After a slight delay, we finally have the release of the GTX 960, NVIDIA’s $200 mid-tier GPU for the 900-series.
Based on the numbers, the 960 is very power-efficient, but a little overpriced. The performance is on par with (or slightly lower than) AMD’s Radeon R9 280, which generally sells for a little bit less.
NVIDIA is not looking to upset the GPU market with this card, either in price or performance. The 960 is here to fill the huge price and performance gap between the 750 Ti and the 970, since NVIDIA retired everything above the 750 Ti in the 700-series. (And for those of you just tuning in, they skipped over an 800-series.)
The card has a good power draw, with low temperatures and low noise as a result. For the price, performance is just OK. Inside a mid-tier system, the 960 should be able to run most games on high settings at 1080p and around 60 frames per second, but it will have trouble with highly demanding games like Battlefield 4 or Crysis 3.
At $200, the card is still good enough for us to recommend as an alternative to the R9 280 in the Great tier on logicalincrements.com. However, if AMD drops the price of the R9 280X ($260) a little bit more, it might make the 960 an illogical choice.
If you’re looking for a quiet, power-efficient mid-range GPU, the 960 is a good choice. You could build a nice mid-tier system for around $650 using the 960. We just might have to wait for a “960 Ti” to see a more exciting mid-tier offering from NVIDIA this generation.