The Nvidia GeForce GTX 960 was released in 2015 as a mid-range graphics card for gaming and media creation. Now years later, in 2023, you may be wondering if the aging GTX 960 is still a viable option or if it’s time to upgrade.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take an in-depth look at the GTX 960’s specs and performance to help you decide if it’s still worth buying in 2023.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: The GTX 960 can still deliver playable framerates at 1080p in many modern games but struggles with newer demanding titles.
It lacks support for newer gaming technologies. Overall it’s starting to show its age, so for a great 1080p gaming experience, a newer budget card like the GTX 1660 may be a better option.
GTX 960 Overview and Specs
The GTX 960 was a popular mid-range graphics card known for its excellent performance and affordability.
In this section, we will take a detailed look at the release date, original pricing, performance, and key specifications of the GTX 960.
Release date and original pricing
At that time, it offered a great balance between price and performance, making it a popular choice among gamers on a budget.
It’s important to note that prices may vary depending on the region and availability.
However, with the introduction of newer graphics cards over the years, the price of the GTX 960 has significantly dropped, making it an attractive option for those looking to upgrade their gaming rig without breaking the bank.
Performance when new
When it was first released, the GTX 960 delivered impressive performance for its price range.
It was capable of running most games at 1080p resolution with medium to high settings, providing a smooth and enjoyable gaming experience.
For example, in benchmark tests, the GTX 960 consistently achieved an average frame rate of 60 FPS in popular titles like “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt” and “Grand Theft Auto V” at 1080p resolution.
While it may not have been the most powerful card on the market, it was certainly capable of handling demanding games at a reasonable level of detail.
Key specs and features
The GTX 960 was based on NVIDIA’s Maxwell architecture and featured 1024 CUDA cores, 2GB of GDDR5 memory, and a 128-bit memory interface. It had a base clock speed of 1127 MHz, which could be boosted to 1178 MHz in certain models.
One of the notable features of the GTX 960 was its power efficiency.
The card had a TDP (Thermal Design Power) of only 120 watts, which allowed it to run cool and quiet even under heavy load. This made it an ideal choice for gamers who wanted a powerful graphics card without having to upgrade their power supply.
In terms of connectivity, the GTX 960 offered a variety of options, including DisplayPort, HDMI, and DVI ports, allowing users to connect multiple monitors or devices simultaneously.
Overall, the GTX 960 was a solid graphics card that offered good value for its price when it was first released.
While it may not be as powerful as the latest generation of GPUs, it can still handle modern games at 1080p resolution with decent performance.
If you’re on a budget or looking for a secondary gaming rig, the GTX 960 can be a worthwhile investment in 2023.
GTX 960 Performance in 2023
The GTX 960 was a popular mid-range graphics card known for its impressive performance at the time of its release.
However, with the rapid advancement of technology, many gamers are wondering if the GTX 960 is still worth it in 2023.
Let’s take a detailed look at its performance in today’s gaming landscape.
Benchmark performance in modern games
When it comes to benchmark performance, the GTX 960 still holds its ground in 2023.
While it may not be able to handle the most demanding AAA titles at ultra settings, it is more than capable of running modern games at medium to high settings with smooth framerates.
Its 2GB or 4GB VRAM options provide sufficient memory for most gaming scenarios, ensuring a lag-free gaming experience for casual and mid-range gamers.
According to benchmark tests conducted by TechSpot, the GTX 960 consistently delivers solid performance in popular titles such as Fortnite, Apex Legends, and Overwatch.
It maintains a steady framerate of around 60 FPS at 1080p resolution, which is more than satisfactory for most gamers.
Expected framerates in popular titles
When it comes to specific framerates in popular titles, the GTX 960 performs admirably, considering its age.
Even in more demanding titles like Cyberpunk 2077 or Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, you can still achieve playable framerates at 1080p resolution by dialing down the graphics settings.
It’s important to note that the actual framerates may vary depending on the rest of your system’s specifications, such as your CPU and RAM.
However, the GTX 960 remains a reliable choice for gamers on a budget who want to enjoy a smooth gaming experience without breaking the bank.
Performance comparison to newer budget cards
While the GTX 960 may not be the latest and greatest graphics card on the market, it still holds its own against newer budget cards.
