Which brand for GTX 960? And 2GB or 4GB?

Discussion in 'Videocards - NVIDIA GeForce' started by jmpnop, Mar 16, 2016.

  1. jmpnop

    jmpnop Maha Guru

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    Hi,

    I'm considering buying a GTX 960 to replace my (now dead) GTX 260. I've been out of the loop for a very long time and I have a few questions before ordering a replacement.

    The PC specs are -

    AMD Phenom II X4 955 3.2GHz

    Corsair + G.Skill 8GB DDR2 800 MHz (5-5-5-18)

    Seasonic X-650 650W Power Supply

    Monitor - Samsing 21.5" 1080p

    Case - Cooler Master 690 (For dimensions of card)

    Purchase site - NewEgg.com (USA)

    Budget - Around $200 (variable, can extend upto GTX 970 if it makes sense)

    Which graphic card?

    Now, any modern graphic card is going to be bottlenecked by my old processor, so I didn't consider 380X or other offerings from AMD. Also, the lower power consumption and generally stable drivers of Nvidia made me choose the GTX 960. I am interested to know your thoughts and welcome all opinions and suggestions (including AMD).

    If possible, I would also like to know the extent of bottleneck and would considering anything beyond GTX 960 (like GTX 970 for instance) make sense?

    VRAM - 2GB vs 4GB

    My other question is with respect to the VRAM. From what I gathered around reading benchmarks and reviews, Nvidia generally uses good VRAM compression and that contributes the closeness between 2GB and 4GB versions. Since I am going to use this card only at 1080p and more specifically with my aging desktop, is it worth spending around $30 for the 4GB version?

    EDIT: I also read about the 128-bit crippled bandwidth that doesn't help the card beyond 1080p, how does that affect 2GB vs 4GB?

    Which brand?

    Lastly, I am torn between brands, my last XFX GTX 260 had a fairly stock reference design and I was looking at ASUS, MSI and Gigabyte custom versions. Noise isn't a big concern, with respect to performance primarily, which would be your pick?

    (I think I need to exclude Gigabyte, after reading its reviews, I feel the length of around 12 inches would be quite large. My previous card was 10.5 inches and it was borderline acceptable).

    Please rank the brands in your order of preference (including the Gigabyte despite size concerns. I will just erase it from list if its beyond my requirements).

    Its a really long post, I had so many doubts coming back after a very long time, so please bear with me:bonk:


    TL;DR

    Which graphic card for around $200? With respect to GTX 960 - 2GB or 4GB? Which brand?

    Regards.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2016
  2. DeathAngel74

    DeathAngel74 Master Guru

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  3. PrMinisterGR

    PrMinisterGR Ancient Guru

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    Although it will most likely give you slower performance in DX11 titles, I would go for an AMD card if you plan to keep it. The 128bit bus of the 960 is already killing it in games. Go for a 380/380x instead. Whatever you go for make sure it's the 4GB version.
     
  4. oGow89

    oGow89 Maha Guru

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    Pretty much what he said.
     

  5. Undying

    Undying Ancient Guru

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    Just listen the above comments man and get yourself a 380X. Its the same price as 960 4GB.
     
  6. fantaskarsef

    fantaskarsef Ancient Guru

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    380X is still a very neat card. Pick that if you can afford it, and see it shine, especially with a CPU bottlenecked scenario.
     
  7. narukun

    narukun Member Guru

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    380X dont do the mistake to buy a nvidia card right now, even my gtx 970 is struggling.
     
  8. jmpnop

    jmpnop Maha Guru

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    Thank you guys for the replies, I want to add that whatever card I purchase now will be used in this system only. If in future, I plan to buy a new system, that is going to get a new graphic card. Having said that, my CPU is going to bottleneck quite a lot right? If that is the case, does it matter 380X being a vastly superior card?
     
  9. sverek

    sverek Ancient Guru

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    Basically, with 380X you will be able to run games at higher video quality without losing frames.

    Might depend on game, but usually FPS limited by CPU bottleneck are same on all video settings (low/med/high/ultra) and resolution. Let's say your CPU bottleneck is 60 fps.

