up
en ru ua
menu



nvidia sli

Choose from: Reviews News
Only in the section
Search in found tag:

Review of video card MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING 4G

Over the time NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 is one of the best solutions in terms of price and performance for building of midrange gaming system. Its main features are available in the review Inno3D GeForce GTX 960 iChill Ultra, as well as in article dedicated to microarchitecture NVIDIA Maxwell. We are going to review version MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING 4G, which is characterized not only by the presence of factory overclocking, qualitative element base and a proprietary cooling system, but also an increased video memory up to 4 GB.  

MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING 4G

The specs: 

Model

MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING 4G

Graphics core

NVIDIA GM206 (Maxwell)

Quantity of CUDA-cores

1024

Supported API and technologies

DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.4, NVIDIA GPU Boost 2.0, NVIDIA TXAA, NVIDIA FXAA, NVIDIA MFAA, NVIDIA Adaptive Vertical Sync, NVIDIA Surround, NVIDIA PhysX, NVIDIA 3D Vision, NVIDIA SLI, NVIDIA CUDA, NVIDIA GameWorks, NVIDIA GameStream

Basic / dynamic graphics core frequency, MHz

Mode «Silent»

1127 / 1178

Mode «Gaming»

1190 / 1253

Mode «OC»

1241 / 1304

Memory frequency (effective), MHz

1753 (7010)

Memory capacity, GB

4

Memory type

GDDR5

Memory bus, bit

128

Memory carrying capacity, GB/s

115,4

Bus

PCI Express 3.0 x16

Max resolution

Digital up to 4096 x 2160

Analog up to 2048 x 1536

Screening interfaces

1 х DVI-I

1 х HDMI

3 х DisplayPort

HDCP support and HD-video decoding

Yes

Minimal PSU capacity, W

400

Additional power sockets PCIe

1 x 8-pin

Dimensions from the official site (measured in our lab), mm

267 х 139 х 40 (279 х 140)

Drivers

Available drivers  MSI or GPU

Producer website

MSI

MSI has paid much attention to the improvement of standard video card, because, in fact, new product obtained the reference graphics core and video memory subsystem. Its structure contains: the original circuit board, brand cooler and quite interesting ability to switch between three operating modes, allowing you to flexibly control the performance and power consumption depending on the current task.

Package & content

MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING 4G

The printing of package MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING 4G is made in the typical series MSI GAMING: red and black colors, and presence of a series logo (a stylized dragon). In addition to title of the video card and the manufacturer it is worth noting the presence of the logo «OC Edition», indicating that about factory overclocking key parameters.

MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING 4G

All important information is located on the back of the box. Most of the space takes the description of the key advantages of video card, such as:

  • Gaming App - bundled proprietary software that provides a function to quickly switch between three different operating modes: «Silent», «Gaming» and «OC». Each of them will be relevant, depending on the user's current task.
  • Torx Fan - a new fan design, which replaced the Propeller Blade. It provides 19% higher airflow, a higher strength and lower noise level. The design uses two rows of blades with different designs.
  • SuperSU Pipe - the use of three copper heat pipes with a balanced arrangement contributes to increased efficiency of heat dissipation.
  • Zero Frozr - cooling system fans stop spinning when GPU temperature is below 60°C, eliminating the occurrence of even a minimum level of noise during idle or at low loads, and significantly extend the life of fans.

MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING 4G

A list of system requirements is located on the back of the packaging. Based on these recommendations, the power supply should have a capacity at least 400 W, as well as to support the 8-pin power cable PCIe.

MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING 4G

In the box with the video card we’ve found not only the usual instructions and a CD with software, but also for the power adapter for connecting an analog monitor.

MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING 4G

To display the image the next set of interfaces is provided:

  • 1 x DVI-I;
  • 1 x HDMI;
  • 3 x DisplayPort.

The following resolutions are supported:

  • Digital up to 4096 x 2160;
  • Dial up to 2048 x 1536.

Appearance & cooling system 

MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING 4G

New product is made in the traditional style of the series MSI GAMING, with a predominance of black and red colors in the design.

MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING 4G

In addition to the PCI Express x16 slots, its power is provided via the optional 8-pin connector. Note that the cooler doesn’t make difficulties to disconnect the power cord.

MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING 4G

In order to provide technology NVIDIA SLI for 960 MSI GeForce GTX GAMING 4G the manufacturer has provided one connector for the appropriate bridge. It allows you to combine a pair of graphics cards for the joint calculation of graphical effects. Recall that you can see the results of testing NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 in mode 2-Way NVIDIA SLI in review of GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 960 WINDFORCE OC.

MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING 4G

The reverse side of the graphic adapter is covered by a massive metal support plate, which significantly improves the reliability of the structure and prevents damage of the printed circuit board under the weight of the cooling system.

MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING 4G

The tested model is based on the graphics chip NVIDIA GM206-300-A1 (Maxwell), produced according to 28-nm manufacturing process. It includes 1024 CUDA-cores, 32 blocks of rasterization and 64 texture units. As we have said, the video card features factory overclocking of graphics core, the maximum operating frequency of which is 1241 and 1304 MHz.

Also, the novelty has an increased video memory up to 4 GB using the microchips of company Samsung, which operate at effectively frequency of 7012 MHz. Communication between the graphics processor and memory is realized through a 128-bit bus, which is capable of carrying 115.4 GB of information per second.

MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING 4G

The cooling system has not very large dimensions. The video card including installed cooling system occupies two expansion slots and has a total length of 267 mm according to the official website of MSI (279 mm as measured in our lab).

The cooler features a radiator, three copper heat pipes coated with a layer of nickel, as well as two axial fans with 95 mm blades, mounted on the plastic case.

MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING 4G

In case of automatic speed control of fan blades at maximum load, the graphics core is heated to 64°C, and cooler works virtually silent for 40% of its maximum capacity.

MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING 4G

Under the maximum speed of fan blades rotation the GPU temperature dropped to 52°C. This noise exceeded the average level, but in a closed PC case it did not stand out too much compared to other components.

MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING 4G

In case of load absence the frequencies of the GPU and memory are automatically reduced, allowing you to reduce power consumption and heat dissipation. In this mode, the GPU temperature did not exceed 45°C because the fans stopped to rotate and cooling system transferred into a fully passive mode. Here technology MSI Zero Frozr is activated, which provides a silent operation mode at low loads.

tags: msi   geforce gtx 960   gddr5   full hd   cuda   nvidia sli   maxwell   gm206   samsung   pci express 3.0   directx 12   
Read the full review >>>

Review of video card MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING 4G

Over the time NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 is one of the best solutions in terms of price and performance for building of midrange gaming system. Its main features are available in the review Inno3D GeForce GTX 960 iChill Ultra, as well as in article dedicated to microarchitecture NVIDIA Maxwell. We are going to review version MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING 4G, which is characterized not only by the presence of factory overclocking, qualitative element base and a proprietary cooling system, but also an increased video memory up to 4 GB.  

MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING 4G

The specs: 

Model

MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING 4G

Graphics core

NVIDIA GM206 (Maxwell)

Quantity of CUDA-cores

1024

Supported API and technologies

DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.4, NVIDIA GPU Boost 2.0, NVIDIA TXAA, NVIDIA FXAA, NVIDIA MFAA, NVIDIA Adaptive Vertical Sync, NVIDIA Surround, NVIDIA PhysX, NVIDIA 3D Vision, NVIDIA SLI, NVIDIA CUDA, NVIDIA GameWorks, NVIDIA GameStream

Basic / dynamic graphics core frequency, MHz

Mode «Silent»

1127 / 1178

Mode «Gaming»

1190 / 1253

Mode «OC»

1241 / 1304

Memory frequency (effective), MHz

1753 (7010)

Memory capacity, GB

4

Memory type

GDDR5

Memory bus, bit

128

Memory carrying capacity, GB/s

115,4

Bus

PCI Express 3.0 x16

Max resolution

Digital up to 4096 x 2160

Analog up to 2048 x 1536

Screening interfaces

1 х DVI-I

1 х HDMI

3 х DisplayPort

HDCP support and HD-video decoding

Yes

Minimal PSU capacity, W

400

Additional power sockets PCIe

1 x 8-pin

Dimensions from the official site (measured in our lab), mm

267 х 139 х 40 (279 х 140)

Drivers

Available drivers  MSI or GPU

Producer website

MSI

MSI has paid much attention to the improvement of standard video card, because, in fact, new product obtained the reference graphics core and video memory subsystem. Its structure contains: the original circuit board, brand cooler and quite interesting ability to switch between three operating modes, allowing you to flexibly control the performance and power consumption depending on the current task.

Package & content

MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING 4G

The printing of package MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING 4G is made in the typical series MSI GAMING: red and black colors, and presence of a series logo (a stylized dragon). In addition to title of the video card and the manufacturer it is worth noting the presence of the logo «OC Edition», indicating that about factory overclocking key parameters.

MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING 4G

All important information is located on the back of the box. Most of the space takes the description of the key advantages of video card, such as:

  • Gaming App - bundled proprietary software that provides a function to quickly switch between three different operating modes: «Silent», «Gaming» and «OC». Each of them will be relevant, depending on the user's current task.
  • Torx Fan - a new fan design, which replaced the Propeller Blade. It provides 19% higher airflow, a higher strength and lower noise level. The design uses two rows of blades with different designs.
  • SuperSU Pipe - the use of three copper heat pipes with a balanced arrangement contributes to increased efficiency of heat dissipation.
  • Zero Frozr - cooling system fans stop spinning when GPU temperature is below 60°C, eliminating the occurrence of even a minimum level of noise during idle or at low loads, and significantly extend the life of fans.

MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING 4G

A list of system requirements is located on the back of the packaging. Based on these recommendations, the power supply should have a capacity at least 400 W, as well as to support the 8-pin power cable PCIe.

MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING 4G

In the box with the video card we’ve found not only the usual instructions and a CD with software, but also for the power adapter for connecting an analog monitor.

MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING 4G

To display the image the next set of interfaces is provided:

  • 1 x DVI-I;
  • 1 x HDMI;
  • 3 x DisplayPort.

The following resolutions are supported:

  • Digital up to 4096 x 2160;
  • Dial up to 2048 x 1536.

Appearance & cooling system 

MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING 4G

New product is made in the traditional style of the series MSI GAMING, with a predominance of black and red colors in the design.

MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING 4G

In addition to the PCI Express x16 slots, its power is provided via the optional 8-pin connector. Note that the cooler doesn’t make difficulties to disconnect the power cord.

MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING 4G

In order to provide technology NVIDIA SLI for 960 MSI GeForce GTX GAMING 4G the manufacturer has provided one connector for the appropriate bridge. It allows you to combine a pair of graphics cards for the joint calculation of graphical effects. Recall that you can see the results of testing NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 in mode 2-Way NVIDIA SLI in review of GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 960 WINDFORCE OC.

MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING 4G

The reverse side of the graphic adapter is covered by a massive metal support plate, which significantly improves the reliability of the structure and prevents damage of the printed circuit board under the weight of the cooling system.

MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING 4G

The tested model is based on the graphics chip NVIDIA GM206-300-A1 (Maxwell), produced according to 28-nm manufacturing process. It includes 1024 CUDA-cores, 32 blocks of rasterization and 64 texture units. As we have said, the video card features factory overclocking of graphics core, the maximum operating frequency of which is 1241 and 1304 MHz.

Also, the novelty has an increased video memory up to 4 GB using the microchips of company Samsung, which operate at effectively frequency of 7012 MHz. Communication between the graphics processor and memory is realized through a 128-bit bus, which is capable of carrying 115.4 GB of information per second.

MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING 4G

The cooling system has not very large dimensions. The video card including installed cooling system occupies two expansion slots and has a total length of 267 mm according to the official website of MSI (279 mm as measured in our lab).

The cooler features a radiator, three copper heat pipes coated with a layer of nickel, as well as two axial fans with 95 mm blades, mounted on the plastic case.

MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING 4G

In case of automatic speed control of fan blades at maximum load, the graphics core is heated to 64°C, and cooler works virtually silent for 40% of its maximum capacity.

MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING 4G

Under the maximum speed of fan blades rotation the GPU temperature dropped to 52°C. This noise exceeded the average level, but in a closed PC case it did not stand out too much compared to other components.

MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING 4G

In case of load absence the frequencies of the GPU and memory are automatically reduced, allowing you to reduce power consumption and heat dissipation. In this mode, the GPU temperature did not exceed 45°C because the fans stopped to rotate and cooling system transferred into a fully passive mode. Here technology MSI Zero Frozr is activated, which provides a silent operation mode at low loads.

tags: msi   geforce gtx 960   gddr5   full hd   cuda   nvidia sli   maxwell   gm206   samsung   pci express 3.0   directx 12   
Read the full review >>>

MSI GeForce GTX 950 GAMING 2G on NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950 video card: review and testing

In August 2015 the company NVIDA has pleased fans by announcement of a new graphics card, which is designed to be a solution for the mid-level gaming systems for Full HD-resolution. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950 will take its place among the novelties in the architecture of NVIDIA Maxwell (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti) and more productive NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960.

