Nvidia GTX 960: Performance and specs analysis

With the launch of the two new GTX 900 Maxwell cards, the GTX 970 and GTX 980, Nvidia is planning to bring a lower-end “combatant” in the battle against AMD’s Radeon series, this October. The Geforce GTX 960 will complete a trio of graphics cards that are aiming to come on top in the never ending Nvidia vs AMD war. In terms of the GPU this upcoming card will be featuring, the possibilities are numerous. The first theories are that it might be housing a GM206 GPU or a stripped down GM204 with more disabled SMMs and a smaller memory interface. Videocardz.com¬†announced a while back that we will see four SKUs (Stock Keeping Units) to come along with the GM204 Maxwell GPU, and so far there have been only two: the GTX 970 and GTX 980.

As the GM204 is a brand new chip, it features an entirely new floorplan. It is a proven fact that numerous GM204 cores will come out of the manufacturing line with defects, until all the details are sorted out. These malfunctioning segments will be disabled and the chip will be sold as it is. An example for this is set by the GTX 970, which has three SMM units disabled due to these manufacturing inaccuracies, while the Radeon R9 290 has four computing units disabled for the same reason. It is a well known occupational habit if you will, practiced by many giant manufacturers, including Intel. Talking about the future GTX 960, regardless of the GPU that will be driving this graphics card (the GM204 or GM206), it is safe to say that the card will be ranked under the GTX 970 in terms of performance output. This automatically implies that it will come with a smaller price tag.

The GTX 960 will probably have a 10 SMM configuration, in contrast with the 16 SMM units of the GTX 970, and a cut-down memory interface of 192 bit from the original 256 its stronger brother possesses. The predicted specs should be as follows:

CUDA Cores : 1280
Memory Interface : 192bit
Memory : 3GB GDDR5 at 7Gbps

The GTX 960 should be a chunked off version of the GTX 970 with a 20% smaller output. It should cost around $250 and will be placed between the GTX 770 and GTX 780 in terms of performance. All in all, the GTX 960 will be a good deal for what it promises to offer.