Nvidia GeForce GTX 950 Review: Taking it to AMD in the budget realm

By Steve
Aug 20, 2015
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  1. Nvidia turned up the heat on AMD's Radeon product range late last year when it released its latest GPUs based on the Maxwell microarchitecture. Although the GTX 750 Ti was disappointing, the subsequent Maxwell GPUs haven't been. The GTX 980 Ti, 980, 970 and the 960 are all great cards, though unfortunately most of them cost well over $300. The GTX 960 is the cheapest Maxwell GPU worth buying but at $200 it's still too pricey for many gamers.

    That's where the new Nvidia GeForce GTX 950 steps in, replacing the GTX 750 Ti as the new $150 GPU in Nvidia's current generation line up. Whereas the GTX 750 Ti was light on performance, the GTX 950 promises to deliver highly playable 1080p performance and will take on the R7 370 (a rebadged R7 265, which was also a rebadge of 2012's HD 7850).

    The GTX 950 features the same GM206 GPU as the GTX 960 with a few core features disabled. Rather than all 8 SMM units the GTX 950 features just 6 SMM units for a total of 768 CUDA cores.

    Read the complete review.

  2. Rage3D

    Rage3D TS Rookie Posts: 19

    Recent articles on tech sites made it seem like it would beat the 370X, but alas it will not, at least in the majority of games. It's a good alternative to the 370, but undoubtedly AMD will slash its price.

    I was surprised by the power consumption compared to the 370, really goes to show how differently both companies rate their TDPs.
    Cryio likes this.
  3. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar TS Evangelist Posts: 6,477   +965

    Great review as always Steve. I feel like it may be a better option for someone to get a 950 and OC it rather than getting a 960. I bet AMD will retaliate soon; only time will tell.
    Steve likes this.
  4. EEatGDL

    EEatGDL TS Maniac Posts: 475   +153

    Wow, I was gladly surprised, specially when OCing -didn't see that coming. As the cons state, there's nothing much negative to say about it.
  5. Nero7

    Nero7 TS Booster Posts: 155   +40

    I read it supports 2 way SLI. That would be interesting to cover. Both 750 didn't support SLI.
  6. mosu

    mosu TS Guru Posts: 416   +43

    Interesting review, some DirectX 12 tests would be welcomed.
  7. Cryio

    Cryio TS Booster Posts: 191   +57

    I think it's really interesting how the 380 is both faster and more efficient than the 960 and how the 370 still consumes less than the 950 most of the time.

    The 10% difference in performance between the 950 and 370 is not consistent, with the occasional tie in performance and since the 370 already is priced 10$ lower than 950 MSRP.

    Actually, I think this review put AMD cards in a better light than ever.
  8. Cryio

    Cryio TS Booster Posts: 191   +57

    At the cons, I would put disappointing performance/watt coming out of Maxwell 2, a new generation architecture, with lower efficiency than AMD's 2 generations / 4 year's old now GCN 1.0 GPU. (comparing the 950 to the 370, that is)
  9. noel24

    noel24 TS Maniac Posts: 299   +152

    With cheapest GTX960 priced at ~$179 now, I don't think the GTX950 price will last either. The high power draw would be less of a shocker once You consider 750Ti was a 'dedicated', full chip and GTX950 is a failed GTX960 castrate. That will very often introduce some energy losses. Definitely, the price/performance ratio slowed down considerably last few years for every aspect of industry, except for SSDs, and 950 priced some 50% more than some 750Tis is another disapointing release in recent time, after Skylake, not replacing 750Ti, just filling the niche that nVidia had in this performance range. Will have to wait few months for prices to settle down before we can call it a progress of any kind.
  10. lripplinger

    lripplinger TS Addict Posts: 252   +84

    Nice article, wonder how my MSI GTX 660Ti PE would stack up in those benchmarks there.
  11. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,079   +331

    Unless you are talking about synthetic benchmarks there are no DX12 games out.
  12. PeppsX

    PeppsX TS Rookie

    BTW How you are put in motherboard with DDR3 this RAM - x2 4GB Crucial Ballistix Elite DDR4-2400 ? Very interesting :D
  13. Cryio

    Cryio TS Booster Posts: 191   +57

    Quite easy. Seeing how the 760 is some 15% faster than the 660 Ti and a 950 is as fast as a (Nvidia intentionally gimped) 760, a 950 is faster than your 660 Ti .
    lripplinger likes this.
  14. Rage3D

    Rage3D TS Rookie Posts: 19

    Agreed. I think either the 960 is underpowered (it's certainly weaker than the 380) or the 950 should have been called 950 Ti.
  15. loguerto

    loguerto TS Rookie

    I am very surprised to see how AMD GCN 4 years old hardware is still very competitive with the newest nvidia maxwell 2 architecture, in both terms of performance and more impressively in terms of efficiency.
    Looking at the first benchmarks of the new era APIs looks like AMD gains a lot of performance, fact witch puts nvidia in a very, very delicate position.
    vergilangleos, Rage3D and Cryio like this.
  16. bobalazs

    bobalazs TS Rookie

    This review is obviously biased. R7 265 beating R9 270 in those games?
  17. Cryio

    Cryio TS Booster Posts: 191   +57

    If you are saying "why is a 370, which is a 265, beating a 270", is because the 370 is an overclocked 265 with lower TPD because of new ram.

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