MSI GeForce GTX 950 GAMING 2G

MSI GeForce GTX 950 GAMING 2G

The company is positioning its new product as a substitute for video card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650. As you can see, under medium graphics settings and resolution of 1920 x 1080 the new model should demonstrate a stable 60 frames per second in today's games, while NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 is three times behind.

MSI GeForce GTX 950 GAMING 2GOther distinctives feature of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950 from NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 are the support of useful functions API DirectX 12 (Volume Tiled Resources, Conservative Raster, Raster Ordered Views), a doubling of GDDR5-memory and twice the best performance.

MSI GeForce GTX 950 GAMING 2G

MSI GeForce GTX 950 GAMING 2GAlso the producer has focused on the performance of video card in MOBA games, where it shows a decrease of response time almost twice that is important in network battles, as the battle depends on character of the speed of response.

MSI GeForce GTX 950 GAMING 2GUsing proprietary software GeForce Experience, you can optimize system performance of your favorite MOBA game due to one click, thereby reducing response time by increasing the frame rate, as well as to choose the optimal graphics settings.

MSI GeForce GTX 950 GAMING 2G

Also this software allows to keep the gameplay to the computer or broadcast the video on the popular Internet services.

MSI GeForce GTX 950 GAMING 2G

The base of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950 is a graphics chip NVIDIA GM206-250, which includes 768 CUDA cores, 48 texture units and 32 units rasterization. The amount of video memory is 2 GB, which operates at a frequency of 6600 MHz. The memory bus is 128-bit.

Summary comparative table of graphics cards spec NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950 and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960:

Model

NVIDIA GeForce

GTX 750 Ti

NVIDIA GeForce

GTX 950 

NVIDIA GeForce

GTX 960

GPU

NVIDIA GM107-400

NVIDIA GM206-250 

NVIDIA GM206-300

Manufacturing process, nm

28

Quantity of CUDA-cores

640

768

1024

Quantity of texture blocks

40

48

64

Quantity of rasterization blocks

16

32

32

Basic / dynamic clock frequency, MHz

1020 / 1085

1024 / 1188

1126 / 1178

Video memory

Type

GDDR5

Capacity, GB

2

2

2

Nominal / effective clock frequency, MHz

1350 / 5400

1650 / 6600

1752 / 7010

Bus size, bit

128

128

128

Carrying capacity, GB/s

86,4

105,6

112,16

Additional PCIe power sockets

-

1 х 6-pin

1 х 6-pin

As you can see, we have a little cut version of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960, which has received less computing power, but a slightly higher dynamic graphics core frequency and more affordable cost.

MSI GeForce GTX 950 GAMING 2GLet’s move on to a detailed study of the trends on the example of the video card MSI GeForce GTX 950 GAMING 2G:

Model

MSI GeForce GTX 950 GAMING 2G

Graphics core

NVIDIA GM206-250

Quantity of CUDA-cores

768

Supported API and technologies

DirectX 12 (Shader Model 5.0), OpenGL 4.4, NVIDIA 3D Vision Surround, NVIDIA PhysX, NVIDIA TXAA, NVIDIA FXAA, NVIDIA MFAA, NVIDIA 3D Vision, NVIDIA Adaptive Vertical Sync, NVIDIA SLI, NVIDIA CUDA, NVIDIA GPU Boost 2.0, NVIDIA GameWorks, NVIDIA GameStream

Nominal/dynamic frequency of graphics core, MHz

Mode «Silent»

1026 / 1190

Mode «Gaming»

1102 / 1279

Mode «OC»

1127 / 1317

Memory frequency (effective), MHz

Mode «OC»

1663 (6650)

Modes «Gaming» and «Silent»

1653 (6610)

Memory capacity, GB

2

Memory type

GDDR5

Memory bus, bit

128

Memory carrying capacity, GB/s

106,4

Bus

PCI Express 3.0 x16

Max resolution

Digital up to 4096 x 2160

Analog up to 2048 x 1536

Screening interfaces

1 x DVI-I

1 x HDMI

3 x DisplayPort

Support of HDCP and HD-video decoding

Yes

Minimal capacity of PSU, W

350

Additional power sockets PCIe

1 x 6-pin

Dimensions according to official website (measured in our lab), mm

270 х 137 x 37 (287 x 137)

Drivers

Available drivers MSI or GPU

Producer website

MSI

MSI has paid much attention to the improvement of standard video card, because the new solution has got only reference graphics core and video memory subsystem. It includes: the original circuit board, corporate cooler, enhanced power system and a very interesting switch option between the three modes, allowing you to manage the performance and power consumption depending on the current task.

Package and content

MSI GeForce GTX 950 GAMING 2GThe package of GeForce GTX 950 MSI GAMING 2G is realized in typical style for the series MSI GAMING: red and black colors dominated and also a logo of series (a stylized dragon). In addition to video card and the manufacturer, it contains the logo «OC Edition», indicating that the factory overclocking of key parameters.

MSI GeForce GTX 950 GAMING 2G

All important information is located on the back of the box. Most of the space takes the description of the key advantages:

  • Gaming App a proprietary software with switch option between operating modes: «Silent», «Gaming» and «OC». Each of them will be relevant, depending on the user's current task.
  • Torx Fan - a new fan design which replaced the Propeller Blade. It provides 19% higher airflow, a higher strength and lower noise level. The design uses two rows of blades with different designs, which helped to achieve such impressive results.
  • SuperSU Pipe - the use of two copper 6 mm heat pipes with a balanced arrangement to increased efficiency of heat dissipation.
  • Zero Frozr - cooling fans stop spinning when GPU temperature is below 60°C, eliminating the occurrence of even a minimum level of noise during idle or at low loads, and significantly extend the life of fan.

We also note a number of advantages, the description of which did not fit on the package:

  • Military Class 4 - product features high quality electronic components with high performance and reliability (ferrite chokes, and solid tantalum capacitors).
  • Twin Frozr V - new proprietary cooling system that provides lower noise and better cooling compared to the reference cooler.
  • MSI Predator – due to utility you can save any game play in full screen mode. Utility MSI Predator is positioned as a free alternative to the highly popular program Fraps.

MSI GeForce GTX 950 GAMING 2G

A list of system requirements is also located on the back of the box. Based on these recommendations, the power supply should have a capacity of at least 350 W, as well as to maintain a 6-pin power cable PCIe.

MSI GeForce GTX 950 GAMING 2GIn the box with the video card we found not only the usual instructions and a software CD, but also adapter from DVI to D-Sub.

MSI GeForce GTX 950 GAMING 2GThe following set of video outputs is used to display an image:

  • 1 x DVI-I;
  • 1 x HDMI;
  • 3 x DisplayPort.

The following resolutions are supported:

  • Digital up to 4096 x 2160;
  • Dial up to 2048 x 1536.

Appearance and circuitry

MSI GeForce GTX 950 GAMING 2GThe video card MSI GeForce GTX 950 GAMING 2G is realized on the original printed circuit board with a black matte finish. The logic arrangement of the key components is quite familiar: all memory chips are soldered around the GPU, and power system components are located on the left side of it.

MSI GeForce GTX 950 GAMING 2GPower features a reinforced five-phase scheme: four phases are responsible for the power of the graphics core, and one is designed for video memory subsystem. It uses high-quality components corresponding to the concept of MSI Military Class 4.

MSI GeForce GTX 950 GAMING 2GThe power system of core is implemented on a digital PWM controller NCP81174 produced by ON Semiconductor, which has some protection from excessive supply voltage, as well as energy efficiency.

MSI GeForce GTX 950 GAMING 2GIn addition to the PCI Express x16 slot, here is an optional 6-pin connector. Note that the cooler doesn’t cause discomfort to disconnect the power cord.

MSI GeForce GTX 950 GAMING 2GIn order to provide technology NVIDIA SLI the MSI GeForce GTX 950 GAMING 2G uses a single connector for the appropriate bridge. It allows you to combine a pair of graphics cards for the joint calculation of graphical effects.

MSI GeForce GTX 950 GAMING 2G

The reverse side of the PCB is notable for two memory chips, some of the electrical components and fixing screws of the cooling system, one of which has a special sticker.

MSI GeForce GTX 950 GAMING 2G

MSI GeForce GTX 950 GAMING 2G

MSI GeForce GTX 950 GAMING 2G

The news product is based on the graphics chip NVIDIA GM206-250 which is produced according to 28-nm process technology. It consists of 768 CUDA cores, 48 texture units and 32 ROP units. In nominal mode (mode «OC») basic graphics core frequency is increased from 1024 to 1127 MHz and dynamic averages 1317 MHz instead of 1188 MHz reference.

MSI GeForce GTX 950 GAMING 2GMemory of test video card (total 2 GB) is realized using four chips Samsung K4G41325FC-HC28 with capacity of 4 GB each. According to the documentation, their nominal effective frequency is 7000 MHz, but in our case it was reduced to 6650 MHz, which allows them to hope for a good overclocking potential. Communication between the graphics core and memory is realized through a 128-bit bus, which is capable of carrying of 106.4 GB information per second.

Cooling system

MSI GeForce GTX 950 GAMING 2GThe tested model with including installed cooling system MSI Twin Frozr V occupies two expansion slots and has a total length of 270 mm according to the official website of MSI (287 mm as measured in our lab).

MSI GeForce GTX 950 GAMING 2G

MSI GeForce GTX 950 GAMING 2GThe cooler consists of a sufficiently large radiator that uses 44 aluminum nickel-plated plates, two 95 mm axial flow fans designed by Torx Fan, and a plastic housing, which covers the entire structure.

MSI GeForce GTX 950 GAMING 2GThe fans are manufactured by Power Logic and are labeled «PLD10010S12HH». They are based on sliding bearings with increased service life. Their rated operating voltage is 12 V, and the current is 0.4 A.

MSI GeForce GTX 950 GAMING 2GTo improve the heat exchange efficiency two 6 mm heat pipes are used. They are in direct contact with the surface of the graphic processor. They are covered with a layer of nickel, which is used to minimize the effectiveness of the drop due to the oxidation of copper. Contact of heat pipes with improved copper base is realized by means of solder. It is also used in places of contact with the edges of the radiator pipes.

MSI GeForce GTX 950 GAMING 2G

Separate low-profile heatsink is applied for heat dissipation from elements of the power subsystem.

MSI GeForce GTX 950 GAMING 2G

In case of the automatic speed control of fan blades under the maximum load, the graphics core is heated to 65°C, and cooler works at the same time 43% of its maximum capacity. The noise level was very low. It absolutely did not stand out against other components.

MSI GeForce GTX 950 GAMING 2G

Under the maximum speed fan blades GPU temperature dropped to 53 ° C. At the same time the noise rose to an average level, but remained quite acceptable for long-term daily use.

MSI GeForce GTX 950 GAMING 2G

In case of load absence the frequencies of the GPU and memory were automatically reduced, allowing you to reduce power consumption and heat dissipation of video card in general. In this mode, the GPU temperature did not exceed 38°C because the fans stopped to rotate and cooling system turned into a fully passive mode. Here the aforementioned technology MSI Zero Frozr is activated. It provides a silent mode of video card operation at low loads.

Read the full review >>>

Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-Gaming 7: review and testing

An updated series of devices for gamers GIGABYTE G1 GAMING includes not only the mid-level model, such as the GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-Gaming 3, but the flagship cards. And one of them will be described in this review. GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-Gaming 7 has a very good equipment, including the traditional advantages of this series: gaming network controller supplemented company Intel; a good sound system, as well as a number of overclcking opportunities that will help you get an extra performance boost in games.

GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-Gaming 7

The specs:

Producer and model

Read the full review >>>

Motherboard ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO: review and testing 

It is not a secret that ASUS has updated its flagship lineup of motherboards for gamers ASUS ROG in connection with the announcement of a new family of processors Intel Skylake (Platform Socket LGA1151) and the flagship chipset Intel Z170. And the first model of the updated line, which will be described is ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO. The solution is aimed for demanding users and experienced gamers who want to get a model with balanced performance, high quality, well equipping and moderate cost.   

