NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950 2GB Video Card Review – ASUS STRIX GTX 950

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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950 2GB Review

NVIDIA today launched their latest mainstream graphics card, the GeForce GTX 950, which features a suggested retail price of $159 and uses the GM206 Maxwell GPU. That GPU might sound familiar to those that keep up with the graphics card market as it is the same exact GPU that NVIDIA is using on the GeForce GTX 960 ($199). NVIDIA disabled some things to help differentiate this card from the GeForce GTX 960 and was able to bring it to market at a lower price point.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950 Reference Card
For this card NVIDIA is targeting it to the millions of gamers around the world that play MOBA (Massive Online Battle Arena) game titles like DOTA 2,  Heroes of the Storm and League of Legends. MOBA game titles have seen explosive growth over the past several years yet only modest system hardware is needed to play those game titles. There are tons of gamers out there with 3+ year old video cards playing these game titles and NVIDIA is looking to get those people to update their system to one of these new cards. With the recent release of Windows 10 and DirectX 12 there are likely a good number of gamers out there that are looking for a more powerful graphics card that is more power efficient, quieter and supports all the latest features like DX12.

gtx950-moba

let’s take a quick look at our specifications table to see what is different on the GeForce GTX 950 since it uses the same basic GM206 GPU as the GeForce GTX 960.

GTX 960 GTX 950 GTX 650 Ti GTX 650
GPU GM206 GM206 GK106 GK107
Die size (mm2) 227 227 221 118
GPU Cores 1024 768 768 384
SMX Units 8 6 4 2
GPU Clusters 2 2 2/3 4
Base Clock (CUDA Cores) 1127 MHz 1024 MHz 928 MHz 1058 MHz
Boost Clock (CUDA Cores) 1178 MHz 1188 MHz N/A N/A
Texture Units 64 48 64 32
ROP Units 32 32 16 16
Memory 2GB 2GB 1GB 1GB
Memory Clock 7000 MHz 6600 MHz 5400 MHz 5000 MHz
Memory Interface 128-bit 128-bit 128-bit 128-bit
Memory Bandwidth 112.0 GB/s 105.6 GB/s 86.4 GB/s 80.0 GB/s
TDP 120 watts 90 watts 110 watts 64 watts
Peak Compute 2.30 TFLOPS 1.57 TFLOPS  1.43 TFLOPS
Transistor Count 2.94B 2.94B 2.54B 1.3B
Process Tech 28nm Maxwell 28nm Maxwell 28nm Kepler 28nm Kepler
MSRP $199 $159 $149 $110

NVIDIA disabled two SMX units and this resulted in the number of CUDA cores dropping from 1024 to 768. This is a 33% decrease in the number of CUDA cores. NVIDIA also reduced the number of texture units from 64 to 48, which is a 25% reduction.

gm206-die

NVIDIA left the memory configuration alone, so you still have a 128-bit bus although it’s clocked at 6600 MHz instead of 7000 MHz. This reduces the memory bandwidth to 105.6 GB/s from 112.0 GB/s. NVIDIA also reduced the base/boost clock speeds as the base clock is 1024 MHz and the typical boost clock is 1188 MHz. The end result of all this is a card with 1.57 TFLOPS of compute power versus 2.30 TFLOPS on the GTX 960 reference card.

ASUS GeForce GTX 950 Strix 2GB Graphics Card

 

We wouldn’t get too hung up about base/boost clock speeds though as the NVIDIA reference card was just for internal testing and for the add-in board partners to use to come up with their own designs.   We’ve seen cards from ASUS, EVGA, MSI, Zotac, Gigabyte and others that all come with much higher overclocks from the factory. The card that we are looking at today is the ASUS STRIX GTX 950 and it features a base clock of 1165 MHz with a boost clock of 1355 MHz right out of the box!

strix-gtx950-specifications

Let’s take a closer look at the ASUS STRIX GTX 950 video card and then jump into looking at how it performs!

 

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  • EMRE ER

    it says 3 display ports, but i see only 1. well ?

    • Tiger

      I see four: DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0, DVI-D, DVI-I

  • X-47B

    How many watts of power supply is good enough for GTX 950? Will 430 watt PSU do?

  • Socius

    I’m liking your reviews. I used to be a fan of Anandtech but they’ve dropped the ball. The biggest thing I like about your reviews is that you do take overclocking into consideration. I just wish you had also done a performance comparison against the 750ti in this review to show not just the 1 card above it, but also the 1 card below it in terms of performance/value.

    • Nathan Kirsch

      Thanks Socius! We had a very limited amount of time to get this done before we left for IDF on Sunday (8/16) and we did a clean install of Windows 10 on the test system. This is actually our first use of Windows 10 on the site as we are just now starting to move our main test systems over to it! That means we need to re-test everything, so expect the charts to grow in the future!

    • Freeman4096

      nah man, anandtech is as legit as it gets.