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Nvidia GTX 950 Review featuring MSI GTX 950 Gaming 2G

4 min read

[nextpage title=”GTX 950 : the younger one”]
The lower end of the GPU market spectrum is an interesting place, while the GPU makers hardly pays any attention to it the majority of the revenue comes from that so called “low end” area. That being said the lower end is not completely forgotten by the manufacturers completely, the card we have for review today is a new entrant in the low end arena : the GTX 950 from Nvidia DSC_0350_edit

NVIDIA GPU Specification Comparison
GTX 960 GTX 950 GTX 750 Ti GTX 650 Ti
CUDA Cores 1024 768 640 768
Texture Units 64 48 40 64
ROPs 32 32 16 16
Core Clock 1126MHz 1024MHz 1020MHz 925MHz
Boost Clock 1178MHz 1188MHz 1085MHz N/A
Memory Clock 7GHz GDDR5 6.6GHz GDDR5 5.4GHz GDDR5 5.4GHz GDDR5
Memory Bus Width 128-bit 128-bit 128-bit 128-bit
VRAM 2GB 2GB 2GB 1GB
FP64 1/32 FP32 1/32 FP32 1/32 FP32 1/24 FP32
TDP 120W 90W 60W 110W
Architecture Maxwell 2 Maxwell 2 Maxwell 1 Kepler
GPU GM206 GM206 GM107 GK106
Transistor Count 2.94B 2.94B 1.87B 2.54B
Manufacturing Process TSMC 28nm TSMC 28nm TSMC 28nm TSMC 28nm
Launch Date 1/22/2015 8/20/2015 2/18/2014 10/9/2012
Launch Price $199 $159 $149 $149

Diving into specifications, with the GTX 950 what we essentially have is a cut down version of the GM 206 which is present in GTX 960. GTX 950 loses one-quarter of its SMMs – going from 8 to 6 – bringing the CUDA core count down from 1024 to 768 with the memory bus/ROP clusters left intact, with 32 ROPs connected to a 128-bit GDDR5 memory bus.

GM206-950Coming to the clock speed, the GTX 950 didnt took much of a cut with respect to the GTX 960, we see a wider delta between base clock and boost clock with a 1024MHz base and 1188MHz boost and a little cut on the memory clock from 7GHz to 6.6GHz whicH is more to create an artificial distinction since nobody ships a 6.6GHz GDDR5 speed grade as far as I know.

 

[nextpage title=”Product Showcase : MSI GTX 950 Gaming 2G”]

The card with whihc we will be opening our GTX 950 coverage’s would be the MSI GTX 950 Gaming 2G , the flagship product in the GTX 950 lineup. As the Flagship product the card comes with all the bells and whistles the flagships offer  like the Twin Frozr V Cooler, MSI gaming app,Military class component etc.

MSI GTX 950 Gaming 2G packaging

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MSI GTX 950 Gaming 2G box contents

DSC_0363The contents are modest

  • Graphics card
  • Documentation + driver CD
  • DVI adapter

 The Card

MSI has given the Twin Frozr treatment to the card, which look good but makes the card bigger than the competitors.

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DSC_0352As its always the case with lower end cards, a backplate is not available. Dimension wise the card stands at 13.5 cm x 27.5 cm.

DSC_0355Display connectivity options include three full-size DisplayPorts, one HDMI port, and one DVI port. The gpu also  includes an HDMI 2.0 sound device

DSC_0358You can add upto two GTX 950’s in SLI configuration; if you are willing that is.

 

 

[nextpage title=”Test Setup”]

  • Intel Core i5 2500K
  • Asus P8Z77 V deluxe
  • Kingston Hyper X Beast 16GB DDR3
  • Kingston V Now 300
  • CoolerMaster V1000
  • MSI GTX 950 Gaming 2G

stock

[nextpage title=”Gaming Benchmarks”]

We decided to test the GTX 950 only in 1920×1080 and 1600×900 resolutions since regardless of the popular opinion GTX 950 is intended for this two resolution only.

1600×900

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1920×1080

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As you can see, the GTX 950 holds on its own in most of the situation barring a few situations. Anything above 1080P resolution is clearly not advisable though.

[nextpage title=”Conclusion:Small but powerful enough”]

The GeForce GTX 950 is Nvidia’s contender for the entry-level or mid low segment, where it competes with the R7 370 and R9 285. Now even though we didn’t have any of the cards with us for this review reports show that the GTX 950 while destroying the 370 with about a 10/15% gap gets beaten by the R9 285.While compared to its big brother GTX 960 we see the GTX 950 is lagging by about 8/10%. We would recommend the GTX 950 for upto 900P gaming and for 1080P gaming with a little bit of visual downgrade. MOBA and casual gaming also wouldn’t be a problem.

Now coming to this card, the GTX 950 Gaming 2G; MSI did an awesome job with the already impressive GTX 950. The Twin Frozr coupled with the already low TDP maxwell design works wonderfully, it remained silent throughout our testing regardless of the load provided and we did managed to put it under some serious stress including Metro 2033(the new crysis), Shadows of Mordor etc.
The only concern however remains is the price, I was informed the price would be around or a bit over 15000INR; which is a bit overpriced in my opinion and considering the fact that a GTX 960 can be found at around 16000/16500 INR with tax paid many will choose to go for the GTX 960 Instead.

That aside the MSI GTX 950 2G is a very good GPU even for its price,a small reduction in price would make it a killer deal.

 

EDIT: We have been informed the price has been reduced a bit to around 14K INR for the Indian market, while thats an welcomed decision we would wait for the proper listing in different retailers.

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