Nvidia leaves the production of the GTX 960 completely the manufacturers and makes no separate reference design. We therefore test the MSI GTX 960 Gaming 2G.
Nvidia's latest graphics cards such as the new Geforce GTX 960 based on the Maxwell architecture convince in the test not only a high performance and low power consumption. Today, Nvidia expanded the Maxwell portfolio around 200 euros expensive Geforce GTX 960 and thus to the first card of this generation for less than 300 euros. As a "middle-class" model designed the GTX 960 is aimed primarily at players playing on a full HD monitor in the test, they also competes with the low card the Radeon R9 series from AMD.
While in the Geforce GTX 970 and the Geforce GTX 980 the GM204 graphics core is used, involves the GTX 960 its power from the GM206 GPU. Compared to the fully developed GTX GM204 GM206 980 of the GTX 960 has only 1.024 instead of 2.048 shader units, 32 instead of 62 and 64 instead of ROPs 128 texture units. Also, the video memory and its connection have been reduced from 4.0 to 2.0 GB, and from 256 to 128 bits. The scattered before the launch of the GTX 960 rumors that it is the GM206 chip basically a halved version of the 204 model have thus materialized.
Nevertheless, the Geforce GTX will have 960 according to Nvidia have enough 3D performance to represent all current track smoothly in high details and Full HD resolution. And given the extremely good performance of the GM204 chip (GTX 970, GTX 980) should be in fact even the cropped version still readily able to provide high frame rates - at least in 1080p, but more in the gaming benchmarks.
According to Nvidia, the GTX 960 is designed especially for players who do not have a GTX GeForce 660 or older stuck in the computer. What at least according to the Steam hardware survey (and Nvidia) is the case for around two-thirds of the participants.
Are 2.0 GB enough?
Dissuasive than the abridged shader number rather of only 2.0 GB of video memory and its halved to 128-bit connection to the graphics chip is likely to be for some players. Finally, 4.0 GByte VRAM appeared after Radeon R9 290GTX 970 and GTX 980 already to establish (X) and the Geforce as a new standard. However, of more than 2.0 GB of video memory benefit so far only a few games, and usually only in resolutions beyond 1920x1080 pixels. Probably for any concerns about inadequate memory bandwidth through the narrow 128-bit interface avert Nvidia also frees the memory clock of the GTX 960 to part with 9.3 GHz instead of 7.0 GHz (each effective), giving a maximum memory bandwidth of 148 GB / s.
As justification, the manufacturer cites by "Delta Compression" compared with the previous microarchitecture "Kepler" improved by 33 per cent efficiency of video memory at Maxwell. This would the real 112 GB / s of peak memory bandwidth of the GTX 960 compared to older Geforce GTX 660 Despite narrower interface (128 instead of 192 bits but 7.0 rather than 6.0 GHz effective RAM clock) correspond (144 GB / s) theoretically 148 GB / s. Compared with the 224 GB / s of the GTX 970 and 980 that also use delta compression) makes the halved RAM interface but still noticeable.
More details about the new features of the Maxwell microarchitecture as well as also supported by the GTX 960 features "G-Sync" (synchronization of video card and corresponding monitors), "MFAA" (resource-saving alternative to MSAA) and "DSR" (better graphics quality thanks internally higher calculated resolution) can be found in our test the Geforce GTX 980th
View pictures - MSI GTX 960 Gaming 2G