Asus STRIX GTX 960 DirectCU II OC 2GB Review – A Maxwell’s Sweet Spot GPU
The GeForce GTX 960 is said to be the “Sweet Spot” amongst the Maxwell-based graphics card. We have seen how to GTX 980 and GTX 970 performed (as well as the ruckus about the 970). Now let’s take a look at how this so-called sweet spot would perform. Clearly, the GTX 960 is not built for 1440p and above resolution, but it’s definitely for gamers who are still gaming at 1080p. Today, let’s take a look at the Asus STRIX GTX 960 DirectCU II OC Edition with 2GB of VRAM. At the time the GeForce GTX 960 was released, it had a retail price of $200 USD, meanwhile the STRIX GTX 960 was around $210. But I’m pretty sure its street price has gone down by now. Are you planning to upgrade or buy your system with a new graphics card? Find out if the Asus STRIX GTX 960 is the one you are looking for. Please continue reading the review below.
Asus STRIX GTX 960 OC Review
Like most of the graphics card out there manufactured by NVIDIA’s AIB partner, the Asus STRIX GTX 960 DC2OC-2GD5 comes with a factory-overclocked setting. Meaning, it has a higher clocked speed compared to NVIDIA’s reference GeForce GTX 960. Expect that these factory-overclocked graphics card will perform (much) better compared to the reference one.
Out of the box, the STRIX 960 features a base clock speed of 1253MHz and a boost clock speed of 1317MHz. Its memory is slightly overclocked at 1800MHz or 7200MHz effective. Since this graphics card is under the STRIX branding, it features a DirectCU II heat sink design with a STRIX shroud featuring 0dB fan technology. This basically means that the fans on the STRIX cooler won’t start to spin unless the GPU reach a certain point of temperature, ~65° Celsius.
Like most of Asus’ products, the Asus STRIX GTX 960 also features Super Alloy Power components like: Super Alloy chokes that decreases buzzing noise; dedicated SAP CAP that maximize overclocking headroom; Super Alloy Capacitor that can extend the lifespan of the graphics card by 2.5x; and Super Alloy MOS that has a 30% higher voltage threshold for enhanced OC capability.
The Asus STRIX GTX 960 DC2OC-2GD5 being a Maxwell-based graphics card is also loaded with features that its bigger brothers (GTX 970 and GTX 980) have. It’s more power efficient and cooler compared to the previous generations as well. These features include the following:
Dynamic Super Resolution – This feature can deliver 4K-quality images to 1080p displays for exceptional detail and fidelity.
Multi-Frame sampled Anti-Aliasing (MFAA) – MFAA delivers a 30% boost in performance while maintaining smooth, high-quality edges (reduced “jaggies”) by alternating sample calculations across each frame and each pixel.
Voxel Global Illumination (VXGI) – Part of the NVIDIA GameWorks™ library for developers, VXGI accelerates dynamic lighting effects for a truly immersive, cinematic experience.
GeForce Experience – Optimizes you games and keeps your drivers up to date.
NVIDIA Shadow Play – Let’s you record gaming footage or stream content in real time, with a minimal performance drop to the game. This feature in included in GeForce Experience.
NVIDIA G-SYNC – This display technology delivers the smoothest and fastest gaming experience. G-SYNC’s revolutionary performance is achieved by synchronizing display refresh rates to the GPU in your GeForce® GTX™-powered PC, eliminating screen tearing and minimizing display stutter and input lag. Scenes render instantly, objects look sharper, and gameplay is super smooth, giving you a stunning visual experience and a serious competitive edge.
NVIDIA GameStream – Stream extreme GeForce GTX PC gaming experiences to portable game-playing devices like NVIDIA SHIELD™ with super-smooth, low-latency performance.
NVIDIA GPU Boost 2.0 – This technology allows gamers to push PC performance to the maximum with precise controls. It monitors work with advanced controls like GPU temperature target, overclocking, and overvoltage to ensure that the GPU works at peak performance.
NVIDIA Adaptive VSync – Nothing is more distracting than frame rate stuttering and screen tearing. The first tends to occur when frame rates are low, the second when frame rates are high. Adaptive VSync is a smarter way to render frames. At high framerates, VSync is enabled to eliminate tearing. At low frame rates, it’s disabled to minimize stuttering.
NVIDIA Surround with up to Four Monitors – Play your favorite games across four monitors. At 5760 x 1080, the expanded field of view fully engages peripheral vision and provides for the most immersive experience in racing and flight simulators.
NVIDIA SLI Technology – SLI technology lets you link up to four NVIDIA SLI-ready cards together for astounding performance.
I’ll discuss more of the Asus STRIX GTX 960 features as we take a closer look at the graphics card on the next page.
Asus STRIX GTX 960 DC2OC Specifications
|Model name||Asus STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-2GD5||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960||Asus GTX760-DC2OC-2GD5||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760|
|Graphics Engine||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760|
|Graphics Processor||GM206 Maxwell||GM206 Maxwell||GK 104 (28nm)||GK 104 (28nm)|
|Bus standard||PCI Express 3.0||PCI Express 3.0||PCI Express 3.0||PCI Express 3.0|
|Video memory||2GB GDDR5||2GB GDDR5||2GB GDDR5||2GB GDDR5|
|GPU base Clock||1253MHz||1127 MHz||1006 MHz||980 MHz|
|GPU boost Clock||1317MHz||1178 MHz||1072 MHz||1033 MHz|
|Memory clock||7200 MHz||7000 MHz||6008 MHz||6008 MHz|
|Memory interface||128-bit||128-bit||256 bit||256 bit|
|DVI output||1x Native Dual-link DVI-I||1x Native Dual-link DVI-I||1x Native Dual-link DVI-I|
1x Native Dual-link DVI-D
|1x Native Dual-link DVI-I
1x Native Dual-link DVI-D
|HDMI output||1x HDMI 2.0||1x HDMI 2.0||1x Native HDMI||1x Native HDMI|
|DisplayPort||3x Native DisplayPort 1.2||3x Native DisplayPort 1.2||1x Native DisplayPort 1.2||1x Native DisplayPort 1.2|
|Power Consumption||up to 120W additional 6 pin PCIe power required, at least 400W PSU||up to 120W additional 6 pin PCIe power required, at least 400W PSU||up to 225W additional 8 pin PCIe power required||up to 170W 6+6 pin PCIe power required|
|Adapters/cables bundled||1x DVI to VGA adaptor|
1x STRIX Laser Sticker
ASUS GPU Tweak & Driver
|1x Power Cable|
ASUS GPU Tweak & Driver
|Dimensions||8.47 " x 4.77 " x 1.61 " Inches||9.5 " x 4.38 " x dual-slot inches||8.6 " x 5 " x 1.5 " inches||9.5" x 4.4" x dual-slot inches|