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 Post subject: Asus GeForce GTX 960 Strix OC Edition
PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:11 pm 
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http://www.silentpcreview.com/Asus_Strix_GTX_960/


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 Post subject: Re: Asus GeForce GTX 960 Strix OC Edition
PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:39 am 
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Thanks for the review. Impressive performance for this little cooler. Has MSI sent any review samples, or are requests hitting deaf ears?


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 Post subject: Re: Asus GeForce GTX 960 Strix OC Edition
PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:19 am 
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Lawrence Lee wrote:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/Asus_Strix_GTX_960/

Thank you Lawrence, your reviews are always unvaluable! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Asus GeForce GTX 960 Strix OC Edition
PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 9:33 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Asus GeForce GTX 960 Strix OC Edition
PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 9:39 am 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
Thank you Lawrence, your reviews are always unvaluable! :D

You mean invaluable, right? Or was that a joke? :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Asus GeForce GTX 960 Strix OC Edition
PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 10:03 am 
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MikeC wrote:
quest_for_silence wrote:
Thank you Lawrence, your reviews are always unvaluable! :D

You mean invaluable, right? Or was that a joke? :wink:

Well, Mike, I think Shakespeare said that the humour have to be accidental (or something similar) :mrgreen: That was a typo, probably due to hurry: the "i" and the "u" are side-by-side on the keyboard, and I accidentally pick the wrong side... sorry Lawrence, invaluable, invaluable! :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Asus GeForce GTX 960 Strix OC Edition
PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:19 am 
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Thanks for this review. Can you undervolt this board? On page 5, the voltage control in Asus GPU Tweak appears to be both greyed out and already at minimum at 0 offset? Does it work with other software like Sapphire Trixx? I have an old Asus 7790 that couldn't be tweaked with Asus software but could in Trixx (knocked 5c off of load temps). I'm wondering if you can get your 75c down to nearer 65-70c with fixed 1120rpm fan with a little undervolting?
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1439-page5.html

Also, I haven't had an nvidia card in years, so does lowering the GPU Boost Clock reduce the voltage or just frequency?

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Asus GeForce GTX 960 Strix OC Edition
PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:32 am 
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Welp, time to upgrade. :o

I've been wary of 100+ W cards, but according to TPU testing, this one looks like a winner. Average test consumption was just over the 100 W mark, so it shouldn't be a scorcher like a certain previous 144 W card - and thanks to the efficiency, you get a lot more performance, too. Of my current emergency-replacement rig, the 650 Ti is definitely the loudest component, so this upgrade looks like an absolute winner.

I use the TPU figures because I have a known-good benchmark for their charts.

Too many manufcaturers ignore details like PCB size and backplate, but I'm glad to see both were considerations for this Asus card. They're just the nicest cherry on top.

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 Post subject: Re: Asus GeForce GTX 960 Strix OC Edition
PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:24 am 
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BSim500 wrote:
Also, I haven't had an nvidia card in years, so does lowering the GPU Boost Clock reduce the voltage or just frequency?

I have no practical experience doing this, but I did find a tidbit suggesting the GPU Boost feature does have something to do with voltage:
http://www.geforce.com/hardware/technology/gpu-boost-2/technology wrote:
With a watercooling setup temperatures become irrelevant, allowing GPU Boost to maximize voltage and power usage, in turn cranking the Boost Clock way beyond the norm, wringing every last drop of performance from GTX 700 Series GPUs and the GTX TITAN.

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 Post subject: Re: Asus GeForce GTX 960 Strix OC Edition
PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 3:22 am 
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BSim500 wrote:
I'm wondering if you can get your 75c down to nearer 65-70c with fixed 1120rpm fan with a little undervolting?

Also, I haven't had an nvidia card in years, so does lowering the GPU Boost Clock reduce the voltage or just frequency?

Undervolting may be something that depends on the vendor or specific model, but my guess is that you cannot directly reduce the voltage using the Boost Clock setting. That's based on my experience with the Gigabyte GTX 970. For that card, any voltage setting below zero is ignored, and underclocking does not lower the voltage. Take a look at the voltage/frequency chart in the post I linked: whether I overclock or underclock, the Y-axis never changes, only the X-axis. You can think of the Boost Bins as absolute voltage bins, separated by 12.5MHz relative clock speed per bin.

