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ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Strix Video Card Review

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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.

Asus-Strix-GeForce-GTX-960-Temperature

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.

Power Consumption

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.

Asus-Strix-GeForce-GTX-960-Power-Consumption

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.


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12 comments

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  1. Bob

    Was disappointed to see no noise measurements. Have read of numerous complaints about coil wine and fan noise on many of the Nvidia 700 and 900 series cards, so when you mentioned that Asus was claiming 3 times lower noise for the Strix, I was anxious to find out exactly what they meant.

    Also, the fact that the card has no fans running at all until it reaches 55 degrees Celsius had me wondering what it would be like to have a totally silent card that suddenly activated it’s fans at a certain temp. Would that activation be jarring or annoying or would it be a gradual ramping up, and how loud would it be?

    I’m still running a GTX 560 ti and am ready for an upgrade when the right card comes along, so am really curious about the noise levels of this one. Although I agree with your suspicion about the odd price point, and that there is usually something in the $250.00 – $275.00 range that is missing in the 900 series.

    1. Caring1

      The lower noise can be claimed due to the fans not running during idle, it is a marketing trick as the fans will not be that much quieter usual when actually running.

      1. Bob

        I suspected that as well, which made it even more unusual that Julian reported no noise measurements.

    2. Caring1

      I was a bit disappointed not to see an R9 270 included in the test, as in my opinion that is it’s direct competitor, judging by size, price and performance.

    3. Julian Duque

      Hello Bob. We did not record noise measurements in this article as we will soon be doing a complete noise roundup test soon with the appropriate tools. Just to recap something I didn’t mention, the fans never ran at 100% during all of our tests.

      1. Bob

        Will be waiting anxiously for the “noise roundup test”, but it should be part of every video card test.

        1. Julian Duque

          We understand, but we are in the process of obtaining better equipment to test for noise using quantified measurements instead of the usual Max noise score that we used in past reviews. We did not want to delay this review past today, and that is the reason why there are no noise tests.

        2. Olin Coles

          Yes, everything measurable should always be part of every review… unless you’re only given three days (evenings) to complete a lengthy project you offer to the public completely free of charge.

          While I’m thinking about it, you know what should be in every comment below a review? Some form of gratitude along with whatever question you have.

          1. Roman from USSR

            Indeed, I totally agree with Olin. People used to only complain/ inquire in the comments.
            Thank you for your reviews guys, they are helpful.

  2. Tom J

    Thanks for having this out so soon! You guys beat Anandtech 😉 (Along with almost everyone else!) – I know you probably didn’t have time, but any word on how this thing overclocks (and how it performs when overclocked)? With the other Maxwell cards able to hit 1300/1400 boost clocks, I’d be curious to see if the 960 would as well. Could change the equation a bit, although overclocking definitely varies per card. Seems like it’d be easier to jump to an overclocked R9 290 otherwise and get 970ish performance for a bit more (although, if you want to talk about noise…) Appreciate the observations on the new Maxwell, thanks Julian!

  3. edy

    “”At the center of the PCB we find the star of this review, the GM 204″”

    Really? Isn’t the GM 206?

    1. Julian Duque

      Thanks for bringing this up, I have now corrected the article. It is in fact the GM 206, as the GM 204 is found on both the GTX 970 and 980.

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