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Review: Asus Strix GTX 950

 
STRIX-GTX950
STRIX-GTX950
STRIX-GTX950

 
Overview
 

Manufacturer: Asus
 
Price: R3500
 
Component Categories:
 
Value
9.0


 
Performance
8.5


 
Features
8.5


 
Total Score
8.7
8.7/10


User Rating
no ratings yet

 

Positives


Packs a tidy punch

Negatives


Might be worth saving up for the 960


Bottom Line

If you value gaming on a budget, this card will get you far, if you are willing to tweak settings.

3
Posted November 9, 2015 by

 
Full Article
 
 

STRIX-GTX950

Too often, the biggest and best gets looked at, ignoring the entry and middle echelons of graphics cards. While most die hard fans will tell you that the only way to game is with SLI, multimonitor crazy resolutions and everything running on max.

The truth is that a majority of machines running Steam are using 1080p or lower as a resolution. The vocal contingent is the minority here, looking for praise and bragging rights.

The Asus Strix GTX 950 is one of the cheaper offerings, but it still packs some heft. It makes use of  a cut down version of the GM206 GPU used in the GTX 960 series. This dual slot, dual fan card is clocked at 1140 MHz on the core out of he box with a 1329 MHz boost frequency. The dual fan does a great job, keeping the GPU below 70 even in the middle of a 3D Mark benchmark test. Speaking of 3D Mark:

GTX9501

 

For comparison, the exact same PC with GTX 960 gets 6,700.

This is Tomb Raider’s built-in bencmark at 1080p, running with everything turned up to maximum settings:

tr1080While that minimum frame rate is quite low at 37, having and average of 50fps is really great. With a little tweaking you can hit a nice stable 60 fps without too much hassle. 1440p is a lot harder on the card, with average sitting at 30 fps and a minimum and maximum of 21.4 and 38.8. No, not commenting on other things that tend to run at 30 fps here.

The same happens in other games, I was pleasantly surprised that the 950 handled MGSV at 50 frames per second too. When you are running a value card, a bit of tweaking goes a long way to getting your games running with what you are most comfortable. Some games don’t need the blistering fast frame rate to look great, while others can do with less complex shadows without affecting your enjoyment. Here is an example using Batman: Arkham Origins as a test platform.

At max settings possible for 1080p, an average of 44 frames is achieved. With a bit of tinkering, like lowering geometry detail, dynamic shadows and ambient occlusion, an average fps of 88 is hit. That’s a easy to do change that took two minutes to test: finding better settings will take a little bit of experimentation (or you could let GeForce Experience do it for you), but great visuals at acceptable framerates can be found.

The biggest hurdle to the 950 is that 2GB of VRAM. Considering the rumours that the 960 will eventually only be available at 4GB, eventually with no restocking of the 2GB versions, the price gap between the 950 and the 960 might increase beyond the R500+ that would be required to jump from a 950 to a 960. Of course this in itself is a terrible slope of the hypothetical. Asking “why not save X to upgrade to Y” can be used ad nauseam until you reach a GTX Titan. Depending on your budget, the 950 might be the perfect place for you if you want something better than a console, without spending several times more than the cost of one.

 


Garth Holden

 
I like so many things that it would take me several lifetimes to get through them all. So I tell you about them, so you can choose where your time and money gets spent.


  • http://raptorreports.co.za Raptor Rants

    Now this is how you discuss the pros and cons of a mid range. Finally someone who gets that it’s not about 4k gaming when going for these. PS: what about if you SLI this card? Does it have an sli bridge?

    • Valshen

      Yep, SLI is possible :)

      • http://raptorreports.co.za Raptor Rants

        So this is perfect. Buy one now. It’s good for 2 – 3 years. Buy a 2nd one when it’s getting long in the tooth. It supports DX12 so VRAM is stackable. Long term plan on a mid-range card.

        That’s exactly what I did with my 560Ti’s and I’m heading on year 4 or something like that