After showing off their 300 card series at E3, AMD came out ready to establish themselves as the leaders in the field of affordable GPUs. Popular among gamers for their accessibility and DirectX functionality, AMD gives you a lot of bang for your buck. However, Nvidia was not to be outdone, and now information is leaking about their new “mid-range” card, the GTX 950, that will be released on August 17th. This card is supposedly Nvidia’s answer to AMD’s R7 370 graphics card. They both currently have a MSRP of $150.
The GTX 950 is actually faster than the GTX 960, with speeds between 1150 and 1250 MHz. The 960 has a base clock speed between 1127 and 1178. Of course, this speed comes with some modifications, as the GTX 950 will have roughly 25 percent of its CUDA core disabled. Its grand total core count will be 768. The GTX 950 will use 2 DVI ports, a HDMI 2.0 port and Display port 1.2 output. The GTX 950 will also come standard with 2GB GDDR5 memory, while its competitor, the Radeon R7 370, has double this with 4 GB GDDR5 memory. Starting to see the problem?
NVIDIA is basically cannibalizing it’s own product in an attempt to drive some money away from AMD. The problem with that is most people who already want a graphics card in the $150 range have already bought the R7 370. They’re basically making the GTX 960 obsolete, and with some time to prepare, AMD will surely have a new and improved 300 series with some hardware updates that will quickly outdo the GTX.
They could also simply lower the price of the R7 370. A $15-20 markdown would be more than enough to divert people away from Nvidia’s option. Nvidia may boast of a barely comparable boost clock, but that means little with such mediocre memory. And why not spring for HDMI 3.0? It couldn’t be possibly that hard. HDMI 2.0 has a limited lifespan, and it’s poor planning to set up a card with that port. It certainly cut costs, but at the price of a short shelf life.
I actually don’t mind Nvidia cards, but in my opinion, if you’re planning to buy a graphics card for under $400, you probably want to go with the AMD 300 series, or at the very least the GTX 960. Despite some Nvidia diehards touting that this would force AMD into irrelevance, I think it’s fairly obvious it won’t. I headed over to GPU comparison website GPU Boss to compare the two mid-range cards. This is what it calculated:
In a side-by-side comparison, the choice—AMD R7 370—is abundantly clear. While Nvidia does make some fine products in the battle of hardware, gamers looking for a more affordable graphics card should go with the 300 series. The GTX’s flashy 8-pin PCIe connectors aren’t enough to mask it’s clear inferiority to it’s competitor.