However, you can effectively undervolt, in a roundabout way, if you overclock the card (remember, the voltages don't change when you do this) and then use miserly settings in your OC software for either the temperature or power target. For example, in the article, the card runs at 1367MHz with the 1120RPM fan and FurMark. Based on my and TechPowerUp's measurements, the card is probably at 1.13V at that speed.

Let's say we set the temperature target to 71C for that test. The card would scale down to a slightly lower boost bin. My estimate (remembering that power approximately scales linearly with frequency and quadradically with voltage) is that the card would scale down two bins, to 1342MHz and 1.08V. By further overclocking the card +37MHz while maintaining the temperature target, the card would most likely drop one more boost bin, but since the card's frequency is increased, the card would settle at 1367MHz and 1.07V (1342 * 1.08^2 is about the same as 1367 * 1.07^2). So the +37MHz overclock is effectively a -0.06V undervolt.


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 Post subject: Re: Asus GeForce GTX 960 Strix OC Edition
PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 7:20 am 
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SometimesWarrior wrote:
However, you can effectively undervolt, in a roundabout way, if you overclock the card (remember, the voltages don't change when you do this) and then use miserly settings in your OC software for either the temperature or power target. For example, in the article, the card runs at 1367MHz with the 1120RPM fan and FurMark. Based on my and TechPowerUp's measurements, the card is probably at 1.13V at that speed.

Let's say we set the temperature target to 71C for that test. The card would scale down to a slightly lower boost bin. My estimate (remembering that power approximately scales linearly with frequency and quadradically with voltage) is that the card would scale down two bins, to 1342MHz and 1.08V. By further overclocking the card +37MHz while maintaining the temperature target, the card would most likely drop one more boost bin, but since the card's frequency is increased, the card would settle at 1367MHz and 1.07V (1342 * 1.08^2 is about the same as 1367 * 1.07^2). So the +37MHz overclock is effectively a -0.06V undervolt.

Ah, very useful SometimesWarrior, thanks very much! It was precisely that Boost 2.0 TDP / temp target thing's effect on voltage I'm wondering about, but (as usual) most reviews are only interested in overclocking, not tweaking it to reduce power. Presumably you can also set the Boost temp target thing to say 65c, lower the fan speed, and force it to not Boost above the stock frequency (not so much underclocking, but rather "not Boost overclocking")? I'm really looking to knock 20-30w or so off TDP target and run nearer max 65c with low rpm fans (at same "near silent" speeds that resulted in 75c in review). The 750 Ti falls well within that but is not much faster than current 7790. GTX 960 is literally twice the speed but draws about 30-40w more. If I can shave 5-10c off temps by nerfing the Boost and forcing it on the lower voltage clock stepping, I'll be happy even if I lose about 10-15% perf as it'll still be over +85% faster than current 7790 whilst potentially drawing very little extra power. (If all that makes sense! :D )


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 Post subject: Re: Asus GeForce GTX 960 Strix OC Edition
PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 7:23 pm 
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BSim500 wrote:
Presumably you can also set the Boost temp target thing to say 65c, lower the fan speed, and force it to not Boost above the stock frequency (not so much underclocking, but rather "not Boost overclocking")?

Yes, I believe the GTX 960 is like the GTX 970, in that it will let you set a temperature limit as low as 60 C or power limit down to 40% TDP. You can lower the fan speed to your desired noise level, set the temperature limit to anything you like, and let the card scale to whatever speed it can manage. It makes silent operation a breeze ( :mrgreen: ) as long as you don't mind some performance loss.


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 Post subject: Re: Asus GeForce GTX 960 Strix OC Edition
PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2015 1:33 am 
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I've owned this card for a week now and I just did some small testing with 50% power limit and fans set to 30% (650RPM). After two runs of Heaven 4.0 Extreme, I got 56C for the core in a Cooltek U2 case with 120mm Slip Stream running at 700RPM. Lowest core clock 1200Mhz, highest 1380, average 1250ish. Slight coil whine but at very low frequency.

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 Post subject: Re: Asus GeForce GTX 960 Strix OC Edition
PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:50 pm 
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Ugh, if you want a card for folding compare this to the 980. The 980 has 100% more shaders for just 35% more power. The only thing the 960 has going for it is the entry price.

