Sunday, March 6th 2016

ASUS Intros GeForce GTX 950 Graphics Card with Slot-only Power

ASUS unveiled the a new GeForce GTX 950 graphics card that relies entirely on PCIe slot power. The GTX950-2G features a full-height, dual-slot design, with a simple monolithic heatsink cooling the GPU; and a pair of 70 mm spinners cooling it. The cooler shroud follows the same design theme as ASUS' mainline Z170 series motherboards, such as the Z170-A. The VRM design by ASUS keeps power draw of the GPU under 75W, and hence relies entirely on PCIe slot power. The GPU is clocked at 1026 MHz, with 1190 MHz GPU Boost, and 6.60 GHz (GDDR5-effective) memory. The company did not reveal pricing.
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33 Comments on ASUS Intros GeForce GTX 950 Graphics Card with Slot-only Power

#1
hojnikb
I'm quite eager to see a review. And what kind of clock this can sustain and what kind of power consumption this really has.

Hopefully TPU gets a sample :=)
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#2
lZKoce
Now we cut the PCB in half and voila! we have a half-height card with slot power only ;)
Posted on Reply
#3
trog100
lZKoce said:
Now we cut the PCB in half and voila! we have a half-height card with slot power only ;)
the snag would be half height cooling.. :)

trog
Posted on Reply
#5
GhostRyder
Looks like I will be getting one of these!!! Going to be perfect for a build I am working on.
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#6
PP Mguire
trog100 said:
the snag would be half height cooling.. :)

trog
Wouldn't be too much of an issue. The cooling they have on this is a bit OP anyways.
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#7
ironwolf
PP Mguire said:
Wouldn't be too much of an issue. The cooling they have on this is a bit OP anyways.
Would rather have it OP vs. UP :)
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#8
PP Mguire
ironwolf said:
Would rather have it OP vs. UP :)
Doesn't take a whole lot to cool sub 75W.
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#9
lZKoce
PP Mguire said:
Doesn't take a whole lot to cool sub 75W.
Sometimes, it doesn't seem so simple to me at least. Remember Sapphire HD 7750 low profile ? Beastly card for Opteron/ HTPC cases. However, as soon as you go into 3D mode hits 70 degrees ( not clocked ) <- yes, it is still well within a thermal limit, but throw it into an Opteron during a hot summer day and I am feeling uncomfortable with that kind of temperature. ( OCed hits close to a 100 ) . I'd say there's room for improvement in low-profile GPU cooling. But not enough money in that segment for any big player to really pay attention.
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#10
PP Mguire
lZKoce said:
Sometimes, it doesn't seem so simple to me at least. Remember Sapphire HD 7750 low profile ? Beastly card for Opteron/ HTPC cases. However, as soon as you go into 3D mode hits 70 degrees ( not clocked ) <- yes, it is still well within a thermal limit, but throw it into an Opteron during a hot summer day and I am feeling uncomfortable with that kind of temperature. ( OCed hits close to a 100 ) . I'd say there's room for improvement in low-profile GPU cooling. But not enough money in that segment for any big player to really pay attention.
Couple things to note, the 7750 is a lower end card than something like a 950 and caters to a different niche as well. If a low profile card like a 950 would be released by Asus or eVGA they would most likely be dual slot cards to pack a bigger heatsink.
I'm not sure what you mean by throw it into an Opteron, as that's a CPU, but regarding that Tweakton's review showed it barely cresting 50c while gaming. A card with such a small heatsink you really shouldn't overclock on it anyways. Could probably make due with putting a 120mm fan next to it or something.

This 750ti is a good example of what I'm talking about.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127836
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#12
PP Mguire
rruff said:
According to TPU, the Zotac 950 will draw 2x that 75W when maxed out. https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Zotac/GeForce_GTX_950_AMP_Edition/28.html

