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PNY GTX 960 XLR8 Review

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PNY GTX 960 XLR8 Testing:

To start with, I have to say I am impressed with what PNY has brought to the table with its GTX 960 XLR8. There is not a single game in my testing where it fell below 35FPS at 1920x1080 using moderately high settings. Running at the stock clock speed (for this card at least), it was a higher performer than the GTX 960 comparison card, and in some games better than the R9 285. From a performance perspective, the card is spot on. Of course, you can use NVIDIA's ecosystem to tune and tweak the settings to get the highest FPS possible, using tools like GeForce Experience that has a library of settings for a plethora of the most popular games being played today. If tweaking the settings does not offer enough performance, you can add a second GTX 960 XLR8 in an SLI configuration to get that FPS fix.

PNY has done its homework and delivered a card that performs well, thanks to the high base core clock frequency. But it also put the GM206 core into a smaller form factor PCB. This smaller form factor gives you the option of using the card in a smaller chassis, and would be perfect for a LAN box. The GTX 960 XLR8 also benefits from the inclusion of a fairly large dual fan, dual heat pipe cooling solution that keeps the core cool, but also keeps the memory cool thanks to the airflow over the custom VRM/memory cooler. Both of these considerations allow the card to run cool and quiet while delivering the images to the screen. I was surprised at just how quiet the XLR8 cooling solution was when the fan speed was ramped up to 100%.

Running a custom PCB and good cooling solution usually allows for improved overclocking margins on the core and memory. In this case, I was able to wrench a 12% improvement on the core and a 10% improvement on the GDDR5 memory clock speeds that helped the overall FPS results in each and every test.

Priced at $229, the PNY GTX 960 XLR8 is neither the most nor least expensive option for the GTX 960 on the market at $30 over the launch price of the reference cards. However, for that extra cash it is a factory overclocked card that does indeed deliver a higher level of performance for that additional cost. PNY's GTX 960 XLR8 does the job it was intended to do and comes with a lifetime warranty. Not a bad deal at all!

 

Pros:

  • Factory overclocked
  • Custom build
  • Cooling
  • High Boost clock
  • Gaming performance
  • NVIDIA ecosystem

 

Cons:

  • Power consumption


 

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