September 10, 2015

Unboxing & Review: Gigabyte GTX 950 WindForce OC 2GB

On August 20, 2015, NVIDIA launched its latest entry level mainstream GPU based on the Maxwell GM206 chip, the GeForce GTX 950. Positioned under the GTX 960 and comes with a total of 768 CUDA cores, 128 bit memory bus and support for the latest DirectX 12.1, the GTX 950 is meant to arm MOBA gamers with a competitive edge - in which NVIDIA claimed.

Million thanks to Gigabyte Malaysia and its renown distributor, Ban Leong Technologies Sdn Bhd in provision of the Gigabyte GTX 950 WindForce OC to make this review possible. As NVIDIA has claimed its target audience and the type of games they are playing, we've decided to take it a little further with our usual test and see if the Gigabyte GTX 950 WindForce OC is capable of handling games outside the suggested range. Let's play the future!

(The Gigabyte GTX 950 WindForce OC retails at RM 799 at the time this article is being prepared)



Much to be expected, the Gigabyte GTX 950 WindForce OC comes in the usual blue eye packaging with the prominent features of the card mentioned in the front of the box.

Further explanation of the highlighted features (WindForce cooler, OC GURU II, Ultra DUrable 2) can be found on the back of the box.

Content of the box is very straight forward - a user's guide, driver CD and the Gigabyte GTX 950 WindForce OC.

The card has a slight resemblance with the Gigabyte G1 Gaming GTX 970 that we've reviewed previously, especially for its cooling fans.

The same fan design has been used since the G1 Gaming GTX 970, this new fan design is proven to be few times more quieter than the previous generation WindForce fan but performs almost the same when it comes to the airflow produced.

The card itself is rather small in size, making it an ideal choice of graphics card when it comes to small form factor build.

Unlike the WindForce coolers found on the higher end models, the GTX 950 WindForce comes with a large chunk of heatsink instead of the ones with fancy heatpipes and aluminum fins, though it's still more than enough to keep the card under a pleasant temperature.

Samsung VRAM is spotted on the PCB of the Gigabyte GTX 950 WindForce OC.

SLI setup is made possible with the golden finger shown above, though its cost effectiveness remains questionable.

A single 6-pin PCIe power connector is required to power up the Gigabyte GTX 950 WindForce OC.

The display output available, 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI, 1 x DVI-I and 1 x DVI-D.

Performance Test
Test Rig Configuration
CPU Cooler
Corsair H100i
Intel Core i7-4790K
ASUS ROG Maximus VII Hero 
G.Skill TridentX DDR3 @2400MHz
Primary Hard Drive
Crucial M500 120GB
Power Supply
be quiet! Straight Power 10 600W
Vector Bench Case

We've conducted our test by installing the Gigabyte GTX 950 WindForce OC to our test bench as above and each and every benchmark is conducted in a room with 30C° ambient temperature.

Performance, Overclocking
We ran a few graphically demanding games and synthetic benchmark in our possession on 1080p with the highest achievable clock speed for both its memory and GPU that is stable enough to be able to complete each benchmark with the following values:
  • Maximum boost clock of 1467MHz 
  • 7150 MHz on the memory clock
  • 1.2V on the voltage for GPU

That's 188MHz gain from the stock boost clock of 1279MHz for GPU and 540MHz gain from the stock memory clock of 6610MHz in total.

While running on its stock clock speed, the Gigabyte GTX 950 WindForce OC performs pretty well and most games is still playable even on its highest settings. A little bump to the clock speed of both GPU and memory gives a pretty significant boost to its performance in overall.


We've ran a 15 minute burn-in test on the FurMark GPU stress test utility with the fan operate under normal mode and maximum fan speed mode and the temperature for both test is recorded and populated in the graph above.

Despite of being marketed as an entry level mainstream GPU, the Gigabyte GTX 950 WindForce OC turns out to be quite capable for a card of its category. Being a factory overclocked card that comes with higher GPU and memory clock is an added plus to the card and you can still overclock it a little more to squeeze more performance out of it even though it's not as much as what we've hope for.  

Temperature wise, the WindForce cooler is doing a fine job keeping the Gigabyte GTX 950 WindForce OC below 75°C as well as keeping the fan noise at a near silent level when operating under normal speed. Ramping up the fan speed to maximum doesn't affect much of its acoustic performance as it's still quite difficult for us to catch any fan noise from a distance, but we're definitely seeing a 2°C being shaved off.

The Gigabyte GTX 950 WindForce OC retails at RM 799, a little expensive we'd say, but still pretty good price point for an entry level mainstream GPU that is basically on steroid and not to mention that a non-reference cooler is used on it. 

  • Comes factory overclocked
  • Good fan design that operates silently but able to produce a significant amount of airflow 
  • Decent performance from a entry level mainstream GPU that runs on 128-Bit memory bus
  • Good form factor that makes it an ideal choice for small form factor system

  • A little expensive
  • Limited overclocking headroom
  • Performance could be better if it's running on 192-bit or 256-bit memory bus