Gigabyte GeForce GTX 950 Review: Pricing Is Everything

After solidifying its lead within the high end with the GeForce GTX 980 Ti and GeForce Titan X, Nvidia has turned its attention to the other end of the market and released the GeForce GTX 950. Unlike its bigger siblings, this one is aimed toward the mass market which does not expect to push current-day games at high resolutions or with all the standard sliders pushed to the max. The audience for this GPU is essentially the gamer who wants to intensify from integrated graphics and be ready to run current at reasonable settings.

While the large guns do tend to urge tons of attention, this is often the market segment that sees the foremost action. Unfortunately, it’s crowded with old models and new ones are often difficult to seek out . Retailers both online and offline have many models – some over four years old – listed at their original introductory prices. Buyers got to take care and do a touch research: Nvidia’s current products are named GeForce GTX 9xx and its previous generation was the GTX 7xx series. AMD fans should search for Radeon Rx-3xx series cards or the previous Rx-2xx series, but not the older Radeon 7xxx or 6xxx model

The way things add the industry, a buyer can easily expect significant performance increases at an equivalent price index with every generation that passes. In recent years, there has also been an enormous emphasis on power efficiency. DirectX 12 support will matter tons for games beginning this year too. AMD is slightly worse-off during this regard right now; most of its current cards are minor refreshes of older ones it has been pushing for years now.

The GeForce GTX 950
The GeForce GTX 950 replaces the previous-generation GeForce GTX 750 Ti, one among the year’s hottest cards because of its incredible price-performance proposition. The GTX 750 Ti and its slightly slower sibling, the GTX 750, were the primary cards to launch on Nvidia’s Maxwell architecture which has had an incredible run since then. Maxwell-based cards are the good and least power-hungry in many, a few years – actually Maxwell has totally changed our expectations about how graphics cards in the least levels should operate.

Now, we see further refinement with GeForce GTX 950, supported second-generation Maxwell. actually this is often an equivalent GM206 GPU we’ve already seen because the GeForce GTX 960, just with a number of its functions and bandwidth curtailed. Two of its eight arrays of execution units (which Nvidia calls “stream processors”) are disabled, for a complete of 768 functional units as against 1024. The clock speed varies between its base of 1024MHz and peak 1188MHz, which also are slight reductions compared to the GTX 960.

There’s still 2GB of GDDR5 RAM on an equivalent 128-bit memory bus. More interestingly, the height power draw is right down to just 90W. meaning you ought to be ready to escape with a really conservative power supply unit, and warmth dissipation should be no problem within the least even in the tight confines of a small-form-factor build.

Other points of interest include hardware H.265 video decoding, DirextX feature level 12.1 support, and HDMI 2.0 which supports 4K output. The GeForce GTX 950 should be ready to drive four 4K displays simultaneously. On the software side of things, Nvidia has updated its GeForce Experience platform which allows easy gameplay recording and broadcasting also as game streaming through an internet browser.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 950
As expected, Gigabyte’s GTX 950 offering may be a diminutive card by today’s standards. It measures just 208mm long though it’ll still occupy two slots internally. It shouldn’t have any trouble fitting into a budget PC cabinet though you’ll need a minimum of a 350W power supply with one single 6-pin PCIe power connector.

This GPU shouldn’t require any kind of elaborate cooling system but Gigabyte has still slapped two fans thereon , and used its “Windforce” name on the box. This particular model, the GV-N950WF2OC-2GD (rev. 1.0) is really slightly overclocked, with base and boost speeds set to 1102Mhz and 1279MHz respectively.

The fans sit during a black plastic shroud that seems more decorative than functional. The aluminium heatsink is very simple . Interestingly, while whisper silent even under heavy load, the fans never spin down completely. this is often something we’ve begun seeing even on high-end cards, so we’re surprised Gigabyte hasn’t found how to form that happen here.

Around the back, Gigabyte has provided two DVI ports (one of which may be used with an analog adapter), one HDMI 2.0 port, and one DisplayPort 1.2 output. This probably is sensible for budget buyers with older monitors. Gigabyte ships the cardboard with rubber port stoppers to stop dust getting into to unused ones, which we actually appreciated considering this is often a budget card.

We plugged our Gigabyte GeForce GTX 950 sample card into a test machine with the subsequent components:

Intel Core i7-4770K CPU at stock speeds
Asus Z97-Pro (Wi-Fi ac) motherboard
8GB of Kingston 1600MHz RAM
120GB Kingston HyperX Fury SSD
Cooler Master Hyper 212X CPU cooler
Corsair RM650 power supply
Dell U2711 1440p monitor
Windows 8.1

The first thing we noticed was how quiet the cardboard was even with both fans spinning. Driver installation was painless and that we were up and running in no time. We first ran through a group of synthetic benchmarks which run the cardboard through various modern-day scenes which involve physics and sophisticated effects. first was 3DMark, which gave us a score of 5,930 overall within the Fire Strike base test, which is optimised for 1080p workloads. We also tried pushing this card with the 1440p Fire Strike Extreme test, which resulted during a score of three ,006 and comparatively less smooth video.

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