pieces of hardware you’ll be purchasing, you will want to have enough money left over for everything else. 

It’s not worth shelling out for a 4K-capable GPU if you’re going to use a processor that cannot support 4K gaming. So, if you spring for a top-end card, make sure the rest of your components are of equal caliber to get the best performance.

Case Clearance

The 1050 Ti was a rather small card. And compared to newer cards, it seems even smaller. The primary difference is the cooling system. Graphics cards today have more fans than ever before, and when you are searching for a new one, you will see options for single-fan models, dual-fan, and even triple-fan graphics cards. 

You’ll want to ensure that the case you are building your PC within has enough space to support your graphics card and its gigantic cooling system. Most mid-size towers will support most graphics cards on the market, but you will want to double-check if you purchase a high-end GPU, as these cards tend to be the biggest. 

sys vs CPU fan
If your PC case is snug, take measurements to make sure your potential graphics card upgrade will fit.

What to Know Before Buying an upgraded graphics card

Before buying a new graphics card, ensure your monitor features a high enough resolution for the graphics card. If you buy a high-end graphics card, you will want a 4K monitor, while an entry-level card will require a 1080p monitor. Don’t overlook the refresh rate and color quality, either.

Always know what wattage your power supply is, and remember to check that it has enough output for the graphics card and the rest of the system. For the most recent graphics cards, it’s wise to have a PSU that’s between 550W and 850W. You typically don’t need to go much higher, but it’s always good to play it safe.

As for the installation process, this depends on a few things. Did you build your PC yourself, or are you upgrading a prebuilt computer? If you’ve never installed a graphics card before, you should follow along with a YouTube tutorial or guide to make sure you don’t miss anything.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the GTX 1050 Ti still good in 2023?

While the GTX 1050 Ti is still capable of 1080p gaming at low settings in 2023, it’s not a card we recommend purchasing. At this point in 2023, the GTX 1050 Ti is nearly a decade old, and graphics technology has significantly surpassed the tech featured in the GTX 1050 Ti.

How much should I expect to pay for a new graphics card in 2023?

Graphics cards range in price, but if you are buying a new graphics card from the current generation from AMD and NVIDIA, you should expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $1400.

What’s a good resolution for gaming?

Many PC gamers find 1440p the absolute best resolution thanks to its balance in performance and quality. 4K gaming looks great on the right monitor, but you’ll need a pretty beefy system to be able to run 4K games at ultra settings.

Is it worth upgrading from 1050 Ti to 1650?

The 1650 is a moderate upgrade from the 1050. But it is still an older, entry-level card. So, it won’t be a noticeable performance improvement in most games. You’ll get a much better price to performance value if you upgrade to an RTX 3050 or a GPU with newer graphics architecture.

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