Nvidia currently has a big gap between the Geforce GTX 960, which is based on a fully enabled GM206 GPU and packs 1024 CUDA cores in 8 SMMs, and the Geforce GTX 970, which is based on the GM204 GPU and packs 1644 CUDA cores in 13 SMMs. According to a report which came from Chinese site Benchlife, the upcoming Geforce GTX 960 Ti will most likely be also based on the same GM204 Maxwell GPU and end up with either 10 or 11 enabled SMMs, which will leave it with 1280 or 1408 CUDA cores.
Nvidia already has a similar graphics card in its OEM lineup, called the GTX 960 OEM Edition, which has 10 enabled SMMs and 1280 CUDA cores. Nvidia could easily rebrand this OEM graphics card and push it into the channel as the GTX 960 Ti. The GTX 960 OEM Edition also packs a 192-bit memory interface which is a significant boost from the 128-bit one on the GTX 960.
AMD has apparently made a significant price cut all across its range of Radeon R9 Fury series, including the R9 Nano and the Radeon 300 series graphics cards but we believe that Nvidia still has a lot of room for price adjustments. Currently, the GTX 960 is priced at US $199 while the GTX 970 is priced at US $329, which suggest that the upcoming GTX 960 Ti could fit nicely with the US $249 price tag.
Nvidia will not have the next-generation Pascal GPU ready before the second quarter of 2016 so it has to fully use its Maxwell architecture in order to compete with AMD.
Although we still do not have any precise details regarding the GTX 960 Ti, it is obvious that it will be a great mid-range graphics card and Nvidia needs to get it to the market as soon as possible in order to have it on retail/e-tail shelves before the holiday shopping season. Unfortunately, the same report suggest that it won't be ready before January 2016.