Temperature and Power Consumption
This section reports our temperature, and power consumption results subjecting the video card to maximum load conditions. During each test a 20°C ambient room temperature is maintained from start to finish, as measured by a digital temperature sensor located outside the computer system. GPU-Z is used to measure the temperature at idle as reported by the GPU, as well as under load.
The power consumption and temperature statistics discussed in this section are absolute maximum values, and may not represent real-world power consumption created by video games or graphics applications.
As always each test is conducted five times, with the exception of the idle measure. Our synthetic load constitutes of a 10 minute run of Furmark. NVIDIA highly recommends you do not use Furmark to test stability on your GPU, as Furmark is an extreme case scenario, and a game or a benchmarking software like Unigine Heaven might be a safer option to use. Our game load constitutes of 5 runs of graphics test #4 in 3DMark11. As usual two of the outliers in the data are eliminated in our final average calculation.
As mentioned many times already in this article, the Maxwell architecture from NVIDIA really takes high remarks when it comes to efficiency as compared to older designs. This is evident by the load and game temperatures which are far from the 95o thermal threshold of the GeForce GTX 960. At idle the card reached 22 o, while the fans were completely off. It is to note that this results may vary accordingly with the different models of the GTX 960, mainly due because of higher base clocks out of the box and different types of coolers.
PCI-Express graphics cards are isolated for idle and loaded electrical power consumption. In our power consumption tests, Benchmark Reviews utilizes an 80+ Gold EVGA SuperNOVA 650W power supply to measure isolated video card power consumption, as well as a Kill-A-Watt EZ (model P4460) power meter made by P3 International.
A baseline measurement is taken without any video card installed on our test computer system, which is allowed to boot into Windows 7 and rest idle at the login screen before power consumption is recorded. Once the baseline reading has been taken, the graphics card is installed and the system is again booted into Windows and left idle at the login screen before taking the idle reading. Loaded power consumption reading is taken with the video card running a stress test using graphics test #4 on 3DMark11 for real-world results, and again using FurMark for maximum consumption values.
NVIDIA suggests you obtain a 400 Watt or higher capacity power supply to install a GeForce GTX 960. It is also required that such power supply includes a 6 pin PCI-E connector if not the GPU will not activate the display. The power consumption results for the ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Strix may vary with other models of the GeForce GTX 960, mainly because the ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Strix ships with a higher base clock.
Even under it’s maximum load, the ASUS Geforce GTX 960 Strix peaked at 128 Watts on average. Under game load, which is meant to represent a more everyday load, we observed a 30 Watt drop over having the card running the Furmark burning test. It comes to no surprise that the idle was on average at 9 Watts, which is really close to the 10 Watts from the GTX 980 measurement.