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  1. #1
    ROG Guru: Grand Master Array
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    Strix GTX 1050 Ti & Strix RX 470, Budget Gaming On Steroids

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    The latest hardware survey conducted by Steam confirms the fact that 1920 x 1080 remains the most popular resolution among PC gamers. Approximately 38.06% of Steam users run their games at that resolution. There are a lot of graphics card that can max out games at 1080p that don’t necessarily cost an arm and a leg. From a price to performance standpoint, the best graphics card for 1080p gaming typically fall under the $200 price bracket. Specifically, the GTX 1050 Ti has been causing a lot of buzz lately in the mid-range segment. As a counteractive measure, AMD announced a price cut for their RX 470, a move that will certainly affect their profits in a negative manner but will allow them to compete against the all so popular GTX 1050 Ti. So this is the part where things get real interesting. Currently, both graphics cards are practically identical in price so many consumers are probably facing a dilemma on which graphics card to choose. The overclocked versions of the Strix GTX 1050 Ti ($159.99) and Strix RX 470 ($167.99) are the highest-end models in their respective product lines.

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    The amount of accessories remains the same with either graphics cards. There’s a CD with the drivers which you won’t need because you’ll be getting the latest driver from the web. A user manual is present as well if you want to read about the graphics card. You also get a pair of ASUS branded cable ties for cable management and two orange color decals to customize the exterior of the graphics card. If you’re into World of Warships, you can make use of the exclusive in-game items.

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    When you put the Strix GTX 1050 Ti and the Strix RX 470 together, you get this tingling feeling that you’re looking at twins since they are identical in so many ways. In terms of size, they measure 24.1cm by 12.9cm making them an ideal choice for even the smallest of cases. Both are produced using an automated manufacturing process called Auto-Extreme Technology which basically eliminates the human element from the entire process. With human error out of the equation, quality control has improved tremendously to a point that the level of quality is extremely consistent in each sample. On the other hand, the Auto-Extreme Technology also advocates an eco-friendly flux-free production. Additionally, ASUS has been able to completely eliminate the use of chemicals in their production process. But now that we’ve seen what’s under the hood, let’s see what’s on the outside.

    The Strix GTX 1050 Ti and Strix RX 470 sport the well-known DirectCU II heatsink paired with two 10cm patented Wing-Blade 0dB fans. Even though the cooling solution isn’t the most up-to-date, DirectCU II is a proven design that offers up to 30% cooler performance than reference designs thanks to the heatpipes that make direct contact with the GPU which allows them to transport way more heat. And as ordinary as the two fans might seem, they are using ASUS’ new Wind-Blade design. As a first point, the blade size is noticeably bigger which translates into a larger blade area to provide greater airflow. And secondly, the gap area between each blade has been reduced to increase air pressure. It’s also important to mention that the fans come with the 0dB fan technology which turns them off under light load until the GPU reaches a certain temperature.

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    Making our way to the back of the two graphics card, we can observe the new 4-pin fan header that’s part of the new ASUS FanConnect feature. Users can connect a 3-pin(DC) or 4-pin(PWM) fan to this header to provide improve the airflow around the graphics card. The fans connected to the header can be controlled independently with the included GPU Tweak II utility.

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    There is only a single 6-pin PCIe connector onboard. That comes down to a maximum power draw of 150W per graphics card. Any average system with a reputable 500W power supply can handle one of these babies without problems.

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    A small ROG logo is located on the side of the graphics card which has the ability to display millions of colors and up to six different lighting effects. It can be customized through the AURA software. If you own an AURA compatible motherboard, you’re in luck. You can sync both the motherboard and graphics card to put on a light show.

    There is no SLI connector on the Strix GTX 1050 Ti though so you’re stucked with a single graphics card in your system. On the contrary, the Strix RX 470 doesn’t require a special connector so a CrossFire setup is possible.

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    The only physical difference that exists between the two graphics cards resides at the back. The Strix GTX 1050 Ti comes with a beautiful backplate whereas the Strix RX 470 doesn’t have one. Besides being an aesthetic part of the graphics card, the backplate also helps with cooling and adding rigidity to prevent sagging.

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    There are multiple display outputs on the Strix GTX 1050 Ti and Strix RX 470. The connectors come in form of two DVI-D ports, one HDMI 2.0 port and a Display Port which means you can enjoy HDCP content and VR. In the case of the Strix GTX 1050 Ti, there is support for NVIDIA’s G-Sync while the Strix RX 470 supports AMD’s FreeSync.

