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::>Graphics cards > 2015 > 08 > MSI GTX 950 GAMING 2G

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31-08-2015


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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.


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