Overall and Final Verdict
With Nvidia finally expanding their Maxwell product line into the more budget friendly cards like the GTX 960 I was excited to see if it would be as power efficient as the GTX 980 and GTX 970. No big surprises here, the GTX 960 Strix was fast in all of our testing and pulled an extremely low amount of power. Sure you will need a 6 pin power connection, but you aren’t going to need to upgrade to a high wattage power supply for this card. The Strix also ended up being one of the coolest running cards that I have tested over the past few years. Being a Strix card it also shuts its fans off at lower temperatures, so you have silent performance in a lot of situations. Performance was basically spot on with what Nvidia suggested we might see. When gaming at 1080P you should be able to play just about anything and you can even take advantage of Nvidia DSR with less demanding games like LoL and DOTA2. That said If you are planning on running at 1440p for all of your gaming you are going to be disappointed. This is a sweet spot card, but only for 1080p or less.
So how does the GTX 960 Strix compare to the competition? Well for starters, comparing it to other GTX 960 models, you aren’t going to get the silent 0dB mode with the other cards. You are getting a healthy overclock but it does look like you might see a few other models with a slightly higher overclock. What about AMD? Well in most of my testing the GTX 960 came out slightly ahead of the R9 285. With an MSRP of $209.99 at launch the GTX 960 is going to sell just slightly above most R9 285’s, perfectly in line with the performance I saw. This is a great card to round out a budget build and at current prices I don’t think you are going to get a better value/performance.