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

The specs: 

Producer and model

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO (rev 1.01)

Chipset

Intel Z170

CPU socket

Socket LGA1151

Supported CPUs

Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron 6th gen

Memory frequency

3800* / 3733* / 3600* / 3500* / 3466* / 3400* / 3333* / 3300* / 3200* / 3000* / 2800* / 2666* / 2400* / 2133 MHz

(*OC)

Memory support

4 x DDR4 DIMM-slots with memory support up to 64 GB

Expansion slots

 

2 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x16 / x8+x8)

1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x4)

3 x PCI Express 3.0 x1

Disk subsystem

Intel Z170 chipset supports:

1 x M.2 x4 Socket 3 (M.2 2242, M.2 2260, M.2 2280, M.2 22110)

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x SATA Express (each compatible with 2 х SATA 6 Gb/s)

RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10

ASMedia ASM1061 controller supports:

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s

LAN

1 x Intel WGI219V (10/100/1000 Mb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec SupremeFX 2015

8-channel sound

Power

1 х 24-pin ATX connector

1 x 8-pin ATX12V connector

Fans

2 x CPU fan connectors (4-pin)

4 x system fan connectors (4-pin)

1 x water cooling tank connector (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum heatsink on the chipset

Aluminium radiators on the elements of power system connected with a heat pipe

Extenral I/O

1 x PS/2 Combo

1 x HDMI

1 x DisplayPort

1 x LAN (RJ45)

2 x USB 3.0

1 х USB 3.1 (Type-C)

1 х USB 3.1 (Type-A)

4 x USB 2.0

1 x Optical S/PDIF out

5 x audio jacks

1 х button «USB BIOS Flashback»

Internal I/O

2 x USB 3.0, each with support of two USB 3.0

2 x USB 2.0, each with support of two USB 2.0

1 х ROG_EXT

1 x EXT_FAN

4 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x SATA Express

1 х socket TPM

1 x diagnostic LED-indicator

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 х connector to connect temperature sensor

1 x «CMOS reset»

1 х «Power» button

1 х «Reboot» button

1 х «MemOK!» button

1 х socket Thunderbolt

1 x 4-pin socket for connection of tank of water cooling system

1 х switch to mode «LN2»

1 х socket to connect temperature sensors

BIOS

128 MbFlash ROM UEFI AMI BIOS

PnP, ACPI 5.0, SM BIOS 3.0, DMI 3.0, WfM 2.0

Packaging

User’s manual

Warranty card

Disk with drivers and utilities

1 х tool ASUS CPU Installation Tool

1 х set ASUS Q-Connectors

6 x SATA cables

1 х bridge 2-Way NVIDIA SLI

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

ATX

305 x 244 mm

Producer website

ASUS
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available on  support page

Package and content 

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

The motherboard comes in a cardboard box with a flip-up lid with the design of corporate style of lineup ASUS ROG. In addition to the names of the manufacturer and model of the device the front side features a series of logos at the bottom, showing the support for Windows 10, NVIDIA SLI and technology AMD CrossFireX, as well as the display image with a resolution of 4K Ultra HD.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

On the reverse side of the flip-up cover with a viewing window you can find a description of ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO advantages:

  • SupremeFX 2015 - preinstalled audio codec offers support for high quality eight channel sound thanks to the DAC ESS ES9023P and audio capacitors Nichicon. In order to avoid the negative impact of electromagnetic interference shielding technology is used. Also note the presence of an amplifier TI R4580I, able to improve the audio playback on headphones with an impedance of 600 Ohms. Proprietary software comes bundled with Sonic Studio II, allowing to activate a virtual reproduction of sound in 7.1 format, as well as offering a wide range of audio settings.
  • Intel Ethernet - preset network controller has an increased capacity and consumes less CPU resources than competing solutions.
  • LANGuard - LAN-port uses a special guard to help prevent damage to the system due to static electricity or shock during an electrical storm.
  • ROG GameFirst III - technology designed to optimize Internet traffic in order to increase the priority of online games, which should reduce the delays and, accordingly, make the gameplay more comfortable. You can also select a priority “media-streaming”, VoIP or file sharing.
  • ROG KeyBot II - a unique technology that allows you to record macros and create function keys, even for conventional keyboards.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

The reverse side of the package in addition to a brief technical specification of new item and diagramming interface panel contains a mention of the support for SupremeFX 2015, Intel Ethernet, as well as digital power subsystem Extreme Engine DIGI+.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

Package of ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO includes:

  • six SATA cables;
  • set ASUS Q-Connectors, which greatly simplifies the process of connecting of the case's front panel;
  • sticker with the logo of ASUS ROG;
  • bridge NVIDIA SLI;
  • tool ASUS CPU Installation Tool;
  • door hanger.

Design and features 

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

Motherboard ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO features quite original and stylish decor, which is important for a gaming solution. The familiar black color is added by the splashes of red color on the chipset and the protective casing on the interface panel.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

As for the layout of on-board elements, all is performed at the highest level: all key connectors and ports are concentrated on the edges of the printed circuit board, SATA ports are parallel to PCB and-DIMM slots are equipped with latches on one side. As a result, the design and layout of the ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO deserve only the highest grade.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

The reverse side of the motherboard meets us not only by the usual base plate of the socket and fastening screws of the radiator, but also two support plates placed under the components of the power subsystem processor. Additionally, they serve as low-profile radiators.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

The bottom of the printed circuit board ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO has the following connectors: connecting bock of audio connectors on front panel, block «TB_HEADER» (for the implementation of the interface Thunderbolt), the button “Clear CMOS”, “Enable” and “Reset”, the port TPM, and the connecting block of the front panel. Additionally, we note two pads to activate the ports USB 2.0, one of which is connected with the connector ROG_EXT, and one USB 3.0. Total number of USB 2.0 ports is eight: four internal and four on the interface panel. As for USB 3.0, there are only six: four internal and two external. All of them operate through a set of system logic.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

The possibility of organizing a disk subsystem is presented by connector M.2 x4 Socket 3 (supports SSD-drives M.2 2242, 2260 M.2, M.2 M.2 2280 and 22110), four ports SATA 6Gb/s and two SATA Express where each is compatible with two SATA 6 Gb/s. There is support for arrays RAID 0 SATA, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10. In this case, there is one restriction: if connector M.2x4 Socket 3 operates in mode «SATA», the two SATA 6 Gb/s (on the scheme «SATA6G_12 ") will be disabled.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

Mainboard ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO is equipped with four DIMM-slots for modules RAM standard DDR4, which for convenience are equipped with latched on one side only. RAM can operate in dual channel mode. Its implementation is realized by installation either in the first and third or second and fourth slots (or takes all available ports). Modules operating at frequencies up to 3800 MHz in overclocking mode are supported. The maximum amount of memory can be up to 64 GB, which is enough for almost any tasks.

Additionally note the module for connecting remote panel with ports USB 3.0, button «MemOK!», which allows you to automatically pick up the necessary parameters of the RAM to the successful launch of the system and diagnostic LED-indicator.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

The cooling system of this motherboard has three major aluminum radiators, one carries out the removal of heat from the chipset Intel Z170, while the other two connected by a heat pipe cover the elements of the power subsystem processor.

In the process of testing we’ve recorded the following temperature:

  • heat sink for cooling chipset – 31.1°C (during acceleration - 33°C);
  • upper radiator of cooling elements of the processor power subsystem – 37.1°C (during acceleration – 38.8°C);
  • lower heat sink of cooling elements of the processor power subsystem - 36°C (during acceleration – 37.5°C).

These results clearly indicate the higher efficiency of the cooling system, indicating the proper selection of materials and design.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

CPU power is carried out by a reinforced 10-phase scheme for cores and additional nodes. Converter is based on a digital PWM controller ASP1405I with built power control subsystem Extreme Engine DIGI+. All components have a high degree of reliability: durable Japanese solid capacitors, effective MOSFETs and chokes NexFET MicroFine, providing stable operation even at high amperage. The main 24-pin and additional 8-pin connectors are used to provide supply voltage. 

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

The possibility of expanding the functionality of the motherboard ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO is presented by six slots:

  1. PCI Express 3.0 x1;
  2. PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x16 mode or x8);
  3. PCI Express 3.0 x1;
  4. PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x8 mode);
  5. PCI Express 3.0 x1;
  6. PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x4 mode).

Due to the support for technologies NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFireX this configuration offers the user to organize the graphics subsystem of the two or three cards. The location of the slots will allow to easily connect two video cards with three-slot cooling system. And you have access to one connector PCI Express 3.0 x1.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

If you decided to take advantage of the graphics core integrated into the CPU, you have two video outputs: HDMI and DisplayPort operating by the chip ASMedia ASM1442K.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

Multi I/O opportunities are based on chip NUVOTON NCT6793D, which controls the operation of the system fan, port PS/2, and provide monitoring. 

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

Correct operation of the two USB 3.1 ports on the interface panel is provided by the chip ASMedia ASM1142.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

Two additional SATA 6 Gb/s ports are realized due to the controller ASMedia ASM1061.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

To support network connections there is a gigabit LAN-controller Intel WGI219V. Proprietary technology ROG GameFirst III provides the distribution of network resources and prioritization of traffic.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

Sound subsystem of motherboard based on the 8-channel HDA-codec design SupremeFX 2015, which supports the audio formats 2/4/5.1/7.1 and has a number of proprietary features.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

Interface Panel of model ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO includes the following ports:

  • 1 x PS / 2 Combo;
  • 1 x LAN (RJ45);
  • 2 x USB 3.0;
  • 4 x USB 2.0;
  • 1 x USB 3.1 (Type-C);
  • 1 x USB 3.1 (Type-A);
  • 1 x HDMI;
  • 1 x DisplayPort;
  • 1 x Optical S / PDIF out;
  • 1 x button «USB BIOS Flashback»;
  • 5 x audio ports.

This configuration can be safely described as excellent, because here are not only everything you need, but even more: two digital video output, a large number of ports USB (including two high-speed USB 3.1), as well as easy connection of multi-channel speakers and support the periphery PS/2. Additionally note the function of the firmware update BIOS from a USB flash drive using the corresponding button.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

 

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO features wide opportunities for the organization of the cooling system inside the case. There are seven 4-pin fan connectors, two of which are for cooling the CPU, one is designed to connect the water block, while the other four are for system fans.

Read the full review >>>

MSI Z170A GAMING M5 motherboard: review and testing

As you know MSI has decided to divide the whole range of gaming motherboards on three lineups: MSI Z170 Arsenal GAMING, MSI Z170 Performance GAMING and MSI Z170 Enthusiast GAMING. The first is designed for casual players that do not require special advantages. The second one provides a number of important features. The third one pleases gaming enthusiasts due to improvements to each subsystem.

In turn, lineup MSI Z170 Enthusiast GAMING is divided into several series: MSI Z170 GAMING M3, MSI Z170 GAMING M5, MSI Z170 GAMING M7 и MSI Z170 GAMING M9.  It is easy to guess that the higher the index number, the greater the benefits of various integrated into the model.

MSI Z170A GAMING M5

So we can say that the motherboard MSI Z170A GAMING M5 is designed for fans of computer games that are looking for a balance between the high functionality and the ultimate cost.

Novelty has an excellent network subsystem, which will be appreciated by fans of online battles, high-quality sound subsystem that allows you to catch the steps of the enemy before it appears on the screen, as well as ample opportunities for the organization of graphics and disk subsystems.

However, but firstly let's consider the detailed technical specifications of the motherboard MSI Z170A GAMING M5:

Producer 

MSI

Model

Z170A GAMING M5

Chipset

Intel Z170

CPU socket

Socket LGA1151

Supported CPU

Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron 6th gen

Memory frequency

3600* / 3200* / 3000* / 2800* / 2600* / 2400 / 2133 MHz

(*OC)

Memory support

4 x DDR4 DIMM-slots with memory support up to 64 GB

Expansion slots

3 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x16 / x8+x8 / x8+x4+x4)

4 x PCI Express 3.0 x1

Disk subsystem

Intel Z170 chipset supports:

2 x M.2 32 Gb/s (M.2 2242, M.2 2260, M.2 2280)

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x SATA Express (compatible with 2 х SATA 6 Gb/s)

RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10

LAN

1 x Qualcomm Atheros Killer E2400 (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC1150

8-channel sound

S/PDIF Out

Power

24-pin ATX connector

8-pin ATX12V connector

Fans

2 x CPU fan connectors (4-pin)

3 x system fan connectors (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminium radiators on the processor power subsystem elements

Aluminum radiator on chipset

Extenral I/O

1 x PS/2 Combo

1 x HDMI

1 x DVI-D

1 x LAN (RJ45)

4 x USB 3.1 Gen1

1 х USB 3.1 Gen2 (Type-C)

1 х USB 3.1 Gen2 (Type-A)

2 x USB 2.0

1 x Optical S/PDIF out

5 x audio jacks

Internal I/O

1 x USB 3.1 each with support of two USB 3.1 Gen1

2 x USB 2.0 each with support of two USB 2.0

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x SATA Express

1 х socket TPM

1 х COM

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

2 x sets of front panel connectors

1 х switch «Slow mode»

1 x CMOS reset

1 x diagnostic LED-indicator

BIOS

128 Mb Flash ROM UEFI AMI BIOS

PnP 1.0а, ACPI 5.0, SM BIOS 2.8

Packaging

user manual

warranty card

disk with drives and documents

4 x SATA cables

1 х bridge 2-Way NVIDIA SLI

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

ATX

305 x 244 mm

Producer website

MSI
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available at support page

Read the full review >>>

MotherboardASUS Z170 PRO GAMING: review and testing  

Continuing our acquaintance with the motherboard to work with the new family of processors Intel Skylake (Socket LGA1151 Platform), realized on the basis of the flagship chipset Intel Z170, we will talk about the model of the lineup ASUS PRO GAMER. ASUS did not create a separate lineup of gaming motherboards for the new family of processors, but renamed ASUS Gamer intp ASUS PRO GAMER including a model on the platform Socket LGA1150, for example, ASUS Z97-PRO GAMER.

ASUS_Z170_PRO_GAMING

As for ASUS Z170 PRO GAMING, it is a logical continuation of earlier branded gaming solutions with a number of significant improvements, new proprietary technologies as well as more modern equipment, such as support for interface USB 3.1.

