When comparing NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 vs NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070, the Slant community recommends NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 for most people. In the question“What are the best GPUs for gaming?” NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 is ranked 2nd while NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 is ranked 13th. The most important reason people chose NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 is:
NVIDIA properly optimized the GTX 1070 for DirectX. This means that games supporting DirectX 11 will see a slight performance boost, but more-so for the upcoming games using DX12. At 1440p resolution (1440 x 2560) with the highest available settings the GTX 1070 [achieves an average fps of](http://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/1731) 98.4 for Dirt Rally, 74.2 for Rise of The Tomb Raider, 84.4 for Battlefield 4 and 62 for GTA V. This makes the 1070 ideal for 1440p gaming and the card can often provide very high framerates of more than 120 fps when playing in 1080p. Gaming in 4K is also an option with the GTX 1070, where stable and fluent framerates of more than 30 fps can be achieved on ultra settings. In 4K Ultra HD and maximum settings, [average framerates with the GTX 1070](http://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/1731) are 39 for Rise of The Tomb Raider, 53.2 for Dirt Dally, 60.3 for Battlefield 4 and 29.7 for Grand Theft Auto V. Performance can be further improved by using less intensive graphical settings.
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Pro Excellent overclocking potential
Overclocking allows you to increase the clock speeds of your GPU for increased performance. The GTX 960 chip overclocks very well and overclock results of over 15% aren't uncommon. In this case, both the GPU base clock and memory have been overlocked 18%, which also results in a 18.3% better performance in Battlefield 3 (73.9 FPS vs 87.4 FPS).
Pro Ideal for 1080p gaming
The GTX 960 holds up well in gaming benchmarks with a 1080p resolution and all games are perfectly playable. Some of the more recent titles may require you to to use medium settings, but overall 1080p performance is great. For example, Metro Last Light runs at an average of 56.1 frames per second with maximum details. Average FPS in Alien Isolation is 89.5 FPS in 1080p, and it also performs well in 1440p with an average 56.7 frames per second. Similar results can be seen in Bioshock Infinite with 90 average FPS in 1080p and 54.1 FPS in 1440p. In Battlefield 4, a result of 48.8 FPS is reached in 1080p with 4x AA enabled.
Pro Low power consumption
The GeForce GTX 960 requires a single 6-pin PCIe power connector and is decently energy efficient. In non-gaming situations, maximum consumption for an entire system is measured at about 9 watts while the maximum power usage during full load is 140 watts. For comparison, the GTX 760 consumes 167 watts during full load - 21% more.
Pro Great performance for its price
NVIDIA properly optimized the GTX 1070 for DirectX. This means that games supporting DirectX 11 will see a slight performance boost, but more-so for the upcoming games using DX12.
At 1440p resolution (1440 x 2560) with the highest available settings the GTX 1070 achieves an average fps of 98.4 for Dirt Rally, 74.2 for Rise of The Tomb Raider, 84.4 for Battlefield 4 and 62 for GTA V. This makes the 1070 ideal for 1440p gaming and the card can often provide very high framerates of more than 120 fps when playing in 1080p. Gaming in 4K is also an option with the GTX 1070, where stable and fluent framerates of more than 30 fps can be achieved on ultra settings. In 4K Ultra HD and maximum settings, average framerates with the GTX 1070 are 39 for Rise of The Tomb Raider, 53.2 for Dirt Dally, 60.3 for Battlefield 4 and 29.7 for Grand Theft Auto V. Performance can be further improved by using less intensive graphical settings.
Pro Doesn't consume much power
Power consumption of NVIDIA's new Pascal GPU's has been greatly improved compared to the previous generation graphics cards, and the GTX 1070 is no exception. In an idle situation (normal desktop usage), the GTX 1070 consumes very little power compared to similar performing alternatives. It even consumes six watts less than AMD's less powerful RX 480 card. Under gaming load, power consumption is also impressive. A testing system equipped with the GTX 1070 consumes 307 watts of power, while the RX 480 used in that identical system uses 301 watts. A power consumption marginal difference for a card that performs significantly better proves that the GTX 1070 architecture is more power efficient than AMD's latest Polaris GPU's such as the RX 480.
The GTX 1070 only requires a single 8-pin PCIe power connector with a maximum rated Thermal Design Point of 150 watts. This is great for systems with a less powerful power supply unit or if you don't have many cables available.