None of the 950s have stellar FPS/W. Lower than the 750Ti anyway, which barely runs on the slot alone. So how are they doing it? If you could make VRMs that save that much power why isn't everyone using them?
The Zotac is an overclocked card with a 6pin to draw more power from. Naturally it'll saturate the 150W threshold. The card in the OP is reference clocks and I bet it doesn't hit the boost much.
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#13
xorbe
rruff said:
None of the 950s have stellar FPS/W.
Best perf/watt is generally a bigger gpu with a lower voltage / lower clock. Castrated gpus have to be clocked to the moon.
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#14
rruff
PP Mguire said:
The Zotac is an overclocked card with a 6pin to draw more power from. Naturally it'll saturate the 150W threshold. The card in the OP is reference clocks and I bet it doesn't hit the boost much.
But it has the same hardware. How do they save *that* much power? If we assume power consumption is roughly proportional to clock speed and voltage^2, they'd need a big voltage reduction to cut power in half. That means high quality chips. Plus using VRMs that are fancier and more efficient. If so, this isn't going to be a cheap card, for performance that is probably about like an OC'd 750 Ti. Not really seeing the point, but that's how marketing goes.
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#15
Beerbam
They have the same specs but lower power,
The only possibility is they have the specs wrong or they use another sub version of the 206 Chip.
I can't imagine a selection for that power grade for the initial GM206 Chip, the results would be below 0.01% or even less ^^

There are the rumors about the LE Version where they deactivated some more parts.
But in that case they would have reduced bandwith etc. -> wrong specs
They have to do some changes with the GM206 chip to get the LE Version so they could possibly re-spinnend the chip especially for the 950LE and thought nice thats to good working lets do it also for the standard 950 and side effect we have some more stand against AMDs 75W solutions.

= Get your Hands on one and remove the cooler and check the markings if it's the same(=specs wrong) or something new (specs true) ;)
Posted on Reply
#16
Caring1
rruff said:
But it has the same hardware. How do they save *that* much power? If we assume power consumption is roughly proportional to clock speed and voltage^2, they'd need a big voltage reduction to cut power in half. That means high quality chips. Plus using VRMs that are fancier and more efficient. If so, this isn't going to be a cheap card, for performance that is probably about like an OC'd 750 Ti.
There must be some magic sauce they have found, AMD has just done the same with one of their base cards the R7 360, which uses 50W, half the rated power.
Posted on Reply
#17
PP Mguire
rruff said:
But it has the same hardware. How do they save *that* much power? If we assume power consumption is roughly proportional to clock speed and voltage^2, they'd need a big voltage reduction to cut power in half. That means high quality chips. Plus using VRMs that are fancier and more efficient. If so, this isn't going to be a cheap card, for performance that is probably about like an OC'd 750 Ti. Not really seeing the point, but that's how marketing goes.
Or the other way, the Zotac card uses cheap parts. Because well, it's Zotac. If we look at it that way it would make more sense for this to have maybe slightly better power delivery and maybe a binned chip.

I see the point. A stock 950 is better than a 750ti, by almost 20% @ 1080p according to TPU and an overclocked 950 (the Zotac) is better than even a 760. With clocks being almost the same as the Zotac it could help in small niche situations. Bottom line though, it's just market saturation. I'd rather have a low profile card instead.
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#18
rruff
PP Mguire said:
Or the other way, the Zotac card uses cheap parts. Because well, it's Zotac.
The Zotac was the highest. The others maxed at 103-122W.
A stock 950 is better than a 750ti, by almost 20% @ 1080p according to TPU
38% higher actually. But you can OC the 750 Ti for a ~20% performance increase on average, which drops the difference to 15%.
Posted on Reply
#19
rruff
Caring1 said:
There must be some magic sauce they have found, AMD has just done the same with one of their base cards the R7 360, which uses 50W, half the rated power.
They say new VRMs for 950. Maybe there was some advancement in those? But if they are so awesome why aren't they on the other cards that really need a power reduction?
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#20
xorbe
The GTX 950 is presently rated 90W. To get to 75W from there, all that has to be done is lower both voltage and clock by approx 6%. From 110W, lower both by 12%.
Posted on Reply
#21
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
I still have this feeling that the card doesn't actually stay below 75w, and ASUS is just pulling more power from the slot than the spec says is allowable.
Posted on Reply
#22
rruff
xorbe said:
The GTX 950 is presently rated 90W. To get to 75W from there, all that has to be done is lower both voltage and clock by approx 6%. From 110W, lower both by 12%.
They didn't drop the clock though, it's the same spec.
Posted on Reply
#23
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
newtekie1 said:
I still have this feeling that the card doesn't actually stay below 75w, and ASUS is just pulling more power from the slot than the spec says is allowable.
I've been thinking about this, are there limiters in place? Is it even possible for cards to pull moee than 75W?
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#24
xorbe
rruff said:
They didn't drop the clock though, it's the same spec.
It may clamp for max loads though. There's the wattage table in the rom.
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#25
rruff
xorbe said:
It may clamp for max loads though. There's the wattage table in the rom.
Maybe if I'm bored I'll play with downclocking my 950 and see what it will do.
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