Which is the best Brand to buy if you are looking for Nvidia GTX 960?
There are currently 4 GTX 960 brands available in India MSI, Gigabyte, Asus and two models from Zotac. Here we are rounding up and comparing all the 5 cards there clock speeds, cooling technology and design and of course the price which brand should you buy.
Nvidia GTX 960 was launched for $199 worldwide, but unfortunately, here in India, it costs more than $300 the price at which you can buy a GTX 970 in the US. The GTX 970 is currently trading over Rs. 30,000 for good brands like Asus and Gigabyte G1. A huge price difference makes Graphics card sales growth lower compared to what it could have been had prices have been rationale.
We will be doing another detailed review of Gigabyte GTX 960 after some days of usage and see how it performs compared to other cards. Also, a detailed review of GTX 970 which I have been testing for some days now is its way soon.
Let’s compare the Specs for all the Graphics Cards: Nvidia GTX 960 Round UP Asus Zotac MSI Specs Compared
|GRAPHICS||Zotac 960 AMP Edition!||Zotac Geforce GTX 960||MSI GTX 960 GAMING 2G||Asus GTX-STRIX-960-DC2-OC||Gigabyte G1 Gaming GTX 960|
|MODEL||GTX 960 AMP!||GTX 960||GTX 960||GTX 960||GTX 960|
|CHIPSET||NVIDIA GEFORCE||NVIDIA GEFORCE||NVIDIA GEFORCE||NVIDIA GEFORCE||NVIDIA GEFORCE|
|GPU||GTX 960||GTX 960||GTX 960||GTX 960||GTX 960|
|GPU BASE CLOCK||1266 MHz||1177 MHz||1216||1228||1241|
|GPU BOOST CLOCK||1329 MHz||1240 MHz||1279||1317||1304|
|MEMORY CLOCK||7010 Mhz||7010 Mhz||7010 Mhz||7010 Mhz||7010 Mhz|
|MEMORY SIZE VRAM||2 GB||2 GB||2 GB||2 GB||2 GB|
|DIMENSION||267*139*36 mm||215.2 x 121.2 x 40.9 mm||295*114*43 mm|
|FAN SIZE||Dual90mm IceStorm||Dual 80mm fans||Dual 100 Mm Fans||Dual 90 mm Fans||triple 90 mm Fans|
|Price Rs.||Rs. 19,000||Rs. 18000||Rs. 18600||Rs. 19,000||Rs. 19,500|
Asus Strix GTX 960
- The Asus card comes with the Direct CU II cooling technology
- Offers Zero DB fan technology which helps fans kick in after the graphics card touches 60 degree Celsius
- 6 Pin Power Connector is required to connect it to the PSU, not high power consuming among GTX 960’s.
- It is fitted with 2 GB of high-speed GDDR5 video memory that races along at boosted speeds of up to 7200 MHz
- GPU Boost Clock: OC Mode: 1317 MHz; Gaming Mode: 1291 MHz
- GPU base Clock: OC Mode: 1253 MHz; Gaming Mode: 1228 MHz
- Resulting in a performance that is 30% cooler and 3X quieter than reference for incredible stability
Zotac 960 Reference Model
Freeze Tech – Zotac offers Freeze Tech on this card with the ability to cut off fans at low load and start spinning the fans once the temperatures rise. The card may be fine-tuned to suit user needs, and it can be done from the comfort of FIRESTORM, an in-house developed tweaking utility from ZOTAC.
The Firestorm is like EVGA precision X software but needs a lot of improvements, we used it to overclock the cards, but saving profiles and managing is a pain with the firestorm which we hope Zotac will evolve over a period.
Zotac 960 AMP Edition
Zotac 960 AMP Edition
Hongkong based ZOTAC International offers Freeze Tech, ExoArmor on the GTX 960 AMP Edition cards which ensures much better cooling and temperatures compared to the base model. The better thermal design and cooling ensures you can easily overclock the AMP model much more compared to the reference model.
The card combined with a dual fan IceStorm technology (available on ZOTAC GeForce GTX 960 AMP! Edition), and coupled with the newest Freeze tech, ZOTAC’s newest fan feature.
Freeze is an inspired breakthrough that will enable powerful video cards to become silent and reduce the wear on the fan system. When the user is not in action, the fans idle so they can enjoy the silence of the fans.
The fan will engage automatically when GPU temperature rises and stays silent for the rest of the time. The ZOTAC GeForce GTX 960 AMP! Edition boasts a sleek gunmetal ExoArmor with a durable wraparound metal back plate and front metal frame with a dual 90 mm IceStorm cooling solution which is excellent compared to the reference cooling solution on the base reference card.
