Yes, it is normal. Your GTX 970 is faster than the GTX 1050 Ti.
Nvidia GPUs are named after following scheme:
|GTX 1050 Ti
There are currently 3 prefixes:
- GT: Reserved for the bottom-tier cards, such as Tier 4 or lower. The most recent examples being the GT 1010 and GT 1030.
- GTX: What most Nvidia GPUs used to be.
- RTX: The successor to GTX cards, must support Hardware Accelerated Ray Tracing.
Higher series cards are newer, and therefore offer more features and are generally more powerful than older series cards from the same Tier.
This tells you how powerful the card is. The higher, the better. Comparing different Tiers from different Series is not straightforward, but as a general rule: Each new Series is roughly 1 Tier better than the old series.
For instance, a GTX 970 is roughly the same speed as a GTX 1060. This is not always true, but serves as a good estimate of performance across different series.
There are currently 2 suffixes:
- Ti: Refers to a more powerful variant of the GPU. These GPU's are still slower than GPUs of a higher Tier. For example, a GTX 1050 Ti is more powerful than a GTX 1050, but less powerful than a GTX 1060.
- M: Refers to mobile GPUs. These GPUs are usually much slower than their non-mobile counterparts, so a direct comparison is very difficult.
As you can see, your friend's GTX 1050 Ti is close in speed to a GTX 960, which is slower than a GTX 970.
If you search for comparisons, you can find several sites confirming that the GTX 1050 Ti is slower than the GTX 970:
So there's absolutely nothing odd about the GTX 970 being faster than the GTX 1050 Ti.