The specs: 

Producer  

ASUS

Model

Z170 PRO GAMING (rev 1.04)

Chipset

Intel Z170

CPU socket

Socket LGA1151

Supported CPUs

Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron 6th gen

Memory frequency

3400* / 3333* / 3200* / 3100* / 3000* / 2933* / 2800* / 2666* / 2600* / 2400* / 2133 MHz

(*OC)

Memory support

4 x DDR4 DIMM-slots with memory support up to 64 GB

Expansion slots

 

3 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x16 / x8+x8 / x8+x8+x4)

3 x PCI Express 3.0 x1

Disk subsystem

Intel Z170 chipset supports:

1 x M.2 Socket 3 (M.2 2242, M.2 2260, M.2 2280, M.2 22110)

4 x SATA 6 Gb/s

1 x SATA Express (compatible with 2 х SATA 6 Gb/s)

RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10

LAN

1 x Intel WGI219V (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec SupremeFX

8-channel sound

S/PDIF Out

Power

1 х 24-pin ATX connector

1 x 8-pin ATX12V connector

Fans

2 x CPU fan connectors (4-pin)

3 x system fan connectors (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiator on chipset

Aluminum radiator on the elements of the processor power subsystem

Extenral I/O

1 x PS/2 Combo

1 x HDMI

1 x DisplayPort

1 x D-Sub

1 x DVI-D

1 x LAN (RJ45)

4 x USB 3.0

1 х USB 3.1 (Type-C)

1 х USB 3.1 (Type-A)

2 x USB 2.0

1 x Optical S/PDIF out

5 x audio jacks

Internal I/O

1 x USB 3.0 each with support of two USB 3.0 (19-pin)

3 x USB 2.0, each with support of two USB 2.0

1 х ROG_EXT

1 x EXT_FAN

4 x SATA 6 Gb/s

1 x SATA Express

1 х TPM

1 х COM

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 х connector for temperature sensor connection

1 x CMOS

BIOS

128 Mb Flash ROM UEFI AMI BIOS

PnP, ACPI 5.0, SM BIOS 3.0, DMI 3.0, WfM 2.0

Packaging

User’s manual

Warranty card

Disk with drivers and utilities

1 х tool ASUS CPU Installation Tool

4 x SATA cables

1 х bridge 2-Way NVIDIA SLI

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

ATX

305 x 244 mm

Producer website

ASUS
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available on  support page

Read the full review >>>

MotherboardASUS Z170-A: review and testing

5th August 2015 Intel has announced a new family of processors Intel Skylake for the platform Socket LGA1151, as well as the flagship chipset Intel Z170. Of course, all the key players in the motherboard market has prepared their models and began to actively demonstrated them.

ASUS Z170-A

In this review we will learn the features of the motherboard ASUS Z170-A produced by renowned Taiwanese company. Based on design and equipment, a novelty is a high-level solution, which received an excellent sound system, high-quality circuitry, support for two ports USB 3.1, as well as a number of proprietary enhancements. But let’s start from the technical specification.

The specs:

Producer  

ASUS

Model

Z170-A (rev 1.03)

Chipset

Intel Z170

CPU socket

Socket LGA1151

Supported CPUs

Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron 6th gen

Memory frequency

3400* / 3333* / 2133 MHz

(*OC)

Memory support

4 x DDR4 DIMM-slots with memory support up to 64 GB

Expansion slots

 

3 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x16 / x8+x8 / x8+x8+x4)

3 x PCI Express 3.0 x1

1 х PCI

Disk subsystem

Intel Z170 chipset supportd=s:

1 x M.2 32 Gb/s (M.2 2242, M.2 2260, M.2 2280, M.2 22110)

4 x SATA 6 Gb/s

1 x SATA Express (compatible with 2 х SATA 6 Gb/s)

RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10

LAN

1 x Intel WGI219V (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC892

8-channel sound

S/PDIF Out

Power

1 х 24-pin ATX connector

1 x 8-pin ATX12V connector

Fans

2 x CPU fan connectors (4-pin)

4 x system fan connectors (4-pin)

Cooling

Алюминиевый радиатор на чипсете

Aluminum radiator on the elements of the processor power subsystem

Extenral I/O

1 x PS/2 Combo

1 x HDMI

1 x DisplayPort

1 x D-Sub

1 x DVI-D

1 x LAN (RJ45)

2 x USB 3.0

1 х USB 3.1 (Type-C)

1 х USB 3.1 (Type-A)

2 x USB 2.0

1 x Optical S/PDIF out

5 x audio jacks

Internal I/O

2 x USB 3.0, each with support of two USB 3.0 (19-pin)

2 x USB 2.0, each with support of two USB 2.0

4 x SATA 6 Gb/s

1 x SATA Express

1 х socket TPM

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 x S/PDIF out

1 х button «MemOK!»

1 х module «TB_HEADER»

1 x power button

1 x CMOS

1 x switch «TPU»

1 х switch «EZ_XMP»

BIOS

64 Mb Flash ROM UEFI AMI BIOS

PnP, ACPI 5.0, SM BIOS 2.8, DMI 2.7, WfM 2.0

Packaging

User’s manual

Warranty card

Disk with drivers and utilities

1 х set ASUS Q-Connectors

1 х tool ASUS CPU Installation Tool

3 x SATA cables

1 х bridge 2-Way NVIDIA SLI

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

ATX

Producer website

ASUS
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available on support page

Read the full review >>>

Review of motherboard GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-Gaming 3 on Intel Z170

5 August 2015 is a significant date on the calendar in the IT-industry. After all, this day brought not only the announcement of the sixth-generation Intel Core processors under code-named «Intel Skylake», but also we have an introduction of a new platform Intel Socket LGA1151 and a new chipset Intel Z170. We will devote a separate review for processor family Intel Skylake, but in this material on the example of motherboard GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-Gaming 3 we offer a more detailed look at the possibilities of the chipset Intel Z170.

GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-Gaming 3

Conceptual scheme of platform Socket LGA1151

GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-Gaming 3

Conceptual scheme of platform Socket LGA1150

First of all let’s consider the conceptual scheme of platform Socket LGA1151. The general structure has not changed: the board still contains two major components (CPU and chipset), the data exchange between them is done by a bus DMI. However "the main thing is in the details." Indeed, the analysis of the individual units of the scheme shows that the platform Socket LGA1151 is a big step forward compared to the Socket LGA1150. Firstly, the chipset Intel Z170 had the transition to the use of interface PCI Express 3.0, which has twice higher the bandwidth than PCI Express 2.0. Moreover, the new standard will be used for communication with external devices (expansion slots and the controller), and for "dialogue" with the processor. In other words, performance of bus DMI 3.0 also increased about twice compared with DMI 2.0. Such upgrading at chipset ensures that during operation any part of this scheme will not be the bottleneck and will not limit the performance of its individual components.

Another important development was the increase the number of lines PCIe in the chipset to communicate with peripherals. Intel Z97 features 8, while Intel Z170 has 20. Such a large amount should help the developers of motherboards in terms of implementing a set of interfaces for multi-graphics configurations, and the use of third-party controllers. Also don’t forget that the processor also has its own 16th lines PCIe 3.0, that will give us a grand total of 36 lines. In other words, any board equipped with the flagship chipset Intel Z170, theoretically, be able to support modes 4-Way NVIDIA SLI/AMD CrossFireX in format х8+х8+х8+х8.

As for the supported connectors, the Intel Z170 also took the lead of its predecessor. For the needs of the user here are 10 USB 3.0 port versus 6 in Intel Z97. The number of available slots USB 2.0 and SATA 6 Gb/s has not changed - 14 and 6, respectively. Also, here is support for interface SATA Express and drives M.2 PCIe (NGFF SSD). Moreover, by increasing the number of lines and the transition to PCIe 3.0 standard now the motherboard can contain not one, but two or three corresponding slots. Also, minor changes were made for supported technologies. Thus, the Intel Rapid Storage options has added full support for PCIe-storage, and will have access to technology to improve sound quality (Intel Smart Sound).

In general, the chipset Intel Z170 has a rather large functionality.

Read the full review >>>

Video card ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Ti STRIX OC: review and testing

In early spring 2015, NVIDIA has pleased all their fans by announcing new flagship graphics card NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN X, released on the basis of GPU NVIDIA GM200-400. Now it takes the leading position in terms of performance and cost, which is usual for such solution $ 999.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

The new flagship graphics processor NVIDIA GM200-400 is based on 28-nm manufacturing technology and consists of 8 billion of transistors. It includes 24 SMM-blocks, each of which consists of 128 CUDA-cores and 8 texture units. As a result, the flagship product boasts of 3072 CUDA-cores and 192 texture units. Number of ROP-blocks has reached 96. The base GPU operating frequency is 1000 MHz and dynamic 1075 MHz. As for performance, it was on average 30% higher than the previous leader among single-chip solutions (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980).

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

It is logical that NVIDIA has decided not to stop on successes and use the flagship processor in a version. This is a new video card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti, which was presented in the first days of summer 2015.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

Unlike the flagship graphics processor NVIDIA GM200-310 in NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti has lost 2 SMM-blocks, ie 256 CUDA-cores with 16 texture units. At the same time the memory bus, the number of ROP-blocks and operating frequencies remain unchanged. If we recall the situation of the first "Titan", the followed NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti has come out with the full version of the chip NVIDIA GK110, therefore, it proved to be more productive. In this case everything is different: NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN X acts as a top-end solution, while the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti is its cheaper version.

Let's look to the comparative table of characteristics of current high end video cards from NVIDIA:

 

NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN X

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti 

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti

GPU

GM200-400

GM200-310 

GM204-400

GK110-425

Quantity of CUDA-cores

3072

2816 

2048

2880

Quantity of texture units

192

176 

128

240

Quantity of ROP-blocks

96

96 

64

48

Basic frequency, MHz

1000

1000 

1126

875

Dynamic frequency, MHz

1075

1075 

1216

928

Memory bus, bit

384

384 

256

384

Effective memory frequency, MHz

7010

7010 

7010

7010

Memory capacity, GB

12

6 

4

3

As you can see, another difference of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti from NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN X is reduced twice the amount of video memory.
ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

As stated by NVIDIA, the new product provides a significant performance boost compared to the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti. The biggest gap is achieved at a resolution of 4K Ultra HD, which is rapidly gaining popularity among gamers. Also impressive is as a comparison of the performance per watt. At the same time TDP of new item is on identical level (250 W).

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

Another important advantage of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti is to support API DirectX 12 with the most comprehensive to date set of instructions (Feature Level 12_1).

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

All GPUs of series NVIDIA GM2xx further support the technology Volume Tiled Resources that provides three-dimensional stencils (tiles) of the objects, which allows to load needed texture without expending the resources to load the texture as a whole.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

Another technology from the set of Feature Level 12_1 is Conservative Raster, which provides precise location intersecting polygon boundaries, which helps to avoid artifacts with transparent textures and shadow.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

Also here is a well-known technology NVIDIA G-SYNC, which provides full synchronization with the output frame rate of the monitor, neutralizing the effect breaking frames. The technology is proper for applications running in window mode. Don’t forget that NVIDIA G-SYNC requires not only video card but monitor equipped with the appropriate hardware module. The range of such displays is constantly growing, and even includes a model with a resolution of 4K Ultra HD.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

And now let's get to the review and testing versions of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti powered by ASUS. We are talking about the model ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING).

Model

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti 

(ASUS STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

Graphics core

NVIDIA GM200-310 (Maxwell)

Quantity of CUDA-cores

2816

Supported API and technologies

DirectX 12 (Shader Model 5.0), OpenGL 4.5, NVIDIA 3D Vision Surround, NVIDIA PhysX, NVIDIA TXAA, NVIDIA FXAA, NVIDIA MFAA, NVIDIA 3D Vision, NVIDIA Adaptive Vertical Sync, NVIDIA SLI, NVIDIA CUDA, NVIDIA GPU Boost 2.0, NVIDIA GameWorks, NVIDIA GameStream

Nominal/dynamic frequency of graphics core, MHz

«OC»

1216 / 1317

«Gaming»

1190 / 1291

Memory frequency (effective), MHz

1800 (7200)

Memory capacity, GB

6

Memory type

GDDR5

Memory bus, bit

384

Memory carrying capacity, GB/s

345,6

Bus type

PCI Express 3.0 x16

Max resolution

Digital up to 4096 x 2160

Analog up to 2048 x 1536

Screening interfaces

1 x DVI-I

1 x HDMI 2.0

3 x DisplayPort

HDCP support and HD-video decoding

Yes

Minimal capacity of PSU, W

600

Additional PCIe power sockets

2 x 8-pin

Dimensions from the official site (measured in our lab), mm

305 х 152,2 x 39,8 (317 x 152)

Drivers

Available drivers ASUS or GPU

Producer website

ASUS

Since we have almost completely rebalanced modification NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti, there is no sense to talk about any compliance to reference model. We can directly comparable only operating frequencies. In this case, the graphics core of video card in mode «OC» boasts of a notable level of factory overclocking - up to 1216 MHz (increase of 21.6% relative to recommended 1000 MHz), and taking into account the work of technology NVIDIA GPU Boost 2.0, the average value is 1317 MHz (1075 MHz for the reference sample). Video memory can be overclocked from 7010 to 7200 MHz.

Package and content

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

Graphics card ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti is available in its large cardboard box decorated with original and stylish line of the graphic arts industry with logo ASUS STRIX. In addition to the names of the manufacturer and model of the device, note the reference to the support of technologies NVIDIA G-SYNC, NVIDIA GameWorks, NVIDIA GameStream and DirectX 12.

