NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 Review With EVGA And ASUS

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Overclocking The GeForce GTX 960

We also spent a little time overclocking the GeForce GTX 960 to see what kind of additional frequency headroom it had left under its hood. For these tests, we used the latest edition of EVGA's Precision X GPU tweaking utility, which is designed to work with the new GeForce GTX 960.

Like Kepler, overclocking a Maxwell-based GeForce GTX series graphics card requires a bit more tweaking then previous-gen products, due to all of the new options available and the complexities associated with GPU Boost. Sometimes, you’ll find that increasing a particular voltage or frequency may appear to function properly, when in fact performance decreases due to errors or throttling. You may also find that the actual GPU Boost clock may travel above or below the designated offset value when the power and/or temperature targets are also increased.

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EVGA's Precision X Tweaking Utility Running On The GeForce GTX 960

To push the GTX 960's clock higher than stock, we increased the power and temperature targets to 110% and 91ºC, respectively, and also increased the GPU and Memory clock offsets by 103MHz and 127MHz, respectively. Then, we re-ran a few tests.

Though the utility didn't seem to jibe with our expectations, we were pleased to see our EVGA GeForce GTX 960 SSC hit a GPU boost clock of 1442MHz, without the need to tweak voltages at all, and the memory peaked at 3637MHz. With some additional juice, we're sure these cards can go even higher.

Considering the GeForce GTX 960's default base and boost clocks of 1126MHz and 1216MHz, and relatively low 120W TDP, it appears that NVIDIA is being very conservative with their reference specs--which is probably why EVGA and ASUS were at the ready with custom, overclocked cards right out of the gate.

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As you can see in the charts above, performance increases considerably while overclocked in both games we tested. We should also note that the Asus Strix GTX 960 OC hit virtually identical clocks; its GPU hit a perfectly stable 1430MHz, with a similar memory speed.

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