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Gigabyte GTX 950 Xtreme Gaming Review

Gigabyte GTX 950 Xtreme Gaming Review

A few weeks back NVIDIA launched their new GeF0rce GTX 950 and we reviewed a bunch of them, all with different designs and specifications. As is often the case manufacturers are looking to push this card as far as they can, trying to stand out from the competition and add value for the consumer. Today we review a new version of the latest Geforce, designed to run fast and cool, in our Gigabyte GTX 950 Xtreme Gaming Review.

NOTE: If you haven’t read about the GTX 950 before we recommend after this article reading our launch review which covers the new key gaming/eSports features.

Gigabyte GTX 950 Xtreme Gaming Review – Packaging and Bundle

gigabyte-gtx-950-xtreme-gaming-box gigabyte-gtx-950-xtreme-gaming-bundle

No frills packaging from Gigabyte on this card, just some nice branding and a bit about the key features on the back of the box. Inside we get two main bundled items, a DVI to VGA adapter and a case badge.

Gigabyte GTX 950 Xtreme Gaming Review – The Card

gigabyte-gtx-950-xtreme-gaming-card gigabyte-gtx-950-xtreme-gaming-back

gigabyte-gtx-950-xtreme-gaming-top gigabyte-gtx-950-xtreme-gaming-outputs

What seperates the Xtreme Gaming from any other GTX 950? First up are the cosmetic changes. A nice black PCB with metal cooler cover, backplate and LED lighting. The Windforce logo on top turns on when the fans run and at low loads, the card is silent/passive and the LEDs shut down. These LED’s can be configured for various colours in Gigabytes software and we can tweak the cards speed in there too. Our cooler is the Windforce 2X which uses a combination of direct contact copper heatpipes, aluminium heatsink and dual fans. These fans have a design which aims to enhance airflow, minimise air turbulence and reduce noise.

Gigabyte pick the highest quality 950 GPUs for this card (GPU Gauntlet sorting) and add breathable conformal coating to the PCB which protects against moisture, corrosion, dust and temperature extremes. Gigabyte also note that the card is built with the same high grade chokes and capacitors as the Titan X cards while also marking them Ultra Durable. That means features such as 2oz Copper PCB, Lower RDSon Mosfet and high quality memory, in this case Samsung.

A single SLI connector sits on the top edge of the PCB letting us know we can combine multiple cards for enhanced performance and there is a single 8pin power connector along from this, helping to provide the cards 90w (approx) of power. As far as specifications go, Gigabyte opt for a 1203MHz core, boosting to 1405MHz and memory (2GB) is clocked at 1750MHz . As far as the outputs go, one DVI, one HDMI and three DisplayPort are present here and as this is a HDMI 2.0 part it can output 4k at 60fps.

950gb

Gigabyte GTX 950 Xtreme Gaming Review – Performance

Testing was performed on the Intel Core i7-5960X running on an X99 board with 16GB of DDR4 and a Samsung 850 Pro SSD. Windows 10 was the OS and all games along with the OS were patched.

All testing was performed on a BenQ BL3201 4k Display at 1080p

benq-bl3201pt-review-screen

NVIDIA Driver: 355.65
AMD Driver: 15.7.1

NOTE: The 370 GPU was clocked at 1050/5600Mhz and is the 2Gb model. The 950 OC used for comparison was from Zotac.

3dmark-950g

3dmark-950g-oc power-950g temps-950g 950g-review-atilla 950g-review-bfhardline 950g-review-dota2 950g-review-lolhos-fix950g-review-gtav

Gigabyte GTX 950 Xtreme Gaming Review – Conclusion

Looking back to our original GTX 950 Review we had this to say about the new card…

“As far as features go [the GTX 950 offers] DirectX12, audio over HDMI/DisplayPort, 3DVision, G-sync, CUDA, MFAA and the like. 4K output is supported and supports GeForce Experience which allows us to configure our games (individually) for the best balance of quality and framerate in just a couple of clicks. An updated version of GeForce Experience will soon include some crazy cool features such as the ability to stream your game to a friend (they use Chrome), invite them and have them join and play with you. That new version also includes an updated overlay for Instant Replay, Recording, Broadcasting (Twitch) and the ability to trim and upload videos to Youtube (4k/60fps) without needing to leave the game.

GS

Turning back to the GTX 950 and looking at performance the obvious comparison to start with is the Radeon 370 (or 265/7850 as it was once known). In our testing the GTX 950 was, more often than not, faster than the Radeon 370. There were some engines where it was close, for example DOTA 2 Reborn, where the results were close but others where the GTX 950 had a clear win, for example Total War: Attila and Heroes of the Storm.”

What does the Xtreme Gaming offer? Quite simply its the best GTX 950 which we have tested to date. In every aspect. On the face of things it looks like it will be very similar to other brands, for example 2 fans, silent when idle, similar clock speed however the card goes on to surprise. From similar clocks the Xtreme Gaming manages to squeeze a couple of extra FPS out of a number of games. It also runs with slightly lower power requirement and with a very low noise cooler. The lowest we have tested. Added to that the temperatures are significantly lower than the other GTX 950s we have tested. So much lower that we had to go back and re-test to make sure it was a correct result.

Clearly the choice of high quality components and a high performance cooler are combining to give the excellent results and for that reason the Gigabyte GTX 950 Xtreme Gaming wins our Gold Award. If you want a 950, this is without doubt the one to buy.

Gold Award

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Gigabyte GTX 950 Xtreme Gaming
Author Rating
5

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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