NVidia and AMD both define the ~$200 price-range as a zone of serious contention among graphics cards. The launch of the 960 held the card to high standards for 1080 gaming, a point nVidia drove home with data showing the prevalence of 1920x1080 as the standard desktop resolution for most gamers.
Our GTX 960 review employed ASUS' Strix 960, a 2GB card with a heavy focus on silence and cooling efficiency, but we've since received several other GTX 960 devices. In this round-up, we'll review the ASUS Strix, EVGA SuperSC 4GB, MSI Gaming 4GB, and PNY XLR8 Elite GTX 960 video cards. The benchmark tests each device for heatsink efficacy, framerate output (FPS) in games, and memory capacity advantages.
Graphics manufacturer EVGA yesterday announced its second iteration of “Pro SLI Bridges,” effectively prettied-up bridges for multi-card solutions. The Pro SLI Bridge V2 is housed in an aluminum and offers an illuminated EVGA logo front-and-center, for those with compatible EVGA devices.
Following the launch of 2GB cards, major board partners – MSI and EVGA included – have begun shipment of 4GB models of the GTX 960. Most 4GB cards are restocking availability in early April at around $240 MSRP, approximately $30 more expensive than their 2GB counterparts. We've already got a round-up pending publication with more in-depth reviews of each major GTX 960, but today, we're addressing a much more basic concern: Is 4GB of VRAM worth it for a GTX 960?
Save CPUs, all components manufacturing in the PC hardware industry is centered upon the same core philosophy: Design a PCB, design the aesthetics and/or heatsink, and then purchase the semiconductor or Flash supply and build a product. In the case of video cards, board partners are responsible for designing aftermarket coolers (and PCBs, if straying from reference), but purchase the GPU itself from AMD or nVidia. The “hard work” is done by the GPU engineers and fabrication plants, but that's not to trivialize the thermal engineering that board partners invest into coolers.
When our readers ask us which version of a particular video card is “best,” we have to take into account several use-case factors and objective design factors. Fully passive cooling solutions may be best for gaming HTPCs like this one, but can't be deployed for higher-TDP graphics hardware. That's where various aftermarket designs come into play, each prioritizing noise, dissipation, and flair to varying degrees.
Maxwell architecture has effectively been solidified in the market at this point, a statement firmly reinforced by the onslaught of aftermarket high-end overclocking cards beginning to ship from various board partners. EVGA's CES 2015 suite spotlighted its new KINGPIN version of the GTX 980 alongside a CLC Hydro-Copper version of the GTX 980, both allowing additional OC headroom and other features.
While most of us are eagerly awaiting Black Friday for the yearly sales frenzy, I found a few hardware gems on sale this weekend. This week’s hardware sales include deals on a power supply, a micro-ATX case, an Intel motherboard, and a pair of video cards.
With Computex now over, we’ve had a full look at what all the major hardware manufacturers have had up their sleeves. One of the more electrically complex items released by EVGA, Corsair, and Be Quiet! are their newest power supplies.
Rounding-up all the newest power supplies from Computex reveals a cluster of 1600W PSUs, a 600W SFX PSU that we’ve covered before, and a renewed focus on power efficiency.
EVGA's "Classified K|NGP|N" line has become the company's solution for extreme overclockers, similar to MSI's "Gaming" and "Lightning" card differentiations. The new GTX 780 Ti (which we broke-down over here) stands as the best video card for gaming right now, outpacing nVidia's more developer-focused TITAN and AMD's R9 290X.
EVGA has scrapped the reference design for the 780 Ti and opted for their own ACX-enabled active cooling solution. The 780 Ti natively runs at a TDP of 250W, but because overclocking increases wattage sent through the device, EVGA had to design with high power consumption in mind. This means improving the on-card VRM, cooling, and ability to accept higher wattage.
Welcome to another edition of Mik's picks. The new school year is fast approaching -- as we noted in our recent budget gaming PC build -- so we've now begun our yearly ritual of back-to-school hardware sales round-ups. Even if you're not a school-goer yourself, you can still take advantage of the annual purge by hardware retailers.
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