NVIDIA Maxwell Based GeForce GTX 950 Launched – $159 US Priced, Entry Level 1080P Graphics Card For Gamers

Hassan Mujtaba
Posted Aug 20, 2015
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Today, NVIDIA finally launches their second generation Maxwell based, GeForce GTX 950 graphics card. The GeForce GTX 950 is aimed at users who simply want to play games with the low cost graphics cards that can deliver playable performance in a wide array of games at 1080P resolution which keeping the price as low as possible in the sub-$200 US range.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950 Maxwell 2.0 Graphics Card – Play The Future at $159 US

The Maxwell based GeForce GTX 950 is NVIDIA’s newest entry in the sub-$200 US range after a wait of one and a half years time. Their previous cards, the GeForce GTX 750 and GeForce GTX 750 Ti were the first to feature the Maxwell core architecture but NVIDIA has now updated their GeForce GTX 950 with the second generation Maxwell core architecture which brings improved benefits in terms of performance, power efficiency and gives users more features that include full support for DirectX 12 API.

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950 is based on the GM206-250-A1 graphics core which is a cut down SKU of the full GM206 GPU. The card features features six SMM units that house 768 CUDA Cores, 48 texture mapping units and 32 raster operation units. The card comes with clock frequencies configured at 1024 MHz base and 1188 MHz boost, the card can further boost to higher clock speeds given the thermal headroom is available and this range will usually be around 1350-1450 MHz which is impressive for such a little card. On the memory side, the card will feature 2 GB of GDDR5 VRAM that operates along a 128-bit bus, running at 6.6 GHz and a maximum bandwidth output of 105.6 GB/s. The card is going to feature a 90W TDP which will be 10W lower than AMD’s entry level card (R7 360) but overall, the GTX 950 will be the faster out of the two. Based on the same GM206, the GeForce GTX 950 will showcase a 30W drop in TDP numbers compared to the 120W, GeForce GTX 960. The power will be supplied through a single 6-Pin connector. Display ports on the card will include the reference Maxwell configuration that includes three Display Port, one HDMI 2.0 and one DVI connector.

Now I have been explaining since a few days how the Radeon R9 370X and Radeon R7 370 pose trouble for the current market position of NVIDIA. The Radeon R7 370 retails for $149 US and the upcoming Radeon R9 370X will retail for $179 US since that’s the next price segment AMD wants to cover after the $199 US R9 380. The entry of new sub-$200 cards is great to get hands on the budget tier market which hasn’t been updated since the last Radeon 200 series parts by AMD. NVIDIA on the other hand, also hasn’t introduced any new graphics card in this market since the last years, GM107 based, GTX 750 and GTX 750 Ti. While AMD’s cards are nothing more than refresh that reuse the same Pitcairn core architecture that is now renamed to Trinidad, they do get competitive pricing which raises the value of these aging cores that support DirectX 12 API.

The GeForce GTX 750 Ti and GeForce GTX 750 have done their part in the market and truthfully speaking, they aren’t a match to the faster Trinidad based cards. The GeForce GTX 960 currently stands against the Tonga Pro powered Radeon R9 380 with both cards fighting it out at $199 US but NVIDIA is now ready to take the fight in the sub-$200 range with their GeForce GTX 950 graphics cards. While priced similar to the Radeon R7 370, the GTX 950 will end up faster than the Radeon R7 370 and on par with the Radeon R9 370X that will retail at $179 US and more for custom variants.

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Who is The GeForce GTX 950 Built For?

When it comes to entry level and sub-$200 US cards, there’s a question that who are these graphics cards built for? While everyone believes that companies make money off of from cards that are priced more than $300 US that is not true at all. The bulk of the revenue and market share comes from cards that retail for lower than the $299 US range which makes it the perfect price range for budget gamers to grab decent cards at insane price to performance value. When we head over to the steam hardware stats page, we can easily see that cards like the GeForce GTX 760, GeForce GTX 660, GeForce GTX 650 and GeForce GTX 750 Ti are very popular among gamers which indicates that the sub-$300 US cards sell more than anything else. The GeForce GTX 970 is also popular but only due to the fact that it was retailing close to the range at launch for $329 US while offering insane GPU performance against the competition (or should we say no competition) at launch.

It’s easy to say that the GeForce GTX 950 will be extremely popular among gamers given its performance to price ratio. Gamers who buy it will be able to play all the latest games at 1080P with decent amount of quality and note that I say decent, not maximum because there are limits to the maximum GPU performance you can harness out of the GM206 GPU core. The card is also aimed towards MOBA gamers who currently either have the GeForce GTX 650 or GeForce GTX 750 in their rigs and we can see why NVIDIA is aiming at those cards as seen in the steam hardware stats, their share has declined a bit in the the last few months hence the Maxwell (second generation) based core will offer users a good path to upgrade coupled with several gaming features.

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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950 Review Round-Up:

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950 Official Page @ NVIDIA.com

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950 Initial Benchmarks:

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950 Official Photos / Including PCB Shots:

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950 Product / Technology Videos:

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950 Custom (AIB) Models:

NVIDIA GeForce 900 Series Lineup:

Graphics CardGPU CoreCore/TMU/ROP ConfigurationCore / Boost ClockTDP / Power ConnectorsVRAM / Memory BusMemory BandwidthPrice
NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan XGM2003072/192/961000/1089 MHz250W (8+6 Pin)12 GB / 384-bit336.6 GB/s$999
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 TiGM2002816/176/961000/1076 MHz250W (8+6 Pin)6 GB / 384-bit336.6 GB/s$649
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980GM2042048/128/641127/1216 MHz165W (6+6 Pin)4 GB / 256-bit224.0 GB/s$499
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970GM2041664/104/561051/1178 MHz149W (6+6 Pin)4 GB / 256-bit
(Partition)
224.0 GB/s
(192.0 GB/s With Cross Bar GM204)
$299
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960GM2061024/64/321127/1178 MHz120W (6+6 Pin)2 GB / 128-bit112.2 GB/s$199
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950GM206-250 A1768/48/321024/1188 MHz90W (6-Pin)2 GB / 128-bit105.6 GB/s$149
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950 SEGM206-251 A1768/48/32TBC75W (6-Pin)2 GB / 128-bitTBC~$129

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