    With 960 on high settings, GPU (960) starts to hit a limit and you get 50 fps.
    With 380X on high settings, GPU (380X) is still has headroom and CPU is still capping at 60fps.

    If price is same, 380X would be your better option. However I think 380, might be better fit.
     
  10. DeathAngel74

    DeathAngel74 Master Guru

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    [​IMG]

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    My 970's in SLI are just fine ^^^
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2016

  11. grzesiek1515

    grzesiek1515 Member

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    Well if its just a card to wait for a new system I'd say go for GTX950, pretty much same performance as 960 and its cheaper. I have the Gigabyte 960 ITX version and after a year of using it I must say it wasn't worth it. Anyway I'm going for Pascals soon so not an issue anymore ^^ . If the budget is your biggest enemy you might try hunting for some cheap used 770 if they're avaiable in your area. There's no much point in paying the ransom for a brand new card if its gonna be temporary solution, might be better to get something older for less money.
     
  12. kegastaMmer

    kegastaMmer Master Guru

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    agree with 950 gtx, low power, okish high -medium performance, good for handing it to a young one after you go gor the big guns next upcoming season , 770 dont, just dont, 2 gb 950 is the better temporary card atm, or a 380 if u find at an attractive price. 380 for longevity and higher power, 950 for savings all the way
     
  13. Kev1

    Kev1 Member

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    You might want to consider which drivers and software you like better. I prefer Nvidia.

    I have a Gigabyte GTX 960 4GB that I bought last year, the big one with 3 fans. It plays any of my games on Ultra at 1080p just fine. Games like BF4, Metal Gear Solid 5, Assassins Creed: Black Flag, FC4, Wolfenstein, etc.

    Bought my GTX 960 4GB for less than $200 on sale. EVGA usually has a sale now on their 4GB models in the $175 range after rebate.

    As others mentioned, a GTX 950 might be better if your going to do a full upgrade later in the year. The GTX 950 is almost as powerful as the 960 and you can find them after rebate for around $120 dollars.
     
  14. jmpnop

    jmpnop Maha Guru

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    Thanks for the suggestions everyone, I will seriously consider 380X and the cheaper GTX 950.

    I would like to how is EVGA's ACX compared to Gigabyte Windforce and MSI's TwinFrozr V cooling systems.

    Also, how are AMD drivers? I have always owned Nvidia graphics card and have no personal experience with AMD cards. It'd be greatly helpful, if someone who has owned both AMD and Nvidia cards can share their experience.

    Regards.
     
  15. jmpnop

    jmpnop Maha Guru

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    BUMP: Guys, last question please help me out on this one.

    I would like to know how the custom coolers from different brands stack up. Does it even matter?

    Gigabyte Gaming G1 is too big for my case, so I'm not considering it.

    That aside, can someone share their opinion / compare EVGA ACX 2.0, Asus STRIX, MSI Gaming 4G?
     

  16. narukun

    narukun Member Guru

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    I'm using EVGA since my Geforce FX5200 and its still working, same with my 7900GT, 8800GT, 650 ti Boost and 760. Im currently using EVGA GTX 970 with a very good Overclock and yes, i OC'ed all the previous cards. PS. I have a friend that is still using an evga gtx 280 just fine. They use good quality PCB and components, not just a good warranty.
     
  17. cowie

    cowie Ancient Guru

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    you can get used 290'x for 160usd under 200usd for custom cooler models,they are the best per dollar right now if you include used cards.
    otherwise 380/x it should be like said


    960/950 stock run cool pick the fan that fits your case.

    amd drivers are always best after a few months(lol years)the hardware comes out...cf is another story sometimes,even I will say its not like its as bad as it used to be,but still sh!t at launches
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2016
  18. moab600

    moab600 Ancient Guru

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    AMD got the best card per $ atm except the Fury X, nvidia only good card is the 980TI.

    I would suggest 380X and or 390, if Kepler vs GCN performance is any indication, soon 380 will be equal to 980 :D
     
  19. narukun

    narukun Member Guru

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    More sooner than we thought.

    Its alpha i know, but still.

    [​IMG]
     

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