MSI GTX 960 GAMING 2G
Twin Frozr V – The new 10 cm Torx fans ensure vast amounts of silent airflow and visually match the bold new look of the Twin Frozr V. The heatsink itself is re-organized through the SuperSU design which increases heat-pipe efficiency, especially when combined with Airflow Control Technology.
Hybrid Frozr was a throwback to 2008 when MSI was the first to market high-end, zero noise graphics cards thanks to fans that stop spinning in low-temperature situations.
Gigabyte G1 Gaming GTX 960
The Gigabyte G1 is one of the best when you are hunting for either GTX 970 or GTX 960 models. The GTX 960 requires a 400W (with two 6-pin external power connectors) to run efficiently. The Windforce 3X cooling system is equipped with high-performance pure copper heat-pipes which directly touch the GPU can strengthen the speed of heat dissipation.
The G1 also offers the Zero dB semi-passive fans with intuitive fan indicators. The card further boasts 160W of total board power, which is backed by a 6-phase GPU power design that effectively extends the overall stability and longevity with lower component temperature.
The fans will remain off when the GPU is under a set loading or temperature for low power gaming. Besides, LED fan indicators on the top of the graphics card provide an instant display of whether the fans are spinning or not. Gamers could enjoy an absolutely silent gaming experience when playing light MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) games like League of Legends.
By using GIGABYTE exclusive OC GURU II, GTX 960 OC Edition Series Graphics Cards can be monitored and tuned in real-time.
GTX 960 G1 Gaming, GIGABYTE at the same time releases the OC Edition GV-N960WF2OC-2GD and GV-N960IXOC-2GD.
(Above Picture) This is the Gigabyte non-G1 OC edition that costs match the competition and lack the three fan cooler but has 2 large standard fans for heat dissipation.
Verdict – Best Brand for Nvidia GTX 960 Graphic Card.
Gaming Benchmark performance you will not find much difference between the top 4 of suggestions below
1). Gigabyte G1 Gaming – I think the above description makes it very clear what you are getting for the money spent. In a nutshell, if you are looking to buy the GTX 960, you can go ahead with Gigabyte G1 for overall excellent performance though it is expensive if you can find a cheaper one offline.
2). Asus Strix for being value for money with good cooling/performance.
3) MSI Twin Frozer GTX 960 for having good cooling and overclocking ability. Asus and MSI both are great value for money, any of the two you can buy.
4). Zotac base version you should avoid and take the AMP version for better overclock and stable performance.
Review Nvidia GTX 960 launched for Rs 18000 India
We reported last month that we expect Nvidia GTX 960 to launch at Rs. 18,000 from experience and we are bang on target. The pricing is much higher compared to the $199 price in the US market for the GPU. Notably, Nvidia has finally launched the much-anticipated graphics card Nvidia GTX 960, on 22 January 2015.
The new Nvidia GTX is available at a very attractively in the US at $199(INR 12,000). However, in the Indian market, it costs Rs. 18,000 for the base Zotac model and different brand variants can cost excess of Rs. 18,000.
The pricing is disappointing for India when Nvidia is pitching it as a card for Mid-level enthusiast Gamers. There will be a handful of Gamers in countries like India who will be able to spare Rs. 18,000 only on the graphics card for a Gaming PC Build. The Cost of Gaming PC build, even if we use AMD FX-6300 or Core i3 4th gen will touch Rs. 60,000.
Coming to the specs, the Nvidia GTX 960 uses the new Maxwell GM 206 architecture an upgrade from the GM 204 architecture (Nvidia GTX 980 and 970). We saw the energy efficient Maxwell architecture first in the GT 750 and GT 750 Ti and then in the GTX 980 and 970 that got released 4 months back, in September 2014.
The Key Specifications for GTX 960, GTX 970, GTX 770 & GTX 760 for Comparison :
|Model||CUDA Cores||Core Clock||Boost Clock||Memory Clock||Memory Bus||V-RAM|
|GTX 970||1664||1050 MHz||1178 MHz||7.0 GHz GDDR5||256-bit||4GB|
|GTX 960||1024||1126 MHz||1178 MHz||7.0 GHz GDDR5||128-bit||2GB|
|GTX 760||1152||980 MHz||1033 MHz||6.0 GHz GDDR5||256-bit||2GB|
|GTX 660||960||980 MHz||1033 MHz||6.0 GHz GDDR5||192-bit||2GB|
- The GTX 960 has more Cuda Cores in comparison to a GTX 660 but lesser than the GTX 760.
