Up until recently Nvidia only let two GPU’s out of the Maxwell nest, generally NVIDIA releases the Top Dog GPU and maybe shortly later a variant of the GTX X80 class. In this case the all-powerful GTX 980 splashed on the market at between $550 to about $700 depending on how steroidal a model you want. Then later comes the GTX 970 bowing only to the GTX 980 (speaking strictly about the Maxwell GPU’s at this point) it commands a price of between $330 to just under $400, still pretty steep for most end users hanging onto their GTX 660 and below trying to maximize their upgrade dollars. Enter the Sweet Spot Strategy starting out with plain Jane GTX 960’s around $210 up to nicer well worth the bump $240 dollar models.
Features and Specifications
MSI GeForce GTX 960 Gaming
|Graphics Processing Clusters||2|
|CUDA Cores (single precision)||1024|
|Memory Clock (Data rate)||7010MHz (Effective Speed – ~9300MHz)|
|L2 Cache Size||1024KB|
|Total Video Memory||2048 MB GDDR5|
|Total Memory Bandwidth||112.6 GB/s|
|Texture Filtering Rate (Bilinear)||72.1 GigaTexels/sec|
|Fabrication Process||28 nm|
|Transistor Count||1.94 Billion|
|Connectors||3 x Display Port
1 x Dual-Link DVI
1 x HDMI
|Form Factor||Dual Slot|
|Power Connectors||One 6-Pin|
|Recommended Power Supply||400 Watts|
|Thermal Design Power (TDP)||120 Watts|
Sporting 8 Streaming Multiprocessors and 1024 Cuda Cores, 64 Texture Units and 32 Rops with a (by today’s standards) narrow 128-bit memory bus the MSI GTX 960 looks to be a mixed bag. By mixed bag it comes in at an amazing bargain price, has all the sweet technology of Maxwell GPU’s, DirectX 11 forward compatible with DirectX 12 sips at power and will blow 1080P monitor users minds. The MSI GTX 960 gaming’s bus is a lot narrower than it’s bigger brothers and in the long run that will impact it’s performance but just how much is a matter for the benchmarks to determine.
What I can tell you about the MSI GTX 960 straight out of the box, and I knew before testing, is that this is one sexy GPU and with the elegant cooling solution that MSI has implemented along with the TDP (Thermal Design Power) is that this will be one of the quietest highest performing “Sweet Spot” GPU;s I have ever held dear to my heart. I am such a lover of all things sleek and powerful that I still covet my 4870×2 Palit and XFX 8800GT Alpha Dog but fresh out of the box not even smelling of burnt in components the MSI GTX 960 gets points for just being sexy.
Value - 9
Performance - 8.5
Quality - 9
Features - 9
Innovation - 9
The MSI GTX 960 Gamer G2 performed well at it's price point, sipped at power, the fans shut down at an idle and it packs in all the technology of a true Maxwell core.