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PNY GTX 960 XLR8 Review

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PNY GTX 960 XLR8 Testing:

Finding out the amount of FPS performance delivered by PNY's GTX 960 XLR8 will consist of running it and comparison cards through the OverclockersClub.com suite of games and synthetic benchmarks. This will test the performance against many popular competitors. Comparisons will be made to cards of a range of capabilities to show where each card falls on the performance ladder. The games used are some of today's newest and most popular titles, which should be able to provide an idea of how the cards perform relative to each other.

The system specifications will remain the same throughout the testing. No adjustments will be made to the respective control panels during the testing to approximate the performance the end user can expect with a stock driver installation. I will be testing the cards at their stock speeds to see how they stack up and will test each one to find the maximum stable overclock. The cards will be placed in order from highest to lowest performance in each graph to show where they fall by comparison. Resolutions of 1920 x 1080, 2560 x 1440 will be used.

 

Testing Setup:

Comparison Video Cards:

 

 

Overclocking:

  • PNY GTX 960 XLR8 : Core 1535MHz, Memory 1928MHz

 

As a factory overclocked video card, the GTX 960 XLR8 features a base boost clock speed almost 200MHz higher than the reference clock speeds, and has a starting point higher than both of the GTX 960 cards I have looked at so far today. This already impressive speed bin may limit overclocking potential or allow the performance margin gain to be less impressive. To overclock this card, I am using MSI Afterburner version 4.1.1. Afterburner has been a stable and reliable overclocking tool, so there should be little, if any, learning curve to get the most from PNY's hardware.

NVIDIA states that the GTX 960, in many instances, will deliver a boost clock speed of up to 1450MHz right out of the box. This model from PNY would stay in the 1418MHz to 1430MHz range throughout my testing before bumping the clock speeds. To push this card and see how good this little bit of Maxwell hardware was, I started by adjusting the fan speed on the dual fan cooling solution at 100% to keep the card as cool as possible. Knowing that both GTX 960 cards I looked at would hit between 1512MHz and 1577MHz, I pushed the sliders for the power limit up to 108% and started pushing the core speed until Heaven 4.0 would fail to run. This happened much sooner than I had anticipated, with a boost to the core clock of just +30MHz. After more trial and error with additional voltage and core clock speed, I was able to push the clock speed adjustment up to +80MHz while using an increase in the voltage of +47mv. This gave me a final maximum Turbo Boost 2.0 clock speed of 1535Mhz. Depending on the game, the maximum core clock speed fluctuates between 1518MHz and 1535MHz on the core. This puts the core speed at least right between the MSI and EVGA cards I have looked at.

The memory clock speed was increased once the core clock speeds were finalized. Again, knowing where previous cards ended up, I pushed the clock speed slider up until I got the clock speed on the GDDR5 memory to 1900MHz. From there it was trial and error with a final speed of +370MHz resulting in a final GDDR5 memory clock of 1928MHz. Again, in between the results I have seen on other cards.

If you take the time and put in the effort, you can get more from this card. I saw an overall 168MHz (!12%) Boost clock speed increase on the core and a 178MHz increase (10%) on the GDDR5 memory. Free is good.

 

Maximum Clock Speeds:

Testing for the maximum clock speed consisted of looping Unigine Heaven 4.0 for thirty minutes each to see where the clock speeds failed when pushed. If the clock speed adjustment failed, then the clock speeds and tests were re-run until they passed a full hour of testing.

 
  • Gaming Tests:
  1. Metro: Last Light
  2. BioShock Infinite
  3. Crysis 3
  4. Far Cry 4
  5. Battlefield 4
  6. Assassin's Creed Unity
  7. Batman: Arkham Origins
  8. Unigine Heaven Benchmark 4.0
  9. 3DMark

 

  • Usage:

  1. Temperatures
  2. Power Consumption



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