Nvidia has just launched GTX 960 series, the first mainstream graphics card based on new Maxwell architecture and we want to share our first thought about Gigabyte GTX 960 G1 Gaming graphics card (GV-N960G1 GAMING-2GD). The G1 Gaming card looks more like high end graphics card, and we really like the looks. The huge heatsink with three fans is able to keep the temperature below 69 Celsius degree despite the GPU is factory highly overclocked. And very important the card is very quiet all the time.
Metal frame looks really nice and backplate adds much to the good overall image of the G1 Gamin card.
Next image shows most important detail on the G1 Gaming graphics card.
The GTX 960 G1 Gaming works at base clock of 1241MHz, while the reference GPU base clock is 1126MHz. Nvidia's GPU Boost 2.0 takes the average GPU clock to 1178MHz for the reference GPU and to 1304MHz for the G1 Gaming card. Note that the actual Boost clock will vary from game-to-game depending on actual system conditions.
Geforce GTX 960 pack 1024 CUDA cores. The memory subsystem of GeForce GTX 960 consists of two 64-bit memory controllers (128-bit) with 2GB of GDDR5 memory.
The reference GTX 960 has a TDP of 120W while the G1 Gaming goes up to 160W, but thanks to 6-power delivery design ensures higher, solid boost clock while maintaining low temperature.
Like GeForce GTX 980, the GeForce GTX 960 has a new display engine capable of supporting resolutions up to 5K with up to four simultaneous displays (including support for up to four 4K MST displays). GeForce GTX 960 also supports HDMI 2.0.
To fulfill consumer’s needs Gigabyte also showed two other SKUs which are WF2OC (1216 MHz base /1279 MHz boost) and IXOC (1165 MHz base /1228 MHz boost).
The G1 Gamin comes with great performance and cooling solution for enthusiasts and gamers while the WF2OC is better for value seekers. The IXOC card is special by being short and this could be selling point for HTPC builders. Below are images, first of the WF2OC, and then of the IXOC. The MSRP of GTX 960 G1 is €245, Windforce OC €219 and ITX version €199 in Germany.
Even when the IOXC looks underpowered, remember under the hood is the same GM206 GPU, powered by the one 6-pin power conector, and the cooler only looks small. There are two 8mm thick heatpipes and big heatsink.
Gigabyte implemented Nvidia’s new feature Fan Stop Mode on the G1 Gaming card:
Our measurements can confirm that in idle the GPU temperature of the G1 Gaming stays below 32 Celsius degree, and the card is totally silent. Two LED indicators are placed on the top to signalize of whether the fans are spinning or not. The Windforce logo is also highlighted, but it stays turned on all the time. Gigabytes own overclocking and monitoring tool known as OC Guru II shows info that the fans are spinning at 22% RPM in idle, however this is incorrect as we saw with our eyes they are not rotating.
G1 Gaming is great gaming card for gamers on budget who are keen to play at 1080p. The Gigabytes card comes with 115MHz GPU overclock out of the box and we are sure that 6-phase power design (reference design has 3-phase) and great Windforce 3 cooler which is capable of dissipating up to 300W, could help to squeeze much more from this card. We will proceed to testing and the full review will be soon online.
Gigabyte optimized the BIOS of its Geforce GTX 960 graphics card in order to better use the additional power (from 6+2 power design) and cooling performance provided by Windforce cooler. This definitely helped and the card can score better that some other GTX 960 graphics card which work on a slightly higher clock.