Nvidia will launch its GTX 1050 Ti and GTX 1050 next week, pushing its 14nm Pascal hardware into lower price points and presumably offering some tough competition for AMD’s Polaris family. The GTX 1050 Ti will be a 768-core card, with 4GB of RAM, a 128-bit memory interface, 48 texture units, and 32 ROPS, while the GTX 1050 is a 640-core card with 2GB of RAM, 40 texture units, and 32 ROPS. Boost clock is 1392MHz on the 1050 Ti and 1455MHz on the 1050.
The GTX 1050 Ti and 1050 aren’t built on TSMC’s 16nm technology like the rest of Nvidia’s products, according to Anandtech — these chips are 14nm hardware and apparently built at Samsung. We first reported on rumors that Samsung and Nvidia would work together more than a year ago, and while we weren’t sure which chips the two companies would collaborate on, it appears that Nvidia chose to bring up some of its lower-power designs on Samsung silicon. 16nm availability may be tight at TSMC, given that the firm is building Apple’s A10, or Nvidia may just be taking advantage of having more than one firm with cutting-edge process technology on the market.
The GTX 1050 Ti and 1050 are set to debut at $ 109 and $ 139 respectively, which puts them squarely on the RX 460’s turf. This comparison hasn’t been strong for AMD so far this cycle, due to a mixture of high prices and weaker-than-desired positioning. The RX 480 8GB remains stuck well above $ 239 with only intermittent exceptions (there are a few reference board GPUs available for $ 249, but many cards are in the $ 279 to $ 299 range).
RX 460 prices have come down slightly since we reviewed them last month, but AMD hasn’t done particularly well when put head-to-head against Pascal this cycle. The GTX 1060 6GB is faster than the RX 480 and often available for less, and the RX 460 may have a tough fight on its hands against the GTX 1050 / 1050 Ti. Here, moving first may have helped AMD’s sales cycle, but it also allows Nvidia to tailor their own product to beat Team Red.
We’ll have to test the cards before we draw firm conclusions about them, but this could be a tough nut for the RX 460 to crack. With the RX 470 and RX 480, AMD opted to deliver a great deal of memory bandwidth and texture filtering relative to the competition, alongside higher core counts. It put comparatively little emphasis on fill rate — Nvidia’s Pascal cards have substantially higher fill rates than their AMD counterparts this cycle. It’ll be interesting to see how the relative comparisons shake out and where the choke points are for both chips.