Our test system
Our dedicated graphics card test system is packed with some of the fastest complementary components available to put any potential performance bottlenecks squarely on the GPU. Most of the hardware was provided by the manufacturers, but we purchased the cooler and storage ourselves.
- Intel Core i7-8700K processor ($350 on Amazon)
- EVGA CLC 240 closed-loop liquid cooler ($120 on Amazon)
- Asus Maximus X Hero motherboard ($395 on Amazon)
- 64GB HyperX Predator RGB DDR4/2933 ($420 on Amazon)
- EVGA 1200W SuperNova P2 power supply ($230 on Amazon)
- Corsair Crystal 570X RGB case, with front and top panels removed and an extra rear fan installed for improved airflow ($130 on Amazon)
- 2x 500GB Samsung 860 EVO SSDs ($78 each on Amazon)
We’re comparing the $170 Asus ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1650 Super against its step-up sibling, the GTX 1660, which can be found for around $200 on the street after an unofficial price cut in the wake of the GTX 1660 Super’s launch. We never received an original GTX 1650 for review, so you won’t find it included here. It’s more interesting to see how the GTX 1650 Super handles versus AMD’s aging, but value-packed “Polaris” GPU lineup, which can be found at great prices on the street: The $130ish 4GB Radeon RX 570, $180ish Radeon RX 580, and $200ish Radeon RX 590.
Each game is tested using its in-game benchmark at the highest possible graphics presets, with VSync, frame rate caps, and all GPU vendor-specific technologies—like AMD TressFX, Nvidia GameWorks options, and FreeSync/G-Sync—disabled, and temporal anti-aliasing (TAA) enabled to push these cards to their limits. If anything differs from that, we’ll mention it. We run each benchmark at least three times and list the average result for each test. We’re including 1440p results as well, but really, the GTX 1650 Super is built for 1080p gaming.
We tested the Asus ROG Strix GTX 1650 Super using its default Gaming BIOS, clocked at 1,785MHz, rather than its secondary Quiet BIOS or the optional OC Mode that requires installing the company’s GPU Tweak II software.
Gaming performance benchmarks
The Division 2 is one of the best looter-shooters ever created. The luscious visuals generated by Ubisoft’s Snowdrop engine make it even easier to get lost in post-apocalyptic Washington, D.C. The built-in benchmark cycles through four “zones” to test an array of environments, and we test with the DirectX 12 renderer enabled. It provides better performance across-the-board than the DX11 renderer, but requires Windows 10.
Interesting tidbit: The Radeon RX 570 could barely run the Division 2 benchmark, constantly crashing at 1440p resolution. We suspect it’s because of the increased memory demands of DirectX 12, paired with the GPU’s slower 4GB of GDDR5 memory. The GTX 1650 Super’s GDDR6 memory, on the other hand, blew through the benchmark.
Nvidia’s new $160 card performs more on a par with the $180 Radeon RX 580 than the $130 RX 570, and slightly slower than the $200 Radeon RX 590, a result you’ll see throughout these tests, except with Strange Brigade. That game tends to heavily favor Radeon GPUs, however.
Far Cry: New Dawn
Another Ubisoft title, Far Cry: New Dawn drags Far Cry 5’s wonderful gameplay into a post-apocalyptic future of its own, though this vision is a lot more bombastic—and pink—than The Division 2’s bleak setting. The game runs on the latest version of the long-running Dunia engine, and it’s slightly more strenuous than Far Cry 5’s built-in benchmark.
Next page: Gaming benchmarks continue