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PNY GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER XLR8 Gaming Overclocked Edition Review

Short, Sweet, and Easy on the Wallet

Damien Gula | Updated: Aug 27, 2020 6:23 PM | Posted: Aug 27, 2020 6:15 PM
Categorized under
Hardware Reviews | 0

The final months of 2019 and the beginning of 2020 marks a battle for the GPU supremacy in the budget space. Aiming at conquering the 1080p space, AMD released both their Navi-based RX 5500XT and RX 5600XT to compete with NVIDIA’s Turing-based 16-series cards. Into this product stack, the SUPER series arrived, promising increased performance over their nearest namesakes while keeping prices reasonable. Thanks to our friends at PNY, we are taking a look at the GTX 1650 SUPER XLR8 Gaming Overclocked Edition. This pint-sized GPU promises both perform and value for the smallest of PC builds. 

Let’s check it out!

Specifications

  • MSRP: $169.99 USD
  • Core Clock: 1530MHz (Base) 1779MHz (Boost)
  • CUDA Cores: 1280
  • Memory: 4GB GDDR6 @192 GB/sec 
  • Memory Interface: 128-bit
  • Memory Bandwidth: 12GB/s
  • Bus: PCI-e 3.0 x16
  • TDP: 100W
  • Ports: DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0b, DVI-D
  • Cooling: Single Fan
  • Supports G-Sync, NVIDIA GPU Boost, NVIDIA Ansel, NVIDIA Highlights, NVENC

Even if you are not familiar with the brand, there is a high chance that you have encountered the impact of PNY and their XLR8 Gaming brand. As an industry veteran for over 30 years, their products, such as flash memory cards, USB drives, cables, solid and state hard drives, have seen worldwide success in the retail spaces, both brick-and-mortar as well as online. When it comes to GPUs, PNY has been a long standing partner with NVIDIA, providing generations of GeForce GTX and, now, RTX options as well as being the manufacturer for the NVIDIA Quadro workstation GPUs. It is on the foundation of this pedigree that the XLR8 Gaming Edition GPUs come to us. 

PNY’s XLR8 version of the GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER is no exception. This juiced up Turing-based GPU squeezes out even higher boost frequencies than NVIDIA’s original design for the 1650 SUPER by over 50 MHz. This extra performance puts it in stark competition with AMD’s RX 5500XT (which we will be looking at here in a little bit), but it also translates into extra power needed to feed the GPU as well as heat. However, the XLR8 Edition keeps its 1650 SUPER with a fairly chunky heat sink and single-fan cooler.  

PNY keeps design simple, even with its XLR8 Gaming brand. There are no flashy logos or RGB present. What they have given us is a GPU with black PCB and fan shroud assembly. Though a small XLR8 logo sits, this simplicity means that this GPU can fit into just about any system build, regardless of color theme - if you are into that kind of thing! In case you are worried about  

Let’s see how the GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER XLR8 Edition performs.

Synthetic Benchmarks and Thermal Performance

Before we get into the numbers, here are the system specifications for our test bench:

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3800X
  • Cooler: Corsair Hydro Series H100i RGB Platinum SE (Closed loop cooler)
  • RAM: Zadak SPARK 32 GB 3200MHz DDR4
  • Motherboard: ASUS Prime X570-Pro
  • GPU: PNY GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER XLR8 Gaming Overclocked Edition
  • Storage: 250GB Patriot Scorch, 1TB WD_Black SN750, 1 TB Seagate FireCuda
  • PSU: NZXT E850
  • Case: NZXT H510 Elite

Since the GTX 1650 SUPER competes in the budget space for 1080p cards, we will be focusing much of our test numbers within that resolution range. We will be mainly comparing the 1650 SUPER XLR8 Edition with MSI’s RX 5500XT Gaming X Edition and the PowerColor Red Devil RX 580. We will also be including numbers from the SAPPHIRE Pulse RX 5600XT. We will also be testing it in 1440p to see how it fairs in this space.

Let us begin:

3DMark Time Spy Extreme serves as our first synthetic test for this review. In this benchmark, we see the XLR8 1650 SUPER show a respectable lead in the 1080p test over MSI’s RX 5500XT Gaming Edition. This lead was just under 600 points, while it blew past the RX 580 by nearly 800! When we moved the test to 1440p, this is where we saw a shift. The GTX 1650 SUPER fell slightly behind the RX 5500XT while still holding a lead over the RX 580. 

As we move on to our gaming tests, we used the highest settings available in these modern titles to give the closest comparison possible between GPUs. Here is a look at the numbers:

When considering these numbers, keep in mind that the GTX1650 SUPER is only running 4GB of VRAM. There are some titles where that will become a talking point, specifically Far Cry 5. While this game (and benchmark) tend to favor AMD GPUs, it is wholly unforgiving when it comes to any resource deficit. The visual experience was not terrible, but there were points where it was apparent the GTX 1650 SUPER was struggling to keep up. 

