The GTX 1650 Super is a very noteworthy graphics card – not because of any major innovations or features, but simply because it offers good value for your money.
Needless to say, that isn’t what Nvidia has been known for in recent years, especially in the lower price ranges. As such, the GeForce GTX 1650 Super came as quite a pleasant surprise, and it is a highly appealing budget GPU in 2021.
Now, if you’re thinking about getting a GTX 1650 Super but aren’t quite sure which model to pick, here is our selection of the best GTX 1650 Super graphics cards for 2021!
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PNY GeForce GTX 1650 Super
Boost Clock: 1725 MHz
Connectors: 1x DP, 1x HDMI, 1x DVI
- Extremely compact
- Decent shroud design
- Runs very hot and loud
- Not cheaper than the competition
The first card on the list is a fairly unimpressive model from PNY, a company perhaps best known for offering simple and budget-friendly versions of the latest GPUs.
The first thing you’ll notice about this PNY GTX 1650 Super is its ridiculously compact PCB and single-fan cooler with a simple shroud that still manages to help the card come across as a gaming product despite its diminutive frame.
Now, despite its small size and basic cooling, the PNY GTX 1650 Super can still hit considerable clock speeds, but this obviously comes at a price – it runs hotter than most cards and has higher noise generation.
With that said, it can’t compete with most models when it comes to performance, so why is it on this list?
The reason why we’re mentioning this particular model is because of its compact size, which will be great for those who want to build a Mini ITX gaming PC.
If you’re not going for a small form-factor case, then it’s best to skip this model, as other cards offer better performance at the same price point.
Asus TUF Gaming GeForce GTX 1650 Super
Boost Clock: 1800 MHz
Connectors: 1x DP, 1x HDMI, 1x DVI
- Compact design
- Solid shroud and backplate
- Runs hot and loud under load
Moving on, we have a very similar solution coming from Asus – the TUF GTX 1650 Super. Compared to PNY’s take on the GTX 1650 Super, the Asus TUF model is slightly larger but still very compact, which also makes it a good pick for smaller cases.
Notably, the design features a heftier shroud but also a backplate, which isn’t very common for graphics cards in this price range. Also, unlike the PNY model, this one includes dual-fan cooling, and though the fans might be fairly small, the card can offer slightly better performance than the previous offering from PNY, all the while it looks better to boot.
But still, the Asus TUF GTX 1650 Super suffers from the same issues as other compact cards, that is to say, high temperatures and loud fans. In the end, it is the prime choice for those who still want a compact card but want one that finds a better balance between size, design, and performance compared to the PNY model.
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1650 Super Windforce OC
Boost Clock: 1755 MHz
Connectors: 1x DP, 1x HDMI, 1x DVI
- Decent overclocking potential
- Sleek black design
- Factory boost clock could be higher
Next, we get to something a bit more serious when it comes to performance – the Gigabyte GTX 1650 Super Windforce OC.
While still relatively compact overall, this card is heftier than either of the previously mentioned models. It features a black shroud like most other Gigabyte models, and much like the Asus TUF variant, it also comes with a backplate that lends it a more premium feel that we’re not quite used to seeing in budget graphics cards.
But of course, it’s not just about appearances, and the namesake Windforce fans do a great job at keeping the card cool without being too loud. While the factory boost clock of 1755 MHz isn’t quite as good as the TUF’s 1800 MHz, this card can be pushed beyond 1900 MHz with some tweaking, so it can offer slightly better performance.
So, seeing as it comes at the same price point as the previous two models, this is obviously the better pick if you want good performance in a full-sized GTX 1650 Super that doesn’t goo too far above the MSRP.
MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1650 Super
Boost Clock: 1755 MHz
Connectors: 3x DP, 1x HDMI
- Excellent cooling
- Good overclocking performance
- RGB lighting
- Unimpressive boost clock
- A tad pricier than the competition
Here, we get to another prominent graphics card manufacturer, MSI, and their excellent MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1650 Super.
