The model on test here is Asus GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Phoenix. Other card manufacturers will all use roughly the same form factor, creating dual slot, PCI-Express-powered cards that will fit into compact and low-cost builds. Perhaps more importantly, the 1050 Ti is also pitched perfectly at gamers who are using a desktop PC with no graphics card at all. As long as there’s room in the case and a PCI-E slot on the motherboard, you’re good to go.
The 1050 Ti chip is based on Nvidia’s Pascal GPU design, a recipe that’s already created a potent 2016 lineup for Nvidia that includes the GTX 1080, 1070 and 1060. It’s the first card in Nvidia’s 2016 range that doesn’t support VR gameplay; you’ll need the GTX 1060 to do this.
You get 768 CUDA cores alongside a base clock speed of 1,290MHz and a maximum boost clock of 1,392MHz. There’s a full 4GB of GDDR5 memory running at 7,008MHz and a 128-bit memory bus.
The GTX 1050 Ti uses the same GP107 chip as the base-level GTX 1050, but the two are configured differently. The 1050 has fewer CUDA cores, but they’re tuned to a higher clock speed. The 1050 is also limited to 2GB of memory and comes in at £137.
The 1050 Ti has a maximum thermal design power (TDP) of 75W; there won’t be room for any extra, because there’s no PCI-E power connector on the card drawing power from the PSU. All the power the GTX 1050 Ti requires can be drawn directly from the PCI-E slot.