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The 1050 Ti Is the Best Legacy Card (and There Will Never Be Another Like It)

Arnox

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As the future progresses, we'll obviously and inevitably get more and more powerful hardware, but as that continues, support for legacy games and hardware may start going to the wayside (actually, it's already slowly happening right now). For the most part, people don't have to worry about this too much at all at the moment, but if you're any kind of a legacy enthusiast for whatever reason, or perhaps you need to run legacy hardware or software for production work or other enterprise related tasks, the future is a little bit worrying.

Thankfully, in terms of legacy processors, ram, power supplies, and other components besides perhaps certain monitors, there is a great wealth of options at the right price, but for video cards, it's a different story. There are only two desktop graphics card development companies. AMD and NVidia. If you want something else that isn't bintel graphics or attached to a phone processor, you're straight out of luck. Ok, so within these two brands, what is the best card for legacy games, work, and hardware? Well, after considering all the factors, my pick is firmly on the 1050 Ti.

But wait, you say. There's another card that NVidia released to replace the 1050 Ti. The GTX 1650! While this is very true, the 1650 lacks an important legacy feature that the 1050 Ti has. But we'll get to that in a minute. Let's get on with the list now.

1. 32-bit driver support

The GeForce 10xx series is the last NVidia series to support 32-bit versions of Windows and Linux. This feature is missing from the GTX 1650 and from AMD's equivalent graphics card. This means as long as you have at least Windows 7 (or maybe even Vista) or some version of Linux installed on your legacy system, your 1050 Ti can be slotted in and it will work with no problems and with no OS reinstall required whatsoever.

2. Compact design

Got a small ass case? No problem! The 1050 Ti will still install into it quite nicely. While there are some variants of it with two fans that are slightly longer, assuming you're not going to overclock, the single fan design will get you by just fine and will allow for full compatibility with almost any case size, and even the dual fan designs are kinda small.

3. No external power needed

Don't have any external power connectors on your PSU? No problem! The card will get all its power from the PCIe interface. A must for any system with a cheaper or OEM PSU.

4. Supports 4K DisplayPort, 4K HDMI, and DL-DVI-D

Sadly, no native VGA or DL-DVI-I port, but that is easily solved with an adapter if you really need one of those ports.

5. Legacy games run at full detail and high framerates

I've been tossing game after game at this for a while now and I've never had any noticeable performance dip. Not once. Now, obviously this isn't gonna be running the latest AAA games at max quality in 4k, but you should never have gotten this card for that kind of power anyway.

6. Good temperatures and doesn't run loud

Good thermals mean your old system doesn't have to throttle as much and also means more part longevity. It also means lower fan speeds which means less noise. Although I think even its peak, the fan is still not that noisy at all.

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Also, if you already have one of these cards and are looking to upgrade sometime, I'd HIGHLY recommend keeping this card, if nothing else, as an emergency graphics solution you can just slot in and use if you don't have on-board graphics and the card you get is broken for whatever reason, or if you're simply waiting on a new card to come in the mail. In the future, this card may start going up in price once people realize its excellent legacy capabilities.
 
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Arnox

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Bump. In light of some information I've learned rather recently, I'm changing my mind about the 980 Ti competing with the 1050 Ti for best legacy card.

As it turns out, they made another card, specifically in the 7xx series that also only draws power from the PCI-E slot and that is the 750 Ti. (They never made anything in the 9xx series that didn't require external power for some reason.) Now at first I didn't consider it as I thought it would be too weak, but in XP/Vista era games, it will still absolutely slaughter while still being able to fit in most cases and not requiring any external power, plus it has native support for analog display cables and it has drivers from XP all the way up to 10.

Basically, you should always try to run the 1050 Ti first, but if for some reason you need to run XP or Vista and/or just really want that native analog cable support, then you should slot in a 750 Ti instead.

EDIT: Apparently, some board partners DID make GTX 950s with no external power required, but good fucking luck getting one of them now. I scoured the web and I couldn't find a single listing. So yeah. 750 Ti.
 
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