MSI GeForce GTX 960 Gaming 2G Review

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Eggz

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I hope you're not gaming 20/hr/wk! Either way, don't forget PSU (in)efficieny. Even if your PSU sucks and gets only 50%, you'd be looking at $2/yr. :)
 

TNT27

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None of the 300 series were rebrands, they are a refresh (imrpoved qnd tweaked). And despite some of these chips inside being 3-4yrs old they compete very well against brand new tech, usually cheaper for more performance. Power draw and thermql improvements over 200 series, and rock solid drivers so far.
They both have almowt identical softwqre and features.
It really comes down to price, and what your psu can handle when choosing green vs red.
 

Ice-Tea

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The difference in ambient temp is just silly. Correct the values by 3 degrees or put the heating higher during winter so that you're always at 25.
 

RazberyBandit

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The power requirement for a typical GTX 960 is about twice that of the typical 750Ti -- around 120W vs 60W. The typical 970 only adds another 25W or so over a 960.

Bottom line: Maxwell is both very effective and very efficient.
 

Frozen Fractal

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Please pardon me if you are hurt but this is actually Tom's Hardware's worst GPU review I've seen to date. I actually came looking for the advanced and thorough testing done to a GPU (frame time latency, variation, power usage variation, and the new FPS/watt things etc) but it came to be very underwhelming.

This is what happens when you give reviewers less time to review something (yeah, I'm talking to you, MSI).
 


Most PSU's are within about a 5% range close to 80% efficiency. Anyway, i find the "CON" about power consumption annoying since as I said it's an incredibly small added cost and probably isn't even a fair comparison since I doubt the same performance (GPU frequency) is being compared.

Who goes to buy a roughly $200USD card then says "Oh my, it's going to cost me 25 cents more per year... oh, i better buy the slightly less performing card and save a bit of money..."

 

g-unit1111

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Completely agree 150% there. A 960TI would be a much better card at that price point than a 960 is.
 


Performance is one aspect only. Other reasons exist including power (and thus heat), PhysX, noise, DX12 version, HDMI 2 (4K@60FPS), HUD support, driver support, and several others.

Some won't care at all about certain features and others will.

I recommend BOTH cards depending on what features people want.

As for COST, when I checked pricing using pcpartpicker the cost of a GTX960 2GB card was cheaper than an R9-280X if we look at where pricing starts and similar models.
 

kcarbotte

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I would like to put this idea to the test. I've reviewed several 2GB cards (which by the way perform just fine at thier intended resolution), but I've never tested a 4GB card.
Personally, I don't believe that a 4GB GTX 960 will be of any benefit at all unless running in SLI.
the only game that I've seen use more than 2GB at 1080p is GTA 5, and I'm not convinced that the GPU would be able to keep up in settings high enough to use that much memory.

The idea of wanting more than 2GB of vram makes sense, but only if you have the horsepower to make use of it.

Again, I have not had the chance to test it for myself, but I really don't think a GTX 960 has that much power.
 

Frankalll

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I would like to put this idea to the test. I've reviewed several 2GB cards (which by the way perform just fine at thier intended resolution), but I've never tested a 4GB card.
Personally, I don't believe that a 4GB GTX 960 will be of any benefit at all unless running in SLI.
the only game that I've seen use more than 2GB at 1080p is GTA 5, and I'm not convinced that the GPU would be able to keep up in settings high enough to use that much memory.

The idea of wanting more than 2GB of vram makes sense, but only if you have the horsepower to make use of it.

Again, I have not had the chance to test it for myself, but I really don't think a GTX 960 has that much power.
I'm not an expert, and personally I don't have any numbers to prove it, although I had 4GB cards and 2GB cards before. I noticed framerate issues, especially modded games like Skyrim, with larger texture file mods, that my 2GB card had some problems keeping up.
Of course, there is that chance, of game bugs and memory leak occuring, which isn't the cards' fault, but poor programming, but nowadays bugs in games are almost guaranteed and some will never gets fixed.
On the other hand, other sites did test the 4GB vs 2GB Vram cards and here it is:

EVGA GTX 960 4GB vs. 2GB Benchmark – Is 4GB VRAM Worth It?
http://www.gamersnexus.net/guides/1888-evga-supersc-4gb-960-benchmark-vs-2gb/Page-2
 
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I could see the 960 as an upgrade only from very outdated hardware and where power consumption means most. Even in a scenario where the user wants to buy a new GPU and not upgrade from a weak PSU this wouldn't cut it. You'd almost have to live in a country where power bills are over the top expensive for it to be a good choice. Otherwise you'd be better off hunting down a used 285 or 280X if you need a card that badly, which are currently cheaper even new, and the 280X is quite a bit more powerful. The argument for power consumption here in the US really isn't a very relevant one. I'm not sure a 960 ti would make that much of a difference in the sub $300 space either. Maxwell just doesn't do well when scaled down to lower levels it seems.
 

RazberyBandit

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^ 285's and 280X's are NOT "currently even cheaper new."

2GB GTX 960's are roughly $180-205. http://pcpartpicker.com/parts/video-card/#c=208&sort=a8&page=1
R9 280X's are $210-250. http://pcpartpicker.com/parts/video-card/#c=148&sort=a8&page=1
R9 285's are $200-225. http://pcpartpicker.com/parts/video-card/#c=182&sort=a8&page=1
R9 380's are $200-230. http://pcpartpicker.com/parts/video-card/#c=310&sort=a8&page=1

Even in Europe the R9 380 and 285 are still slightly more expensive than most GTX 960 cards, while 280X's are even more expensive than them.
 

CTurbo

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$169 is a more reasonable price for a 960, but you can still get a 280 for $149 making it a much better deal, or a 280x for $189 which is probably worth $20 more. The 285 comes in at $172.


http://pcpartpicker.com/parts/compare/gigabyte-video-card-gvr9285wf2oc2gd%2Cmsi-video-card-gtx9602gd5toc%2Csapphire-video-card-100363vx3l%2Cxfx-video-card-r9280atdfd/
 
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A Gigabyte Windforce 285 is $172 on Newegg in the US with promo price cuts, the 280X is slightly more at around $210, and the 380 is about $200. They are very close to the 960, but outperform it most of the time so being $20-$30 more isn't too much of a setback. The 960 would be great at around $170 and less as others said, too.

 

RazberyBandit

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^ The final cost isn't $173 for that 285 - it's $203 w/ shipping. That is what a buyer must pay up-front to get the card.

You simply can't always count on a rebate... It's a chicken before it hatches.
 
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Ah I misread that on Newegg's site. For some reason I thought it was an instant cut, they have done that quite often in the past so maybe I thought I saw it even though it wasn't there hahaha.
 
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