Running GeForce GTX 1650 Super graphics card at ultra profile and 2160 (4K) resolution

This thread is for those interested in running the GeForce GTX 1650 Super graphics card in the ultra profile at 2160 (4K) resolution. The use of the word ultra here refers to the automatically set detail profile and not the display resolution setting (thanking Zwift for the confusion)!

Some background…

GTX 1650 Super (or GTX1650 Super for search purposes) is an entry level graphics card. Note it is different from (and an improvement on) the basic GTX 1650 (see here) and as it is not much more expensive, it should be preferred unless there is a low profile or low power requirement. There are OC (factory overclocked) variants of both the basic GTX 1650 and the Super.

You may be considering this card as part of a budget PC build for Zwift rather than a full on high specification gaming rig.

In the game update of 29 April 2020, it is stated “Added the GeForce GTX 1650 to the ULTRA graphics profile group”. Whilst not referring explicitly to the Super card, the ultra profile is available for both the basic and Super cards as would be expected.

Zwift with the GTX 1650 Super can run the ultra profile at 2160 (4K) resolution into a 4K TV, the question is with what frame rate (fps)? This thread isn’t to debate the merit of high fps but to give information about what may be achievable technically, with this specific card and a 4K TV.

My reference entry level system is based on the very useful article at Zwift Insider by Dave Higgins @DaveH

  • Intel i3-9100F CPU
  • 2x4GB 2400 MHz DDR4 RAM
  • GTX 1650 Super (specifically stock MSI GeForce GTX 1650 Super Aero ITX OC)

And my TV is…

  • Samsung 49" MU6400 Ultra HD TV (UE49MU6400UXXU)

In Windows 10, the display refresh rate is set to 60Hz, and the nvidia control panel is set to Prefer Maximum Performance. The TV reports 3840x2160/60p as its input source, and cables and input ports are HDMI version 2.0.

First impressions are that the system cannot generate consistent 60fps, and that the frame rate drops as the complexity of the scene increases (eg. foliage or fog/dust) and not always in relation to the number of riders in the view.

This log file analysis shows a solo ride that starts through jungle/forest canopy and then opens out into clear sky views. Game version is 1.0.49821.

This log file analysis is from a busy group ride.

What other changes have you made to the default Nvidia control panel settings? There are a few you should always make, and one that will stop your frame rate dropping to 30fps so aggressively. Not gonna lie though it’s somewhat disappointing to see that performance at native 4K is so different to using the 2160p setting on a 1080p or 1440p display. :confused:

But in principle these drops simply cannot be avoided without spending an absolute fortune more.

Also, note that overclocking your GPU is safe, free, easy and normally provides 5-15% extra raw performance.

Based on the graph and numbers,I guess the Vsync was turned on in Nvidia control panel for Zwift (or generally). If you turn it off,you’ll get a better view of the card’s capabilities (although occasionally screen tearing can appear).

1 Like

‘Adaptive’ is the best vsync option for Zwift on fixed refresh rate displays IMO. Caps at 60fps when possible but allows tearing below, rather than dropping down to half refresh rate. So you see 50fps rather than 30fps, for example.

I changed to “Adaptive” vsync from the default “Use the application setting”, and will see if that makes an obvious difference, before I launch into any overclocking. Cheers for the advice so far.

1 Like

Make sure you set your 1650 Super as the processor for PhysX and OpenGL, and turn off Threaded Optimization. All these are on auto by default and you really don’t want your driver to make the wrong choice. Threaded Optimization in particular makes Zwift performance substantially worse when it’s actively on.

1 Like

These are the nvidia 3D settings changes used now…

  • OpenGL rendering GPU set to GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER
  • Power management mode set to Prefer maximum performance
  • Threaded optimisation set to Off
  • Vertical sync set to Adaptive

The PhysX processor is also set to the card specifically (although in my case it would presumably be the default recommended option as there is only one GPU).

This is an analysis from a ride this morning on the Tour of Tewit Well in Yorkshire. Not too many other riders about and it doesn’t have a lot of foliage either compared to the jungle (or dust or fog), so perhaps this is a bit inconclusive but at the same time encouraging. Certainly no noticeable artefacts with the slight changes to the fps.


The key difference is at those points where it dropped to 55-56fps, on default vsync settings you may well have dropped all the way to 30fps. Which causes stutter as it changes and you’re left looking at a relatively low frame rate until it can maintain the full 60fps again (at which point you get the stutter again). On some rides these changes can be frequent and they’re really, really distracting. Whereas this way I’d be surprised if you even noticed the drops on that ride, which would have only resulted in minor screen tearing - probably for a matter of seconds.

In the Tour of Tewit analysis above, there are a number of points where the fps dropped (barely noticeable), however a boost of 10% from some overclocking would likely overcome them…

I used MSI Afterburner and went with the settings here, namely:

  • GPU clock +160
  • Mem clock +1500

These settings have proven to be quite stable and don’t seem to stress the GPU thermally.

Overclocking doesn’t magically turn the GTX 1650 Super into a high performance card though, as will be seen in the next analysis of a group ride through the jungle then onto the Alpe. I should say there has been an update to the nvidia drivers to 445.87 as well.

Good stuff. Don’t be too disappointed if you still see drops. As I said in the original article, it’s basically impossible to avoid in Zwift without spending an absolute fortune on a high end CPU (and even then I’m not sure it’s possible).

So this is a ride from this morning. It’s the Tour Stage 4 Longer Ride which took the Road to Sky route. It’s going to be a challenge for the card; it has a dusty jungle section at the packed mass start (600 or so riders).

The local start time was 11:00. It can be seen that until 11:15, the frame rate was all over the place. This did manifest itself as noticeable screen artefacts but it would be chaotic in real life! At 11:15, the ride opened out onto the first turns of the Alpe, and the rider density dropped to single file. After that, the fps was perfect.

During the ride, the CPU temperature reached a peak of 55C and the GPU temperature was maximum 63C (this is without much thought given to cooling in the case). The CPU load across all cores was consistent at around 30% (indicating that any frame rate problems are really down to the GPU).

This graph shows the GPU core utilisation.

Unsurprisingly, it is maxed out during the initial period when the frame rate is below 60 fps, and then drops to give headroom when the frame rate is perfect.

As @DaveH mentions above, you may need to spend an absolute fortune more to get a much improved performance at 4K 60fps. This card seems to be a good entry level choice even though it is not perfect under all scenarios.