The ASUS GTX 950 Strix
For our review of the GeForce GTX 950 I used the ASUS GTX 950 Strix that NVIDIA passed to us initially. We also have units from Zotac and EVGA that will warrant a quick round up, so stay tuned for that.
The ASUS Strix derivative of the GTX 950 is going to retail for an MSRP of $169, but includes the added benefits of higher clocks and a fantastic custom cooling solution to the mix for that $10 difference over reference MSRP. These are some noticeable overclocks as well; the base clock speed is 1165 MHz while the Boost clock speed is at 1355 MHz!
The DirectCU II cooler on the GTX 950 uses a pair of fans that, in typical Strix design, don’t rotate until you get to a certain temperature level on the GPU, keeping the entire card silent during idle / Windows mode and even some of your more basic gaming scenarios. Two 8mm heatpipes draw heat from the GPU to the outside fins on the cooler. ASUS claims that the GPU runs a full 7C cooler than the reference design using their upgraded heatsink solution and our experience with this design is really quite good as well.
ASUS has integrated a 5-phase Super Alloy Power system for stability and reliability for overclocking the GPU further (which is definitely possible on this chip).
Our view of the backside of the card shows us a shorter PCB design than the front cooler would indicate. A single 6-pin power connector rests at the top of the card for the connection to your power supply.
Oh, and what’s this? The GeForce GTX 950 supports 2-Way SLI! While the GTX 650 and the GTX 750 Ti did not including support for NVIDIA’s multi-GPU technology, the company decided to include it here with the GTX 950. (Keep in mind that the GTX 650 Ti DID in fact support SLI though.)
The display output selection from ASUS on the GTX 950 strays from the typical NVIDIA pattern since the introduction of the GTX 980 and GTX 970. Instead it includes a two DL-DVI porst, one DisplayPort outputs and a full-size HDMI port. This should give users of the GTX 950 plenty of options for connecting an array of displays.