Gigabyte G1 Gaming GeForce GTX 960 4GB Review (Page 13 of 13)

Page 13 - Overclocking and Conclusion

Gigabyte supplies a utility for tuning their graphics cards, called OC Guru II. As its name suggests, it is a utility used for tuning the performance of your video card. It allows the voltage of your GPU and memory to be adjusted for overclocking and fan speed control. On a side note, Gigabyte's OC Guru II has one of the best fan speed control features I have ever seen; it allows a six step fan speed adjustment based on temperature. You really cannot ask for more. Just for comparison, MSI Afterburner only allows four. Most people like to use MSI Afterburner -- me included -- but for the sake of this review, we will stick with the manufacturer's software. With the Gigabyte G1 Gaming GeForce GTX 960 4GB, I think the fan programming from the factory is bang on already.

With the latest software revision, I got it installed on my test platform, and immediately got to work. I bumped up the core voltage 12.5mV, and went as far as I could go. As you can see in our screenshot above, the GTX 960 core did pretty well in this area -- Gigabyte already has a 139MHz core overclock from the factory, and I managed to squeeze an extra 130MHz out of that. The net figure is 1371MHz GPU with 1434MHz boost, which translates to a commendable 21.7% over NVIDIA specifications, or 10.2% over Gigabyte specifications. To verify stability, I ran a burn in test using Furmark. I also scanned for artifacts in in addition to testing for stability using this program. Since Gigabyte neglected to overclock the memory from the factory, here is where our work comes in handy. Starting from 7010MHz effective, our Samsung K4G41325FC-HC28 memory ICs reached 7992MHz without any problems, a commendable 14% over NVIDIA specifications.

In the end, our Gigabyte G1 Gaming GeForce GTX 960 4GB was able to clock 21.7% over NVIDIA base clocks for core and 14% for memory. To see how it performed, I ran Fire Strike Extreme in 3DMark, and got a score of 3953. The Gigabyte G1 Gaming GeForce GTX 960 4GB (Which is overclocked slightly from the factory) delivered a score of 3538 in base form, which represents an improvement of roughly 11.7%.

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It is true just because two things look very similar from a distance, does not mean they are the same thing. On the other hand, because two things look similar, it means there are ways where they share similar characteristics. Just like my friend in the introduction of this review who got a haircut that ostensibly looked the same as it was before, it is a clear indication there are elements that are the same, and then we have differences beneath the surface. For the Gigabyte G1 Gaming GeForce GTX 960 4GB, we can share a similar story. We can say it looks similar the G1 Gaming variant of the GTX 970, because it has pretty much the same heatsink installed. After so many years of using Gigabyte's WindForce 3X cooler on a variety of video cards, it is a proven formula that works. It is not just because of its massive 600W of thermal dissipation power. It is also because of its near-perfect fan ramp up profile, creating a card that is literally silent when idling, and runs reasonably cool and quiet when it is not. Further equipped with the usual Gigabyte G1 Gaming formula of high quality electronic components, hand-picked GPU, and specially selected memory, the GV-N960G1 GAMING-4GD is one of the faster cards in the market today, plus some room left for further overclocking. For the parts beneath the surface, NVIDIA's GM206 slots between the GK104 and GM204 in performance, except it is much closer to the GK104 than the GM204. It is not a bad thing, considering the GK104 was a pretty good GPU, and the GM206 carries a substantial improvement in power consumption over its predecessor. It is just if you already own a GTX 760, it is probably not worth the swap. On the other hand, if you are shopping for a new mainstream card that delivers, the Gigabyte G1 Gaming GeForce GTX 960 4GB remains to be the one that stands out from the crowd. Now, back to the topic of haircuts, excuse me while I make a call to the lady who cuts my hair.

Gigabyte provided this product to APH Networks for the purpose of evaluation.

APH:Renewal Award
Since April 30, 2007, Number Ratings have been dropped for all CPUs, motherboards, RAM, SSD/HDDs, and graphics cards. This is to ensure the most appropriate ratings reflected without the inherent limits of using numbers. Everything else will continue using the Number Rating System.
More information in our Review Focus.

The Gigabyte G1 Gaming GeForce GTX 960 4GB continues to be an outstanding interpretation of the GPU it represents in a world filled with run-of-the-mill graphics cards.

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Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 Architecture
3. A Closer Look, Installation, Test System
4. Benchmark: 3DMark
5. Benchmark: Battlefield 4
6. Benchmark: BioShock Infinite
7. Benchmark: Crysis 3
8. Benchmark: GRID 2
9. Benchmark: Metro: Last Light
10. Benchmark: Thief
11. Benchmark: Unigine: Heaven 4.0
12. Power Usage, Temperature, Noise
13. Overclocking and Conclusion