The major advantages of a novelty is a proprietary cooling system DirectCU III with technology 0dB FAN, which provides 30% lower temperature compared to the reference cooler of radial type.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

The reverse side of the box is traditionally reserved for the more detailed description of the advantages of new item. Also, there is a schematic diagram of the interface panel, and the mention of the features of proprietary utility GPU Tweak with functions of Online Streaming and switching between modes mentioned above «Gaming» and «OC».
As for the benefits, they include:

  • ASUS Auto Extreme with Super Alloy Power II - model ASUS STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING is one of the world's first graphics card built on a fully automated line, which guarantees consistently high quality and ensures the rejection of aggressive chemicals in the production process. In addition, it is based on using high-quality electronic components (Super Alloy Power II), allowing further improve the reliability of the new item.
  • GPU-Fortifier and Backplate - thanks to the support plate and the frame around the GPU we have greatly increased rigidity and reduced risk of curvature of the printed circuit board with the times of the weight of the cooling system.
  • 10mm Mega Heatpipes - radiator of cooling system includes five copper heat pipes, two of which have a diameter of 10 mm and provides a more efficient heat transfer from GPU.
  • STRIX LED - the cooler is equipped with red LED-display.
  • Triple Wing-blade 0db Fans - three axial fan with a special shape of the impeller provide a more powerful air flow, helping to improve the efficiency of the cooler. In addition, at low loads turntables completely stopped to ensure a comfortable background noise.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

A list of system requirements for the computer is located on one side of the box. Based on the recommendations, the power supply must have a capacity at least 600 W and provide 42 A on +12 V line. Also tested model requires connecting two 8-pin PCIe.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

Also we found the standard documentation, CD with software and adapter for power.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

To display the image the product uses a standard set of interfaces:

  • 1 x DVI-I;
  • 1 x HDMI 2.0;
  • 3 x DisplayPort.

The following resolutions are supported:

  • Digital up to 4096 x 2160;
  • Dial up to 2048 x 1536.

Design and circuitry

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

Model ASUS STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING is made on the original black circuit board, with a standard layout principle. Used electronic components correspond to the branded concept Super Alloy Power II and include only high-quality components: solid and tantalum-polymer capacitors, advanced MOSFETs and ferrite core chokes. This increases the stability and reliability of the graphics and prolongs its life.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

Power of product is made according enhanced 12+2-phase scheme, where 12 power phases are responsible for the GPU and 2 are designed for video memory subsystem. Recall that the power of the reference NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti is realized by 6+2-phase scheme.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

Digital PWM controller is presented by chip ASP1500U.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

To power test graphics there is PCI Express x16 slot, and two 8-pin PCIe, located on the side of the board. Due to the large dimensions the cooler complicates the disconnection of cables PCIe. The standard version uses only one powered 8-pin and one 6-pin connector.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

In order to provide technology NVIDIA SLI ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti uses two connectors for connecting the respective bridges, which allow you to combine up to three graphics cards for the joint calculation of graphical effect.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

The reverse side of the product is initially covered with the base plate, notable for the above-mentioned polymer tantalum capacitors, next to other electrical components, as well as the support of frame for the GPU.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

The tested model is based on GPU NVIDIA GM200-310 (Maxwell), produced by 28-nm manufacturing technology. It includes 2816 CUDA cores, 96 ROP units and 176 texture units. As we have said, the video card has factory overclocked of graphics core frequency of the mode is «OC» in value of 1216 and 1317 MHz.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

Memory of model ASUS STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING (6GB) is realized due to 12 chips SK hynix H5GQ4H24MFR-R2C with capacity 4 GB each. According to the documentation, their effective frequency is 7000 MHz, but in our case it was increased to 7200 MHz. Communication between the graphics processor and memory is realized via 384-bit bus, which is capable of flowing 345.6 GB of information per second.

Cooling system

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

The video card including installed cooling system DirectCU III occupies two expansion slots and has a total length of 305 mm according to the official website of ASUS (317 mm as measured in our lab).

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

The cooler consists of a fairly massive radiator, which uses 49 longitudinally spaced aluminum fins, and three 88-mm axial fans with an improved form of blades mounted on a plastic casing.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

The fans are made by Everflow and are labeled «T129215SU». Rated voltage of operation is 12 V, and the current 0.5 A, which gives the final output of 6 W.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

In order to provide uniform distribution of heat over the whole area of the radiator there are five copper heat pipes of different diameter, two 10 mm and two 8 mm and one 6 mm. Fins and heat pipes are covered with a layer of nickel, which is designed to reduce the drop in the efficiency of cooling system during the operation, due to the oxidation of metals. The coolers DirectCU use the scheme of direct contact of heat pipes to the surface of the GPU through a small layer of thermal paste to accelerate removal of excess heat.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

To improve the efficiency of heat exchange the pipes are soldered to the ribs of aluminum radiator and copper heat sink base.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

Note that the primary cooling system is directly in contact with the power supply subsystem components using thermal interface. But memory chips are unfortunately devoid of any additional cooling.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

In case of the automatic speed control of the fan blades, at maximum load, the graphics core is heated to 79°C, and cooler, as indicated by the monitoring work while 55% of its maximum capacity. The noise level at the same time was low and quite comfortable.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

Under the maximum speed fan blades GPU temperature dropped to 71°C. This noise rose above average, and ceased to be comfortable for extended use near PC.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

In case of load absence the operating frequencies of the graphics core and memory are automatically reduced, allowing them to reduce power consumption and heat. In this mode, the GPU temperature did not exceed 49°C because the fans stopped to rotate and cooling system operates in a completely passive mode. The above-mentioned technology 0dB FAN provides silent operation of video at low loads.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

Read the full review >>>

PSU CHIEFTEC APS-1000CB: review and testing 

After testing of top kilowatt power supplies, it's time to recall the cheaper counterparts. One of them is the flagship of series CHIEFTEC A-135, a model CHIEFTEC APS-1000CB. Its average cost ranges from $ 110 - 120, which is about 1.5 - 2 times less than the "gold" or "platinum" solutions with comparable power (1000 W). And this is a pretty powerful argument in favor of CHIEFTEC APS-1000CB, especially in cases that require a high power without much regard to other characteristics. The most vivid example is the configuration for generating of cryptocurrency, where the ratio of price and features of components is the determining factor. Due to this factor the predecessor of the hero of this review, CHIEFTEC APS-1000C, has such popularity and has established to be an inexpensive and robust workhorse. Despite the fact that it is still used in systems of some users, it is already obsolete. And the company produced a model CHIEFTEC CHIEFTEC APS-1000CB. And it will be described in today’s review. 

CHIEFTEC APS-1000CB

The specs: 

Model 

tags: chieftec   atx   80 plus bronze   amd crossfirex   nvidia sli   sirtec   infineon   
Read the full review >>>

Video card Palit GeForce GTX 960 Super JetStream: review and testing 

We are going to learn various modifications of well-proven NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960, the main characteristics and features are described in the review Inno3D GeForce GTX 960 iChill Ultra, as well as in a separate article dedicated to microarchitecture NVIDIA Maxwell. This time will tell about the new product from the company Palit, namely, the Palit GeForce GTX 960 Super JetStream (NE5X960T1041-2060J). It received a good level of factory overclocking, high-quality element base and corporate cooler.

Palit GeForce GTX 960 Super JetStream (GNE5X960T1041-2060J)

However, lets’ learn the specification:

Model

Palit GeForce GTX 960 Super JetStream

(Palit NE5X960T1041-2060J)

Graphics core

NVIDIA GM206 (Maxwell)

Quantity of CUDA-cores

1024

Supported API and technologies

 

DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.4, NVIDIA GPU Boost 2.0, NVIDIA TXAA, NVIDIA FXAA, NVIDIA MFAA, NVIDIA Adaptive Vertical Sync, NVIDIA Surround, NVIDIA PhysX, NVIDIA 3D Vision, NVIDIA SLI, NVIDIA CUDA, NVIDIA GameWorks, NVIDIA GameStream

Nominal/dynamic GPU frequency, MHz

1279 / 1342

Memory frequency (effective), MHz

1800 (7200)

Memory capacity, GB

2

Memory type

GDDR5

Memory bus, bit

 

128

Memory carrying capacity, GB/s

115,2

Bus type

PCI Express 3.0 x16

Max resolution

Digital up to 4096 x 2160

Analog up to 2048 x 1536

Screening  interfaces

1 х DVI-I

1 х DVI-D

1 х HDMI

1 х DisplayPort

Support for HDCP and HD-video coding

 

Yes

 

Minimal PSU capacity, W

400

Additional sockets of PCIe connectors

1 x 6-pin

Dimensions taken from official website (according measurements in own test lab) , mm

247 х 126 (259 х 125)

Drivers

Available drivers  Palit or GPU

Website

Palit

As you can see, Palit GeForce GTX 960 Super JetStream is significantly different from the standard version of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960. Firstly we would like to note the modified set of interfaces and factory overclocking of graphics core, which in nominal mode is clocked at 1279 MHz (increase of 13.5% compared to the recommended 1127 MHz), and taking into account the operation of technology NVIDIA GPU Boost 2.0 average is 1342 MHz (increase of 13.9% compared to reference 1178 MHz). Video memory is also overclocked and operates at effectively frequency of 7200 MHz instead of the standard 7010 MHz.

Package and content 

Palit GeForce GTX 960 Super JetStream (GNE5X960T1041-2060J)

Package of the product is made from high-quality cardboard. It is equipped with a handle for easy transportation. Traditionally video cards of Palit JetStream series are decorated in black and gold colors. Key information is on the front side of the box and includes the capacity and type of video memory, and support for technologies NVIDIA G-SYNC, NVIDIA GameWorks, NVIDIA GameStream and DirectX 12.

Palit GeForce GTX 960 Super JetStream (GNE5X960T1041-2060J)

The most interesting information the manufacturer has placed on the reverse side of the flip cover:

  • Outstanding Achievements - thanks to a proprietary cooling system and improved circuitry the engineers were able to reduce the operating temperature of the GPU, the noise level of the cooling system and increase the overclocking potential compared to the reference card.
  • Dual Fan - to the cooler's design includes two fans diameter of 87 mm, which provides a more efficient cooling of the key elements.
  • TurboFan Blade – due to the use of a special form of the blades, the cooling fans generate a more powerful air flow, which should positively affect the efficiency of cooling.
  • Optimized Air Flow - propellers of cooling system rotate in different directions, thereby reducing the possibility of conflict between the air flowd and increase the effectiveness of removing excess heat.
  • LED Lightning - the fans are equipped with white built-in LED, ensuring the original appearance in the process.
  • 0-dB TECH - cooling fans are activated only after heating to the graphic processor at 60°C or after raising the power consumption to 60 W video that makes novelty absolutely silent in idle and low load.
  • ThunderMaster - bundled proprietary software ThunderMaster will allow you to not only monitor the status of the video accelerator in real-time, and, if necessary, overlook it by simply pressing a button.  

Palit GeForce GTX 960 Super JetStream (GNE5X960T1041-2060J)

The reverse side of the package is reserved for a small description of the main advantages of the video card. There is a brief technical specification in several languages.

Palit GeForce GTX 960 Super JetStream (GNE5X960T1041-2060J)

Below you can find a list of system requirements for the computer. Based on the recommendations, the power supply in such a system should be characterized by a capacity of at least 400 W and have a 6-pin PCIe cable.

Palit GeForce GTX 960 Super JetStream (GNE5X960T1041-2060J)

Package of graphics card includes:

  • manual;
  • software CD;
  • adapter for video card power;
  • adapter DVI to D-Sub.

Palit GeForce GTX 960 Super JetStream (GNE5X960T1041-2060J)

The standard set of interfaces is used to display an image:

  • 1 x DVI-I;
  • 1 x DVI-D;
  • 1 x HDMI;
  • 1 x DisplayPort.

The reference model has five video outputs, three of which are DisplayPort and one HDMI and DVI-I.

The following resolutions are supported:

  • Digital up to 4096 x 2160;
  • Dial up to 2048 x 1536.

Design and circuitry 

Palit GeForce GTX 960 Super JetStream (GNE5X960T1041-2060J)

Palit GeForce GTX 960 Super JetStream (NE5X960T1041-2060J) is realized on a compact circuit board with a standard brown principle layout. The element base consists of solid-polymer and tantalum capacitors, inductors and ferrite chip DrMOS, which should positively affect the overclocking potential, stability and reliability of new product.

Palit GeForce GTX 960 Super JetStream (GNE5X960T1041-2060J)

The power system is made according four-phase scheme, where three phases are responsible for power of the graphics core, and one is designed for video memory. Control is provided by digital PWM controller NCP81174, manufactured by ON Semiconductor. According to the documentation, it is equipped with short circuit protection and is characterized by increased efficiency by supporting the power saving function (PSI).

Palit GeForce GTX 960 Super JetStream (GNE5X960T1041-2060J)

In accordance with the recommendations of the company NVIDIA, the power of graphics adapter is provided by PCI Express x16 slot and one 6-pin PCIe, located on the side of the board. The cooler prevents the disconnection of the cable PCIe.

