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Nvidia GeForce GTX 960: Maxwell In The Middle

Partner Graphics Card Performance Comparison

Performance Comparison

We already presented the results for Asus' take on the GeForce GTX 960, but we also want to know how the other partner boards fare. Unfortunately, it’s just not possible to run them through our entire gaming benchmark suite in the available time, so we chose Battlefield 4 to stand in for all games.

Full HD (1920x1080)

Let’s face it: Full HD is the resolution at which gamers shopping in this price range should be playing. Looking at the bars in the graph, and the small differences between most of them, it quickly becomes apparent that all GeForce GTX 960 graphics cards, except for the one with the lowest clock speed and the emulated reference card, manage to inch out the GeForce GTX 760, as well as the AMD Radeon R9 280 and 285. Nvidia’s new graphics cards don’t even come close to the higher-end Radeon R9 280X and HD 7970 at stock clock rates.

UHD (3840x2160)

It’s always surprising to see how badly older GeForce GTX 760 graphics cards fare when it comes to higher resolutions. Their memory bus just can't move enough data for this workload. Still, even the GeForce GTX 960 doesn't make it through unscathed. Texture compression might be helpful, but it’s not a perfect solution, either. Consequently, we see the Radeon R9 285 pass the entire field of Nvidia’s new cards. Then again, it’s not like the game can really be considered playable at 38 FPS either. This means that these results are somewhat interesting in theory, but actually playing games at this resolution requires a higher caliber of graphics card.

The performance difference between the fastest and slowest GeForce GTX 960 graphics cards is just eight percent or so! The card with the highest available GPU Boost clock rate is also the fastest of the bunch, no matter what GPU-Z might say about the base frequency and highest theoretically possible Boost clock rate. In the end, what counts is just how much performance is actually available, which is good news for the Gigabyte GTX 960 Gaming G1 and its new BIOS.

  • Novuake
    This seems meh... Impressive but not phenomenal power consumption to performance numbers. Especially compared the GTX970/980.

    Would have liked to see two more things.

    1. More extensive AA. post processing and memory bandwidth testing. Pretty sure Nvidia hamstrung the card a bit in some scenarios with a 1280bit interface. I had to read it 4 times before I believed it and still am skeptical.

    2. Overclocking benchies.


    So otherwise I guess we are back to the "old" ti-designation setup where the GTX960ti SHOULD be based on GM206 and vanilla GTX960 is not.
    Reply
  • sconzen
    I may be blind, but I don't see the Zotax Amp! edition in the temperature and noise tests. Confirm?
    Reply
  • damric
    The R9 280 is the fast and cheap elephant in the room that was never mentioned in this review,
    Reply
  • Grognak
    Well, I'm not saying a 10% improvement on top of a reduced power consumption isn't nice, because it really is, however we're still quite far away from the 770. I suppose Nvidia has a card planned to fill the massive performance gap between the 960 and 970, one at 4Gb of VRAM maybe?
    Reply
  • ykki
    The damn arrows are STILL blocking the charts!
    Reply
  • sconzen
    I may be blind, but I don't see the Zotax Amp! edition in the temperature and noise tests. Confirm?
    Reply
  • ykki
    Great review.
    Now AMD, time to bust out the 270x!
    Reply
  • ykki
    Lol I meant the 370x!
    Reply
  • Novuake
    15117694 said:
    The damn arrows are STILL blocking the charts!

    I am not the only one! Thank you!
    Reply
  • ykki
    Novoake, I am very sorry but I stole your comment from an earlier review.
    But seriously, those arrows can block out the sun if tom's put 'em right.
    Reply