- Further, the GTX 960 base Core clock (1126) is significantly higher than the GTX 760 and GTX 660 and even GTX 970. Also, There is a lot of headroom for overclocking the GTX 960. We expect it to cross 1350 Core clock silently and give a significant performance boost when overclocked.
- Memory Clock – The Nvidia GTX 960 and GTX 970 are clocked at 7.0 GHz faster than the predecessors.
- Memory Bus Width – The GTX 960 has a lower memory bus width of 128 bit VS a 192 on GTX 660, but Maxwell color compression technology is way efficient than the Kepler as well as AMD current generation rendering engine. So the 128-bit bus width is not a hindering factor for the GTX 960.
- VRAM – Current models will have 2GB VRAM for GTX 960, which is enough for gaming on 1920*1080 resolution or lower. The performance difference will not be there VS a 3GB or 4GB card for single monitor PC configuration.
Review Nvidia GTX 960 launched for Rs 18000 India
Other Specs Comparison
|Model||Texture Units||ROPs||TDP||GPU Architechture||Lithography||Transistor Count|
|GTX 970||104||64||145W||GM204||28 nm||5.2 Billion|
|GTX 960||64||32||120W||GM206||28 nm||2.94 Billion|
|GTX 760||96||32||170W||GK104||28 nm||3.5 Billion|
|GTX 660||80||24||140W||GK106||28 nm||2.54 Billion|
Nvidia GTX 960 has 64 texture units and 32 ROPs and is the first graphics card to take advantage of GM 206 architecture. There is no advancement in the manufacturing process(Lithography) it is same as the GTX 660 or GTX 760.
The highlight for the Nvidia GTX 960 is its incredibly low power consumption of 120 Watts while the key rival AMD R9 280 has a 280 watts TPD.
Why is it so amazing to have such low TDP? The reason is it generates much less heat & noise when gaming, and consumes low power.
Heating is a major factor for buyers in hot countries like India (Asia) where adequate air conditioning is required while gaming on some of the heating elements like AMD 290X.
The Nvidia GTX 970 has a very competitive price. The launch price was Rs.28,000.
A lot of buyers purchased the AMD R9-290X at a price of 44,000 before its launch. The price was significantly more in comparison to the 970 that offers similar performance.
|Model||Launch Date||Price $||Current Price Rs.|
|GTX 970||41900||315||Rs. 26,200|
|GTX 960||42026||199||Rs. 18,000|
|GTX 760||41450||220||Rs. 18,000|
|GTX 660||41165||170||Rs. 12400|
The GTX 960 current price is very high but if it becomes available around 15,000 for the base model and 16,000 for OC models in India. It will directly compete with the AMD R9-270X which is currently selling at Rs. 14,300.
Further, the Nvidia GTX 760 currently costs Rs. 17-18k even more on online portals which are refusing to reduce the price of older models. Some of GTX 960 are already listed on Snapdeal and MD-computers website.
Suitable For – Mid Enthusiast Gaming PC Build Priced Above Rs. 50,000
Recommended Processors – AMD FX 6300, Intel Core i3 4130, Core i5 4th Gen, FX 8350, Core i5 3rd gen. With Core i7 you should look for a 970 or a 980.
Recommended Resolution – 1920*1080, 1600*900. It will max out everything on 1366*768. Beyond 1080p, preferably use GTX 980 or 970 SLI.
Advantages of Buying Nvidia GTX 960
- It offers excellent performance upto 10-15% increase over GTX 760 and 20% over the AMD R9 -270X.
- The card runs cool with 120 watt low TDP.
- No need to upgrade Power Supply (SMPS) 450 watt will do the trick.
- It can run all games on High/Ultra Settings, ideal for 1080p and lower resolution.
- Good Overclocking Potential
Cons For GTX 960
The current price of Rs. 18,000 is very high; you can easily buy a GTX 970 with Rs. 26,000. Considering you have a lower budget than you can buy GTX 960 or my best advice will be to hold on for 1 month and wait for price correction.
Gaming Benchmarks – Nvidia GTX 960
System Specs Used for benchmarks
Intel Core i7 4770K, 16 GB Corsair Vengeance RAM, Asus Wifi Pro Motherboard, Dell S2340L 1080p Monitor. (Secondary data)
Graphics Cards Compared – Nvidia GTX 970, Nvidia GTX 960, Nvidia GTX 770, AMD Radeon R9 290X, AMD Radeon R9 280X, AMD Radeon R9 285, AMD Radeon R9 280, Nvidia GTX 770.
Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor Ultra Setting 1080p resolution
Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor – The Average FPS for GTX 960 is 53, and minimum FPS is 41. AMD R9 285 leads by 8 FPS and GTX 960 matches the AMD R9 280 in this Game. Whereas, the AMD 280X is way faster with 64 Avg FPS.
Far Cry 4 High Details 1080p Resolution
The Average FPS for GTX 960 is 57, and minimum FPS is 53. AMD R9 285 lags GTX 960 by a margin of 5 FPS in Far Cry 4. Nvidia GTX 970 leads the pack with AMD R9 290X almost matching the performance of GTX 970. Nvidia GTX 760 and AMD R9 280 are 8-10 FPS slower than the Nvidia GTX 960.
Battlefield 4 Ultra Details 1080p Resolution
The Average FPS for GTX 960 is 57, and minimum FPS is 45. AMD R9 285 lags and GTX 960 with 3-4 FPS in Battlefield 4. Nvidia GTX 970 leads the pack with AMD R9 290X almost matching the performance of GTX 970. Nvidia GTX 760 and AMD R9 280 are 8-10 FPS slower than the Nvidia GTX 960.
Assassin’s Creed Unity – Low Settings 1080P
The Average FPS for GTX 960 is quite impressive in this GPU nightmare game 35(Avg) & 27(Min). AMD R9 285 leads by a small margin in Assassin’s Creed Unity. Nvidia GTX 970 leads the pack with 72(Avg FPS). Nvidia GTX 760 and AMD R9 280 put up impressive performance after staying above 30 (FPS) on average.
All Games Comparison
We summed up all 4 games Avg and Min FPS and took out the average to see on a whole which graphics card is doing well. Surprisingly GTX 960 and AMD 285 are neck-in-neck with 50 FPS while AMD R9 280 is @ 45.25 and GTX 760 offers 42.8 Avg FPS.
All Games Minimum FPS Benchmarking GTX 960
All Games Avg FPS Vs. Nvidia GTX 960
Taking Nvidia GTX 960 as reference Avg FPS of other Cards
- The GTX 970 is about 58% faster than GTX 960. (see 158% in chart).
- AMD 290X is about 50% faster than GTX 960.
- The AMD 280X is about 18% faster than Nvidia Gtx 960.
- The AMD R9 285 just matches it in all games avg FPS.
- AMD R9 280 is about 11% slower than GTX 960.
- The Nvidia GTX 760 is about 16% slower than GTX 960.
Pricing Comparison All Graphics Cards – With GTX 960 (India)
Value for Money Scale – Does GTX 960 offers good Value?
Nvidia GTX 960 is 18% slower than an AMD 280X and almost 19% cheaper. It matches the performance of AMD R9 285 and is about 11% cheaper, hence a better bargain if we consider above prices. It costs similar to AMD R9 280 or Nvidia GTX 760 but offers more than 10% performance gain over both cards effortlessly, hence a better deal.
Which Brand Should You Buy For GTX 960
Currently, all brands like ASUS, MSI, Gigabyte are priced above Rs. 18,000. Moreover, you can look at Zotac in India which you may get cheaper. Also, Zotac is offering an extended warranty of 5 years on GTX 970, which may be the case for GTX 960 too. (Check with Zotac India)
In the US the card is replacing the GTX 660 and AMD 270X while in India with its pricing it is competing with GTX 760 (approx. price Rs. 18,000). Also competes with the AMD R9 280 and AMD R9 285 which are priced close to Rs. 20,000 and AMD HD 7950.
Concluding Thoughts: Should You Upgrade
If you are looking for an upgrade from Nvidia 750ti, GTX 660 or AMD R9 HD 7870, AMD 260X or AMD 265 or AMD 270X you should wait some more time to see the next generation of AMD graphics cards which will most likely release in next 1-2 months.
The Performance of GTX 960 is good if we consider it as a card priced at 14,000. But unfortunately, the card is selling at a very high price currently some e-retailers selling it even above Rs. 19,000.
At this price, it offers not too much advantage even old AMD HD 7950 is available at the same rate which has extreme overclock potential and by all means, offers better or equal FPS to GTX 960. AMD R9 285 is also a good match for GTX 960.
I wanted Nvidia Gtx 960 to recommend it as the best graphics card for Rs. 15000. However, due to ridiculous pricing in India, it is just a good graphics card option under Rs. 20,000.
Lastly, If you are willing to spend Rs. 18,000 on GTX 960, I would recommend you to wait or buy the Nvidia Gtx 970 for as low as Rs. 26,000.
If you ask me to sum up in one line ” Nvidia GTX 960 is Excellent Graphics Card, but Poorly Priced in India.”