We’re probably speaking for a number of people when we say that MSI’s new design philosophy is much more appealing than that seen in their earlier models, as their black-and-gray shrouds make for much more neutral solutions compared to the flashy exteriors with red highlights that often made MSI cards come across as somewhat cheap in the past.
Granted, this particular model only has basic RGB lighting, but that’s understandable considering the price.
Performance-wise, the MSI GTX 1650 Super doesn’t disappoint either, as the Twin Torx 3.0 fans do a fantastic job at keeping the card cool while being awfully quiet, too, much more so than Gigabyte’s Windforce fans – about 10 dB quieter!
Granted, it has the same factory boost clock of 1755 MHz, but due to its superb cooling, it can be pushed beyond 2000 MHz.
All in all, the MSI Gaming GTX 1650 Super is possibly the best GTX 1650 Super currently available, as it pretty much has it all – a neutral design, excellent cooling, and good overclocking performance, all the while it is only $10 more expensive than any of the models we’ve mentioned before.
ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1650 Super
Boost Clock: 1860 MHz
Connectors: 2x DP, 2X HDMI
- Efficient cooling
- Some of the best performance in a 1650 Super
- RGB lighting
- A bit pricey
- Dated design
And for the final entry, we have yet another graphics card from Asus, and this one comes from their Republic of Gamers brand – the ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1650 Super.
The first thing that you might notice is that Asus didn’t really update their design in years, so their GTX 1650 Super features the same shroud that you would have seen in other budget and mid-range models a few years back. Again, it features basic RBG lighting, which is understandable at this price point.
Now, while the Strix lineup may need a makeover, this model offers some of the best cooling that you can get in a GTX 1650 Super. With a hefty 1860 MHz clock that can be tweaked almost up to 2100 MHz, it’s obvious that this is the go-to card if you want the best performance that you can get out of a GTX 1650 Super.
Now, as is often the case with RoG products, it’s a bit pricier than the competition, currently going for about $190, which makes it about $20 more expensive than the more affordable models, but if you want to squeeze as much performance as you can out of your GTX 1650 Super, then this is the model to go with.
How To Pick The Right Card For Your Needs
Now that we have gone over our selection of the best GTX 1650 Super models available at the moment, what are some things that you need to keep in mind when you choose a graphics card?
When compatibility is concerned, one of the main factors to consider (especially when it comes to bulkier cards) is the physical size of the card. If you want to ensure that the card you’re getting can fit inside your case, the two key dimensions to keep in mind are length and width.
Some graphics cards are longer than others, be it due to a longer PCB or a longer cooler that extends past the PCB. In either case, you should always make sure that the card won’t be obstructed by the HDD/SSD rack.
As for width, some cards take up more vertical space inside the case due to having a bulkier cooler, usually due to a thicker heatsink. This can lead to two potential issues:
- They might obstruct some of the PCIe slots on the motherboard, thus preventing you from installing any additional PCIe expansion cards in those slots.
- They might be too close to the bottom of the case, and even if there is enough room to fit the card, being too close to the bottom or to a bottom-mounted power supply could inhibit the cooler’s air intake, thus leading to higher temperatures and higher noise generation.
Being a budget card, the GTX 1650 Super models are usually quite compact, so there should be no issues in this regard unless you have a smaller case. Regardless, it’s always a good idea to be on the safe side and check the dimensions of the card you’re getting, as well as the dimensions of your case i.e. the case that you plan on getting in the future.
The graphics card is where most of the heat generated by your PC comes from, and like any other component that generates a lot of heat, it needs active cooling. Modern GPU often utilize one of the three following types of cooling:
Open-air coolers are the most common, and all of the graphics cards currently listed in this article operate with their assistance. For the most part, open-air coolers are the best solution for the majority of gaming PCs because they feature good overall heat dissipation and can benefit more from case fans. These coolers can utilize anywhere from one to three fans, but in the case of budget cards such as the GTX 1650 Super, they usually come with two or three.
As for blowers, they contrast open-air coolers in that they feature a closed heatsink and a single blower fan that blows the hot air out of the back of the card, directly out of the case. This prevents heat buildup inside the case, which makes the blower good for smaller cases with limited airflow. However, it also makes them louder and less efficient overall.
