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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 vs. 1650: Full Comparison with Specs, Price, and More

When it comes to choosing a graphics card, there are countless options on the market at various price points. Two of Nvidia‘s most popular mid-range offerings in recent years have been the GeForce GTX 1060 and the newer GTX 1650. While both deliver solid performance for gaming and content creation tasks, there are some key differences to consider. In this comprehensive comparison, we‘ll take a deep dive into the specs, features, performance, and value proposition of the GTX 1060 vs 1650 to help you determine which is the better fit for your needs and budget.

GTX 1060 vs 1650: Specs Showdown

First, let‘s lay out the key specifications of these two graphics cards side-by-side:

Spec – GTX 1060 – GTX 1650
CUDA Cores – 1280 – 896
Base Clock – 1506 MHz – 1485 MHz
Boost Clock – 1708 MHz – 1665 MHz
Memory Size – 6 GB GDDR5 – 4 GB GDDR5
Memory Bandwidth – 192 GB/s – 128 GB/s
Memory Bus – 192-bit – 128-bit
TDP – 120W – 75W
Process – 16nm – 12nm
DirectX – 12 – 12
Launch Price – $249 – $149

As you can see, the GTX 1060 has the edge in most categories, with significantly more CUDA cores (1280 vs 896), faster clock speeds, more VRAM (6GB vs 4GB), wider memory bus (192-bit vs 128-bit), and higher memory bandwidth (192 GB/s vs 128 GB/s). This provides a hint of the GTX 1060‘s superior performance, which we‘ll get to in a moment.

However, the GTX 1650 does have a couple advantages of its own – namely a lower 75W TDP (vs the GTX 1060‘s 120W) for better power efficiency, and a more advanced 12nm manufacturing process. It also launched at a considerably lower $149 price point compared to the GTX 1060‘s $249.

Architectural Advantages

Before we get to the performance metrics, it‘s important to understand the architectural differences between these two GPUs. The GTX 1060 is based on Nvidia‘s older Pascal architecture, which debuted in 2016. Pascal was a major leap over the previous Maxwell architecture, introducing significant improvements in performance, power efficiency, and new features like support for advanced lighting and shadingeffects.

The GTX 1650, on the other hand, is powered by Nvidia‘s newer Turing architecture, which launched in 2018. Turing further improved on Pascal‘s efficiency and performance while also introducing dedicated RT and Tensor cores for real-time ray tracing and AI-powered effects in games. However, being an entry-level GPU, the GTX 1650 lacks the RT/Tensor cores found in higher-end Turing models like the RTX 2060.

Still, Turing brings some architectural advantages to the GTX 1650, like concurrent floating point and integer operations, unified cache, and adaptive shading. This allows it to do more with fewer CUDA cores compared to Pascal. Turing is also more optimized for modern APIs like DirectX 12 and Vulkan.

Gaming Performance

Now let‘s get to the meat of the comparison – how do these cards stack up in real-world gaming performance? Looking at benchmarks from trusted sites like TechSpot and TechPowerUp, the GTX 1060 consistently comes out ahead, especially as resolution and graphical settings are increased.

For example, in Assassin‘s Creed Odyssey at 1080p Medium settings, the GTX 1060 averages 67fps compared to the GTX 1650‘s 49fps – a 37% advantage for the 1060. Stepping up to 1080p Ultra, the GTX 1060 manages a playable 47fps while the GTX 1650 struggles at 33fps.

The story is similar in other modern titles like Borderlands 3, Metro Exodus, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider. On average across a suite of games, the GTX 1060 is around 30-35% faster than the GTX 1650 at 1080p. That gap widens a bit more at 1440p, where the GTX 1060‘s 6GB of VRAM gives it more headroom over the 1650‘s 4GB.

So if your priority is 60fps+ gaming at 1080p high/ultra settings, the GTX 1060 is clearly the stronger performer and worth the extra money over the GTX 1650 in most cases. The GTX 1650 is better suited for 1080p low/medium settings, or fast-paced esports titles where you‘re willing to sacrifice visual quality for higher framerates.

Content Creation

Besides gaming, GPUs are also used for accelerating content creation workloads like 3D rendering, video editing, effects and color grading. The more CUDA cores, memory and memory bandwidth a card has, the better it typically performs in these tasks.

Looking at benchmarks for popular creative apps, the GTX 1060 once again comes out ahead. In Blender 2.8‘s BMW and Classroom rendering tests, the GTX 1060 is around 25% faster than the GTX 1650. For Premiere Pro CC video exporting, PugetBench shows the GTX 1060 scoring about 15% higher overall.

However, the GTX 1650‘s lower power consumption can be an advantage for small form factor content creation builds where heat and noise are a concern. Both GPUs also lack the RT cores found in Nvidia‘s higher-end offerings that can significantly accelerate ray-traced rendering. But between the two, the GTX 1060 is the clear choice for a budget-friendly content creation and gaming build with a bit more oomph.

Thermals and Power Draw

Power efficiency is one area where the GTX 1650 actually comes out ahead. With a modest 75W TDP, the GTX 1650 sips power and puts out very little heat. In fact most models don‘t even require a dedicated PCIe power connector, drawing all the power they need directly from the motherboard. This allows them to be used in prebuilt office PCs to turn them into entry-level gaming machines.

In contrast, the GTX 1060‘s 120W TDP means it requires a 6-pin PCIe power connector and will put more demand on your power supply and cooling. Most decent 450-500W PSUs should have no trouble handling it though.

Custom GTX 1060 models with robust heatsinks and fans are also available and do an excellent job of keeping temperatures and noise low. So while the GTX 1650 is technically more power efficient, heat and noise aren‘t a major concern for most GTX 1060 configurations.

Pricing and Value

Finally we come to price – one of the most important factors when choosing PC components. GPU prices fluctuate frequently due to supply and demand, but at the time of launch, the GTX 1060 6GB retailed for around $249 while the GTX 1650 came in at a more affordable $149.

Currently, with both cards being a generation or two old, prices have dropped. The GTX 1060 6GB can often be found for around $200-220 new or $150-180 used on the secondhand market. The GTX 1650 is available new in the $140-160 range and under $100 used.

Considering the performance advantage the GTX 1060 offers, it provides the better overall value in my book, especially if you can find a good deal on a used model. It‘s well worth the extra $50 or so for the significant step up in gaming and content creation capabilities. Only consider the GTX 1650 if you‘re on a strict sub-$150 budget, need the lower power consumption, or are upgrading an off-the-shelf PC with limited power supply headroom.

Bottom Line

So where does that leave us? The GTX 1060 and GTX 1650 are both solid graphics cards for 1080p gaming, content creation on a budget, or upgrading an older system. But unless power consumption or cost are critical factors, I believe the GTX 1060 is the better buy for most people. It‘s roughly 30% faster across the board, has more VRAM for higher-res textures, and provides a better overall value. The GTX 1650 really only makes sense for upgrading prebuilt PCs or extremely compact PC builds.

Now, it has to be said that if you have a bit more to spend, moving up to the newer GTX 1660, GTX 1660 Super or RX 5500 XT would be an even better choice for most gamers today. But if you‘re working with a limited budget or simply want to breathe new life into an aging system, the GTX 1060 and 1650 remain compelling options that punch above their weight class.

I hope this in-depth comparison of the GTX 1060 vs GTX 1650 has helped inform your graphics card buying decision! Let me know in the comments if you have any other questions. And be sure to subscribe to the channel for more GPU comparisons, build guides and tech news. Happy gaming!