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Gigabyte GeForce GTX 950 Xtreme Gaming Review

Nvidia's GeForce GTX 950 offers great value, performing nearly as well as the 960 for less money. Can Gigabyte's aggressively overclocked GeForce GTX 950 Xtreme Gaming outperform the more expensive GPU?

Gaming Benchmarks

Battlefield 4

Battlefield 4 is one of those games that necessitates a stable GPU, making it perfect for weeding out instability in overclocks. As you can see in the graph, Gigabyte's GeForce GTX 950 Xtreme card performs marginally better than Asus' GTX 950 Strix. At this lower resolution, the card delivers excellent performance (though the GTX 960 shows why you might want more CUDA cores).

With the game set to 1920x1080, the story remains largely the same. The GeForce GTX 950 Xtreme Gaming's results are similar to Sapphire's R9 380 ITX, which we tested over the summer.

The overclocked GTX 950 Xtreme Gaming still trails the higher-end GTX 960. But with such a small lead, the higher-end board doesn't make a meaningful difference to your real-world experience.

Far Cry 4

The numbers in Far Cry 4 are peculiar. We sort our graphs by average frame rate, which typically yields a proportionate illustration. In this case, the R7 370 and R9 380 rank higher than the GTX 950. But a quick glance at the minimum frame rates show that AMD has a harder time through one section of our benchmark scenario.

When you consider those minimum frame rates, the GeForce GTX 950 Xtreme Gaming becomes a more compelling competitor. At 1366x768, Gigabyte's offering again outperforms Asus' GTX 950 Strix, never dipping below 53 FPS. Again, the margin between it and Zotac's GTX 960 is very small.

With the resolution increased to 1920x1080, Far Cry 4 proves to be a handful for the GTX 950. Gigabyte's board still maintains a small lead over Asus' GTX 950 Strix, though the R7 370 from XFX is a bit quicker.

Grand Theft Auto V

As you can see, GTA V loves the GTX 950 at 1366x768. The delta between both samples and the GTX 960 is almost negligible. Interestingly, with the GPU at its stock clock rate, the minimum frame rate is actually 7 FPS than our overclocked configuration, and even 6 FPS faster than the GTX 960.

Testing GTA V at 1080p shows the gap between GeForce GTX 950 and 960 widen. It's the difference between maintaining at least 60 FPS and dipping just under that result. Gigabyte's GeForce GTX 950 Xtreme Gaming maintains a lead over Asus' offering, but only by a bit. And overclocking the card yields negligible improvements.

Metro: Last Light

Running Metro: Last Light at 1366x768 proved to be a breeze for the GTX 950, and once again Gigabyte's Xtreme Gaming card outperforms Asus' Strix.

The gap between them is a somewhat notable four to seven frames per second, which widens after overclocking. In fact, the overclocked GTX 950 Xtreme Gaming is more comparable to the GeForce GTX 960.

The results at 1080p tell a similar story. In this test, Asus' GTX 950 struggles to maintain an average frame rate above 60, falling as low as the high 30s. Gigabyte's GTX 950 Xtreme Gaming, on the other hand, never dips below 40 and keeps its average north of 60.

Middle-Earth: Shadow Of Mordor

The GTX 950 is a great match for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor at 1344x756. At no point does the frame rate drop below 60 FPS, and it's typically found close to 90 FPS. Again, Gigabyte's card manages to outperform Asus'.

Boosting the resolution to 1080p taxes the GeForce GTX 950s. While both cards average roughly 60 frames per second, they also drop as low as 45 FPS at times. That's still more than playable. However, some gamers will want to adopt less grueling detail settings.

Tomb Raider

Gigabyte's GTX 950 Xtreme Gaming outperforms Asus' GTX 950 in Tomb Raider. Even at 1366x768, though, the frame rate dips into the low 40s. The Ultra preset is simply too demanding for a mainstream-class GPU. Nvidia's GeForce GTX 960 fares somewhat better, but not enough to make a meaningful difference.

With the frame rates as low as they are at 1366x768, it's no surprise that 1920x1080 is too taxing for these cards at the quality preset we used. You'll want to adjust down, trading graphics details for higher frame rates.

Once again, Gigabyte maintains a marginal lead over the Asus Strix board. It's only unfortunate that the overclocked settings aren't enough to catch the 960, which wields extra CUDA cores. 

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  • chaosmassive
    for future benchmark, please set to 1366x768 instead of 720p as bare minimum
    because 720p panel pretty rare nowadays, game with resolution 720p scaled up for bigger screen, its really blur or small (no scaled up)
    Reply
  • kcarbotte
    for future benchmark, please set to 1366x768 instead of 720p as bare minimum
    because 720p panel pretty rare nowadays, game with resolution 720p scaled up for bigger screen, its really blur or small (no scaled up)

    All of the tests were done at 1366x768.
    Where do you see 720p?
    Reply
  • rush21hit
    I have been comparing test result for 950 from many sites now and that leaves me to a solid decision; GTX 750Ti. I'm having the aging HD6670 right now.

    Even the bare bone version still needed 6pin power and still rated 90Watt, let alone the overbuilt. As someone who uses a mere Seasonic's 350Watt PSU, I find the 950 a hard sell for me. Add in CPU OC factor and my 3 HDD, I believe my PSU is constrained enough and only have a little bit more headroom to give for GPU.

    If only it doesn't require any additional power pin and a bit lower TDP.
    Welp, that's it. Ordering the 750Ti now...whoa! it's $100 now? yaayyy
    Reply
  • ozicom
    I decided to buy a 750Ti past but my needs have changed. I'm not a gamer but i want to buy a 40" UHD TV and use it as screen but when i dig about this i saw that i have to use a graphics card with HDMI 2.0 or i have to buy a TV with DP port which is very rare. So this need took me to search for a budget GTX 950 - actually i'm not an Nvidia fan but AMD think to add HDMI 2.0 to it's products in 2016. When we move from CRT to LCD TV's most of the new gen LCD TV had DVI port but now they create different ports which can't be converted and it makes us think again and again to decide what to buy.
    Reply
  • padremaronno
    > mid-low end card
    > extreme gaming
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    17165047 said:
    now they create different ports which can't be converted
    There are adapters between HDMI, DP and DVI. HDMI to/from DVI is just a passive dongle either way.
    Reply
  • Larry Litmanen
    Obviously these companies know their buying base far better than i do, but to me the appeal of 750TI was that you did not need to upgrade your PSU. So if you have a regular HP or Dell you can upgrade and game better.

    I guess these companies feel like most people who buy a dedicated GPU probably have a good PSU.
    Reply
  • TechyInAZ
    Looks great! Right off the bat it was my favorite GTX 950 card since Gigabyte put some excellent aesthetics into the card, but I will still go with EVGA.
    Reply
  • matthoward85
    Anyone know what the SLI equivalent would be comparable to? greater or less than a gtx 980?
    Reply
  • silverblue
    How is the texture fillrate of the Strix ahead of the higher clocked Xtreme? :)
    Reply