Cooling, Noise, and Power
I’ve mentioned it countless times before but the performance between matching model cards between manufactures is mostly dependent on the cards overclock. Where manufactures can really set themselves apart is in this section of our testing. They have a lot more control over their cooling performance and noise and power depends on both the cooling configuration as well as the overclock. So where does the GTX 960 Strix fall? Well starting in power consumption, I was very impressive with the cards performance. At 327 watts its load numbers are considerably lower than the GTX 760 that it replaced and the GTX 770 that is nearly matches in performance. Seriously, that is 37 watts less than the reference GTX 760 and 48 watts less than an overclocked GTX 760. Very impressive!
If you stand back you can see the two Asus Strix cards that I have tested right away. The big fat 0 for idle noise stands out against all of the other cards we test. Considering how often your PC runs are low load this is extremely impressive. You really will only have to worry about the GTX 960 Strix making any noise at all when you are in game. Even in game I don’t think that noise is going to be much of an issue unless you manually turn the fan speed all the way up. At 100% fan speed things did get a little noisy but at 50% fan speed it was hardly noticeable.
So with a nearly silent cooler we should expect temps to be a little high right? Well the low power usage and a good cooling design made for one of the lowest load temperatures that I have seen in a long time. The last time I saw something run this cool was the last Strix card I tested. Under load the card ran just a few degrees above 55-77 degree mark that the fans even turn on. This kept things quiet because at no point did the GTX 960 Strix really have to turn up the fan speed to keep things running cool.