MSI GTX960 Gaming Review
As with most graphics card reviews there is a lot to be taken into account. It's very difficult to review them in a vacuum as how good they are depends upon your budget, requirements, current graphics card.. a whole hill of factors have to be taken into account.
When you're looking at a midrange card, the sector of the market that is saturated to breaking point, the waters become even murkier. nVidia themselves are aiming the GTX960 at those of you with a GTX660 in your system, and clearly if you're one of those people, or perhaps have something even older, then the GTX960 is worthy of purchase. The main rival is clearly the R9 280, which is slightly cheaper. However, sadly that's the only real benefit it has over the GTX960.
In nearly every title the GTX960 comfortably outperforms the GTX750Ti, GTX760 and, more often than not, the GTX770. We know that nVidia are aiming this at an even older card in their range but if it can beat the last generation ones it's worthy of mention. As for the Radeon cards you need a R9 290 before you regularly get ahead of the GTX960, and that takes twice the power and costs half as much again.
We desperately want strong competition between the two main GPU manufacturers but it's clear that the Maxwell architecture has moved the goalposts. The GTX980 is blisteringly fast, the GTX970 dominates the bottom of the top end, and now the GTX960 happily takes over the crown of the fastest, most efficient midrange card around. Given that sub £200 cards are the easily most popular ones it's almost a license to print money.
As for the MSI GTX960 Gaming alone the bigger PCB, and thus bigger cooler, demands more power than the ASUS Strix take upon the GM206 GPU. The stock speed is also slower than the Strix out of the box, so the MSI requires a little more work to get the most out of it. It's not slow at all, but the Strix just edges it if all you're doing is plugging it in and forgetting about it. With a little tweaking though the MSI Gaming responds really well to the overclock, and the additional cooling capability should mean that you can get greater rewards if you're willing to put in the time.
For looking great, having a lot of potential and still being a low power, affordable gaming option the MSI GTX960 Gaming wins our OC3D Gold Award.
Thanks to MSI for supplying the GTX960 Gaming for review. Discuss it in the OC3D Forums.