Nvidia GeForce GTX 1630 Review: An Insult to Players?
Nvidia’s new GeForce GTX 1630 is a cut version of the GTX 1650, it’s the same GPU that was released way back in April 2019. To put things in perspective, we’m talking about 3 year old silicon which was quite pathetic to say the least back then, and often lost to the then 2 year older Radeon RX 570.
This GeForce GTX 200 mm2 matrix with the code name TU117 is back, but this time with 42% fewer cores (512 cores), 42% fewer texture mapping units and half as many ROPs in just 16. The core clock frequency has increased by 7% to 1785 MHz , but we get an embarrassingly small 64-bit wide memory bus with 4 GB of GDDR6 memory for a bandwidth of only 96 GB / s, a reduction of 25% from the old GTX 1650.
Based on these numbers, the GTX 1630 will cost as … $ 50? What we mean to say is that the original GTX 1650 represented poor value at $ 150 at launch three years ago, and AMD’s recently released Radeon RX 6400 sucks in a way at $ 160, so something as weak as the GTX 1630 is guaranteed to be priced well below $ 100 in 2022.
Well, obviously no. Rumor has it that this model will cost at least $ 150, with many models said to cost between $ 170 and $ 200. In fact, EVGA is currently showing off their $ 200 SC Gaming dual fan model, which is complete madness.
We kind of figured out silly prices for bad products like the Radeon RX 6500 XT below the height of the mining boom, but now that the boom is over and graphics card sales have slowed to a review, we do not understand what Nvidia is playing on here.
Anyway, we’ll talk more about prices soon, because now we’ll go through the test system specifications. We use our Ryzen 9 5950X GPU test system – and yes, we know no one is going to pair a budget graphics card with this CPU – but the point is to test GPU performance and therefore want to avoid introducing a CPU bottleneck that will skewed data.
For testing from low to starting level, we usually use medium quality settings, or settings that make sense for a given title. We have tested games in 1080p and 1440p, but in this case we will focus more on the more relevant 1080p results.
Starting with Assassin’s Creed Valhalla using the medium quality preset, we see that the GTX 1630 was good for only 32 fps on average, which is a really lousy result.
In comparison, the old GTX 1050 Ti was 22% faster and AMD’s almost useless RX 6400 was 53% faster when using PCIe 3.0, or ~ 70% faster in a PCIe 4.0 system, a really embarrassing result for Nvidia.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider was released back in 2018, so it’s older than even the TU117 silicon GTX 1630 is based on, so we’ve testing this title with the highest quality preset. The old GTX 1650 was good for 47 fps, while the RX 6400 managed 53 fps using PCIe 4.0, but the GTX 1630 was good for only 30 fps. A miserable result for this new GPU.
Watch Dogs: Legion has been turned down to medium, but even here the GTX 1630 was only good for 35 fps on average, which made the old GTX 1050 Ti almost 10% faster, while the RX 6400 with PCIe 3.0 was 51% faster, and we can not stress enough how uninspiring AMD’s offer is at $ 160. So what does it say about 1630?
Rainbow Six Siege is the only game we have been able to play with over 60 fps, and we do it with the ultra quality preset. The performance was actually comparable to the RX 6400, although the GTX 1050 Ti was still 18% faster.
F1 2021 fans can look forward to performance below 60 fps by using the reduced “high” quality preset. Here, the GTX 1630 was almost 10% slower than the RX 6400 when using PCIe 3.0 and over 30% slower than the budget Radeon GPU when using PCIe 4.0. It is also worth noting that the GTX 1050 Ti again was much faster, this time delivering 24% higher performance.
Horizon Zero Dawn is quite memory-consuming, and as a result, the GTX 1630 falls off a cliff, or more of an anthill, as it never had long to fall to begin with. Shockingly, the GTX 1050 Ti was 31% faster, while the RX 6400 with PCIe 3.0 was insanely 66% faster.
The Far Cry 6 performance was poor as you might expect, even though it at least matched the GTX 1050 Ti and that meant the RX 6400 was at least 38% faster, or 81% faster when using PCIe 4.0.
Interestingly, the GTX 1630 actually performed “ok” in Doom Eternal, spitting around 57 fps on average. Still a weak result overall, but fair compared to the Radeon competition, which is very weak. GTX 1630 came short GTX 1050 Ti and was slower than the ancient technology which is Radeon RX 570.
