The ASUS STRIX GTX950 DirectCU II OC 2GB video card features the usual black design with red accents and measures in at 220 x 125 x 40 mm in dimension. This makes the STRIX-GTX950 just 8.7-inches in length, so you shouldn’t have any issues fitting inside the vast majority of PC cases on the market now or in yesteryear.
The STRIX GTX 950 has a 5-phase Super Alloy II Power design that should give you plenty of smooth power and minimal choke noise. Up top you’ll also see the two 8mm heatpipes that help transfer the heat from the GPU to the cooling fin arrays. The two wing-blade fans on the STRIX GTX 950 are 0db models, so they’ll only spin up when the card reaches a certain operating temperature.
Along the top edge of the ASUS STRIX GTX 950 you’ll find a single NVIDIA SLI multi-GPU interconnect for those that might want to combine two of these cards together for even greater performance.
On the other end of the top edge of the PCB there is the rear-facing 6-pin PCIe power connector. ASUS recommends at least a 350W power supply for their NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950 video card and that the +12V rail has a current rating of 24 Amps or higher.
Just below the connector on the black PCB you’ll find two LED indicator lights that visually let you know if you connect the power properly. If the LED light is white you have the power cable completely plugged in and it is feeding the card power properly. If the LED indicator light is red it means that you don’t have the power connector pressed in tight enough or there is a possible power supply issue.
The ASUS STRIX GTX 950 2GB video card does not come with a black back plate and we noticed that there are locations for more memory to be added, so it is possible that 4GB versions could be made down the road if there is market demand for such a card.
The 2GB of GDDR5 memory chips are made by Samsung and have the model number K4G41325FC-HC28. After looking up the part number we figured out that these 4th Generation GDDR5 SGRAM memory chips are rated at 0.28ns (7000MBps) with 1.5V of power.
ASUS went with three DisplayPort 1.2 outputs as well as single HDMI 2.0 and Dual-Link DVI-I when it comes to video outputs. ASUS includes a DVI to VGA adapter in the accessory bundle, so the STRIX-GTX950-DC2OC-2GD5 should be able to connect to pretty much any monitor that you own or that is coming out in the years ahead. It is nice to see some many DisplayPort connections as that it what you need to run NVIDIA G-Sync monitors and you can easily run a set of them out of the box with this card.
Here you can make out the two 8mm thick heat pipes that make up the DirectCU II GPU cooler. These heat pipes make direct contact with the GPU to ensure the best possible heat transfer. The heatsink on this card is 2.8x larger than the NVIDIA reference design! The DirectCU II GPU cooler design is certainly one of the big selling points of this video card.
On this particular the fans don’t kick on until the GPU temperature hits ~65C. This means when you aren’t gaming or are playing games that only slightly load the GPU the fans won’t be running and you won’t hear any fan noise from the graphics card!
We found that in game titles like League of Legends that the ASUS STRIX GTX 950 often had no running at all and at other times one or two fans would kick in. The reason both fans didn’t kick in is because there are slight variations between fans as we were told by ASUS that there shouldn’t be a single fan mode. NVIDIA said that most Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) game titles will be able to run in silent operation!
The ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX will be able to take advantage of the latest GPU Tweak II software from ASUS. The GPU Tweak software is able to display the specifications of the card, as well as the current status of of the card. The GPU Tweak II software also has a couple of overclocked presets that you can take advantage of, or you can make your own presets for the card. You can also use GPU Tweak II to set the card to either Silent Mode, Gaming Mode or OC Mode.
If you don’t install ASUS GPU Tweak II software and just run the cards with the lastest NVIDIA GeForce drivers it will default to OC Mode clock speeds, so you get the most from the card without having to install any software applications and we really like that!
Now that we have a good understanding of what the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950 is all about we can take a look at the test system and get straight into testing!