System Overview & Testing Procedures
Like any graphics card you just slide the GTX 960 Gaming 2G into an open PCI-Express slot, connect your power and you are good to go.
Once you power your system on you will notice that the MSI logo on the side of the card will light up white. Again you can customize the effects of the white LED using the MSI Gaming App.
You can also use the MSI gaming app to change the viewing style too. There are eye rest, gaming and movie settings as well as the ability to customize it.
This is the system we will be using to test the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 G1 Gaming.
Processor: Intel Core i7-4960X Extreme Edition
Motherboard: ASUS P9X79 Pro
Video Card: MSI GTX 960 Gaming 2G
Memory: 16GB Kingston 10th Anniversary
Power: Raidmax RX100AE
Storage: 750GB SATA II Drive
Cooling: Phanteks PH-TC14S
Case: Cooler Master Cosmos II with 5 fans
As always we’re first going to verify our numbers and make sure we’re accurately reporting the performance specification of the card. Here’s a GPU-Z screenshot, listing all the information. Opening GPU-Z we can see that the card is running at the advertised speeds of 1216 MHz core, 1279 MHz boost and 7012 MHz (effective) for the memory. This is of course an overclock from the stock GTX 960 speeds which are 1127 MHz core, 1178 MHz boost and 7000 MHz (effective) memory.
For our tests we will be comparing the MSI GTX 960 Gaming 2G to a few other graphics cards we have on hand. They are listed below along with their core, boost and memory speeds
MSI GTX 960 Gaming 2G: 1216 MHz / 1279 MHz / 7012 MHz
ASUS R9 280X DirectCU II TOP: 970 MHz / 1070 MHz / 6400 MHz
EVGA GTX 680: 1006 MHz / 1058 MHz / 6000 MHz
Gigabyte GTX 970 G1 Gaming: 1178 MHz / 1329 MHz / 7012 MHz
Gigabyte R9 280X OC: 1000 MHz / 1100 MHz / 6000 MHz
MSI GTX 770 Gaming: 1059 MHz / 1111 MHz / 7010 MHz
MSI GTX 770 Gaming: 900 MHz / 975 MHz / 5600 MHz
Sapphire HD 7950 Vapor-X: 850 MHz / 950 MHz / 5000 MHz
Sapphire R9 290X Vapor-X Tri-X OC: 1000 MHz / 1080 MHz / 5600 MHz
Sapphire R9 285 Dual-X OC: 965 MHz / 965 MHz / 5600 MHz
Sapphire R9 280X Toxic: 1100 MHz / 1150 MHz / 6400 MHz
Sapphire R9 280X Vapor-X Tri-X OC: 1000 MHz / 1100 MHz / 6000 MHz
Sapphire R7 250 Ultimate: 800 MHz / 800 MHz / 4500 MHz
When we cover graphics cards, we always run the same benchmarking suites and then a selection of the most popular and hardware intensive games available. I have separated our tests into 2 different sections (Benchmarks & Games) and you can see them listed below.
3DMark – Fire Strike
Alien vs Predator
Max Payne 3