What's a guy to do when all five products in a group perform pretty much the same in every key respect?
I had some ideas related to price, based on the table of list prices on page one. Since all of these GTX 960 cards are cooled more than adequately, I figured I'd penalize the products that cost more because of their exotic coolers. MSI's Twin Frozr is massive, and MSI gave us an initial price range of $209.99-219.99. There's no reason to overpay, right? Then I went to Newegg, just now, and the MSI GTX 960 Gaming 2G is selling for $209.99. You can't count the MSI out of the running based on price.
With a starting price of $229.99 and a massive, triple-fan cooler, Gigabyte's G1 Gaming seemed like an easier target. After all, the dual-fan Gigabyte Windforce is an outstanding product, and there's no reason to pay more than its $209.99 list. But guess what? The G1 gaming is also selling for $209.99 at Newegg as I write these words. That longer cooler and third fan may not be necessary, but it also won't cost you anything more.
So I'm still basically lost here.
EVGA GTX 960 SSC
Gigabye Windforce GTX 960
Gigabyte G1 Gaming GTX 960
MSI GTX 960 Gaming 2G
Oh, sure, there are additional things that set these cards apart from one another. For instance, the two Gigabyte offerings have a second DVI port that some folks might appreciate. The MSI Gaming 2G's cooler has an LED-illuminated dragon that will appeal to folks with a particular sense of style in a way that nothing else here can. EVGA has a strong reputation for U.S.-based service and support. And so on.
But all of these cards are fantastic products. They all come with three-year warranties. All ship with more cooler than the GPU will ever need. They all cost the same. Some are larger, require more space and power, and perform slightly better. Others are smaller, require less space, and run ever so slightly slower when overclocked to the max. Which one you should choose depends on your particular tastes and requirements. That is perhaps the most boring, undramatic conclusion possible for a review like this one. But in this case, it's also the inescapable truth. Take your pick.
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