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Close to the Metal Ep. 18: GTX 1050 and 1050 Ti live review

Extravagant video cards that cost hundreds of dollars steal most of the attention when they hit store shelves, but they’re not what most people buy. For most, a video card is a serious purchase, and the models that sell for less than $200 seem the best value.

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That market just became a lot more competitive, thanks to Nvidia’s introduction of its new GTX 1050 and 1050 Ti. Aimed to fight AMD’s successful RX 460 and RX 470, respectively, the GTX 1050 hits stores for as little as $110, and the 1050 Ti will come to market starting at $140. As you can see, the GTX 1050 costs less than a pair new, full-price video games.

They also ditch the need for an external power connection, and shrink board size down to about six inches. That means the GTX 1050 and 1050 Ti can be throw into pre-built system as an upgrade, even if said system has a fairly anemic power supply. While some cards based on the GTX 1050 and 1050 Ti will have external power to enable better overclocking, most of them — including the majority of those we reviewed — will not have external power.

Even Nvidia’s GTX 1060 and AMD’s Radeon RX 480, the mid-range cards of choice among gamers, are way too large to fit inside stock desktop towers from companies like Dell, Lenovo, and HP. Until now, that left them with very limited choices.

How does Nvidia’s new budget line-up perform, and can it keep up with, or even exceed, AMD’s Radeon RX 460 and 470? We’ll take a look on this week’s Close to the Metal.

Close to the Metal is a podcast from Digital Trends that focuses on the geekier side of life. It tackles the topics PC enthusiasts argue over in language everyone can understand. Please subscribe, share, and send your questions to podcast@digitaltrends.com. We broadcast the show live on YouTube every Wednesday at 1pm EST/10am PST.