- Sleek design and high build quality
- Practically silent
- Good performance at only 75 W
- Requires good airflow in the case
Nowadays, GPUs are becoming more and more powerful, and at the same time require less energy, which in its turn reduces generated heat. This allows manufacturers to replace the heavy, noisy and expensive to produce coolers with more compact and cheaper to produce ones… or with another type of cooling unit – 100% silent. With its 75W of energy consumption, GTX 1050 Ti is the perfect GPU for the so-called passive cooling.
The product, which we will present to you today, is manufactured by the Taiwanese company Palit. Additionally, the GPU is called GeForce GTX 1050 Ti KalmX. Its parameters match those of the actively cooled offer by the same company – GTX 1050 Ti StormX. In this iteration of the budget card, we see a massive unit with two copper pipes, which provide better heat transfer between the chip and the aluminum ribs of the unit.
In this review, we will take a closer look at the technical specifications, construction, performance and temperatures, which the GPU reaches at maximum load and at idle. We will also check the possibilities for overclocking with the help of a software applied by Palit – Thunder Master and we will pay attention to the passive cooling of the GPU.
|Base core clock||1290 MHz|
|Boost (Turbo) core clock||1392 MHz|
|Number of CUDA cores||768|
|Memory speed||7 Gbps|
|Memory type and size||GDDR5, 4GB|
|Maximum digital resolution||4096×2160@60Hz|
|Outputs to monitors||Display Port 1.4, HDMI 2.0, DL-DVI-D|
|Technologies that GeForce GTX 1050 Ti supports||
|Dimensions||18.2 cm x 14.2 cm, two slots|
|Maximum temperature||97 degrees C|
|Power connectors||Doesn’t require|
|Recommended power supply unit||300W|
Supported technologies and software
Palit GeForce GTX 1050 Ti KalmX supports all technologies that are characteristic of the Pascal architecture.
The Ansel technology allows you to pause a favorite game in a certain scene and take a 360-degrees screenshot in a resolution that is 32 times greater than that of the screen and afterward take a look at the scene in its full details with a VR display.
NVIDIA VRWorks combines three different technologies: VRWorks Graphics, which optimizes the rendering of an image for the left and right eye; VRWorks Audio takes care of the sound optimization in the virtual space, while VRWorks PhysX for VR monitors the interaction between the hand controller and object in the virtual space.
Detailed information and a description of the technologies used in NVIDIA’s 10th GPU series you can find in the article, which is dedicated exclusively to them.
In the box
On the back of the box you can find the various technologies that the GPU supports, while on the front we see the huge passive cooler.
Inside we find the usual box-in-box kit type. And on the inside of the second box we see only a disk with drivers, user manuals and the GPU itself.
Construction and appearance
Looking at the GPU itself, we can’t help but point out how impressive the aluminum cooling unit looks. In addition to cooling, it also plays another role – it gives a beautiful look to the tiny GTX 1050 Ti.
The GPU ports – DVI, HDMI and Display Port can be seen in the image below.
What catches our attention is the fact that the cooling unit is longer and higher than the circuit board itself. With its size of 18.2 cm x 14.2 cm and weight of 470 grams, GTX 1050 Ti KalmX is much more massive than the reference GTX 1050 Ti.
Here, in our focus are the elements responsible for transferring heat from the graphics chip to the ribs of the aluminum cooling unit – the two copper heat pipes.
|CPU||Intel Core i5-6400 (4-core, 2.7 GHz, 6 MB cache)|
|Motherboard||MSI H110M GAMING|
|Operating memory||Crucial 16GB (2x 8192 MB) – DDR4, 2133 Mhz|
|GPU||Palit GeForce GTX 1050 Ti KalmX (4GB GDDR5)|
|Power supply unit||be quiet! System Power 550W|
|Operating system||Windows 10 64-bit|
Synthetic benchmark tests
Some years ago Unigine introduced the first mass benchmark that took advantage of the Tesselation technology of the new for that time DirectX 11. When conducting the Palit GeForce GTX 1050 Ti KalmX tests we used the third and the fourth iteration of the program. You will see the results as well as the used settings in the screenshots below.