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 Post subject: Re: Asus GeForce GTX 960 Strix OC Edition
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 4:37 am 
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I have been lurking a bit on this card, although a lot of online reviewers recommend spending the extra bucks and go for the 970. Will this card be able to pull the load on a single 23" screen for a midrange gamer, or will it too soon loose terrain to new and more requiring game titles?

Im not looking for something that can pull Crysis 3 on Ultra, but still a decent performance ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Asus GeForce GTX 960 Strix OC Edition
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 5:12 am 
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Midrange? Go for it. Should handle 1080p/1200p resolutions just fine ('just fine' defined as 60+ FPS in graphically intensive action games) if you don't use (massive) AA and eye candy.

The 970 Option
If the price difference is negligible and you can get a semipassive card, then another factor to consider in this step up is the heat output: the TPU review puts the 960 STRIX average at 114 W with a peak of 129 W, whereas the 970 STRIX is 161 W and 179 W respectively. That is toasty warm, and will put a little dent in the utility bill.

Option #2
Wait until the specs and reviews are out on the 950. It may still suit you fine for the games you play, and the price difference may be big enough to justify not getting the power plant and radiator that is the 970.

Sincerely,
(Still) 650 Ti MOBA Gaming :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Asus GeForce GTX 960 Strix OC Edition
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 5:23 am 
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@ Das_Saunamies

Ahh, cool. Thank you for the reply.

I might just treat myself with a 960 Strix when the budget allows it, then :)

My current gpu is an Asus GTX 660 DCII-OC-PH (TDP is 140 watt according to PCPARTPICKER). It does a decent job, but is going full blow action when i play more demanding titles like Rome TW2.

The price difference between the 960 strix and the 970 strix in Denmark is roughly 1000 kr (134 €) so there is a noticable gab ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Asus GeForce GTX 960 Strix OC Edition
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 5:32 am 
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Yeah, I couldn't justify that for just midrange gaming and basic desktop use. €160 difference between the STRIX cards over here.

We picked the 970 STRIX for one US build last month because over there the price difference is so little.

The reason why I did not upgrade to the 960 STRIX (as I said I would) was the price - it feels overpriced for what it is, and the prices haven't come down at all. It seems the x50 cards are the new x60 cards, i.e. affordable gamer cards and no longer relegated to Trash League duty. The 650 Ti has been very good to me, and a friend plays every game he can get his hands on with a 750 Ti. 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Asus GeForce GTX 960 Strix OC Edition
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 5:58 am 
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What exactly is the TI model compared to a non-TI?

Im not buying a new card tomorrow, so I will follow you advice and see what 950 brings to the table. But won't a x50 model be a downgrade compared to x60 or x70?
Or is it here the TI part plays in?

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 Post subject: Re: Asus GeForce GTX 960 Strix OC Edition
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 9:13 am 
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Ti is just Nvidia for better and a little more expensive, AFAICT. The definition is loose if it exists at all. They mostly use it to differentiate similar models into budget and performance.

Regarding grades up and down: next-generation x50 may well match or exceed the old x60 in performance, AND be more power efficient (which helps cooling, woo!), AND have modernised I/O, AND have extra/new software features (like DX support, effects), etc. - not to mention a fresh warranty period.

It's all about what you want! As you said, you're okay with the 660 ('does a decent job'), but the card is turning into a blower. Well, let's compare to a 'next-gen' 750 Ti, shall we?

The Asus GTX 660 2 GB non-Ti, as reviewed by TPU, consumed an average of 121 W and had a peak of 129 W in the TPU tests. Its relative performance in the performance summary of said tests @1200p was 9%-points higher than the stock GTX 660 non-Ti. For reference it is also 10%-points ahead of the old 570 in the summary - hilarious, and a good example of how big the generational advantage can be in technology.

The Palit StormX Dual 2GB is the best-rated 750 Ti reviewed by TPU. It consumed an average of 69 W and had a peak of 75 W in the TPU tests. Its relative performance in the summary of said tests @1080p was 14%-points ahead of the stock 750 Ti - and only 6%-points behind the vanilla-660.

Based on this general information, we can observe the following:

The 750 Ti eats up an average of 70 W against the 660's 121 W. 70 / 121 = 0.579, so the 750 Ti is, on average (and under heavy 3D loads), some 40% more power efficient than the 660 (i.e. consumes 40% less power doing the same work). The power consumption advantage translates into performance, too, as the card is only 6% behind the vanilla-660 in the summary @1080p, and hence some 15%-points behind the Asus model. The peaks were so close to the average that they don't need to be analysed separately.

