Asus GeForce GTX 960 Strix OC Edition Review

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TechyInAZ

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Very good card by asus, temps are great, size and weight are also surprisingly good for a card like this.

However, the only thing I personally don't like is the looks. I never really liked Asus's cooler designs, I prefer the ACX cooler or Windforce coolers. However this is only a personal preference.

BTW...OP, you put the wrong card on the amazon price list. I think that's the Zotac 960, not the Asus 960.
 

ldun

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So what's better (performance and value wise); 2 of these SLI or a 970 (or even a 980 might be fun to compare)
 

TechyInAZ

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So what's better (performance and value wise); 2 of these SLI or a 970 (or even a 980 might be fun to compare)
Since this is only the 2GB version, the gtx 970 will run circles around 2 gtx 960s. Nearly every new game will fill that 2GB frame buffer quickly.
 

mlga91

Admirable
A little typo in the 1st paragraph of the 7th section, "When it comes to overclocking, you(r) never know what you’re going to get.".

Looks like a great card, the cooler alone gives a great value for those extra $10, thought an optional second power connector would've been a nice addition, it never hurts to have more available power when it comes to overclocking.
 

panathas

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In your GTX 960 review article you wrote about the asus strix gtx 960 that it produced some power spikes in the motherboard slot. Specifically you wrote " the otherwise very good Asus GTX 960 Strix leaves the motherboard connector to deal with unprecedented unfiltered power spikes all on its own.The very frequent spikes beyond the motherboard slot’s supposed limit won’t cause immediate damage to the hardware, but there might well be long-term repercussions that are hard to judge now. The same goes for how the system might otherwise be impacted with problems such as “chirping” on-board sound when the mouse is moved. The Asus GTX 960 Strix should do a much better job smoothing these spikes out.

Did you test this specific card to see if it still has the same behaviour and if this problem affects the entire asus gtx 960 strix line. I am asking because I was interested in buying this card until I read the above article where you reported this abnormal behaviour. I think you should further investigate this.
 

RedJaron

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A single card is usually the better option. It's simpler, less headaches worrying about SLI/CFX profiles, etc. Dual GPUs start making sense when you're driving a LOT of pixels, like triple 1080 displays or 4K. But for a single display, even up to 1440 in some cases, get the single strongest card you can reasonably afford.
 

PaulBags

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The 960sli is an interesting idea, I wondered the same thing when I saw the 4gb 960 strix locally (New Zealand) for half the price of a 980 4gb strix. So for the same price or less you get twice the vram and it actually still works out lower wattage. Only down side I can see is sli support might not always be amazing.
 

PaulBags

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Oh, and 960 has a newer version on open gl than 980, also 960 has a native hvec decorder that 980 doesn't. Can't remember where I read that, but suprised info like that doesn't make it's way to toms.
 
@OP

Any speculation as to why the EVGA ACX 2.0 cooler has a lower unloaded temperature? It seems the DirectCU II cooler performs better at load and I would have thought this ratio would be more proportional on the unloaded test.
 

PaulBags

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It's not mentioned the article but strix has 0db at idle, no fans.
 


Makes sense I suppose. I think my EVGA GTX 770 SC locks to 40% fan usage @ idle using the same cooler.
 

RedJaron

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The 960 was designed for good 1080p performance. It starts dropping off pretty quick as you increase resolution. Looking around other places, it looks like 960 SLI can give adequate 1440p performance, but nothing else. I can think of better ways for similar 1440 performance for $400 or less.
 

SirTrollsALot

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Why the i7 base system? would i5 bottleneck this card? Also why is put up vs other 960's. Lets see them put up vs some AMD R9 280X or 285 for unbiased benchmarks? Im considering getting a new card or is My AMD R9 280 OC'd to 1100gpu /1400mem worth holding on too?
 

