Off the books I ran some tests with the GTX 970 and 980 and the narrower Memory Bus did tell on the GTX 960 and we wish Nvidia would produce a GTX 965 with a 192 – Bit bus but we will have to wait and see. Performance wise the MSI GTX 960 Gamer G2 was way ahead of the GTX 560 and 660 Ti’s we tested, it was performing inline with it’s closest price competitor in the AMD camp the R9 985. The segment of the market the MSI GTX 960 Gamer G2 is intended to fill will be quite happy with it’s performance and I am more than happy with it’s performance given it’s price point.
The thermals and power consumption on the Maxwell driven MSI GTX 960 Gamer 2 were outstanding and at times the Fan completely stopped when we were letting the test rig cool down. During game play and testing the noise from the MSI card were so minimal I didn’t even notice it. In comparison with the PowerColor R9 285 the MSI GTX 960 Gamer G2 was much quieter and much coooler.
I suspected a mixed bag with the MSI GTX 960 Gamer G2 and frankly it came out better than I expected given it’s narrower memory bus. The design of the Twin Frozr V and SuperSu heatpipes not only kept the MSI GTX 960 cool but give it a sleek sexy look.
Overall I am very pleased Nvidia can bring all the advantages of Maxwell technology to a $210 price point card, DX11 and DX12 forward compatible gives the GPU some longevity both in power and DX compatibility so if your setting on an older GTX 660 or earlier break out the upgrade cash. If your hoarding a GTX 760 or 700 class GPU it’s almost a tossup whether ti’s time to pull the upgrade trigger or not.
I’m happy with the MSi GTX 960 Gaming G2’s performance and will likely upgrade to GTX 960 SLI, and later upgrade to a 970 and 980 on other test rigs. Of the 9 test rigs i have 5 run AMD and 4 run Nvidia and I’m equally happy with both at their given price points. Power wise and thermally speaking I like the MSI GTX 960 better than any of the others and the quiet doesn’t hurt my feelings or ears.
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.