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ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Strix Video Card Review

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DX11: Unigine 4.0 Heaven Benchmark

Unigine “Heaven” is a benchmark tool that has been around for quite a while. However it has been recently updated to it’s current version which can be used to determine the stability of graphics card under extreme conditions. It has become a standard tool on all of our graphics card reviews as it provides unbiased results by generating true in-game workloads across the entirety of the system.

This tool is available for free publicly and can be downloaded through Unigine’s website.

Unigine  4.0 “Heaven” – Benchmark Settings

  • DirectX11
  • Quality: High
  • Tessellation: Extreme
  • 16x AF
  • 4x AA
Unigine Heaven 4.0: 1080P Scores

1920×1080 Resolution1440P Scores2560×1440 Resolution

It is surprising how close the GeForce GTX 960 approaches the GeForce GTX 770 in our first result. However, due to it’s low bandwidth, higher textures and resolutions really show to be demanding for the GeForce GTX 960. At 1080p, which is the target of this card, it is still getting a very good score with 43.3 FPS, putting it right in place between the GeForce GTX 770 and the GeForce GTX 760. I wouldn’t be surprised if at lower resolutions or with lower AA and textures, the GeForce GTX 960 might even beat the GeForce GTX 770.


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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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