Palit GeForce GTX 960 Super JetStream (GNE5X960T1041-2060J)

In order to provide technology NVIDIA SLI the Palit NE5X960T1041-2060J uses one connector for the corresponding bridge that allows you to combine two video accelerators for the joint calculation of graphical effects. You can see the results of the testing NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 Mode 2-Way NVIDIA SLI in review GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 960 WINDFORCE OC.

Palit GeForce GTX 960 Super JetStream (GNE5X960T1041-2060J)

The reverse side contains two of the four video memory chips, the above-mentioned PWM controller and some other electrical components.

Palit GeForce GTX 960 Super JetStream (GNE5X960T1041-2060J)

The tested model is based on the graphics chip NVIDIA GM206-300-A1 (Maxwell), produced by 28-nm manufacturing technology. It includes 1024 CUDA-cores, 32 rasterization blocks and 64 texture units. As we have said, the video card has factory overclocking of graphics core with frequencies 1279 and 1342 MHz. 

Palit GeForce GTX 960 Super JetStream (GNE5X960T1041-2060J)

Total memory capacity of Palit GeForce GTX 960 Super JetStream is 2GB and it is realized by using 4 chips Samsung K4G41325FC-HC28 with capacity 4 GB each. According to the documentation, their nominal effective frequency is 7000 MHz, but in our case it was increased to 7200 MHz. Data exchange between the graphics processor and memory is realized via 128-bit bus, which is capable of flowing 115.2 GB of information per second.

Cooling system 

Palit GeForce GTX 960 Super JetStream (GNE5X960T1041-2060J)

In addition to the original design, the cooling system stands out due to quite large dimensions. The video card including installed cooling system occupies two and a half expansion slots and has a total length of 247 mm according to the official website of the company Palit (259 mm measured in our lab). 

Palit GeForce GTX 960 Super JetStream (GNE5X960T1041-2060J)

Palit GeForce GTX 960 Super JetStream (GNE5X960T1041-2060J)

The cooler consists of a sufficiently large heatsink assembled from 35 aluminum nickel-plated plates, and two axial fans with blades 87 mm in diameter, mounted on the plastic housing. But the red pad on the case is made of aluminum instead of painted plastic, as it might seem at first glance.

Palit GeForce GTX 960 Super JetStream (GNE5X960T1041-2060J)

The blades of Apistek GA92S2H have a special curved shape that allows them to generate a powerful airflow. However, they rotate in different directions, thereby reducing the possibility of conflict between the air flows and helps to further improve the efficiency of their work.

Palit GeForce GTX 960 Super JetStream (GNE5X960T1041-2060J)

To improve the heat exchange efficiency there are three copper heat pipes with the diameter of 6 mm each. Unfortunately, they are not covered by a layer of nickel, which may adversely affect the efficiency of the cooler in the future.

Palit GeForce GTX 960 Super JetStream (GNE5X960T1041-2060J)

Thus contact of heat pipes with radiator fins and copper base is improved by soldering on one side and the other hot melt adhesive.

Palit GeForce GTX 960 Super JetStream (GNE5X960T1041-2060J)

The cooling elements of the power subsystem are provided by a separate low-profile heatsink.

Palit GeForce GTX 960 Super JetStream (GNE5X960T1041-2060J)

In case of automatic speed control of the fan blades and under the maximum load, the graphics core is heated to 71°C, and cooler is quiet at 42% of its maximum capacity.

Palit GeForce GTX 960 Super JetStream (GNE5X960T1041-2060J)

Under the maximum fan speed the GPU temperature dropped to 56°C. The noise rose to an average level, but it was quite comfortable for extended use.

Palit GeForce GTX 960 Super JetStream (GNE5X960T1041-2060J)

In the absence of load the frequencies of the graphics core and memory are automatically reduced, resulting in lower their power and heat consumption. In this mode the cooler operates quietly, since the fan is not rotating through the use of technologies 0-db TECH. 

Read the full review >>>

Video card ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5): review and testing

In this review we will learn not just another version of video cards based on GPU NVIDIA GM206 (Maxwell), but a new product equipped with the original cooling system. It is part of a series introduced by ASUS due to celebration of the 20th anniversary of the release to the market of graphics cards.

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5)

Model ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5) is equipped with a cooler of radial type with the original white and red housing. The advantage of this design is that the hot air is removed outside the housing and substantially does not increase the temperature inside the system unit.

The specs:

Model

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5) 

Graphics core

NVIDIA GM206 (Maxwell)

Manufacturing process

28

 Quantity of CUDA-cores

1024

Supported API and technologies

 

DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.4, NVIDIA GPU Boost 2.0, NVIDIA TXAA, NVIDIA FXAA, NVIDIA MFAA, NVIDIA Adaptive Vertical Sync, NVIDIA Surround, NVIDIA PhysX, NVIDIA 3D Vision, NVIDIA SLI, NVIDIA CUDA, NVIDIA GameWorks, NVIDIA GameStream

Nominal/dynamic GPU frequency, MHz

1190 / 1253

Memory capacity, GB

2

Memory type

GDDR5

Nominal/effective video memory frequency, MHz

1753 / 7010

Memory bus, bit

 

128

Memory carrying capacity, GB/s

112,2

Inner interface

PCI Express 3.0 x16

Screening  interfaces

1 х HDMI 2.0

3 x DisplayPort

1 х DVI-I

Minimal PSU capacity, W

400

Dimensions taken from official website (according measurements in own test lab) , mm

264 x 121 x 37 (276 x 122)

Drivers

Available drivers ASUS or  GPU

Website

ASUS

Package and content

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5)

The front side of the graphics card ASUS TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5 package is decorated in a unique style, combining white and red colors. There is a large image of the graphics accelerator and its key advantages. Mark «OC Edition» says about factory overclocked GPU from nominal 1127/1178 MHz to 1190/1253 MHz.

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5)

On the back of the box you can find description of the main features of the graphics card, supplemented with visual icons. In particular, radial fan of graphics accelerator captures air from both sides, providing a 10% greater efficacy than the reference model. Also it 4 times longer than the reference cooling system and 7% more efficient using bunch NVIDIA SLI.

The qualitative element base Super Alloy Power consists of silent chokes and solid-state capacitors with a long service life (50 000 hours). Also the delivery set includes proprietary software for overclocking and monitoring (ASUS GPU Tweak) and utility XSplit Gamecaster, allows you to record and broadcast the game session.

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5)

The side face of the package contains a list of the minimum system requirements that are recommended for the correct operation of the video card. Thus, the capacity of power supply unit must be at least 400 W (up to 38 A at +12V line), and the amount of RAM is 4 GB.

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5)

Supplied set of graphics accelerator ASUS TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5 includes a quick start guide and a CD with software and drivers. Perhaps some users may need DVI↔D-Sub adapter to connect an analog monitor. It is not included into deliver set.

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5)

To connect monitors or TVs the interface panel provides quite an extensive set of connectors:

  • 1 x HDMI 2.0;
  • 3 x DisplayPort;
  • 1 x DVI-I.

Such a set of connectors allows you to connect several modern digital monitors or TVs. Thanks to connectors HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort you can watch 4K content of improved quality.

Design and circuitry

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5)

Graphics card ASUS TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5 has an original design, which resembles a reference, but is independent development of company ASUS. White shroud of graphics accelerator with red accents will look quite unusual, especially in the case with a transparent side cover. The circuit board is deliberately quite compact to improve air blowing.

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5)

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5)

The power subsystem of ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 is made of five-phase scheme: four phases are designed for the GPU, and one is for the video memory subsystem. As mentioned earlier, there are qualitative components Super Alloy Power, designed to operate at a high load (during acceleration or prolonged gaming sessions).

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5)

In addition to slot PCI Express 3.0 x16, to ensure the normal operation of the video card you must connect an additional 6-pin PCIe. It connection and disconnection is free, since the connector is located in the corner of the PCB.

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5)

The reverse side of the printed circuit board contains several elements of the power subsystem, and two of the four video memory chips. In the upper right corner we found a connector for bridge NVIDIA SLI. It allows you to combine the processing power of GPU for the two co-processing graphics.

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5)

The base of ASUS TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5 is graphics chip NVIDIA GM206-300-A1 (Maxwell). It consists of 1024 CUDA-cores, 64 texture units and 32 ROP units. The nominal operating frequency is 1190 MHz GPU and dynamic is 1253 MHz.

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5)

The total capacity of video memory is 2 GB. It is realized using 4 chips Samsung K4G41325FC-HC28 of GDDR5 standard with capacity of 4 GB each. The memory runs at an effective frequency of 7010 MHz, and to exchange data with a graphics core there is 128-bit bus with a capacity of 112.2 GB/s.

Cooling system

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5)

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5)

The cooling system takes up two slots for expansion cards. It is characterized by a large length (276 mm). The outer plastic cover not only creates an elegant look of the adapter, but also directs the air flow along the surface of the PCB. Air blowing is provided by 75 mm radial fan, built on the basis of a reliable dual ball bearing.

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5)

Removal and heat dissipation is realized using an aluminum radiator with a longitudinal placement of ribs that contact with the GPU using a copper base.

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5)

Another small aluminum radiator is installed on the elements of the power subsystem.

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5)

During stress tests in automatic mode of the cooling system, the GPU temperature was at 80°C. The propeller was rotated at a speed of 1637 rpm, and the level of noise can be characterized as average.

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5)

After fixing the fan speed at maximum, the GPU temperature dropped to 63°C. The noise exceeded the average level and has already become uncomfortable for long life. This mode is suitable only for overclocking and running stress tests.

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5)

In idle mode the frequencies of the graphics core and memory are automatically dropped and the core temperature did not exceed 35°C. The cooler is very quiet.

Read the full review >>>

Motherboard MSI Z97A GAMING 6: review and testing

The hero of this review the motherboard MSI Z97A GAMING 6 takes a middle position in the lineup MSI GAMING, which continues to develop thanks to the interest of users. This model has an excellent network subsystem, which will be appreciated by fans of online battles, high-quality sound subsystem, as well as ample opportunities for the organization of graphics and disk subsystems. A particular note is given to the advanced interface USB 3.1 Type-C put on the interface panel.

MSI Z97A GAMING 6

The specs:

Producer 

MSI

Model

Z97A GAMING 6 (rev 1.0)

Chipset

Intel Z97

CPU socket

Socket LGA1150

Supported CPU

Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron of 4th and 5th gen: Intel Haswell, Intel Haswell Refresh, Intel Devil`s Canyon, Intel Broadwell

Memory frequency

3300* / 3200* / 3100* / 3000* / 2800* / 2666* / 2600* / 2400* / 2200* / 2133* / 2000* / 1866* / 1600 / 1333 / 1066 MHz

(*OC)

Memory support

4 x DDR3 DIMM-slots with memory support up to 32 GB

Expansion slots

3 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x16 / x8+x8 / x8+x4+x4)

4 х PCI Express 2.0 x1

Disk subsystem

Intel Z97 chipset supports:

1 x M.2 (M.2 2242, M.2 2260, M.2 2280)

1 x SATA Express (compatible with 2 x SATA 6 GB/s)

4 x SATA 6 GB/s (RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10)

LAN

1 x Qualcomm Atheros Killer E2205 (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC1150

7.1-channel sound

S/PDIF Out

Power

24-pin ATX connector

8-pin ATX12V connector

Fans

2 x CPU fan connectors (4-pin)

3 x system fan connectors (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminium radiators on the processor power subsystem elements

Aluminum radiator on chipset

Extenral I/O

1 x PS/2 Combo

1 x HDMI

1 x D-Sub

1 x DVI-D

1 x LAN (RJ45)

1 x USB 3.1 (Type-C)

2 x USB 3.0

2 x USB 2.0

1 x Optical S/PDIF out

6 x audio jacks

Internal I/O

2 x USB 3.0, each with support of two USB 3.0

2 x USB 2.0, each with support of two USB 2.0

1 х TPM

1 x COM

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

2 x sets of front panel connectors

1 x CMOS

1 х LED-indicator

1 x socket Direct audio

1 x switch Audio Power

9 х V-Check sockets

BIOS

64 Mb Flash ROM UEFI AMI BIOS

ACPI 5.0, PnP 1.0a, SM BIOS 2.7, DMI 2.0

Packaging

user manual

warranty card

disk with drives and documents

2 x SATA cables

1 х bridge NVIDIA SLI

1 x set MSI M-Connector

1 x door hanger

1 х sticker MSI GAMING

1 x power cord Direct audio

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

ATX

305 х 244 mm

Producer website

MSI
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available at support page

Read the full review >>>

Video card ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini OC (GTX960-MOC-2GD5): review and testing

Many years the company ASUS pleases fans of compact gaming Mini-ITX-systems producing graphics cards that are ideal for this form factor, updating its line of ASUS Mini. These models include ASUS GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU Mini OC and ASUS GeForce GTX 760 DirectCU Mini OC. It's time to talk about a compact version of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 - ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini OC (GTX960-MOC-2GD5).

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini OC (GTX960-MOC-2GD5)

The novelty has not only a compact format, but factory overclocking, high-quality element base, as well as proprietary cooling system DirectCU Mini, designed specifically for the graphics cards lineup ASUS Mini. Let's move on to the review for a more detailed examination of all the special features.

