Last week, NVIDIA released their latest mainstream graphics card, the GeForce GTX 950 offering a cheaper, yet cost-effective solution for PC gamers who are playing MOBAs and other not-so-demanding games. It replaces the (much older) GTX 650 and last year’s GTX 750 (Ti), with faster performance and same technologies that the current GTX 900 series graphics cards have. The GTX 950 is based on the latest Maxwell architecture with the same GM206 silicone that the GTX 960 has, well except for the disabled cores. Zotac sent us their fastest GTX 950, the Zotac GeForce GTX 950 AMP! Edition, fully armored and ready for battle. Please continue reading our review of the GTX 950 AMP! Edition below.
Zotac GeForce GTX 950 AMP! Edition Review
Zotac released three variants of the GeForce GTX 950, the Zotac GTX 950 (ZT-90601-10L) featuring a single fan design with a tad higher clock speed compared to the reference one; second the GTX 950 OC (ZT-90602-10M) featuring a dual fan design and with a higher clock speed vs the reference; finally the GTX 950 AMP! Edition (ZT-90603-10M) featuring a dual fan design with IceStorm, Freeze and Carbon ExoArmor. It’s also the fastest GTX 950 amongst their line, offering a base clock speed of 1203MHz with a boost clock speed of 1405MHz, and memory is also overclocked to 7020MHz. I haven’t checked all the GTX 950 available in the market, but as far as I know the Zotac GTX 950 AMP! Edition has the highest clock speeds, making it (theoretically speaking) the fastest GTX 950 in the market.
The Zotac GTX 950 AMP! Edition is based on the new GM206-250-A1 silicon featuring 768 CUDA cores, 2GB of GDDR5 memory running on a 128-bit memory. It’s basically the same with the GTX 960 core, but two of its eight streaming multiprocessor units, or SMM, are disabled, resulting in a slower performance compared to the GTX 960. However, the good news is the GTX 950 is cheaper, shares the latest NVIDIA technologies that the current GTX 900 series graphics cards have, and is definitely faster than the GTX 650 and GTX 750 Ti.
All GeForce GTX 950 graphics card includes the following technologies:
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.
Yes, you read that right, the GTX 950 is SLI capable, something which the GTX 750 and GTX 750 Ti were not capable of. It also includes PhysX technology, SHIELD ready, GPU Boost 2.0, Direct 12 API feature level 12_1, OpenGL 4.5 and OpenCL. On top of the common features and technologies mentioned above, the Zotac GTX 950 AMP! Edition features IceStrom with Carbon ExoArmor, FREEZE technology and FireStorm utility.
I’ll discuss more of the features of the GTX 950 AMP! Edition on the next page. Below is a specification table of the Zotac GTX 950 lineup with the reference GeForce GTX 950 for comparison.
Zotac GeForce GTX 950 AMP! Edition Specifications
|Specifications||Zotac GTX 950 AMP! Edition||Zotac GTX 950 OC||Zotac GTX 950||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950|
|GPU||GeForce GTX 950||GeForce GTX 950||GeForce GTX 950||GeForce GTX 950|
|Engine Clock Speed||Base - 1203 MHz|
Boost - 1405 MHz
|Base - 1102 MHz|
Boost - 1279 MHz
|Base - 1089 MHz|
Boost - 1266 MHz
|Base - 1024 MHz
Boost - 1188 MHz
|Memory Size||2GB GDDR5||2GB GDDR5||2GB GDDR5||2GB GDDR5|
|Memory Clock Speed||7020 MHz||6804 MHz||6610 MHz||6600 MHz|
|Display Outputs||1 x DisplayPort 1.2 (4k @ 60 Hz)|
1 x HDMI (4k @ 60 Hz)
2 x Dual-link DVI (2560x1600)
Quad simultaneous display capable
|Dual Link DVI-I, HDMI 2.0, 3x DisplayPort 1.2|
|Cooling||Dual 90mm IceStorm||Dual 80mm fan||Single 90mm fan||single fan|
|DirectX Version||12 API feature level 12_1||12 API feature level 12_1||12 API feature level 12_1||12 API feature level 12_1|
|Hardware Features||Freeze Tech / Carbon ExoArmor||Freeze Tech||Freeze Tech||----|
|OS Support||Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10 ready 32/64-bit|
|Power||350W PSU recommended
90W max power consumption
6-pin PCIE power connector
|Dimensions||208mm x 111.15mm x dual slot||174mm x 111.15mm x dual slot||174mm x 111.15mm x dual slot||4.376 inches x 7.938 inches x dual width|