So, what is 6%-points less performance in actual figures? (750 Ti vs Vanilla, Asus review uses 1200p; remember, Asus has a theoretical lead of 15%-points)
  • -1.9 FPS in AC4 out of 28.5 FPS total (average, obviously)
  • -2.2 FPS in Battlefield 4 out of 35.0 FPS total
  • +4.2 FPS in Crysis 3 (advantage: 750 Ti!) out of 22.2 FPS total
  • -23,1 FPS in Diablo III out of 124.4 total (so still 100+ on the 750 Ti)
  • -0.4 FPS in SC: Blacklist out of 40.0 FPS total.

Sadly, the test suite does not include heavy (or any) RTS titles, so you'll have to look up those figures yourself. But as you can see, the new 750 Ti is already just about as capable as a vanilla 660, and not at all hopeless in games - at least based on average FPS figures, which is not the whole story (The Tech Report on frame times and FPS as metrics). Basically, FPS alone does not tell you how fluid the gameplay is, so that is why you have to know frame times, i.e. how much frame delay you get. Delayed network packets make it feel like you're warping, delayed frames make it feel like you're stuck in jell-o.

Did I mention the FPS averages are all at 1080p, 4xAA, and the HIGHEST QUALITY SETTING IN THE GAME? See method: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Palit/GTX_750_Ti_StormX_Dual/6.html. This means that if you let the AA go and drop down to second-highest or medium, it should be 60+ FPS, easy.

To get back to smoothness, though; The Tech Report does a poor job of hosting comparable results, so comparing the frame times of the 750 Ti and the 660 is guesswork. The closest resemblance we're going to get is BF3 (660, stock) vs BF4 (750 Ti, stock), as the Frostbyte engine did not change drastically between the two.

The 660 vanilla spent no time beyond 50 ms (good, 20 FPS steady), was 39 ms in the 33.3+ ms zone (tsk, tsk, but not a horrible 30 FPS experience), and was stuck for 14,700 ms in the 16+ ms zone (yikes, no 60 FPS gaming for you). http://techreport.com/review/23527/review-nvidia-geforce-gtx-660-graphics-card/4

The 750 Ti vanilla spent no time beyond 50 ms (good), no time beyond 33.3 ms (VERY good), and only 5,635 ms in 16+ ms territory (impressively smooth compared to the 660, but obviously not optimal). http://techreport.com/review/26050/nvidia-geforce-gtx-750-ti-maxwell-graphics-processor/8

TTR tests are at 1080p with Ultra/4xMSAA and High/High-AA settings respectively. I don't know if BF4 no longer had Ultra, or if they just arbitrarily ran it at the second-highest setting. At any rate, there is good indication that the 750 Ti can perform very smoothly. Just dig up the 650 Ti figures and you'll see something ugly... and I still game with it successfully (though it is undeniably bad at twitch shooters and large-scale games, unless everything looks like lego blocks, but that's oldschool, so hey...)!

The Take
With the 750 Ti alone, you can have a much cooler card (less power = less utility bill, less heat in the case and your workspace, less work for the cooler), newer tricks (the newer card's advantage in Crysis 3 is an indication of that no doubt), and similar - or perhaps even smoother? - real-world performance (especially in newer titles; in older or poorly optimised titles the new tricks do not always help, so it's all down to raw processing power). The first observation alone should be enough to arouse the interest of anyone browsing SPCR. :wink:

I probably made some horrendous mistake compiling the data, but there you go. I like to do this exercise every now and then to show people just how far the mainstream cards have come - they're not the junk of old, and can put up a fight against the previous generation, even punching above their weight class (that 660 vs 570, oh man... :lol: ). Of course, the 960 will still beat the 750 Ti in performance hands-down, but not without a heat penalty and a heftier price tag - and how much performance is it that you need?

So now we wait for the 950... 8)

PS. While you're at it, peep out the 660 vs 960 frame times at TTR, starting on page http://techreport.com/review/27702/nvidia-geforce-gtx-960-graphics-card-reviewed/5.

Edit1: corrected the power calculation, added some emphasis here and there.
Edit2: added supplementary note regarding 960 vs 750 Ti; should not ignore the current generation and original topic.

