Final Thoughts about the Gigabyte GTX 950 Xtreme
I decided to throw in the same mix of cards with the GTX950 Xtreme that I did with the original review of the GTX 950. I thought it would be a good idea to include a few Nvidia and AMD cards both in a similar price bracket and a couple of cards above as a comparison.
In all but a few games, the Gigabyte GTX 950 Xtreme easily bested the MSI GTX 950 and is right on par with our performance results with the MSI GTX 950 we previously reviewed. Compared to a reference GTX 950, the Xtreme edition comes with a 177 MHz/215MHz overclock on the GPU die and runs at the full 7000 MHz for the memory. Pushing the GTX 950 Xtreme any further was a futile attempt on my part as even a 5Mhz increase lead to errors in the benchmarks and crashes. I tried to overclock the card using MSI’s afterburner but I was not able to unlock the voltage. Using Gigabyte’s OC Guru II, I was able to change the minimum and maximum over voltage but still yielded no higher overclock than what this card comes with.
Even after a year with different Maxewell GPUs, it still freaks me out a bit to turn around and see the fans not spinning on the card. Cooling performance of the Windforce cooler is very good. The maximum temperature that I saw when benchmarking the card was 50° C on the open air test bench I use for GPUs. The fans didn’t go above 40% of the maximum RPM and at that speed they were still extremely quiet. Sitting inside a case, I doubt they could be heard.
The GTX 950 Xtreme requires an 8-pin PCIe power connector as compared to the reference 950 which requires a 6-Pin. The system power draw at it’s peak was 230 watts as measured by my Kill-A-Watt power meter.
When I first reviewed a GTX 950, I was impressed by how well it ran the benchmarks in our tests. We test at the highest in game settings to level the playing field across all market segments. Even then, the GTX 950 was able to pull off some pretty playable frame rates. In order to reach 60 frames per second, you will have to turn down some of the quality settings that’s just a fact of life when gaming with a card at this price level. However, there are quite a few in game settings that will boost frame rates by a good margin and have a minor impact on the visual quality.
The major weak point with the Giga 950 X is the price point. MSRP of the GTX 950 is $160 and the Xtreme addition tacks on another $20.00. I really do like this GPU and if it were say, $10 more than a stock GTX 950 it would make a more attractive offer. The pricing of Gigabyte’s GTX 950 Xtreme puts it dangerously close the the GTX 960 however in terms of performance the GTX 960 outperforms the GTX 950 series, as it should.
In my opinion, the Gigabyte GTX 950 Xtreme is a solid 1080p card. Most games will present no issues playing at medium to high texture quality with acceptable to good performance. However, if you want the clock/performance king of the sub-$200 GPUs, the Gigabyte GTX 960 is right up your alley.