RedJaron

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The original 960 review was done with the i7 so they kept using the same one here to make the results comparable. Also, since the reference 960 was already used and compared to various other cards, this particular 960 only needs to be compared against the reference 960 to show the differences.
 

soldier5637

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I just got the Evga GTX 960 SSC version. Ive been contemplating returning it because everyone hates on it and tells me im more or less stupid for not getting a 970. :/
 

mapesdhs

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I just got the Evga GTX 960 SSC version. Ive been contemplating returning it because everyone hates on it and tells me im more or less stupid for not getting a 970. :/
I don't understand the hate - if it's providing what you wanted, then who cares? Sure, a 970 is faster, but costs more. If you're using a 1080 display then a 960 ought to be plenty for most games, though there are certainly titles which are better served with something faster.

 


See RedJaron's post above:
"The original 960 review was done with the i7 so they kept using the same one here to make the results comparable. Also, since the reference 960 was already used and compared to various other cards, this particular 960 only needs to be compared against the reference 960 to show the differences."
 

soldier5637

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I am using a 1080p display, yes. I dont see the point in 4K honestly. Especially not for the money. But none the less I get people telling me that unless im playing league of legends that I need a 970.
 

mapesdhs

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By definition they're wong if for the games you're playing you are getting perfectly acceptable performance. :D

The 970 is quite a lot faster than the 960, but for some that could easily be a degree of extra performance which just isn't necessary. OTOH, some prefer to go for something a lot better so they have a degree of future proofing. For a few years I followed a middle ground, sourcing used former high-end models for SLI, to get better performance than the current best top card at a lower cost but at the expense of more power/noise, eg. two 560 Tis were quicker than a 670, beat a 680 when oc'd but were much cheaper than either 600 card. I did this several times, moving from 8800 GT SLI through 460 SLI, 560 SLI, 560 Ti SLI, 580 SLI, only finally recently upgrading to a single 980 for various reasons.

At the end of the day, if the 960 is doing what you want, then it really doesn't matter, be happy & ignore the FUD. Besides, the money you've saved can always be used to buy a more powerful card in the future, which by then will be better/cheaper than the 970 is now. Who knows where we'll be in a year's time. And meanwhile, you do always have the option of getting a 2nd used 960 on eBay or something for extra speed if ever think you need it, assuming the RAM limit doesn't because an issue.

Looking at current 960/970/980 pricing here (UK, using Scan as an example), NVIDIA has rather large performance and cost gaps between the 960 and 970, and between the 970 & 980. Makes it a bit difficult if one has a budget of around 200 UKP ($300+), or 300 UKP ($450+), means one has to either shift up or down, buying something below budget but slower, or above budget but quicker. Kinda feel like it'd help if there was a 960 Ti and a 970 Ti, but that's unlikely.

Ian.

 

kcarbotte

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So what's better (performance and value wise); 2 of these SLI or a 970 (or even a 980 might be fun to compare)
I've actually done some independant testing on this and I've found that the 2 configurations are remarkably close, and each one trades blows depending on the game.

I would recomend going with a single 970 over dual 960s though. The 128-big memory bus is just fine for 1080p today. They will not scale well for higher resolutions, and will show thier age sooner than a more expensive card will.

 

kcarbotte

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I just got the Evga GTX 960 SSC version. Ive been contemplating returning it because everyone hates on it and tells me im more or less stupid for not getting a 970. :/
Is it doing what you want for a video card? if so, don't worry about what others are saying. Pick the card that does what you want for the price that you can afford.

A 970 will indeed give you more performance, but do you NEED that performance? If you have a single 1080p 60hz panel, the answer is no, you don't.
Want is a different story. If you have the money, and you want it bad enough go for it, but you shouldn't feel bad about the purchase.

I've now tested four of these cards and they have all been great performers for thier price point. They are not the be all end all cards, but you aren't waisting money by buying one.

 

kcarbotte

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Oh, and 960 has a newer version on open gl than 980, also 960 has a native hvec decorder that 980 doesn't. Can't remember where I read that, but suprised info like that doesn't make it's way to toms.
This is completely new information to me. I will look into these claims, however if the information didn't get to Tom's in the first place, it may have been unsubstatiated.
 
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