The specs:

Model

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini OC

(ASUS GTX960-MOC-2GD5)

Graphics core

NVIDIA GM206 (Maxwell)

Quantity of CUDA-cores

1024

Supported API and technologies

 

DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.4, NVIDIA GPU Boost 2.0, NVIDIA TXAA, NVIDIA FXAA, NVIDIA MFAA, NVIDIA Adaptive Vertical Sync, NVIDIA Surround, NVIDIA PhysX, NVIDIA 3D Vision, NVIDIA SLI, NVIDIA CUDA, NVIDIA GameWorks, NVIDIA GameStream

Nominal/dynamic GPU frequency, MHz

1190 / 1253

Memory frequency (effective), MHz

1753 (7010)

Memory capacity, GB

2

Memory type

GDDR5

Memory bus, bit

128

Memory carrying capacity, GB/s

112,2

Bus type

PCI Express 3.0 x16

Max resolution

Digital up to 4096 x 2160

Analog up to 2048 x 1536

Screening  interfaces

1 х DVI-I

1 х HDMI

3 х DisplayPort

Support for HDCP  and decoding of HD-video

Yes

Minimal PSU capacity, W

400

Дополнительные разъемы питания PCIe

1 x 6-pin

Dimensions taken from official website (according measurements in own test lab) , mm

170 х 122 (183 х 122)

Drivers

Available drivers ASUS or  GPU

Website

ASUS

Tested modification of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 differs due to the presence of factory overclocking the GPU from the default 1126 to 1190 MHz. Dynamic GPU frequency averages 1253 MHz instead of 1178 MHz recommended. As for the video memory subsystem, it operates at recommended effective frequency of 7010 MHz.

Package and content

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini OC (GTX960-MOC-2GD5)

Graphics card ASUS GTX960-MOC-2GD5 comes in fairly compact cardboard box decorated with the graphic printing in the corporate style. In addition to the names of the manufacturer and model of the device, note the reference about the capacity and type of video memory. In turn, the icon «OC Edition» indicates the factory overclocking. Also in the lower right corner you can find support for technologies NVIDIA G-SYNC, NVIDIA GameWorks, NVIDIA GameStream and DirectX 12.

The main advantages of ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini OC (GTX960-MOC-2GD5) are: a proprietary cooling system DirectCU Mini and advanced circuitry, made according to the concept of Super Alloy Power. In daily use this design allows to  increase the performance up to 15%,  35°C decrease operating temperature and a 2.5 increase in the lifespan of the graphic adapter.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini OC (GTX960-MOC-2GD5)

The reverse side of the box is traditionally reserved for the more detailed description of the benefits listed on the front side. Also, there is a schematic diagram of the interface panel, and the mention of the possibilities of proprietary GPU Tweak utility online broadcast (Online Streaming).

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini OC (GTX960-MOC-2GD5)

A list of system requirements is located on one side of the box. Based on the recommendations, the power supply in such a system must have a capacity at least of 400 W and provide at least 38 A on +12V rail. Also tested model requires a connection of only one 6-pin cable PCIe.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini OC (GTX960-MOC-2GD5)

Delivery set of the graphics card ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini OC we found only the documentation and a CD with software. You should not have the problems with the connection of additional power, since almost all modern power supplies are equipped with at least one 6-pin cable PCIe.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini OC (GTX960-MOC-2GD5)

To display the image the test product has  benchmark set of interfaces:

  • 1 x DVI-I;
  • 1 x HDMI;
  • 3 x DisplayPort.

The following resolutions are supported:

  • Digital up to 4096 x 2160;
  • Dial up to 2048 x 1536.

Design and circuitry

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini OC (GTX960-MOC-2GD5)

Model ASUS GTX960-MOC-2GD5 is made on a compact black circuit board with a standard layout principle. Used electronic components correspond to the concept of branded Super Alloy Power and include only high-quality components: solid state capacitors, advanced MOSFETs, ferrite core chokes and tantalum polymer capacitors. This increases the stability and reliability of the graphics adapter in general, and prolongs its lifetime.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini OC (GTX960-MOC-2GD5)

Power supply is performed by the standard five-phase diagram, where four phases are responsible for the power of the graphics core, and one is designed for video memory subsystem.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini OC (GTX960-MOC-2GD5)

The digital PWM controller of power subsystem is provided by chip uP1608TK produced by company uPI Semiconductor.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini OC (GTX960-MOC-2GD5)

In accordance with the recommendations of the company NVIDIA, to power the graphics adapter there are PCI Express x16 slot and one 6-pin PCIe socket located on the side of the board, so the cooler does not difficult to disable PCIe cable.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini OC (GTX960-MOC-2GD5)

In order to provide NVIDIA SLI technology ASUS GTX960-MOC-2GD5 uses one connector for the corresponding bridge that allows you to combine two video accelerators for the joint calculation of graphical effects. Recall that you can see the results of the testing NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 in mode 2-Way NVIDIA SLI in the review GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 960 WINDFORCE OC.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini OC (GTX960-MOC-2GD5)

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini OC (GTX960-MOC-2GD5)

The reverse side of a novelty, initially covered with the base plate, contains two of the four video memory chips, the above-mentioned tantalum polymer capacitors and some other electrical components.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini OC (GTX960-MOC-2GD5)

The tested model is based on 28-nm graphics chip NVIDIA GM206-300-A1 (Maxwell). It includes 1024 CUDA cores, 32 blocks of rasterization and 64 texture units. As we have said, the video card has factory overclocking of graphics core with frequencies of 1190 and 1253 MHz.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini OC (GTX960-MOC-2GD5)

Memory of model ASUS GTX960-MOC-2GD5, totaling 2 GB is realized using 4 chips Samsung K4G41325FC-HC28 with capacity of 4 GB each. According to the documentation, their effective frequency is 7000 MHz. Communication between the graphics processor and memory is realized through a 128-bit bus, which is capable of flowing 112.2 GB of information per second.

Cooling system

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini OC (GTX960-MOC-2GD5)

The video card including installed cooling system DirectCU Mini occupies two expansion slots and has a total length of 170 mm according to the ASUS official website (183 mm according to our measurements).

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini OC (GTX960-MOC-2GD5)

Don’t forget that the standard width Mini-ITX motherboard (for example, ASUS MAXIMUS VII IMPACT) is 170 mm, which confirms the excellent compatibility of video accelerator with compact systems of the form factor.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini OC (GTX960-MOC-2GD5)

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini OC (GTX960-MOC-2GD5)

The cooler consists of a small radiator with a vaporization chamber at the bottom and with a fan CoolTech diameter of 86 mm. Spinner is made by hybrid technology, combining internal radial and external axis fan (classic design of the blades). This design, according to the manufacturer, provides omnidirectional airflow and promotes the accelerated heat removal.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini OC (GTX960-MOC-2GD5)

The fan is manufactured by FirstDo company and is labeled as «FD9015U12S». Rated operating voltage is 12 V, and the current is 0.55 A, which gives the final output of 6.6 W. According to the letter «S» in the title, it is built on sleeve bearing.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini OC (GTX960-MOC-2GD5)

In case of automatic speed control of fan blades at maximum load, the graphics core is heated to 71°C, and cooler, as indicated by the monitoring works on 58% of its maximum capacity. Noise was below average.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini OC (GTX960-MOC-2GD5)

Under the maximum speed of the fan blades the GPU temperature dropped to 61°C. The noise was increased, but remained comfortable enough for continuous operation near the PC.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini OC (GTX960-MOC-2GD5)

In case of load absence the operating frequencies of the graphics core and memory are automatically decreased, allowing to reduce the power consumption and heat dissipation. In this mode, the GPU temperature did not exceed 29°C.

Read the full review >>>

Video card ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5): review and testing

A few months ago many manufacturers have expanded their video cards range of the popular series NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 models with 4 GB of memory. And the company ASUS did the same. It has released a version ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5), which boasts of a number of other advantages.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5)

First of all they include significant factory overclocking, productive proprietary cooling system DirectCU II with support for passive mode «0dB FAN» and qualitative element base. Also it has a good set of interface panel connectors and support for efficient software.

The specs:

Model

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5) 

Graphics core

NVIDIA GM206 (Maxwell)

Manufacturing process, nm

28

Q-ty of shader processors (CUDA-cores)

 

1024

Supported API and technologies

 

DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.4, NVIDIA GPU Boost 2.0, NVIDIA TXAA, NVIDIA FXAA, NVIDIA MFAA, NVIDIA Adaptive Vertical Sync, NVIDIA Surround, NVIDIA PhysX, NVIDIA 3D Vision, NVIDIA SLI, NVIDIA CUDA, NVIDIA GameWorks, NVIDIA GameStream

Nominal/dynamic GPU frequency, MHz

«Gaming»

1228 / 1291

«OC»

1253 / 1317

Memory capacity, GB

4

Memory type

GDDR5

Nominal / effective video memory capacity, MHz

1753 / 7010

Memory bus, bit

128

Memory carrying capacity, GB/s

112,2

Internal interface  

PCI Express 3.0 x16

Screening  interfaces

1 х HDMI 2.0

3 x DisplayPort

1 х DVI-I

Minimal PSU capacity, W

400

Dimensions taken from official website (according measurements in own test lab) , mm

215 x 121 x 41 (227 x 122)

Drivers

Available drivers ASUS or  GPU

Website

ASUS

Package and content

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5)

The card comes in a cardboard box with high-quality color printing. Its front side contains the logo of the manufacturer and the series ASUS STRIX. Below you can find an image of a proprietary cooling system DirectCU II, which is 30% more efficient in comparison with the reference model, according to signs. Also here is the mark of a factory overclocking and the capacity of video memory.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5)

The reverse side of the package has a layout of the interface panel connectors and a more detailed description of ASUS STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5features:

  • cooling system supports passive mode «0dB FAN», which allows it to be absolutely silent at light load;
  • element base corresponds to the branded concept Super Alloy Power and includes solid capacitors with increased 2.5 times lifetime, with ferrite core chokes, and improved field-effect transistors;
  • proprietary software for overclocking and monitoring (GPU Tweak) and free software license for game broadcasts  XSplit Gamecaster for 1 year.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5)

On the side face you can find the minimum system requirements required for the complete the work for the graphics card. Thus, the minimal capacity of power supply is 400 W, and the load capacity of the rail +12V must be 38 A or higher. It is also desirable to have at least one 6-pin PCIe.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5)

Inside the box a graphics accelerator is securely fixed using foam shapes and antistatic bag. This design will allow to protect the fragile electronics from damage during transportation.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5)

Package of ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC consists of:

  • adapter DVI-I ↔ D-Sub;
  • software and drivers CD;
  • stickers on the computer;
  • quick start guide.

Adapter DVI-I ↔ D-Sub is a nice bonus. It allows to connect an analog monitor.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5)

Interface panel includes the following set of connectors:

  • 1 x HDMI 2.0;
  • 3 x DisplayPort;
  • 1 x DVI-I.

The following resolutions are supported:

  • Digital up to 4096 x 2160;
  • Dial up to 2048 x 1536.

Design and circuitry

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5)

ASUS STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5 is made on a compact circuit board. The total length of the graphics accelerator is only 227 mm, which will allow to place it even in small cases.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5)

The power subsystem uses a 5-phase design: four phases are reserved for the GPU and one is for the memory chips. PWM controller is a chip uP1608TK from the company uPI Semiconductor.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5)

The proper operation of the graphics accelerator is provided by slot PCI Express 3.0 x16 and one additional 6-pin PCIe. The PCB has a special projection for connector snap.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5)

On the reverse side of the printed circuit board there is a metal plate which not only protects the PCB from damage, but also participates in the heat removal process. Also note that one of the four screws of the cooling system has a protective seal. This means that the dismantling of cooling system is not desirable and will void the warranty.

In the upper right corner you can see the connector for the bridge NVIDIA SLI. It allows you to connect the processing power of two GPUs for the co-processing of the graphics.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5)

Video card ASUS STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5 is based on 28-nm GPU NVIDIA GM206-300-A1 (Maxwell). It consists of the 1024 unified shader processors, 64 texture units and 32 ROP units.

The graphics core has two modes. In the first case (mode «Gaming») its nominal frequency is 1228 MHz, and dynamic is 1291 MHz. When you activate the profile «OC» data values will be 1253 and 1317 MHz respectively.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5)

Total memory is 4 GB and it is provided by using 8 chips Samsung K4G41325FC-HC28 with capacity 4 GB each. They work on the effective frequency 7010 MHz, and to exchange data with a graphics core use 128-bit bus with a capacity of 112.2 GB/s.

Cooling system

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5)

The card is equipped with a proprietary cooling system, which occupies two slots for expansion cards. The outer part is covered by a plastic cover, decorated with original printing.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5)

Four nickel-plated heat pipes are used to remove heat from the GPU. Two of them have a diameter of 8 mm, and two 6 mm. They are characterized by direct contact with the surface of the GPU to improve heat dissipation.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5)

Two axial blowing fans FirstDo FD7010H12S (12; 0.35 A) with 75mm diameter blade are applied. They are based on slider bearings.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5)

Now let's examine the effectiveness of branded cooler under load. In automatic mode of the cooling system the GPU temperature did not exceed 70°C at maximum load. Fans were very quiet (the first rotated at 1730 rpm, and the second at 1700 rpm) and were virtually indistinguishable on the background of the other components.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5)

After running at maximum speed (first rotated with a frequency of 3300 rpm, and the second - 3280 rpm), GPU temperature dropped to 59°C. Even in this mode, the noise was average and was comfortable enough for long term use.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5)

In idle mode the GPU temperature dropped to 42°C and the cooler was switched to passive mode. And this is a principle of the technology "0 dB FAN»: silent cooler under low loads.

