ASUS Strix Edition GeForce GTX 960 Graphics Card Review

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by Rob Williams on January 22, 2015 in Graphics & Displays

NVIDIA’s much-anticipated mid-range 900 series card is here. It’s called the GeForce GTX 960 (no need to act surprised) and it brings a couple of surprises. As NVIDIA’s “sweet spot” GPU, the GTX 960 is designed to be an affordable option that lasts the long haul, so let’s see what the green team’s latest $199 option brings to the table.

Game Tests: Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Total War: SHOGUN 2

Tom Clancy is responsible for a countless number of video games, but his Splinter Cell series has become something special, with each game released having been considered “great” overall. The latest in the series, Blacklist, is no exception, and thankfully for us, its graphics are fantastic, and not to mention intensive. For those who love a stealth element in their games, this is one that shouldn’t be skipped.

RIP, Tom Clancy.

Splinter Cell Blacklist - 1920x1080 Single Monitor

Manual Run-through: From the start of the ‘Safehouse’ level in Benghazi, Libya, we progress through until we reach an apartment building that must be entered – this is where we end the FPS recording.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Strix - Splinter Cell: Blacklist (1920x1080)

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Strix - Splinter Cell: Blacklist (2560x1440)

These FPS levels are quite similar to what we saw with Sleeping Dogs – the GTX 960 just falls short of 50 FPS at 1440p. And like Sleeping Dogs, it doesn’t take much to fix that, without making a stark difference to the graphics detail.

Total War: SHOGUN 2

Strategy games are well-known for pushing the limits of any system, and few others do this as well as Total War: SHOGUN 2. It fully supports DX11, has huge battlefields to oversee with hundreds or thousands of units, and a ton of graphics options to adjust. It’s quite simply a beast of a game.

Total War: SHOGUN 2 - 1920x1080 Single Monitor

Manual Run-through: SHOGUN 2 is one of the few games in our suite where the built-in benchmark is opted for. Strategy games in particular are very difficult to benchmark, so this is where I become thankful to have the option of using a built-in benchmark.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Strix - Total War: SHOGUN 2 (1920x1080)

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Strix - Total War: SHOGUN 2 (2560x1440)

Rounding out our apples-to-apples benchmarks, SHOGUN 2 puts the GTX 960 where it’s been most of this review – just ahead of the R9 285. Time to move onto some synthetic tests.

Rob Williams

Rob founded Techgage in 2005 to be an 'Advocate of the consumer', focusing on fair reviews and keeping people apprised of news in the tech world. Catering to both enthusiasts and businesses alike; from desktop gaming to professional workstations, and all the supporting software.

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