MSI GeForce GTX 960 Gaming 2G Review

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The price is for the best cooler in the field. Would be excelent in a higher end HTPC/gaming combo machine where silence or near silence would be nice.
 


Tom's is comparing the different brand offerings for GTX 960 - that is what everybody wants right? You will find comparison with other cards in the reference card review (they didn't get the reference card though)
 

Covaylent

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"In the graph, MSI’s card is listed at 34 degrees."
Did you mean decibels?

Also, there was no mention of the HDMI version included with this card. For clarity, is this HDMI 2.0?

Thanks!
 

kcarbotte

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I am a bit confused in the decision of Tom's, not to compare data with the red team. All i can see is the comparison of 4 identical chips.
This came down to availability of cards, and timeframe. I only had this card in hand for 4 days to do the testing. I'm fairly new to Tom's (having started in January) and had not yet reviewed any AMD cards. As such, I did not have any on hand.

It should be noted that this review has been in the queue for a while now but was delayed to make room for the 980ti, Fury X and Fury releases.
It looks exactly like the MSI Radeon R9 380 Gaming 2GB ...



Near identical acoustic performance, too.
The tests were all done in May, long before AMD released the R9 380 to compare it against. MSI uses the same fans and near identical cooler, so the accoustic performance should be on par.



Precise overclocking frequency is not specified. Only +150 is mentioned.

Reference +150?
Gaming Mode +150?

+150 = what frequency?
My apologies, it wasn't meant to be confusing.

The overclocking was done from the base Gaming Mode clock speed.
"Gaming Mode is the default setting; its GPU clock setting is 1190MHz, while GPU Boost is increased to 1253MHz"

1190 + 150 = overclocked speed of 1240Mhz.

 

mapesdhs

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Was this an Nvidia sponsored test?
Read the author's responses above.

However, this particular article aside, the 960 is IMO the worst of the current NV lineup. It's the one part of the price/performance spectrum where I'd be tempted to recommend an AMD instead, the gap between the 960 and 970 is just too large. NV really needs a 960 Ti, but they'd probably price it too high. Either way, the 960 is just too weak overall I reckon (people forget once again that situations where one might benefit from 4GB are precisely those where the 960's raw power isn't going to be remotely enough, in which case just hang it and get a 970 or somesuch). Personally, if I had a budget equivalent to a new 960, I'd just hunt down one or two used GHz-edition 7970s instead, very potent (faster than a 980), though the CF driver issues are a pain. Either that or two 3GB 580s which cost squat these days, though the power/heat/noise are what prompted me to gladly switch to a 980 a few months ago.

Anyway, I schmeugh the 960, not impressed with the card at all overall. It's just too far down below the 970.

Ian.

 

Giroro

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The price is for the best cooler in the field. Would be excelent in a higher end HTPC/gaming combo machine where silence or near silence would be nice.
Maybe it would work in a HTPC if it wasn't an absurd 11" long. It is especially absurd considering it is a low-power, midrange GPU. I don't think this will even fit inside my mid-tower case... or it might just barely since the power connector comes out the side instead of the back....
I just don't think many people building HTPCs are going to use a full-tower, and most people building a PC that size are probably going to use a more powerful GPU.
 

ozicom

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Well,
After HDMI, USB, DisplayPort we learn that it matters with the numbers following them. So why are manufacturers, producers, sellers and testers still give us those numbers? Is that hard to mention what version comes with the product? Or are you trying to hide something? Why don't you tell us what version it uses? Also why don't you add 60hz gaming with HDMI to your test list?
 

ubercake

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Maybe it would work in a HTPC if it wasn't an absurd 11" long. It is especially absurd considering it is a low-power, midrange GPU. I don't think this will even fit inside my mid-tower case... or it might just barely since the power connector comes out the side instead of the back....
I just don't think many people building HTPCs are going to use a full-tower, and most people building a PC that size are probably going to use a more powerful GPU.
The GTX 960 is a great mid-range gamer and ideal for 1080p, but I agree. Why make a mid-range card even longer?

I use the MSI 9.5" standard-blower version (which is extremely quiet itself) in my HTPC that easily fits in the smaller DS Cube case. I am really impressed with the GTX 960 in general and its ability to game at 1080p. I'm using it with an i3-2100 and it's video capability is well beyond that of any of the new consoles.

I'm not so sure there's any practical value to getting 2 or 3 more frames per second and 2.5dB quieter while adding an inch and a half to the size as with this card, but if you're running 1080p, and this card can be had for a deal and fits in your case, it wouldn't be a bad thing. The thing is, even if the card itself is quieter than stock, the heat is dissipated into the case which may cause your other internal temps to rise and the fans, in turn, to crank up. I guess I wouldn't seek something like this out necessarily, but would not be opposed to buying it if it were a good deal.
 

junkeymonkey

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'' I'd just hunt down one or two used GHz-edition 7970s instead''

I like that. look to get them old cards with all the newer ones to choose from -- I look at all these newer cards and then look at my poor old hd7000 and give it a pat on the back and say good job..

sure seems a lot of junk out there today and a bad time to be in need of a card
 

jeffredo

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I've got the 100ME version of this card (basically the same only with green instead of red and a backplate). Its ridiculously quiet and cool. I can't hear the card running over the system fans and my CPU and case fans are very high quality and quiet themselves. Quietest GPU I've ever owned. As far as the 2GB of VRAM, this particular PC is hooked up to a 1680x1050 monitor, so its not an issue at all.
 

junkeymonkey

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what I would like to see is a test of some kind on that 960's enhanced buss they talk about

'' Don't be quick to write off the 128-bit memory bus width just yet as NVIDIA is backing it with a new lossless texture compression technology that reduces memory bandwidth usage, effectively making it a wider memory bus than it physically is. ''

how can its effectiveness be proved ?? or is it another NVidia hype feature ??

though it seems folks with a 960 seem happier with it over its big brothers ?? and far more overall compatibility . theres more to a vid card then just max fps...
 
POWER COST:
Don't you think you should QUALIFY the real-world cost roughly before mentioning it as a definite CON?

And if you do, should you not also ensure to overclock the other cards to match it so we're comparing apples-to-apples (or underclock the MSI... whatever).

*My rough calculations at 12cents per KWH suggest 1/10th of a cent per hour under load.

If gaming 20 hours per week that's TWO CENTS extra per week or $1 per year.
 
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