NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 Might Stick With 4 GB GDDR5 VRAM and 256-bit Bus – Preliminary Specs Indicate 993 MHz Clock


NVIDIA recently released two graphics card based on their latest Maxwell core architecture, the GeForce GTX 980 and GeForce GTX 970. The GeForce GTX 980 being the fastest offering while the GeForce GTX 970 hits the sweet spot at $329 US. While its getting hard to obtain these cards through retail channels, new information on the third GeForce 900 series card has emerged from Zauba.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 Allegedly Features 4 GB VRAM and 256-Bit Bus

Around a month ago, it was reported that NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 960 might have been postponed for launch later since NVIDIA was already facing issues to deliver GM204 in quantity to retail channels. With the quantity issues being resolved to some extent, it seems like in a month or two by Q1 2015, we will be getting a third GeForce Maxwell offering for the desktop ecosystem in the form of the GeForce GTX 960. While we have little information around the specifications of this card, we do have hints that NVIDIA might just be using their new GM204 on this graphics card.

Although the data posted by Zauba is a month old, it suggests that the GeForce GTX 960 graphics card will stick with a 4 GB GDDR5 VRAM, operating across a 256-bit bus interface. The clock speeds which are certainly not indicative of the final product are rated at 993 MHz for core (Stock) and 6008 MHz (6.00 GHz) clock speed for memory. NVIDIA might go for faster clock speeds especially the memory clocks pumping them around 7.00 GHz as the reference clock speeds for their desktop class GM204 cards but we don't know this for sure. As for the core specifications, NVIDIA recently introduced two mobile chips, the GTX 980M and GTX 970M. Both of these chips are also based on the GM204 core architecture but have been cut down to a greater extent.

The GeForce GTX 900M series have given us a hint at what could be the future of the desktop based sub-$300 parts. As noted in the specifications, the GeForce GTX 980M features 1536 cores with 96 TMUs, 64 ROPs and a 256-bit bus clocked at 1038 MHz for the core and 5.0 GHz (effective) for memory. The second chip is more cut down with 1280 CUDA cores, 80 TMUs, 48 ROPs and a 192-bit bus clocked at 924 MHz for core and 5.0 GHz (effective) clock for memory. Now this goes off to show that Maxwell has a lot of room for more SKUs and NVIDIA won’t even have to rely on the GM206 chip for the GeForce GTX 960 graphics card. But here’s the deal, there are two cut down parts below the GTX 970, one with 1536 cores and the other with 1280 cores. And to make it spicy, the GTX 970 also has two SM difference between the faster GeForce GTX 980. Summing up the SMs, we have the GTX 970M with 10 SM units enabled, GTX 980M with 12, GTX 970 with 13 and GTX 980 with 16 SM units enabled.

Now this part is entirely speculation but from what I can see and remember, the Kepler generation had two *60 parts. The GeForce GTX 660 and GeForce GTX 660 Ti. The GeForce GTX 660 Ti had the GK104 core while the GTX 660 had the GK106 core. Now this was a huge difference between the cards. Both cards relied on a 192-bit bus interface with 3 GB VRAM. This time we might see one or even two cards, the GTX 960 Ti and GTX 960. The price for the faster GeForce GTX 960 will almost certainly be $249 US if there are two parts while the other would cost around $199 – $229 US. However, as indicated in the data from Zauba, the card is indicated without the "TI" hence there may just be one card with a 4 GB VRAM and 256-bit bus. The pricing of the card will still be based around $249 US since the GTX 970 is close to the $329 US mark making both one of the most competitive offerings by NVIDIA.GeForce GTX 960

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 Rumored Specifications:

Model GeForce GTX 980 GeForce GTX 970 GeForce GTX 960 GeForce GTX 970M GeForce GTX 980M
Architecture Maxwell Maxwell Maxwell Maxwell Maxwell
GPU GM204 GM204 GM204 GM204 GM204
CUDA cores 2048 1664 TBC 1280 1536
Texture Units 128 104 TBC 80 96
Raster Devices 64 64 TBC 48 64
Clock Speed 1126/1216 MHz 1051/1178 MHz 993/1050 MHz (Preliminary) 924 MHz 1038 MHz
Memory Bus 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 192-bit 256-bit
Amount of memory 4 GB GDDR5 4 GB GDDR5 4 GB GDDR5 3.6 GB GDDR5 8.4 GB GDDR5
Memory Frequency 7010 MHz 7010 MHz 6008 MHz (Preliminary) 5000 MHz 5000 MHz
Memory Bandwidth 224 GB / s 224 GB / s 192 GB / s 120 GB / s 160 GB / s