  2. #2
    ROG Guru: Grand Master Array
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    Test System

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    Processor: Intel Core i7-6700K
    Cooler: EKWB Predator 360
    Motherboard: ASUS Maximus VIII Extreme
    Memory: HyperX Fury 16GB (2x8GB) 2666MHz
    Graphics Card: ASUS Strix GTX 1050 Ti & ASUS Strix RX 470
    Storage: Kingston Savage 480GB
    Power Supply: In Win SIII-1065W
    Case: In Win D-Frame 2.0
    Operating System: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit Anniversary Edition
    Drivers: NVIDIA 376.33 WHQL & AMD Crimson ReLive Edition 16.12.1 WHQL
    Display: ASUS PG27AQ

    Each game is updated to the latest public release. The highest detail settings were used with V-Sync disabled. I normally use the built-in benchmark whenever possible. When none is available, I would resort to using FRAPS to capture the FPS during a specific gameplay. The system is restarted before each benchmark run.


    Stock Results

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    The Strix RX 470 takes the lead early on in Mafia III with an average of 44FPS. It’s approximately 26% faster than the Strix GTX 1050 Ti.

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    The Strix RX 470 continues to dominate in Watch Dogs 2 achieving an average of 47FPS. With an average of 37FPS, the Strix GTX 1050 Ti is 27% slower than the Strix RX 470 in this title.

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    Things remain unchanged with Tom Clancy’s The Division. The Strix RX 470 comes out on top again being 9FPS (26%) faster.

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    The Strix RX 470’s performance in Far Cry Primal is 28% faster than the Strix GTX 1050 ti.

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    The results from the SteamVR Performance Tests reveals what we’ve been seeing from the gaming benchmarks. The Strix RX 470 performs better at VR as well.

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    The better performance from the Strix RX 470 comes with a hefty price. At full load, the Strix RX 470 consumes 42W more than a Strix GTX 1050 Ti. To put it into perspective, the Strix RX 470 is 26% to 28% faster at the cost of having a 42% higher power consumption.

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    Although the two graphics cards employ the DirectCU II heatsink, the Strix GTX 1050 Ti runs 5C cooler than the Strix RX 470 at full load. This difference can be attributed to the Strix RX 470 has a higher power consumption.

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    When idling, the graphics cards are completely silent thanks to the 0db fan technology. The Strix GTX 1050 Ti’s fans start spinning when the GPU temperature reaches 55.3C while the fans for the Strix RX 470 start at a temperature of 55.44C. At full load, the Strix GTX 1050 Ti operates 9dBA quieter.


    Overclocked Results

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    The Strix GTX 1050 Ti has incredible overclocking potential. According to ASUS, the default GPU boost clock for the Strix GTX 1050 Ti is 1506MHz but it is clearly capable of boosting to 1848MHz. I manage to overclock it further to 2012MHz. The memory clock runs at a default speed of 7008MHz. However, I was able to overclock the memory clock to 8800MHz as any frequency above that makes the graphics card unstable.

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    Unfortunately, Ellesmere isn’t as efficient as Pascal. Even at default speeds, the Strix RX 470 consumes 146W which is very close to the 150W power limit. So I wasn’t expecting much headroom for overclocking. The graphics card operates at a frequency of 1270MHz which I only manage to overclock to 1320MHz. The memory clock is set at 6600MHz but with a bit of overclocking, it can reach 7300MHz.

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    Benchmarking the graphics cards again in Mafia III shows some pretty interesting results. Firstly, the Strix GTX 1050 Ti gain a 20% increase in performance putting it almost on the same level as the stock performance of a Strix RX 470. Unfortunately, the Strix RX 470’s poor overclocking potential only manages to increase its performance by 11%.

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    Watch Dogs 2 is a little more generous with the Strix GTX 1050 Ti. With the exact same overclock, there was a 23% increase in performance putting it just 1FPS behind a stock Strix RX 470. The Strix RX 470 performance also shows an increase of 14% in this particular title.


    My Two Cents
    In my opinion, the Strix GTX 1050 Ti and Strix RX 470 are great budget graphics card for 1080p gaming. While the benchmarks might favor one of the two, there other aspects that you should consider. Just as you don’t judge a book by its cover, you should judge a graphics card by its sheer performance on the charts.

    Strix GTX 1050 Ti
    • It performs quieter and cooler than the Strix RX 470.
    • It is more energy efficient and might not require a power supply upgrade.
    • It possesses great overclocking potential to match the performance of the Strix RX 470.
    • It comes with a sleek backplate to improve cooling and rigidity.


    Strix RX 470
    • It has better out-of-the-box performance.
    • It supports Crossfire.



    So, which one are you planning or buying? Or which one did you buy? Let me know in the comments below.

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