Zotac GeForce GTX 950 Video Card

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Zotac GeForce GTX 950 Video Card

December 1, 2015 by Lawrence Lee

Product
Zotac GeForce GTX 950 (ZT-90601-10L)
Graphics Card
Manufacturer
Zotac
Street Price
US$150

Since their release last year, Nvidia's second generation Maxwell GPUs have been heavily favored by enthusiasts looking to build quiet high performance gaming PCs. The GTX 900 series is wonderfully energy efficient, consuming significantly less power than their AMD counterparts. The graphics card is usually the most power hungry component in any serious gaming machine, so this savings results in a drastic reduction in waste heat, making it easier to cool quietly. This is especially important in smaller form factors which have inherently less ventilation and fewer fans.

GTX 900 Series Comparison
Model
GTX 980
GTX 970
GTX 960
GTX 950
Transistor Count
5.2 billion
5.2 billion
2.9 billion
2.9 billion
ROPs
64
56
32
32
CUDA Cores
2048
1664
1024
768
Core Freq.
1126 MHz
1050 MHz
1127 MHz
1024 MHz
Boost Freq. (max)
1216 MHz
1178 MHz
1178 MHz
1188 MHz
Memory Freq.
7010 MHz
7010 MHz
7010 MHz
6610 MHz
Memory Size
4GB
3.5+0.5GB
4GB/2GB
4GB/2GB
Memory Bus
256-bit
224+28-bit
128-bit
128-bit
TDP
165W
145W
120W
90W
Starting Price
US$490
US$310
US$210/$185
TBD/US$150

Until now, the GTX 900 series has priced out the higher end of the market, with the ~US$200 GTX 960 as the bottom rung on the ladder. The newly released GTX 950 expands down to the US$150 level, giving price-sensitive users a taste of what more fortunate gamers have been enjoying. It's essentially a cut-down GTX 960 with 3/4 the number of CUDA cores and slightly lower clock and memory speeds. With this downgrade in horsepower comes a sizable 30W TDP drop. Currently it's only available with 2GB of video memory but 4GB models are on the way, though it's questionable whether the extra RAM is useful on a card of this caliber.


Zotac GeForce GTX 950 packaging.


The card.

Our first sample is the plainly named Zotac GeForce GTX 950, their most basic model with just a single fan. Zotac has two other 950s equipped with dual fan heatsinks, but this one is preferable for extremely small gaming PCs. While it occupies dual slots, it's quite short, about the same length as a mini-ITX motherboard. Clock speeds aren't as high as most models, but it's still factory overclocked like most cards these days. More importantly, it can fit in spaces larger models cannot. The question is whether the cooler is up to the task, as a bum heatsink/fan could negate all the good things going for it.

Specifications: Zotac GTX 950 (ZT-90601-10L)
(from the product web page)
GPU GeForce GTX 950
CUDA Cores 768
Video Memory 2GB GDDR5
Memory Bus 128-bit
Engine Clock Base: 1089 MHz
Boost: 1266 MHz
Memory Clock 6610 MHz
PCI Express 3
Display Outputs DisplayPort 1.2: 4K @ 60Hz
HDMI 2.0: 4K @60 Hz
2 x DL-DVI: 2560x1600
HDCP Support Yes
Multi Display Capability Quad Display
Recommended Power Supply 300W
Power Consumption 90W
Power Input 6-pin
DirectX 12 API feature level 12_1
OpenGL 4.5
Cooling 90mm single fan
Slot Size Dual Slot
SLI 2-way
Supported OS Windows 10 / 8 / 7 / Vista / XP
Card Length 208 mm x 111.15 mm
Accessories N/A


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