The next synthetic benchmark we used was the well-known 3DMark. We conducted the Fire Strike, Sky Diver and Cloud Gate tests. Also, we used the default settings in all of them.
|CS:GO||Full HD, Low (Check settings)||Full HD, Medium (Check settings)||Full HD, MAX (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||256 fps||231 fps||198 fps|
|DOTA 2||Full HD, Normal (Check settings)||Full HD, High (Check settings)||Full HD, MAX (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||118 fps||114 fps||107 fps|
|Grand Theft Auto V (GTA 5)||Full HD, Low (Check settings)||Full HD, Medium (Check settings)||Full HD, Very High (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||149 fps||79 fps||42 fps|
|Far Cry Primal||Full HD, Normal (Check settings)||Full HD, High (Check settings)||Full HD, Very High (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||54 fps||44 fps||40 fps|
|Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016)||Full HD, Low (Check settings)||Full HD, Medium (Check settings)||Full HD, Very High (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||93 fps||61 fps||27 fps|
We can see that despite the low price and passive cooling, Palit GeForce GTX 1050 Ti KalmX performs well and delivers a pleasant and smooth gameplay but we would like to warn you that in order to enjoy a good frame rate with more demanding titles such as Rise of the Tomb Rider, you will have to reduce your graphics settings a little bit.
|Model||Radeon RX 460||GTX 1050 Gaming X||GTX 1050 Ti KalmX||GTX 1050 Ti StormX||GTX 1060 STRIX|
|Unigine Heaven 3||1 946 (-20.3%)||2 289 (-6.2%)||2 439||2 462 (+0.9%)||4 062 (+65%)|
|Unigine Heaven 4||1 419 (-24.2%)||1 747 (-6.6%)||1 871||1 872||3 107 (+66.1%)|
|3DMark Fire Strike||5 429(-26.1%)||7 118 (-3.1%)||7 347||7 443 (+1.3%)||13 070 (+77.9%)|
Palit GeForce 1050 Ti KalmX is around 23% faster than Radeon RX 460, 5% faster than GeForce GTX 1050, with approximately the same performance as its actively cooled brother GTX 1050 Ti StormX and around 40% slower than GeForce GTX 1060.
Temperatures and comfort
When buying a passively cooled GPU the variable which causes the greatest interest is temperature. We should mention that in using a passive cooler for a GPU – in most cases the biggest source of heat in a configuration, and so we should make sure that the machine is equipped with a good and unimpeded airflow. In our test system, we put the usual set of two fans in a push-pull configuration. This means that one of them (preferably the one inserted in the front) pushes air into the machine and the second fan, which in most cases is inserted either in the back or in the upper part of the box, takes away the heat from the system. It’s important to highlight that we deliberately didn’t put more fans in order to simulate as conventional setup as possible.
We used Unigine Heaven 4 to load the GPU. During the first test, within 13 minutes, the temperature reached the factory limit of 83 degrees Celsius, at which the card began decreasing its performance so that it wouldn’t exceed this temperature limit. However, in order to see the temperature that the card will reach without being restricted, we increased the limit to the maximum for the chip 97 degrees C by using one of the most popular programs for GPU resource management – MSI Afterburner. We can see that the GPU reaches a maximum 84 degrees, which means that the preset limit is quite accurately determined but also unnecessary in this case.
Although the results of the test with the synthetic benchmark were eloquent, we decided to put the GPU in real-life conditions. We launched Rise of the Tomb Raider on the test machine and monitored the temperature with the help of the usual star – MSI Afterburner, but this time we added external monitoring of the temperature by using a thermal camera. We measured the temperatures at idle, after that in the 15th, the 45th minute and finally after an hour and a half. We also compared the frame rate to see how the so-called throttling affects the performance.
The value that the GPU temperature reached at idle was around 31 degrees Celsius.
15 minutes of gaming
Within 15 minutes the graphics chip managed to reach 82 degrees Celsius but there was still no sign of the throttling effect.
45 minutes of gaming
When another half an hour passed, both the temperature of the circuit board in the area of which the chip is soldered and that of the cooler increased. Here, the limitation which the GPU reached is noticeable and as a result the software limited the capacity to 90%.
1 hour and 30 minutes of gaming
To be honest, from the moment in which the GPU reached 82 degrees nothing crucial happened but what grabbed our attention was actually the fact that despite the throttling, the frame rate decreased with not more than 2 frames per second compared to the first minutes of the test.
after and hour and a half
Аgainst the background of companies’ eagerness to come up with the most powerful GPU, the most powerful cooler, setting unimaginable high prices of their products, this GPU is nothing stunning. What impresses us in Palit GeForce GTX 1050 Ti KalmX, however, is how much can be drawn from the petty 75W. We saw in the tests that the performance offered by the device is more than sufficient. So we managed to make GTA V work at maximum details and the quite decent 42 frames per second… with one of the most low-end NVIDIA cards at the moment. We definitely see a very good optimization of the GPUs with Pascal architecture.
Besides performance, we are also concerned about another really important parameter, especially when we are dealing with a passively cooled GPU – namely the temperature. In a case with poor airflow (good airflow is required for fanless cooling), Palit GeForce GTX 1050 Ti KalmX didn’t exceed 84 degrees Celsius. We advise you, if you are interested in this graphics card or in any passively cooled one, to make sure that your system has good airflow.