Review: Price is too high, but we blame Nvidia
EVGA’s factory-overclocked FTW card gives pleasant and quiet 1080p gaming but it is a bit on the pricey side.
Our test sample, dubbed the GTX 950 FTW (part number 02G-P4-2958-KR) came from EVGA with the company’s trademark ACX 2.0 dual-fan cooler. Its high factory overclock sets the GPU Base clock to 1203MHz and boost clock to 1405MHz. Reference clocks are 1024MHz (Base ) and 1188MHz (Boost). With such high factory-overclock, the GTX 950 FTW gets considerable performance improvement. Our result tables show the factory overclock helps in playing at 1080p resolution with high in-game details enabled.
The Geforce GTX 950 is Nvidia’s second mainstream graphics card based on the new Maxwell architecture. Maxwell is a synonym for great combination of performance, power-draw, and fan-noise, and it comes with DirectX 12 support. The GTX 950 graphics card is based on silicon codenamed GM206. This GPU is used for the GTX 960 graphics card, but Nvidia has disabled some parts of the GPU to create the GTX 950.
Nvidia launched the Geforce GTX 960 describing it as a “sweet spot” graphics card. Traditionally Nvidia’s “sweet spot” cards are 60-series models such as the GTX 460, 560, 660, and 760. They offer a good price/performance ratio and the current generation can run most titles at 1080p with high detail settings. The GTX 960 is available for about €190; the card uses fully enabled GM206 GPU.
The GTX 950 is made for gamers on budget. The suggested MSRP including VAT for the GTX 950 is €169 (Germany) while in most other EU countries the prices starts from €179.
The GM206 GPU used in the GTX 950 comes with 768 CUDA cores compared to 1024 CUDA cores available in the GTX 960. Both cards have 2GB of GDDR5 memory combined with 128-bit memory interface. The latter gains its performance advantage from higher number of CUDA cores and higher clocks. The GPU Base clock for the GTX 950 is set at 1024MHz compared with 1127MHz on the GTX 960. The memory clock for the GTX 950 is set at 1650MHz (6600MHz effective GDDR5) while memory on the GTX 960 works at 1750MHz (7000MHz effective GDDR5). Resulting bandwidths are 105.6 GB/s and 112 GB/s respectively.
The GTX 950 FTW card uses custom PCB with 256mm length, which is longer than 210mm long reference PCB (there will be no reference-designed card, as all Nvidia partners will use their own custom designs). The longer PCB makes it possible to use ACX 2.0 cooler with bigger dissipation area. Next image shows the GTX 950 FTW ACX 2.0 graphics card which manages to provide both good performance and silent work.
EVGA did not change the memory clock. The GPUZ screenshot below confirms the clocks.
The typical boost clock speed is 1405MHz. The boost clock speed is based on the average Geforce GTX 950 card running a wide variety of games and applications. Note the boost clock will vary from game-to-game depending on system conditions.
With the arrival of the Geforce GTX 950, Nvidia’s Geforce GTX lineup consists of the following GPUs:
- GeForce GTX TITAN X
- GeForce GTX 980 Ti
- GeForce GTX 980
- GeForce GTX 970
- GeForce GTX 960
- GeForce GTX 950
- GeForce GTX 750 Ti
EVGA extends its lineup with four GTX 950 graphics cards. The GTX 950 FTW is the among the fastest factory overclocked GTX 950 cards. If the ACX 2.0 dual-fan cooler is too long for you, there is GTX 950 SC with single fan cooler.