EVGA GeForce GTX 950 SSC 2 GB Review 5

EVGA GeForce GTX 950 SSC 2 GB Review

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Today, NVIDIA launched the GeForce GTX 950, its new entry-mainstream graphics card priced at $160. Sub-$200 has always been a difficult area for NVIDIA because of price-performance comparisons to AMD, with the company selling more volumes only because of a better-proliferated sales and marketing network. AMD's recent product launches, such as the Radeon R7 360, R7 370, and R7 380, put even more heat on NVIDIA. Particularly the Radeon R7 370 irritates NVIDIA. Priced at $149, the card offers better performance than the similarly priced GTX 750 Ti. It actually takes a $199 GTX 960 to outperform it, which leaves the company's $150-ish price-point rather vulnerable. This necessitates a new SKU, the GeForce GTX 950.

NVIDIA gave the GeForce GTX 950 a solid and cost-effective foundation in the 28 nm GM206 silicon on which the GTX 960 is also based. This is a tiny chip, and compared to the R7 370, it has a narrower 128-bit memory bus for just four memory chips on the card. NVIDIA makes up for some of the deficit with lossless texture compression tech, which improves effective bandwidth by around 20%. The sheer pixel-crunching muscle of the Maxwell architecture takes care of the rest, which creates immense room for future cost-cutting measures.

The GeForce GTX 950 is carved out of the GM206 silicon, by disabling two of its eight streaming multiprocessor (SMM) units. It's a rather huge 25% drop compared to the GTX 960 and results in a CUDA core count of 768. At 48, the TMU count is proportionately lower as well. At 32, the ROP count is the same, and so is the memory bus of 128-bit. 2 GB is the standard memory amount, and unlike with the GTX 960, we don't expect NVIDIA to introduce 4 GB variants. The core is clocked at 1024 MHz, with a GPU Boost frequency of 1188 MHz, and the memory ticks at 6.60 GHz (GDDR5-effective), which gives you 105.6 GB/s memory bandwidth.

In this review, we will test the EVGA GTX 950 SSC, which comes with the company signature cooling shroud featuring a dual-slot, dual-fan cooling solution. GPU frequency has been increased to a base clock of 1190 MHz, but the memory clock has remained at NVIDIA reference 1653 MHz.

The price increase of $10 over NVIDIA's reference design is acceptable, bringing the total to $170.

Also check out our other GTX 950 reviews today: ASUS, Gigabyte, Zotac

GeForce GTX 950 Market Segment Analysis
GTX 750 Ti
R7 265
R7 370
R9 270X
GTX 950
950 SSC
GTX 760
GTX 960
R9 285
R9 380
R9 280X
R9 290
Shader Units640102410241280768768115210241792179220482560
Graphics ProcessorGM107PitcairnPitcairnPitcairnGM206GM206GK104GM206TongaTongaTahitiHawaii
Memory Size2048 MB2048 MB2048 MB2048 MB2048 MB2048 MB2048 MB2048 MB2048 MB2048 MB3072 MB4096 MB
Memory Bus Width128 bit256 bit256 bit256 bit128 bit128 bit256 bit128 bit256 bit256 bit384 bit512 bit
Core Clock1020 MHz+925 MHz975 MHz1050 MHz1024 MHz+1190 MHz+980 MHz+1127 MHz+918 MHz970 MHz1000 MHz947 MHz
Memory Clock1350 MHz1400 MHz1400 MHz1400 MHz1653 MHz1653 MHz1502 MHz1753 MHz1375 MHz1375 MHz1500 MHz1250 MHz
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