Gainward GTX 960 Phantom Review – It might house one of the slower GPUs in our test, but that doesn’t stop this card from being an absolute behemoth. Looking like a portable refrigerator, the GTX 960 Phantom has one of the most unique cooler designs we’ve seen; unlike other coolers that mount the fans on top of the cooling fins, Gainward has instead tucked the fans away inside the cooling fins. It seems to do a damn fine job, as this card posted one of the lowest fan noise results in the test, but that could also have something to do with the relatively cool GPU running within. With a TDP of just 120W, the GTX 960 GPU is easily the coolest chip in our test.
Thankfully Gainward has made the twin fans within the cooling block removable, so they’re easy to slide out and clean when the dust devil deposits his load inside. The large cooler seems to have facilitated a slight factory overclock, with the base speed increased 7% to 1203MHz, while the Boost speed gets upped by the same amount to 1266MHz. NVIDIA didn’t release a reference design for this card, leaving Gainward to decide on its outputs, settling on single DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI-I and DVID-D outputs.
When we look at the price vs performance of this card, we think it’s probably the best budget performer of the pack, though AMD’s R9 380 comes close. However, NVIDIA’s better driver support and lengthier feature list gives the GTX 960 the push and a shove it needs to come in first.
- Extremely quiet
- Very affordable
- Decent 1080p performance
- Rather large cooler
- $30 more than cheapest GTX 960s
Gainward GTX 960 Phantom Specifications
- GPU : GeForce GTX 960
- GPU Clockspeed : 1266 MHz (boost) / 1203 MHz (base)
- Memory : 2048 MB GDDR5 (128 bits)
- Memory Clockspeed : 3600 MHz (DDR7200)
- Pixels per clock (peak) : N/A
- Bandwidth : 115.2 GB/s
- Ramdac : 400 MHz
- Bus : PCI-Express 3.0 x 16
- Cooling : 2.5 Slot Fan cooler
- Video-Features : HDMI
- Connectivity : Dual DVI + DisplayPort
- Product Size : 247mm x 112mm
- Product Page : Gainward GTX 960 Phantom