In many ways the new PNY GeForce GTX 950 XLR8 OC Gaming is just as impressive as its bigger sibling the 960. Unfortunately, in just many other ways this cut-down GM206 based model is not as impressive. This is because the XLR8 960 OC Gaming was a very capable video card and at a wide range of resolutions, whereas a 950 – even a heavily overclocked model – is really only meant for 1080P. The smaller bus and the smaller core all adds up to being a bridge too far for anything above 1080P resolutions. This however is no shape nor form the fault of PNY or their new GTX 950. Instead it simply is because NVIDIA have cut too much meat off an already cut-down core. So much so that even with an amazing amount of factory TLC this card is still limited to lower resolutions.
By the same token what PNY was able to do is rather impressive. They really have been able to take lemons and make one hell of refreshing lemonade. The massive factory overclock on the core and rather high factory overclock on the memory does pay dividends. The payout for all this hard work is a blurring of the lines between what a reference GeForce GTX 960 can do and what this new series can do. Considering that two of these cards will only set you back $320 and a single GeForce GTX 970 model will set you back $270… well there is something to be said for taking the brute force approach.
Equally impressive is that even though these cards come factory overclocked careful consumers will find even more potential to be unlocked. This is because PNY has upgraded many of the critical components far beyond what is usually found with GeForce GTX 950s. Basically PNY took their next generation GeForce GTX 960 and simply swapped in a GTX 950 core! That really is amazing and when paired with their new custom heatsink design, this card is as potent a performer as it is pretty to look at.
In the end the PNY GeForce GTX 950 XLR8 OC Gaming may not be right for all scenarios nor all consumers, but if we were looking to purchase a low power, low noise solution that actually has a bit of horsepower under the hood this card would be on our short, short list.