The GTX 950 is Nvidia’s position card in the sweet median of sub-10K cards. With the inherent knack of Filipinos to purchase the best within their limited resources, the card (or the brand) that wins that segment would be the talk of the town. We had our chance to spend nights with Gigabyte’s iteration of the GTX 950 in the GTX 950 Xtreme Gaming Edition, a mid-tier card that borrows elements from its top-end brothers.
The card sports Gigabyte’s Windforce design. Twin fans provide both cooling and an imposing look with an overall black color with a splice of silver. It reminds one of a razor-sharp material due to its edgy corners and sides. The fans won’t run unless a certain temperature is reached thereby saving you energy and from the ordeal of hearing the whirs of the fans.
With the ongoing trend of PCs sporting the “color-me-plenty” LEDs, the card can also change color as its side has the titular “WINDFORCE” smack in the middle, flanked with two LEDs that spell “SILENT” and “STOP”. The LEDs color can be changed via Gigabyte’s OC Guru II and has several options of showing bling.
The Gigabyte GTX 950 Xtreme Gaming Edition also has a backplate which is a tad special since its price segment seldom has the benefit of having it. It also can output one DVI-I, three DisplayPorts, and one HDMI.
Package-wise, it seems to teeter on the high-end border by being boxed like a premium card. It’s big and includes a DVI adapter, a manual, a CD driver, and a Gigabyte Xtreme Gaming Badge (that is of high-quality make, mind you).
For the full specs of the GTX 950 Xtreme Gaming, head over to Gigabyte’s site.
Our Test Bench
Made primarily for gaming, the Mobius 2 does the job well. Here’s our full list of specifications:
Processor: Intel i5-4670K @ 3.4 GHz Motherboard: ASUS ROG Maximus VII Gene Memory: Kingston HyperX Fury 16GB 1866Mhz SSD: WD Blue 1TB, WD Red 6TB, Samsung Evo 120GB SSD
Graphics: Gigabyte GTX 950 Xtreme Gaming 2GB
Not so Shameless plug-in: use Kingston RAMs, they’re good for your health and your pocket. Honestly, we’ve been fans of the RAM modules since we started to know how to build these damn machines. Not a single Kingston RAM has failed us since *TRUE STORY*.
We’ve made use of four popular tests for graphics cards: Furmark, Unigine Heaven, Star Swarm, and 3DMark. Do take note that we have not tweaked nor configured the card for these tests. We neither underclocked nor overclocked since for us, users would more likely just play the card for what it is outside the box. Since we’re currently ‘repopulating’ our lineup of graphics cards, we have yet to find a concrete comparison for the Gigabyte Gigabyte GTX 950 Xtreme Gaming, but do expect that our future card reviews would be ripe with comparisons.
Furmark is mainly used for stress-testing the card, giving us values for the upper limits of its temperatures.
Unigine, Star Swarm, and 3DMark, all output scores for reference with other cards. Again, we won’t be having comparisons yet. But feel free to base the values taken and compare them with results from other publications.
Furmark v.1.17 (Preset: 1080)
Aside from granting us eyes, the benchmark also gave us a temperature of 70C after leaving it for 15 minutes.
== Results ================================================ Test Duration: 360 Seconds
Total Frames: 18052
Average FPS: 50.14 Average Unit Count: 4516 Maximum Unit Count: 5875 Average Batches/MS: 770.48 Maximum Batches/MS: 3350.90 Average Batch Count: 15217 Maximum Batch Count: 117332
What do the above numbers mean? They are benchmarks and are used for reference as they release scores that can be compared with other setups. On the otherhand, they are also good indicators as to what the card is capable of doing while also checking if it heats enough to cook food. We don’t recommend doing the last one though.
We’ve compiled ten games to bench the Gigabyte GTX 950 Xtreme Gaming. Three guidelines for our benchmark games: we have them on hand, they are the usual things that people play, and they are graphically demanding. The games below are fit the bill of our guidelines in one way or another.
|Gigabyte GTX 950 Xtreme Gaming (1080P)|
|Metro: Last Light Redux||11.78||37.29||High, SSAA|
|Fallout 4||27||42.3||Ultra, All View Distances MAX|
|Witcher 3||31||44.3||High, Hairworks OFF|
|Ryse: Son of Rome||31||47.5||Normal|
|Assassin’s Creed Syndicate||39||47.2||Medium|
|Rome II: Total War||42||58.4||Very High|
|Shadow of Mordor||49||61||High|
|Rainbow Six: Siege||54||67.7||Very High|
|Dota 2||55||101||Best Looking|
The card is nothing short of stellar. We’re seeing high frame rates that can be achieved even in the highest settings possible.
We tweaked the settings to make them as references if you wish to play the games should you decide to get the card. Partly, we also can’t stand playing sub 30FPS and would do anything to make it to more than that. A bit of tweaking on the textures and Anti-Aliasing would certainly bump the numbers higher.
With the data gathered, the Gigabyte GTX 950 Xtreme Gaming shows true potential as an all-around 1080P card. We didn’t include League of Legends as the game itself is not that demanding and it is safe to assume that the card would run it without any problems. It might even run it without having to turn on its fans.
OC Guru II
OC Guru II is the all-around tweaking tool made by Gigabyte for its cards. The application is also useful especially when you are monitoring the temperatures and also overclocking the card. Though you can use other programs, the tool itself is home to the LED controls. Several setups can also be applied for a more streamlined control for different programs.
We can’t say that it’s the best card out there since it would be unfair as we don’t have anything similar to compare it with. But one thing is certain: it’s incredibly good! Although the user can be held back with its 8-pin requirement, the benefits apparently outweigh it.
The price of the card ranges from 8.5K – 10K PHP and what you’ll get is a full-on full HD gaming experience, a card that’s more to offer than just looking cool, and A FREAKING BACKPLATE. Since being thrift is part of our cultural heritage, the Gigabyte GTX 950 Xtreme Gaming a great all-around card that justifies the added premium with the facts mentioned in the previous sentence.
With all said and done, we can recommend the Gigabyte GTX 950 Xtreme Gaming for those looking to replace their ancient graphics cards without breaking the wallet.
Also, OOH IT GLOWS!
- graphics card
- GTX 950
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