• GPU: ASUS GTX 950
  • Memory: 2GB GDDR5
  • Clockspeed: 1,051 MHz, 1,228 MHz (boost)
  • Ports: 1x DVI, 1x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort
  • Slot Size: Dual-Slot
  • Other: 768 CUDA cores, 128-bit interface,
  • Dimensions: 210 x 110.3 x 40 mm
  • Pros:
  • Quiet
  • No power connector needed
  • Fans deliver good airflow
  • Cons:
  • Can’t overclock much
  • Benchmark Results
  • 3D Mark
  • Fire Strike: 5,465 points
  • Fire Strike Extreme: 2,727 points

GPU For All

As the hype for Nvidia’s upcoming Pascal GPUs grow, people might soon start to forget all about the Maxwell versions. But if what you want to do is play the simpler games or e-sports titles, a GPU like ASUS’ GTX 950 2G is all you’ll need. It comes with a free invite code for a cruiser in World of Warships and gives the user a 15-day premium account for the game. Both of these extras are included with the box of the GPU and are valid for redemption till the end of January 2017.

The GTX950 2G is a dual-slot GPU and features a shroud painted in white with blue accents. It’s also one of the shorter cards around. Since it doesn’t need any power connectors to run, ASUS has managed to keep its length at 8.3-inches (210mm), which means it’s almost guaranteed that there would be no clearance issues. ASUS went with a combination of an aluminium heatsink with two low-noise fans for its cooling solution, which should do well for a card with a TDP of 90W. As for I/O, this card should cover all modern displays with one each of HDMI, DVI, DisplayPort.

In addition, ASUS pointed out that it matches well with some of ASUS’ Z170 motherboards, such as the Sabretooth Z170 S; this could be considered a boon if you’re the type to colour coordinate your components. Matching aesthetics and bonuses aside, white has always been a colour that yellows with age, so your mileage may vary.

We wished that ASUS actually gave this GPU an extra 6-pin connector to overclock better, since its AUTO-EXTREME production process technology lowers power loss and thermal temperatures of the PCB. This should translate to more stable overclocking, which can’t be fully tested on this GPU.

Benchmark scores show that the GTX 950 2G can perform pretty well. We managed to get a score of 5,465 on Fire Strike (2,727 on Fire Strike Extreme), without overclocking our CPU, RAM or the GPU. The lack of an extra power connector does mean that it doesn’t have any more extra overhead for overclocking, but the OC mode still scores above 6,000 points consistently and remains stable.

Gamers would be pleased with this GPU’s acoustic performance – even at full speed, the fans barely register as a faint hum in the background. This is great if you stream your gaming sessions, but don’t have a setup that dampens ambient noise. At the same time, the fans can in fact deliver a decent amount of airflow, which kept the card relatively cool at a maximum temperature of 61⁰C.

CHIP CONCLUDE: A great option for those who want to game but not have to sell a kidney for it. Quiet, relatively cool, and a great price point – you really can’t ask for more, at least till they launch a GTX 1050.

(previously published in issue June 2016)