GIGABYTE GTX 960 G1 Gaming Review

👤by Richard Weatherstone Comments 📅22-01-15

The latest core from NVIDIA has seen some great improvements, not just from a power efficiency point of view but also from an overall performance perspective. It betters both the AMD R9-280 and R9-285 graphics cards in the majority of tests we ran and also ran on considerably less power. The GIGABYTE GTX 960 G1 Gaming is a stunner to look at, especially with the addition of LED highlighting which not only look the business but are also functional in operation. So what's not to like?

Cooling performance, as expected from the Windforce cooler, was exceptional. Not only that but the additional power provided coupled with this cooling meant that this card should not throttle most intense scenarios. In our testing the card did throttle back slightly from 1379MHz to 1366MHz but this will have so little effect on FPS to be noticeable and it managed to maintain a higher clockspeed for longer compared to other models upon release. So while it may have a slightly lower clockspeed than the other GTX 960 we have reviewed today, under intense gaming sessions, we suspect that this will have little bearing as this card barely throttles back the core clockspeed (Boost speed) at all while others could potentially have a lower FPS due to a throttled clockspeed when placed under the same conditions for a given length of time. This is a very important factor to consider as It is all very well having a fast core clockspeed and boost clockspeed 'out of the block', what really matters is if the card can maintain this (or come close to maintaining) this clockspeed over a given length of time. The GIGABYTE G1-Gaming GTX 960 card can.

At the time of writing, the reference NVIDIA GTX 960 weighs in at just 159.99 GBP which represents good value for money. Due to the GIGABYTE GTX 960 G1 Gaming having factory overclock and custom cooling variant this bumps up to 194.99 GBP - this represents good value, for a small supplementary cost you get a slightly faster card, better cooling over reference and quiet operation.

We loved the new cooling design regardless of whether it is needed here are not and GIGABYTE should not be overly criticised for employing overkill. The constant evolution of the design is great to see and each incarnation of the cooler sees an improvement over the previous version. The inclusion of the Silent/Stop notification on this version was a neat addition for which GIGABYTE should be commended as leaders in innovation and for this and the additional power and of course that humongous cooling design means they get our creative award. We thought long and hard on whether this card should be awarded Gold or Silver. Overkill it may well be, but should that mean it loses points? We don't think so and while it is pipped by the competition in terms of outright speed, at least in short benchmark runs (which could change given throttling), there can be no denying any gamer would be happy to have this card sitting proudly in PCIe slot number 1.

To summarise:
The GIGABYTE GTX960 G1 Gaming is a monster of a graphics card. Cool, capable at 1080p and looks immense. If you are considering a mid-range card that won't throttle back when you need it most then this has to be on your list of potential buys.

+ Good Performance at 1080p
+ Great Cooling
+ Great looking
+ Fair price
+ Innovative cooling design
+ Throttle Prevention

- Starts to suffer at higher settings
- Needs 2x 6pin power cables

Click here for an explanation of our awards at

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