A successor to the GTX 1050, the GTX 1650 is Nvidia’s current-generation Turing-based entry-level GPU.
With new architecture arrive new features and a significant step-up in performance compared to the previous-generation Pascal card.
In this buying guide, we’ll be going over a few of the very best GTX 1650 models that are available at the moment, and we’ll see which of these is the best pick for 2021!
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ZOTAC Gaming GeForce GTX 1650
Connectors: 1x DisplayPort 1.4, 1x HDMI 2.0b, 1x DL-DVI-D
- Compact design
- Solid performance
- Pricey for a barebones GPU
About The Graphics Card
First, we have a graphics card from Zotac, or Zotac Gaming, as they have re-branded themselves.
The card in question is a highly compact and affordable single-fan card that is bound to appeal to those who are pinching pennies or are simply looking to build a Mini ITX gaming PC.
The card features an angular matte black shroud, which looks surprisingly good, giving it a bit of “gaming” flair without being too conspicuous.
It is cooled by a single fan and uses a small sunflower heatsink, which is easy to clean and is quite adequate for this type of GPU.
As mentioned above, this card is a perfect fit for gamers who are:
Overall, it operates well, looks nice, and there are no major design flaws to speak of, at least none that Zotac is to blame for.
Our main issue with this graphics card is the very same one that we have with every other GTX 1650 model, and it’s that they cost a bit more than they should.
- Dual-fan cooling
- Large heatsink
- Relatively pricey
About The Graphics Card
Moving on, we get to another recognizable name – Gigabyte – and their GTX 1650 is a slightly pricier variant of this GPU, but it also comes with better cooling.
Not only is it cooled by two fans, but it also comes with a significantly larger heatsink, which aids with heat dissipation.
As far as the design is concerned, it is not radically different from Zotac’s approach – we’re looking at a simple black shroud with some minor details that keep it from looking “boring” without making it too conspicuous.
With the above in mind, the Gigabyte GTX 1650 offers slightly better cooling compared to the Zotac one, and it does so at what is virtually the same price point.
The difference in performance isn’t spectacular, but if you don’t care about compactness, then this card would be a better choice, as it performs a little bit better and is a tad quieter, too.
- Great, near-silent cooling
- Appealing design
About The Graphics Card
Up next, we have a more serious graphics card, and it’s the MSI GTX 1650.
This is another dual-fan card with a design that takes after the rest of the current-gen MSI graphics cards – a detailed matte black shroud and large Torx 3.0 fans. It looks beefier than either of the previous two models, but is it?
There’s no denying it, the MSI GTX 1650 looks great, just like the rest of the MSI Gaming lineup, and it doesn’t disappoint on the cooling front either.
The cooling is not significantly better than the Gigabyte card, but the Torx fans are near-silent, and lower noise generation is always a plus. However, it doesn’t do much to justify the high price.
That said, the pricing remains the primary issue with this GTX 1650. It is a high-quality graphics card, sure, but it just doesn’t constitute that big of a step up in terms of performance compared to the other models, and certainly not compared to some competing GPUs – more on that below.
How To Pick the Right GPU
Choosing the right graphics card for your needs can be tricky, but if we’re only talking about the GTX 1650 and the models listed here, there isn’t much to worry about apart from the cooling and the size of the card.
GPUs can utilize either air or liquid-based cooling, and air-based coolers can further be divided into open-air coolers and blower coolers.
All the models listed in this article utilize open-air coolers, and this is the most popular type of cooler when it comes to graphics cards. Now, as you can see, there are single-fan and dual-fan cards listed here, so what are the differences between the two?
Well, single-fan open-air coolers utilize only one fan. This means that the cooling isn’t quite as efficient and that the card will be slightly louder since the fan will have to spin faster to maintain acceptable temperatures.
Yet, on the bright side, it also allows for the card to be more compact and thus fit inside smaller PC cases or some tiny eGPU cases.
As for dual-fan coolers, as stated above, they are larger but also quieter and tend to offer better cooling. Triple-fan coolers exist, too, though there are no triple-fan GTX 1650 models available.
Is The GTX 1650 Worth It?
You might have noticed that pricing is an issue that we have brought up with each of the cards listed here, and there’s a good reason for that. To put it bluntly, the GTX 1650 just doesn’t offer good value for your money, and now we’ll briefly explain why.
Namely, there are better GPUs out there that offer better bang for your buck. We’re talking mainly about the AMD Radeon RX 570, which, while a bit dated, offers better performance at this price point and comes with twice as much VRAM – 8 GB, as opposed to the 4 GB of the GTX 1650.
This ultimately makes it a better, more future-proof choice, especially now that VRAM requirements are going upward.
The only thing that the GTX 1650 does better than the RX 570 is power consumption, as the new Turing architecture is way more power-efficient than the aging 14nm Polaris architecture used by the RX 570.
Still, if you’re a gamer, chances are performance is more important to you than power consumption.
The Best GTX 1650 For 2021
So, at the end of the day, if you do decide to go with a GTX 1650 instead of an RX 570, be it because of power consumption, software features, or availability, which one should you pick?
There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to PC components, and while the differences between these three budget graphics card models aren’t all that significant, they should still be taken into account.
So, we’d say:
- The Zotac GTX 1650 is the best budget pick and also the best pick if you’re building a compact PC.
- The Gigabyte GTX 1650 offers the best value since it comes with a reliable dual-fan cooler and is only barely more expensive than the MSRP.
- The MSI GTX 1650 is the ‘premium’ choice due to slightly better cooling and due to having a quality build.