Model: GeForce GTX 960 Strix 2GB
Price: £189.99 (At time of review)
The AMD v NVIDIA war for graphical dominance has raged well into eternity with both companies constantly trying to out-do each other. It’s been widely noted and correct me if I am wrong, but AMD tend to dominate the lower end budget focused market with usually better bang for buck whereas NVIDIA tends to out-perform AMD and ride along with the premium price tags. What would you think though if I said that NVIDIA have attempted to flip this entire hypothesis on its head? Well, it is highly possible given today’s release…
Enter the GTX 960, the latest graphics card based on the Maxwell architecture. It has been highly anticipated with a lot of hype surrounding it and has even been touted as the next big thing among gamers wanting solid and affordable bang for buck. It’s hard to disagree looking at the specs with the GTX 960 coming with a stock (reference) clock speed of 1126MHz on the core; NVIDIA boost pushing this up to 1178MHz effectively. This is coupled with an effective memory speed of 9300MHz over a smaller but more efficient 128-bit memory bus. It was rumoured that the GTX 960 would have at least a 256-bit bus, but it just wasn’t meant to be. This hasn’t really affected memory bandwidth available on the GTX 960 as NVIDIA has equipped the card with 112GB/s; compared to the GTX 760 this is quite a jump considering the Maxwell card has half the bus but the memory bandwidth on the older Kelper card does look better on paper.
With all that being said, today I will of course be taking a look at a GTX 960, but in particular one from ASUS; The ASUS GTX 960 Strix 2GB graphics card. This features a higher than reference clock speed on the core of 1228MHz (1291MHz boost) with an overclock mode guided clock speed of 1253MHz (1317MHz boost). With a TDP of 120watts, Maxwell sure is efficient and with one 6-pin connector powering it, those expecting GTX 980 like performance should re-think their entire expectations from a card aimed at the budget end of the market, but I think it’s time to see what the GTX 960 brings to the table and if ASUS can lead the way in aftermarket variations…