Read the full review >>>

Motherboard ASUS Z97-WS: review and testing

As is well known, the controller PCI Express 3.0 integrated into processors Intel Socket LGA1150 supports only 16 lines with distribution under schemes х16, х8+х8 or х8+х4+х4. The model ASUS Z97-WS is perfect for users who want to organize a more powerful graphics subsystem. The company has equipped its product with chip-switch PLX PEX8747, providing more opportunities to build gaming PC. However, first things first, and first, let's take a look at the detailed specs.

ASUS Z97-WS

The specs:

Producer

ASUS

Model

Z97-WS (rev 1.0)

Chipset

Intel Z97

CPU socket

Socket LGA1150

Supported processors

Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron 4th and 5th gen: Intel Haswell, Intel Haswell Refresh, Intel Devil`s Canyon, Intel Broadwell

Memory frequency

3300* / 3200* / 3100* / 3000* / 2933* / 2800* / 2666* / 2600* / 2500* / 2400* / 2200* / 2133* / 2000* / 1866* / 1800* / 1600 / 1333 MHz

(*OC)

Memory support

4 x DDR3 DIMM-slots with support of memory up to 32 GB

Expansion slots

 

4 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x16 / x16+x16 / x16+x8+x8 / x8+x8+x8+x8)

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x4

2 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

Disk subsystem

Intel Z97 chipset supports:

1 x M.2 (M.2 2260, M.2 2280)

4 x SATA 6 Gb/s

1 x SATA Express (compatible with 2 х SATA 6 Gb/s)

RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10

ASMedia ASM1061 controller supports:

1 x eSATA 6 Gb/s

ASMedia ASM106SE controller supports:

1 x SATA Express (compatible with 2 x SATA 6 Gb/s)

LAN

1 x Intel WGI210AT (10/100/1000 Mb/s)

1 x Intel WGI218LM (10/100/1000 Mb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC1150

8-channel sound

S/PDIF Out

Power

1 x 24-pin power socket ATX

2 x 8-pin power socket ATX12V

1 x 6-pin power socket ATX12V

Fans

2 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

4 x system fan connectors (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiators on chipset

Aluminum radiator on power subsystem elements, coupled with an additional heat pipe with additional  heat sink and the heat sink on the chip-switch PLX PEX8747

External I/O

1 x HDMI

1 x Mini DisplayPort

1 x DisplayPort

2 x LAN (RJ45)

6 x USB 3.0

2 x USB 2.0

1 x eSATA 6 Gb/s

1 x Optical S/PDIF out

6 x audio jacks

1 х button «Q-Code Logger»

1 х button «USB BIOS Flashback»

Internal I/O

2 x USB 3.0, each with support of two USB USB 3.0

2 x USB 2.0, each with support of two USB USB 2.0

1 x IEEE 1394a

1 х TPM

1 x COM

1 x Thunderbolt

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x S/PDIF out

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 x CMOS

1 х «MemOK!»

1 х DRCT

1 х «Direct Key»

1 x «Power»

1 x «Reboot»

1 x «CMOS reset»

2 x diagnostic LED-indicator

1 x switch «TPU»

1 x switch «EPU»

1 х switch «EZ XMP»

1 х switch «DR_POWER»

1 x switch «CPU Over Voltage»

BIOS

64 Mb Flash ROM UEFI AMI BIOS

PnP, ACPI 5.0, SM BIOS 2.8, DMI 2.7, WfM 2.0

Packaging

 

user manual

warranty card

disk with drives and documents

1 х set ASUS Q-Connectors

8 x SATA cables

1 х bridge 2-Way NVIDIA SLI

1 х bridge 3-Way NVIDIA SLI

1 х bridge 4-Way NVIDIA SLI

1 х panel with port COM

1 x panel with two ports USB 2.0 and one IEEE 1394a

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor,

dimensions

ATX

305 х 244 mm

 Producer website

ASUS
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available at support page

Read the full review >>>

Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD5: review and testing

Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD5 is designed in ATX format based on the flagship chipset bundle AMD 990FX and AMD SB950. It is positioned as a solution for the building of high-level gaming, overclocking or efficient system. Also here you can find enhanced 8+2 phase power subsystem, powerful cooling system, support for technologies AMD CrossFireX and NVIDIA SLI, as well as good equipping. Let's take a closer look other features of GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD5, and its correspondence to the requirements of 2015 year.

GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD5

The specs:

Producer  

GIGABYTE

Model

GA-990FXA-UD5 (rev 3.0)

Chipset of north and south bridges

AMD 990FX + AMD SB950

Processor socket

AMD Socket AM3+

Supported CPUs

AMD Phenom II / AMD Athlon II / AMD Sempron / AMD FX

Memory frequency

2000* / 1866 / 1600 / 1333 / 1066 MHz

(*OC)

Memory support

4 x DDR3 DIMM-slots with memory support up to 32 GB

Expansion slots

3 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 (x16 / x16+x16 / х16+х8+х8)

2 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 (x4)

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

1 х PCI

Disk subsystem

AMD SB950 supports:

6 x SATA 6 Gb/s

RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10, JBOD

2 х Marvell 88SE9172 supports:

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x eSATA 6 Gb/s

RAID 0, RAID 1

LAN

1 x Realtek 8111F (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC889

8-channel sound

S/PDIF Out

Power

24-pin power socket ATX

8-pin power socket ATX12V

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

3 x system fan connectors (1 x 4-pin and 2 х 3-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiator of processor power subsystem elements connected by heat pipe with north bridge radiator

Aluminum radiator of south bridge

Extenral I/O

1 x LAN (RJ45)

8 x USB 2.0

2 x USB 3.0

2 х eSATA

1 x IEEE 1394a

6 x audio jacks

1 х S/PDIF Out

1 х PS/2 Combo

Internal I/O

1 x USB 3.0 with support of two USB 3.0 (19-pin)

3 x USB 2.0, each with support of two USB 2.0

8 x SATA 6 Gb/s

1 x COM

1 x TPM

1 x IEEE 1394a

1 x S/PDIF Out

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 x CMOS

BIOS

2 х 32 Mb Flash ROM UEFI AMI BIOS

ACPI 2.0a, SM BIOS 2.6, PnP 1.0а, DMI 2.0

Packaging

user manual

warranty card

disk with drives and documents

4 x SATA cables

1 х bridge 2-Way NVIDIA SLI

1 х bridge 3-Way NVIDIA SLI

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

ATX

305 х 244 mm

Producer website

GIGABYTE
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available at support page

tags: gigabyte   usb 3.0   esata   nvidia sli   amd sb950   atx   amd crossfirex   ultra durable 4   amd 990fx   ddr3   amd fx   etron   uefi bios   sata 3.0   athlon   phenom   sempron   socket am3+   
Read the full review >>>

Motherboard ASUS SABERTOOTH X99: review and testing

The success of the lineup ASUS TUF (The Ultimate Force) indicates that the motherboard with a high level of reliability and protection proved to be in high demand, so they are very popular. Taking into account this fact, we were not surprised that the company ASUS decided to expand the series ASUS TUF by model based on chipset Intel X99, focused for enthusiasts.

ASUS SABERTOOTH X99

The motherboard ASUS SABERTOOTH X99 will be described in today’s review. At an average cost of about $ 450, it has a number of proprietary features and benefits that will be described latter.

The specs:

Producer 

ASUS

Model

SABERTOOTH X99 (rev 1.1)

Chipset

Intel X99

CPU socket

Socket LGA2011-v3

Supported CPUs

Intel Core i7-5000 (family Intel Haswell-E)

Memory frequency

2133 / 2400 MHz

Memory support

8 x DDR4 DIMM-slots with memory support up to 64 GB

Expansion slots

3 x PCI Express 3.0 x16

40 lines

28 lines

х16

х16+х16

х16+х16+х8

х16

х16+х8

х16+х8+х4

1 х PCI Express 2.0 x4 (in mode x2)

1 х PCI Express 2.0 x1

Disk subsystem

 

Intel X99 chipset supports:

1 х M.2 (M.2 2242, M.2 2260, M.2 2280, M.2 22110)

8 x SATA 6 Gb/s

1 x SATA Express (compatible with 2 x SATA 6 Gb/s)

RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10

LAN

1 x Intel WGI218V (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

1 x Realtek 8111GR (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC1150

8-channel sound

S/PDIF Out

Power

1 х 24-pin ATX connector

1 х 8-pin ATX12V connector

1 x 4-pin ATX12V connector

Fans

3 x CPU fan connectors (4-pin)

4 x system fan connectors (4-pin)

5 х sockets for connection of additional fans (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiator on chipset

Aluminum radiator on subsystem power elements connected by heat pipe

Extenral I/O

2 x LAN (RJ45)

4 x USB 3.0

2 x USB 3.1

4 x USB 2.0

1 х TUF Detective

5 x audio jacks

1 х optical S/PDIF Out

1 x button «USB BIOS Flashback»

Internal I/O

2 x USB 3.0, each with support of two USB 3.0 (19-pin)

2 x USB 2.0, each with support of two USB 2.0

8 x SATA 6 Gb/s

1 x SATA Express, compatible with two SATA 6 Gb/s

1 х M.2

1 х socket TPM

1 х socket COM

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 x S/PDIF Out

1 х button «MemOK!»

1 х module TB_HEADER

1 х thermal sensor socket

1 x socket DRCT

1 х adapter Clear CMOS

BIOS

AMI UEFI BIOS

128 Мb

PnP, DMI 2.7, WfM 2.0, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI 5.0

Packaging

user manual

warranty card

disk with drives and documents

1 х set ASUS Q-Connectors

6 x SATA cables

1 x bridge 2-Way NVIDIA SLI

1 х set of plugs for ports and expansion slots

1 х fan of cooling system ASUS Thermal Armor

1 х set of thermal sensors

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

ATX

305 х 244 mm

Producer website

ASUS
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available at support page

Read the full review >>>

Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD3: review and testing

If you think the platform Socket AM3+ outdated, irrelevant and unsuful, the motherboard GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD3, which we will be discussed in this review will try to prove you otherwise. It is made in ATX format and is designed to work in conjunction with the processor family AMD Phenom II, AMD Athlon, and AMD FX.

GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD3

GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD3 is designed on the basis of the flagship chipsets AMD 990FX and AMD SB950, so in the first thing it is positioned as the basis for gaming, overclocking or efficient system with a set of relevant features. 8+2 phase power subsystem, powerful cooling system, support for multi-graphics bonds AMD CrossFireX and NVIDIA SLI - all this is offered at an estimated cost of only $140. Let's take a closer look of the features of GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD3, and its correspondence to requirements of 2015 year.

The specs:

Producer  

GIGABYTE

Model

GA-990FXA-UD3 (rev 4.0)

Chipset of North and South bridges

AMD 990FX + AMD SB950

Processor socket

AMD Socket AM3+

Supported CPUs

AMD Phenom II / AMD Athlon II / AMD Sempron / AMD FX

Memory frequency

2000* / 1866 / 1600 / 1333 / 1066 MHz

(*OC)

Memory support

4 x DDR3 DIMM- slots with memory support up to 32 GB

Expansion slots

2 x PCI Express 2.0 x16

x16

x16+x16

2 x PCI Express 2.0 x4

2 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

1 х PCI

Disk subsystem

AMD SB950 supports:

6 x SATA 6 Gb/s

RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10, JBOD

LAN

1 x Realtek 8111F (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC889

8-channel sound

S/PDIF Out

Power

24-pin power socket ATX

8-pin power socket ATX12V

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

3 x system fan connectors (2 x 4-pin and 1 x 3-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiator of processor power subsystem elements connected with North bridge radiator

Aluminum Radiator of South bridge

Extenral I/O

1 x LAN (RJ45)

8 x USB 2.0

2 x USB 3.0

2 х eSATA

1 x IEEE 1394a

6 x audio jacks

1 х S/PDIF Out

1 х PS/2 (for mouse or keyboard connection)

Internal I/O

1 x USB 3.0 each with support of two USB 3.0 (19-pin)

3 x USB 2.0, each with support of two USB 2.0

6 x SATA 6 Gb/s

1 x socket COM

1 x socket TPM

1 x socket IEEE 1394a

1 x S/PDIF Out

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 x CMOS

BIOS

2 х 32 Mb Flash ROM UEFI AMI BIOS

ACPI 2.0a, SM BIOS 2.6, PnP 1.0а, DMI 2.0

Packaging

user manual

warranty card

disk with drives and documents

4 x SATA cables

1 x bridge 2-Way NVIDIA SLI

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

ATX

305 х 244 mm

Producer website

GIGABYTE
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available at support page

tags: gigabyte   usb 3.0   esata   amd sb950   atx   nvidia sli   amd fx   ultra durable 4   amd crossfirex   ddr3   phenom   amd 990fx   athlon   socket am3+   sata 3.0   uefi bios   
Read the full review >>>

nvidia sli

Choose from: Reviews News
Only in the section
Search in found tag:
Site Search
facebook vk YouTube
google+ twitter rss
top10

vote

Голосование