One of the hallmarks of Maxwell GPUs is efficiency. The Maxwell SM was rebalanced to give each processing block of CUDA cores its own dedicated resources for instruction scheduling and dispatch. This keeps the GPU’s CUDA cores fully utilized more often, improving workload efficiency and reducing wasted power.
The GTX 980, GTX 970, GTX 960 and GTX 950 do not bring a huge performance boost compared to the previous generation, but they prove Maxwell is vastly more efficient than Kepler. The GTX 980 has a TDP of just 165W, GTX 970 has a TDP of just 145W, GTX 960 has TDP of just 120W and GTX 950 has TDP of only 90W. EVGA GTX 950 FTW card is factory overclocked (179MHz for the GPU) and this increases power consumption. We do not have reference card so we don’t know the exact difference in real life conditions, but we compared it to the ASUS GTX 950 Strix. Playing games at 1080p resolution makes no difference in power consumption between the two GTX 950 cards; in some games we measured less in other more power consumption. When we switched to 4K resolution, which is however not a target resolution for the GTX 950, we measured a couple of watts more for the FTW card, probably due to its higher clocks. Compared to the GTX 960 which consumes at maximum about 129W, the GTX 950 FTW card consumes about 8W less.