Even though it favors NVIDIA GPUs, We saw a similar struggle with the Final Fantasy XV benchmark, but it was not nearly as unforgiving. The game was certainly playable at its highest settings, but with a few tweaks to settings, this game could easily run about 60 frames-per-second. Shadow of the Tomb Raider, another NVIDIA-preferring title, told a similar, albeit more positive, story. 

However, it is in both Warhammer: Vermintide II that we see some of its best performance. Averaging in at a blazing 97, the XLR8 GTX 1650 SUPER showed that it can handle a lot of detail at once without breaking a sweat (more on that later). Not only that, both held averages about 60 frames per second at 1440p. Here we see it shoot beyond the RX 5500XT! 

We also saw this in our test using Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers. What is so important about this test is the volume of spell effects that are present throughout the course of the benchmark. Even with the volleys of spells launched during intense battle sequences, we did not see the GTX 1650 SUPER lose performance. 

While it is not represented within the charts, I spent some time outside of the purview of these charts in Destiny 2. While actively fighting through the Tangled Shore, throwing everything I could into the experience, anecdotally, I saw stable frame rates averaging above 60 frames per second. The experience was quite solid.

Let’s go back to my comment on temperature by checking out thermal performance:

Going into this test, I was not quite sure what to expect from a modern GPU cooled by a single fan. Whatever it was that I expected, I was certainly wrong in my assumptions. This is incredibly good news for this card as it will likely need to perform in smaller spaces. This card stays cool… and by cool, I mean under 73C cool. 

For a bit of perspective, at its highest temperatures (73C), the 1650 SUPER was still running below the lowest temperatures of the RX 580 (77C) with MSI’s RX 5500XT trailing in between (72C - 76C). It also stayed pretty competitive with the SAPPHIRE Pulse RX 5600XT (66C - 75C). 

Final Thoughts

PNY has delivered something special with the GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER XLR8 Gaming Overclocked Edition. It is an entry-level GPU that provides great value that provides performance beyond what I expected for a card within its price bracket. 

In our tests, we saw it outperform AMD’s RX 5500XT and RX 580 in many instances. There were some where it did not quite reach the same performance levels as its rivals, but this could be in large part to the amount of VRAM on the GTX 1650 SUPER. We did see it creep up on the RX 5600XT, but it did not ever pose a threat to it… and that is just okay: the GTX 1650 SUPER was never meant to compete with the 5600XT in either price or performance. Getting as close as it did - to a GPU that costs nearly twice as much - is nothing to be ashamed of for an entry-level card.

PNY offers their GTX 1650 SUPER XLR8 Edition at a marginal price increase of $10 USD over the recommended retail price. That is not a bad price increase considering that it means higher performance at an extremely low entry point along with access to some of NVIDIA’s coveted features. While it does not have the Tensor cores of its RTX kin for features like DLSS, the 1650 Super does provide access to features like NVENC encoding and G-Sync. Hopefully, NVIDIA will make this a trend - releasing budget-friendly cards with access to desirable features sets and advancement. But, that’s on NVIDIA, not PNY. 

If you are looking to build a mini PC for yourself (or your kids) that can crank out a respectable 1080p signal, the GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER XLR8 Gaming Overclocked Edition from PNY is a great option. Coming in at $169.99, this small form-factor GPU can deliver consistent frame rates over 60 frames at moderate- to high settings. Its single fan design makes it a good fit for micro-ATX cases. It’s a short card that performs within that 1080p sweet spot and it won’t leave your wallet crying. And for a GPU built on a modern architecture, that is no easy business!

The product discussed in this article was provided by the manufacturer for the purposes of review.

8.0Great
Pros
  • Small design allows for compact builds
  • Price point offers a potential upgrade path for older systems or for secondary builds
  • Stays quite cool
  • Accessibility to Turing-based features like NVENC, G-Sync
Cons
  • 4 GB can be a limiting factor for some games
  • Limited connectivity
  • Would have been nice to see a metal backplate, but would have been purely aesthetic


Pastor_Dame

Damien Gula

Born in the heyday of mullets and the El Camino to a tech-foward family, Damien joined the MMORPG.com team back in 2017 to review hardware and games as well as provide coverage for press preview events. He has participated in a number of MMOs over the years, including World of Warcraft, RIFT, Guild Wars 2, and the Destiny series. When he isn't writing for MMORPG.com, Damien is a pastor by trade who loves talking with anyone interested about life, God, and video games (in no particular order). He also co-hosts a podcast dedicated to these conversation with fellow MMORPG writer Matt Keith called Roll The Level.