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 past experience and same has been proved bang on target. The pricing is much higher compared to the $199 price in the US market for Nvidia GTX 960. Nvidia has finally launched the much anticipated graphics card Nvidia GTX 960, on 22 January, 2015.

The new Nvidia GTX is priced very attractively in US at $199(INR 12,000) however in Indian market it is priced at Rs. 18,000 for the base Zotac model and different brand variants can cost access of Rs. 18,000.

 The pricing is really disappointing for India when Nvidia is pitching it as a card for Mid level enthusiast Gamers. There will be handful of Gamers in countries like India who will be able to spare Rs. 18,000 only on graphic 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.

Review Nvidia GTX 960 launched for Rs 18000 India

The Nvidia GTX 960 is based on the 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 which 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 compared to a GTX 660 but lesser than the GTX 760.
  • GTX 960 base Core clock (1126) is significantly higher than the GTX 760 and GTX 660 and even GTX 970. There is also a lot of headroom for overclocking the GTX 960, we expect it to cross 1350 Core clock silently and give a significant boost when overclocked.
  • Memory Clock – Nvidia GTX 960 and GTX 970 are clocked  at 7.0 Ghz faster than the predecessors.
  • Memory Bus Width – 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 a 128 bit 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 watt TPD. Why it is so amazing to have such low TDP is simply because it generates much less heat & noise when gaming, and consumes low power.  This 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.

Pricing – Nvidia priced the GTX 970 very competitively when it was launched at Rs.28,000 in September 2014. Buyer purchased the AMD R9-290X at a price of 44,000 prior to its launch which they would have considered very high price after GTX 970 got priced so cheaply.

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

Current Pricing is very high if it becomes available around 15,000 for 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.  Nvidia GTX 760 is also priced very high at 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. Will max out everything on 1366*768. Beyond 1080p , preferably use GTX 980 or 970 SLI.

Advantages of Buying Nvidia GTX 960

  • Excellent performance upto 10-15% increase over GTX 760 and 20% over the AMD R9 -270X.
  • Runs cool with 120 watt low TDP.
  • No need to upgrade Power Supply (SMPS) 450 watt will do the trick.
  • Can run all games on High/Ultra Settings, ideal for 1080p and lower resolution.
  • Good Overclocking Potential

Cons For GTX 960

Current price of Rs. 18,000 is very high, you can easily buy a GTX 970 with Rs. 26,000.  Considering you are stuck due to budget than you can buy GTX 960 or my best advice will be to hold on for 1 month and see it slide down a little.

Lets move to Gaming Benchmarks and Conclusion. 

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