MSI Nvidia Geforce GTX 960 OC edition Review
Nvidia has been pioneering the business of graphic processing units (GPUs) for years with their vividly impressive GeForce range of graphic cards. It has contributed largely in enhancing the gaming landscape around the world, encompassing the smartphone market with NVIDIA Tegra, which compliments its omnipresent dominance in the PC gaming industry. With its main competitor being the ATI Radeon series, the war for market supremacy has been an incessant one between these two industry stalwarts.
Further elaborating these opinions further, we reviewed the MSI Nvidia GTX 960 Over Clock (OC) Edition.
Box Content of MSI Nvidia GTX 960
- GTX 960 itself
- 6 pin to 8 pin power connector converter
- DVI to VGA converter
- Driver CD
- Quick User guide and Product series Documentation
Installation of Graphics card in Test Rig
As the above image depicts, the GTX 960 has two huge cooling fans resembling those 120 mm fans which culminate in making a graphic card big. Well, that’s how all mid-range to high-end graphic cards are, complimenting those towering CPU cabinets. I never had such a cabinet. I had a totally mid-sized CPU cabinet which wasn’t built exclusively for gaming. Here, the card slot was a bit too tight to fit the card, as you can see in the image below. The image shows that some part of it is still inside the steel bars. At first, I thought it won’t fit but, later, it was done perfectly. As you can see in the image, it was totally my assumption that if you are going for a GTX 960 or any other card in this range, you should or should be buying a huge space compartment for sure. Instead, I have been proved wrong.
Talking about overshooting the SLI capacity, you can easily do it with a top-of-the-line graphics card having a definite port for the same. It would certainly provide you with an immeasurable experience.
One thing I can place my money on is that you will surely love the overall look of the GPU. Adding to this, when you turn on the PC and have a transparent window at the side, you will see a glowing red and white MSI Logo which is visually engaging. It will literally catch your attention at first sight, making you think that this GPU is positively meant for some serious gaming.
Now, let’s come to the actual metrics and performance.
Before moving to that let’s talk about the ports that are made available for output, which were:
- 1x HDMI port
- 3x DisplayPort
- 1x DVI Port
Performance of MSI GTX 960 OC
Our test rig comprised of the following:
- 450W PSU
- Intel DG35EC Motherboard
- Intel Core i7 2600 Processor
- Corsair Vegnance 8GB x 2 RAM
- Seagate 2TB 5900 RPM Hard Disk
- MSI GTX 960
- Windows 10 64 Bit Operating System
- For online games testing we had 5net broadband with 5 mbps download speed and 512 Kbps upload speed
So our testing rig is pretty old and certainly not the best one. Regardless, I was able to render pretty well with the games I played.
So when you are installing drivers for the same, it comes with the Nvidia GeForce Experience Software which detects games and optimizes the settings according to the capability of your graphics card. So whichever games we played, they were at the optimized settings as per NVIDIA’s recommendation.
The first game I started with for this review was Grand Theft Auto V, which is probably the most in-demand game in the industry. PC gamers had to wait a lot for this game and it has proved its worth in return. The Frames Per second (FPS) count which we received for the game was roughly around 30 FPS – 35 FPS. The measure of shadows was at a high, with almost most of the settings providing a normal or an above normal performance on NVIDIA’s recommended settings. Moreover, the game was smooth and didn’t receive any persistent frame drops. Although, you could always lower the settings and definitely get better FPS. Please look at the screenshots below to get a better idea of these facets.
The next game which I really wanted to play was the Counter Strike: Global Offence (CS: GO) on this card. Well, India has a huge Counter Strike following, with the franchise proving to be an online rage in the country. Using GeForce Experience’s optimized settings, I got an impressive rate of 120 fps on the online gameplay. According to me, this measure is exactly what’s expected from any version of this franchise.
As you can see in the screen shots, I really enjoyed the smooth gameplay and the perfect rendering of graphics. Therefore, I have no issues to speak of while playing CS: Go on the GTX 960.
The third game I tested, and one of my personal favorites, was BattleField 4. Yes, one more FPS game which I thought of testing on this card. I couldn’t get sufficient information about the game’s FPS rate. But after playing this game at recommended settings, all I can say is that the experience was ultra-smooth. Even the single-player campaign in this game had minimum glitches.
As you can see in the image above, the eye-catching lighting effects produced in this game capped an amazing gaming experience for me on the GTX 960 OC.
Coming to the benchmarks, I ran a 3D bench mark test which scored 14469 for my rig. Over-provisioning your SSD or having a 7200 rpm hard disk can change this score drastically. If given an option to go for either, I would positively go towards over-provisioning my SSD. You can check out my SSD explained video on YouTube.
Your score can be better with the Latest Intel i7 processor.
I didn’t test the temperature but I found the system to be quite stable with my 450W PSU and GTX 960, who blended quite well together.
Also, if someone wants to run a game on a Steam OS, the GTX 960 would maintain its efficiency in Ubuntu as well.
This is a general video card bench mark score where the GTX 960 achieved a score of 6000 points, which is an optimum best in that price range.
With a cost of Rs. 19000, the MSI GTX 960 OC Edition is an efficient purchase and a must-buy when compared to its competitors in this price range. Its fan will definitely keep the card cool and the system stable.