Gigabyte GeForce GTX 950 OC Edition with Windforce 2X Graphics Card Review

And so the GTX 950 graphic cards hit the market last week, the latest GPU from Nvidia that’s targeted at MOBA (Massive Online Battle Arena) gamers. MOBA games are such as DOTA2 (Defenders of the Ancients), League of Legends and Heroes of the Storm.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 950 OC Edition with Windforce 2X Graphics Card Review

Regardless of Nvidia’s positioning, the GTX 950 is a GPU that works on any game – benchmarks will be included in this article of course but let’s look at the Gigabyte card in greater detail. As you can see from the image below the card carries Gigabyte’s signature Windforce cooling system. Unlike the long cards that uses Tri-fan setup, the GTX 950 is not a power hogging card and 2 fans with a decent heatsink would suffice.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 950 OC Edition with Windforce 2X Graphics Card Review

From the top you’ll see the words WINDFORCE, the rated power draw of a GTX 950 card is 90W hence only a single 6-pin PCI-E connection is required.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 950 OC Edition with Windforce 2X Graphics Card Review

The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 950 OC Edition does not come with back plate.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 950 OC Edition with Windforce 2X Graphics Card Review

Here’s the view from the bottom, as you can see the heatsink block is very simple and there’s no sign of heatpipes.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 950 OC Edition with Windforce 2X Graphics Card Review

Here’s the view from the rear, it still comes with DVI output, in fact it has 2 of them! Clearly this card is targetted at budget users who might still be using old monitors.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 950 OC Edition with Windforce 2X Graphics Card Review

Below is the GPU-Z capture for the card.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 950 OC Edition with Windforce 2X Graphics Card Review

More details at the official product page.

Test Setup

Processor Intel Core i5-4670K
RAM AVEXIR Blitz 2x 4GB 1600Mhz DDR3
Motherboard ASRock Z87 Extreme4
Cooler NZXT Kraken X31
Monitor Dell UP3214Q
Power Supply FSP AURUM S 700W
Casing NZXT S340
Operating System Windows 10 64bit

Benchmarks

Unigine Heaven 4.0

Heaven 4.0
*NOTE : Details are set to maximum.

Card 1080p (avg)
Gigabyte GTX 950 OC Edition 29.4
Gigabyte GTX 950 OC Edition OCed 31.4
ASUS GTX 960 Turbo 33.2
PowerColor R7 370 18.9

Metro Last Light

Heaven 4.0

Card 1080p (avg)
Gigabyte GTX 950 OC Edition 46
Gigabyte GTX 950 OC Edition OCed 49
ASUS GTX 960 Turbo 55.0
PowerColor R7 370 46

Bioshock Infinite

Bioshock Infinite
Settings are at
2 – UltraDX11_DDOF | 2 – Custom | 1 – 16:9 | 4 – FullHD / 4K

Card 1080p (avg)
Gigabyte GTX 950 OC Edition 66.58
Gigabyte GTX 950 OC Edition OCed 70.97
ASUS GTX 960 Turbo 75.04
PowerColor R7 370 35.06

Shadow of Mordor

Heaven 4.0
Settings : Set to ULTRA, V-sync off.

Card 1080p (avg)
Gigabyte GTX 950 OC Edition 37.02
Gigabyte GTX 950 OC Edition OCed 40.24
ASUS GTX 960 Turbo 46.62
PowerColor R7 370 21.78

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V
Settings : Every option to the MAX setting available. 8xAA for Full HD.

Card 1080p (avg)
Gigabyte GTX 950 OC Edition 18.47
Gigabyte GTX 950 OC Edition OCed 19.5
ASUS GTX 960 Turbo 23.4
PowerColor R7 370 21.15

Looks like the Gigabyte GTX 950 handled the overclock easily, resulting in 5% to 10% performance increase.

The numbers for GTA V may look low but that’s with 8x AA. The GTX 950 will handle the game well once AA disabled.

Temperature

Furmark Burn-in Test was used to stress the card. Fan settings are at Auto. Room set to ~25c.

Card Idle(°C) Load (°C)
Gigabyte GTX 950 OC Edition 30 69
Gigabyte GTX 950 OC Edition Full RPM 29 60

The Windforce cooler is impressive on this one, it runs quiet even at full RPM. Being a low power GPU the card remains under 70°C on load despite having the fan speed set to AUTO, hovering at around 58% the max RPM.

Power Consumption

The stress was done with Furmark Burn-in Test. Power consumption reading was taken from the watt-meter, actual power draw by the entire system from the wall point. I’m using an FSP Aurum S 700W with 90% efficiency and the estimated system power draw (CPU, not including GPU) during Furmark test estimated to be around 60w.

Card Gigabyte GTX 950 OC Edition
Furmark Burn-in 175
Estimated Actual System Draw 158
Estimated Card Power Draw 98

The power draw seems a little higher than expected but I don’t think it’s a cause of concern, after all this based on estimation and it’s within a good estimated margin.

The Verdict

The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 950 OC Edition retails at RM 799, a very good price point for a card that’s not based on reference cooler. The card is compact, cool and quiet – just lovely!

Now how does it compare to the cards I compared it with? Good question.

The Gigabyte GTX 950 OC Edition’s RM 799 price tag is around 85% of the ASUS Turbo GTX 960 at RM 935 – guess what, the performance is around 84% of that GTX 960 as well so it’s just as good when it comes to Performance per RM.

In comparison to the PowerColor’s R7 370, the R7 370 is priced at around 80% the performance of the Gigabyte GTX 950 but it provides only 72% of the performance (62% if you don’t factor in GTA V benchmark where the R7 370 seems faster) so it looks like Gigabyte’s GTX 950 is still the better one for Performance to price, only to lose out on the lack of back plate.

It would’ve been great if the price could be lowered but heck, you get around 84% the performance of a GTX 960. If you have the budget to stretch the GTX 960 would be the better choice but you won’t go wrong with GTX 950 if your budget is a little short.

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