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 Post subject: Re: Asus GeForce GTX 960 Strix OC Edition
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 10:37 am 
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Nvidia typically develops a few base chips and then turns on/off CUDA cores/Texture Units / ROPS/ etc to proliferate the lineup as needed to compete with AMD (and vice versa). The non-Ti parts show up first. Then, the Ti versions are introduced to compete against a new AMD part that may fill an existing hole in the portfolio (for performance and/or price). Here's the rumor mill comparison of the GTX 960 vs scaled down GTX 950 vs the GTX 750 Ti.

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 Post subject: Re: Asus GeForce GTX 960 Strix OC Edition
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 11:00 am 
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Exactly as Steve put it, except that the timetable may not always be so logical: the 660 Ti launched before the 660, for example (or at least Nvidia chose to announce them in that order, a month apart), same with the 560 Ti and the 560 (that time four months apart). You get the idea, and for me it is not logical (in the timing sense), just marketing/branding (the competition against AMD and reaping the most profit from new chips, then shipping the budget models).

For me, the Rehashes or Following Versions are the 448 Cores, Boosts, v2s, and whatever the partners come up with along the way (rest in flames, 460 Goes Like Hell).

PS. Thanks for the rumour mill link, good read. I hope the 950 gains more performance than it loses in thermal output.

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 Post subject: Re: Asus GeForce GTX 960 Strix OC Edition
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:11 pm 
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Wow, that was rather ... comprehensive :) and quite impressive.
I think i caught the major points, though. I will definetly bide my time and see how the new 950 ti fares.

Unless i manage to off my 660 to my brother. He is still in University, so a decent gpu at a reasonably low price might catch his interest ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Asus GeForce GTX 960 Strix OC Edition
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:21 pm 
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Das_Saunamies wrote:
PS. Thanks for the rumour mill link, good read. I hope the 950 gains more performance than it loses in thermal output.


<shrugs> The 950 is a nerfed 960 and while it's gen 2 of Maxwell vs Gen 1 for the 750 Ti, it's still Maxwell. The big power savings happened going from Kepler to Maxwell. I suspect it'll slot in fairly linearly. Ask me again tomorrow :)

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 Post subject: Re: Asus GeForce GTX 960 Strix OC Edition
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 10:19 pm 
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You're right about the prospects, of course; the 750 Ti has me expecting small miracles of the 950, but we're back to hacking bits off instead of introducing major advances (Kepler vs Maxwell being the reason why the 750 Ti turned out so well). I just hope they do 'too good' of a hack job and somehow pull the 950 into performance territory without raising the heat output unreasonably. If it breaks or even gets close to 100 W, it's no longer a cool card.

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 Post subject: Re: Asus GeForce GTX 960 Strix OC Edition
PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 3:13 am 
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It's funny that you mentioned the 660 and 750Ti there. I did a sidegrade from 660 to a 750Ti last year, and while my framerates remained the same, I noticed a lot smoother gameplay. Couldn't explain it back then. This is the first time anyone has factually proven that.

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 Post subject: Re: Asus GeForce GTX 960 Strix OC Edition
PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 5:41 am 
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Smanci wrote:
It's funny that you mentioned the 660 and 750Ti there. I did a sidegrade from 660 to a 750Ti last year, and while my framerates remained the same, I noticed a lot smoother gameplay. Couldn't explain it back then. This is the first time anyone has factually proven that.

Nice! Thanks for verifying with real-world results.

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 Post subject: Re: Asus GeForce GTX 960 Strix OC Edition
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2015 12:41 am 
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Alright, we got the first 950 leaks. It's from videocardz so you might want to take it with a bag of salt.
In a nutshell, slightly above the 760, a bit more behind the 960. If priced at around 150€, it's a great card. Not sure about it being a 60-80-watt card.

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 Post subject: Re: Asus GeForce GTX 960 Strix OC Edition
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2015 2:18 am 
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Smanci wrote:
Not sure about it being a 60-80-watt card.

Doing some simple math on CUDA cores, it should be a >72W / <90W TDP (more likely the higher figures, given the more TMUs/ROPs over the GTX 750Ti).

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 Post subject: Re: Asus GeForce GTX 960 Strix OC Edition
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2015 6:19 am 
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Reviews are out for the 950 (not 750...this is where I wish there was a strikethru code). 90W TDP. Most of the cards are clocked faster than stock and end up with 760 performance levels. Many have passive fans with 2D load. I'll start a compilation page later today.

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