NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 On Linux
Written by Michael Larabel in Graphics Cards on 23 October 2013. Page 11 of 11. 19 Comments

I picked up the GeForce GTX 650 for $99 USD (and there's additionally a $20 MSI mail-in-rebate right now too), which is a decent bargain for the lower-end NVIDIA Kepler graphics card. The performance during our benchmarking of the MSI GTX 650 was consistent with the GeForce GTX 550 Ti and on the AMD side comparable in most tests to the Radeon HD 5830 and Radeon HD 6770. While it's becoming more difficult to find the Radeon HD 6770 available as retail, the price seems to be similar at around $100~120 USD. The NVIDIA GTX 550 Ti pricing is just a bit more at $120+.

The only real disappointments out of the GeForce GTX 650 with the official NVIDIA Linux driver was the poor performance in GpuTest and LuxMark relative to the other tested AMD/NVIDIA graphics hardware. The NVIDIA Linux driver also has the sad limitation of not supporting overclocking with the Fermi and Kepler GPUs, which limits the potential out of the very latest hardware.

If you have a $100 USD limit for a new graphics card and are fond of using NVIDIA's first-rate binary Linux driver, the GeForce GTX 650 seems like a contender worth considering. The open-source support is okay with Nouveau but is severely limited right now over the lack of re-clocking support, but it will be resolved in the future and is good enough right now for desktop purposes. A separate Phoronix article in the coming days will cover the open-source driver performance of Nouveau on the GTX 650 and other Kepler/Fermi hardware.

On the other hand, if you exclusively want to use an open-source Linux driver for your next graphics card purchase and be free of binary blobs, the Radeon HD 6770 or other similar AMD HD 5000/6000 series graphics cards (that are still on the R600 Gallium3D driver rather than HD 7000 series and newer dependent upon the less complete and slower "RadeonSI" driver) would be your better choice.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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