Right now used GeForce GTX 980Ti video cards are selling for between 350 and 450 dollars – with stock being cheaper than factory overclocked models. Considering the GeForce GTX 1070 card (which about the same to a bit better) retails for about $550 this certainly is a very good deal for knowledgeable consumers willing to take a small chance on used cards. However, as we saw throughout testing a pair of brand new PNY GeForce GTX 960 cards in SLI is easily as good as one 980Ti card. Even excluding further overclocking from the equation these cards represent one hell of a value. Basically instead of having to take a risk on used (and potentially abused) cards consumers can spend about the same amount and not only get better performance than a stock 980Ti but get a lifetime warranty. For knowledgeable consumers on a tight budget that is a veritable no-brainer.
Just this fact alone makes the new PNY 960’s one hell of a deal and do enthusiastically applaud PNY for seeing this opportunity and capitalizing on it. In our opinion the very fact that they are willing to take such a large risk this late in a product cycle just underscores their commitment to offering consumers the best value possible. Make no mistake releasing a 960 this late in the product cycle is considered by most to be courting disaster. After all, “Everyone Knows” that consumers are not interested in old technology and only new and shiny tech will do! Yeah. No. While a fool and his money are soon parted the wise consumer does not look at model numbers, we look at performance and price. A pair of these cards in SLI excels on both fronts. Hell, even just one of these cards excels at this as there is nothing stopping consumers from purchasing a second one at a later date – as a lifetime warranty is just that: a lifetime.
Beyond ‘just’ offering a massive value this new PNY 960 series also has other things going for it. Since the X99 refresh 2016 is going to go down as the Year of the LED. New motherboards are all coming equipped with LEDs and system builders who really want to build a system that truly integrates with one another will absolutely love the built in LEDs PNY has included. It really does give a nice little accent to a system and one that few other cards from this generation can offer.
Equally important, PNY has also given us a taste of things to come with regards to their next generation custom heatsinks designs. To be precise this new design really is more than just a pretty face as it is amazingly potent. So much so that it can allow consumers to boost the already good performance all the way into the stratosphere. Honestly consumers are going to run out of voltage long before they hit a thermal wall with this new design – and the fact that is looks even better than the Elite OC series is just pure icing. We expect PNY’s 10-series to come with similar heatsinks and that is a rather exciting proposition for enthusiasts to say the least!
Taken as a whole PNY may have taken a risk, but we can see this card quickly become a cult classic amongst system builders and enthusiasts always on the look out for a great deal – especially once prices fall in the wake of the upcoming 1060. Congratulations PNY for doing what no other video card manufacture had the intestinal fortitude to do. If this series fails it will because consumers failed PNY, not that PNY failed consumers.
EDIT 07/19/2016: Today the price of this fine GPU dropped again, it is now $159 after a $10 Mail in Rebate: GTX 960 Gaming Price