Pro Offers exclusive features such as Ansel and Simultaneous multi-projection
The GTX 1070 and other Pascal-based GPU's from NVIDIA offer a couple of exclusive features that aren't available on previous-generation graphics cards or current GPU's made by AMD.
Taking advantage of the new GPU architecture, NVIDIA has introduced a feature called simultaneous multi-projection. It allows developers of games and applications to improve performance when rendering multiple viewports of the same image. This is particularly useful when using a multi-monitor setup or in virtual reality where two images are required, one for each eye. Simultaneous multi-projection allows up to 16 different viewpoints and only requires calculating the geometry of a scene once. In compatible games, users of multi-screen setups can calibrate this experience so that distortion no longer occurs. Virtual reality games can use SMP to improve performance, although developers will specifically need to implement this feature in their games.
Ansel is another feature that is exclusive to NVIDIA's Pascal-based graphics cards. Ansel can be described as a very extensive 'photomode', where you can capture massive in-game screenshots of several gigapixels or capture images in 360 degrees. The player is also able to use filters, adjust camera positions, take HDR-images and share them via the built-in software.
Pro Can handle overclocks well
By overclocking your graphics card, you increase the clock speeds of the chip and memory to gain even more performance. The GTX 1070 can handle overclocks well, as relatively high boosts of over 200 MHz for both the core and memory clock aren't uncommon, without using special cooling solutions. In this case, an overclock of 220 MHz for the GPU and 260 MHz for the memory resulted in an average performance increase of 6 frames per second in 1440p gaming. Enthusiast overclockers have been able to achieve much higher stable clock speeds, some even breaking the 2000 MHz limit, which is a 25% improvement over the reference clock speeds.
Con Is outperformed by the RX 470
Although NVIDIA has announced the succesor of the GTX 960 in the form of the more powerful GTX 1060, the price point of the older 960 remains over a hundred dollars lower. This puts the GTX 960 in direct competition with AMD's new RX 470 graphics card which is available for a slightly higher price but offers consistently better performance.
Con Previous generation chip
The GTX 960 chip has been around for a while, and both NVIDIA and AMD are introducing new mid-range graphics cards in the remainder of 2016. It's only a matter of time before a new graphics card debuts with increased performance and the same price tag, such as the RX 480 by AMD.
Con Disappointing performance improvements when using Vulkan
Vulkan is a graphical API that allows developers to communicate better with the GPU, which in theory should result to performance improvements compared to the more standard DirectX 12 or OpenGL API's. The GTX 1070 doesn't particularly better in Vulkan however, and the difference with the standard OpenGL is very minimal and the GTX 1070 even performs worse under Vulkan in some cases.
Doom is one of the first (and only) titles with support for Vulkan and serves as a good benchmark for OpenGL vs Vulkan performance. At 1080p resolution, the GTX 1070 manages to achieve an average framerate of 150 FPS for both OpenGL and Vulkan, which means there's no performance improvement at all. Unfortunately, similar results can be seen in 1440p, where a GTX 1070 with OpenGL averages at 99 FPS in the standard OpenGL and 96 FPS when using Vulkan. Same situation for 4K resolution: 50 frames per second for OpenGL and 48 FPS when using Vulkan. Instead of a performance improvement, the GTX 1070 actually performs worse. AMD's new Polaris-architecture graphics cards are significantly better optimized for Vulkan compared to the GTX 1070 and other NVIDIA Pascal-based GPU's. For example, the AMD Radeon RX 480 performs significantly better in Vulkan, with 1080p results of 94 FPS for OpenGL and 116 FPS in Vulkan, a 23% increase.
Con No native support for 3- and 4-way SLI
SLI - short for Scalable Link Interface - is NVIDIA's technology of combining the power of two or more identical GPU's in order to reach a better performance. In other words, you can use multiple videocards to further increase performance. Although the GTX 1070 supports 2-way SLI without a problem, NVIDIA does not offer support for 3- and 4-way SLI. The included SLI-bridge which serves as a connector between the two cards, is only compatible in a 2-way configuration. 3-way and 4-way SLI are possible, but aren't supported. You'll have to use an older SLI-bridge found on older GeForce models and you'll need to generate an 'Enthusiast Key' on NVIDIA's website. However, NVIDIA does not guarantee a 3- or 4-way configuration will provide any noticeable benefits.