Finally, liquid cooling is the most efficient cooling method by far, which makes it ideal for overclocking. Liquid-cooled GPUs can hit higher clock speeds, all the while running at notably lower temperatures than their air-cooled counterparts. However, they are not necessarily quieter, as they still need a pump to cycle the liquid and fans to cool the radiator.
However, liquid cooling is very expensive, and a good liquid cooler can easily add over $100 to the price of a graphics card. As such, you can see why they would be a poor investment for a card with an MSRP of $160. That said, liquid cooling is only really worth investing it if you had a high-end card that could really benefit from the extra overclocking headroom.
Now that we have touched upon cooling, we have to say a few words about overclocking. In case you’re not familiar with it, overclocking is the act of pushing a GPU’s clock speed beyond the default clock speed set by the manufacturer.
Now, as mentioned above, the GTX 1650 Super is a budget GPU, so how much extra performance can you squeeze out of it through overclocking?
Well, generally speaking, an overclocked GPU can get you roughly 5-15% more frames per second compared to a card running with reference settings, but this will inevitably vary from game to game.
In the case of weaker mid-range or budget GPUs, this is a mostly-negligible boost. Granted, with some tweaking, you could get a few extra FPS that could smooth out the framerate if you’re struggling to keep it stable.
In any case, the kind of performance offered by all the models here is relatively similar, and the differences in temperature and noise generation are more noticeable than the difference in in-game performance, which usually ends up being only a couple of frames.
You’ve probably noticed that we talked about the card design a lot in the article. And sure enough, aesthetics are more important than ever, what with the rising popularity of translucent cases and RGB lighting. As a result, the OEMs are trying harder than ever before to make their cards visually appealing, both because of that and because a better-looking card makes for a more marketable product.
So, if you’re getting a translucent case or are building an open rig and want to make sure your setup looks good, what should you keep in mind when it comes to your future graphics card’s design?
First and most noticeably, we have color. Only a few years back, many graphics cards had specific color highlights that served as something of a manufacturer’s signature. For example, Gigabyte had orange, Zotac had yellow, and MSI had red, although the design varied from series to series.
However, most OEMs have moved away from this design approach, and for two reasons: consistency and RGB lighting.
Naturally, for it to look aesthetically pleasing, a build must have a consistent color scheme, and by painting their shrouds and backplates a specific color, OEMs made it more difficult for their cards to blend in with different setups. Now, cards mainly have black shrouds with more subtle gray or white highlights, something that makes them more neutral.
Then, there’s the RGB lighting, which is a better solution on virtually every front if you want to add some color to your setup. It is flexible and allows you to easily establish and change the color scheme across different components whenever you feel like it, not to mention that it is cheaper than ever and is now quite commonplace even among the more affordable graphics cards.
Finally, there’s the backplate. Much like RGB, backplates are slowly making their way to the lower price ranges, and in 2021, it’s not uncommon to find them even in budget graphics cards such as the GTX 1650 Super, as you can tell from the article.
Most can agree that backplates look great, but what purpose do they actually serve?
Well, the main purpose of a backplate is just that – they look cool. In practical terms, however, they do protect the PCB, preventing it from bending, and they also make it easier to get dust off the back of the card, which is always convenient.
Something that a backplate does not do, however, is help with the cooling. Despite what some OEMs might claim, tests have shown that having a metal backplate doesn’t help with heat dissipation at all, so graphics cards with backplates won’t be hitting higher clock speeds or running any cooler than their backplate-less counterparts.
Conclusion – The Best GTX 1650 Super For 2021
At the end of the day, if we had to pick one of these models, we’d go with the MSI GTX 1650 Super, for all the reasons that we’ve previously mentioned – it has great overclocking performance, with cooling that is both very efficient and very quiet, all the while it is only $10 more expensive than the cheapest models currently available.
But of course, that is only our choice, and all of the models listed in this article have merits of their own, though we feel that the merits of MSI’s model are the most significant.