When compared to cards like the GTX 1650 or the RX 5500 XT, the GTX 960 offers comparable performance in many cases.
According to a comprehensive comparison by GamingScan, the GTX 960 often outperforms or matches the newer budget cards in terms of gaming performance.
This makes it a viable option for gamers who are looking to upgrade their system without breaking the bank.
Features and Capabilities
DirectX 12 and Vulkan support
The GTX 960 may not be the latest graphics card on the market, but it still packs some impressive features and capabilities.
One of its notable strengths is its support for DirectX 12 and Vulkan, the latest graphics APIs.
These APIs provide developers with enhanced tools and features to optimize their games and applications for better performance and visual quality.
With DirectX 12 and Vulkan support, the GTX 960 can handle advanced rendering techniques and deliver smooth gameplay in modern titles that utilize these APIs.
Ray tracing and DLSS capabilities
While the GTX 960 does not have dedicated hardware for real-time ray tracing, which has become a standard feature in newer graphics cards, it can still benefit from software-based ray tracing techniques.
Many game developers have implemented ray tracing support through software updates, allowing the GTX 960 to simulate realistic lighting and reflections in games that support this feature.
Additionally, the GTX 960 is compatible with NVIDIA’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) technology, which uses AI algorithms to improve performance and image quality in supported games.
Video encoding and streaming performance
Another area where the GTX 960 shines is its video encoding and streaming capabilities.
With its built-in hardware encoder, the GTX 960 can efficiently encode video footage in real time, making it an excellent option for content creators and streamers.
Whether you’re capturing gameplay footage or streaming your favorite games, the GTX 960 can handle the task without putting a significant strain on your CPU.
This allows for smoother gameplay and higher-quality video streams.
Availability and Pricing
New vs used pricing today
When considering whether the GTX 960 is worth it in 2023, one crucial factor to examine is the availability and pricing of both new and used units.
As this GPU was released several years ago, finding brand-new models may be a challenge. However, the used market can offer potential savings for those on a budget.
Currently, the pricing for new GTX 960 models is likely to be higher than when it was first released.
This is due to several factors, such as the limited supply and the demand from individuals looking for an affordable option for their gaming needs. It’s important to keep in mind that prices may vary depending on the retailer or seller.
If you are considering purchasing a used GTX 960, it’s essential to research and compare prices from different sellers and platforms.
However, it’s crucial to exercise caution and ensure you are buying from a reputable seller with positive feedback.
Availability and deals
As previously mentioned, finding brand-new GTX 960 models may be challenging in 2023. However, that doesn’t mean they are entirely unavailable.
Some online retailers or local computer stores may still have a limited stock of new units. It’s worth checking their websites or contacting them directly to inquire about availability.
When it comes to deals and discounts, keeping an eye on promotional periods or special sales events can be beneficial. Retailers often offer discounts on older GPU models to make room for newer releases.
Additionally, subscribing to newsletters or following the social media accounts of hardware retailers can help you stay updated on any potential deals or sales.
Value comparison to other options
While the GTX 960 may have been a popular choice in its prime, it’s important to compare its value to other options available in the market today.
Graphics card technology has advanced significantly over the years, and newer models offer improved performance and features.
When comparing the GTX 960 to newer GPUs, such as the GTX 1660 or the RTX 2060, it’s clear that the latter options offer superior performance and support for newer technologies like ray tracing. However, the GTX 960 can still handle many modern games at 1080p resolution with reasonable settings.
Ultimately, the decision of whether the GTX 960 is worth it in 2023 depends on your specific needs and budget. If you are on a tight budget and primarily play older or less demanding games, the GTX 960 may still be a viable option.
However, if you are looking for the best performance and compatibility with the latest games and technologies, it may be worth considering newer GPU options.
The GTX 960 was an impressive mid-range card when it launched, but newer budget options like the GTX 1660 and RX 570 now offer better performance and feature sets.
The 960 still manages playable framerates in many titles but struggles in newer games. Overall, the GTX 960 is starting to show its age in 2023.
It can be a very affordable option if found used, but for smooth 1080p gaming, a newer budget card may be worth the small additional cost.
For medium settings in modern games at 1080p, the GTX 1660 or RX 580 are better choices.