When we went on to Resident Evil Village, we tested with the “balanced” quality preset which is a medium type option. The GTX 1630 was capable of only 32 fps on average, which made the GTX 1050 Ti 22% faster, while the RX 6400 was absurdly 88% faster when using PCIe 3.0.
Things could not be better in Death Stranding, where the GTX 1050 Ti was 20% faster than the GTX 1630, while the RX 6400 was 75% faster. More really awful results for Nvidia’s new, but not really new, entry-level graphics cards.
As we expected, the GTX 1630 is horrible when testing the Hitman 3, as it managed only 27 fps on average with medium quality settings, making the GTX 1050 Ti 52% faster and the GTX 1650 111% faster.
Finally, we have Cyberpunk 2077, and this time the GTX 1630 is capable of matching the 1050 Ti, but with only 22 fps on average at 1080p using medium quality settings, it was completely unplayable.
The GeForce GTX 1630, like the 1650, is a 75W graphics card, which means it can do away with external power and just pull what it needs from the PCIe x16 slot. For unknown reasons, however, Gainward has plugged a 6-pin PCIe power connector on their ‘Ghost’ model, which means that external power is mandatory for use with this model.
Initially, no GTX 1630 should have external power, but like the GTX 1650, it is possible that models with only PCIe slots will be even slower, although the 1630 is certainly bloody slow enough. Regardless, the GTX 1630 uses only slightly less power than the GTX 1050 Ti, which means that the performance per watt is somehow worse.
12 Game averages
When we move on to the average data of 12 games, we see how inadequate the GTX 1630 is for games, delivering 37 fps on average, which means that the GTX 1050 Ti is usually 16% faster and the RX 6400 almost 40% faster when using PCIe 3.0, or just over 60% faster with PCIe 4.0. The GTX 1650 is also usually 65% faster and the old RX 570 almost 80% faster.
Cost per frame
Given the data we have just seen, the cost per frame seems a bit pointless as you obviously should not buy the GeForce GTX 1630, but let’s take a look anyway and have a quick discussion. It’s rare for a new entry – level GPU to score so poorly, but the 1630 is something quite special – and obviously not in a good way.
Should this new GPU be available for $ 150, it would be a disaster, representing the worst value we’ve seen in a long time. This price sees it come in at a price of just over $ 4 per frame, an 18% premium over the already useless GTX 1650 and 22% over the RX 6400 which uses PCIe 3.0, or 43% more expensive than the PCIe 4.0 configuration.
Right now, we recommend gamers to spend at least $ 330 on the Radeon RX 6600. Yes, it’s a little over double the price, but it’s actually a usable GPU that offers a great gaming experience with almost 4 times the performance of the GTX 1630. is the fact that some GTX 1630 models could be sold for as much as $ 200, resulting in a cost per frame of $ 5.40, a 90 +% premium compared to the RX 6400 which uses PCIe 4.0.
When you calculate how much the GTX 1630 must cost to match the already overwhelming RX 6400 that uses PCIe 4.0, the answer is $ 105. To match the RX 6600, it can cost no more than $ 87. But given that you need to play most games with low quality settings, the GTX 1630 must be even cheaper, no more than $ 70 seems reasonable to us.
What we learned
The GeForce GTX 1630 is a complete embarrassment if marketed as a gaming graphics card. We do not see a single redemption feature to speak of, and unless it is sold for less than $ 100, it should be completely ignored or used creatively for some Nvidia memes.
If you are looking for a graphics card for under $ 200, you are far better off turning to the used market for now. When you check out eBay, you will find GTX 1650 Super cards that regularly sell for around $ 150. It’s as cheap as we can imagine the GTX 1630 will be available for and the 1650 Super offers about 125% more performance.
Those who do not want to go used is better to dig deep and cough up the money for the Radeon RX 6600, which as we just showed is significantly better despite the fact that it costs a little over $ 300.
Finally, if you need to buy brand new and you want to spend less than $ 200, get the Radeon RX 6400. It is a significantly better product despite the fact that it is lousy in itself. Nvidia has done the seemingly impossible with the GTX 1630, which makes the awful Radeon product look somewhat good in comparison.
We can not wait for the DDR4 version of the GTX 1630 which will no doubt be pushed out into the quiet in a few months. Until then, this is the worst GPU we’ve looked at in a long time.
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1630 on Amazon
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super on Amazon
- AMD Radeon RX 6400 on Amazon
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 on Amazon
- AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT on Amazon
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 on Amazon
- AMD Radeon RX 6600 on Amazon
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti on Amazon
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 on Amazon