EVGA this week unveiled their NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950-based video cards with reduced power consumption. As a result, these new cards do not require auxiliary power connectors and can be powered entirely by a PCIe x16 slots Similar variants have already been announced from companies like ASUS and MSI, but EVGA decided to release a range of such graphics cards as well, including factory-overclocked models.

EVGA’s family of low-power GeForce GTX 950 graphics cards that do not need external power consists of four models, which is a lot by contrast to other manufacturers. The GPUs are based on NVIDIA’s cut-down GM206 graphics die (768 stream processors, 48 texture units, 32 ROPs, 128-bit GDDR5 memory interface) but use EVGA’s custom PCB with 3+1 phase VRM. The GPUs are equipped with 2 GB of GDDR5 memory, one or two DVI connectors depending on model, one HDMI 2.0 port and one DisplayPort output. 

From the four cards, two of them run at NVIDIA’s reference GPU clock rates of 1025/1190 MHz, while the other two a little bit faster and run the graphics chip at 1076/1253 MHz. In each pair, one has a single DVI-I while the other has DVI-I and DVI-D connectors. All the boards feature 6.6 Gbps GDDR5 memory. As for cooling, they use dual-slot single-fan EVGA ACX 2.0 coolers.

Unfortunately, EVGA does not mark its GeForce GTX 950 boards with reduced power consumption with any easy to recognize label, hence, the only way to distinguish the adapters without PCIe connectors is by referencing the product numbers:

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950 Graphics Cards Specification Comparison
  EVGA GTX 950 EVGA GTX 950 EVGA GTX 950 EVGA GTX 950 MSI
GTX 950
ASUS
GTX 950
Ref
Product Name 02G-P4-0952 02G-P4-0956 02G-P4-0954 02G-P5-258 2GD5 OCV2 GTX950-2G -
CUDA Cores 768
Texture Units 48
ROPs 32
Core Clock 1025
MHz
1076
MHz
1025
MHz
1076
MHz
1076
MHz
1026
MHz
1024
MHz
Boost Clock 1190
MHz
1253
MHz
1190
MHz
1253
MHz
1253
MHz
1190
MHz
1188
MHz
Memory Clock 6.6 Gbps
GDDR5
Memory Bus Width 128-bit
VRAM 2 GB
TDP 75 W 90 W
Outputs DVI-I
DP 1.2
HDMI 2.0
DVI-I
DP 1.2
HDMI 2.0
DVI-D
DVI-I
DP 1.2
HDMI 2.0
DVI-D
DVI-I
DP 1.2
HDMI 2.0
DVI-I
DisplayPort 1.2
HDMI 2.0
Architecture Maxwell 2
GPU GM206
Transistor Count 2.94 B
Manufacturing Process TSMC 28nm
Launch Date Apr '16 Mar '16 Mar '16 Aug '15
Launch Price unknown $159

While graphics cards like the GeForce GTX 950 are not used to build high-end gaming PCs, these new PCIe-less models can be purchased to upgrade inexpensive or older PCs which sometimes come without an auxiliary PCIe power connector on the power supply. In addition, a GM206-based adapter is a reasonable choice for an HTPC as the GPU supports hardware-accelerated decoding and encoding of H.265 (HEVC) video, as well as HDCP 2.2 content protection over HDMI 2.0 (which is required for Ultra HD Blu-ray playback).

Since at least three manufacturers of NVIDIA graphics cards already offer GeForce GTX 950 boards without auxiliary PCIe power connectors, it is could be assumed that the GM206-251 GPU (revealed by MSI) has been selected due to reduced power requirements. It is unclear whether NVIDIA picks such GPUs itself and then marks them accordingly, or if there is a new revision of the chip and makers of add-in-cards have to test power requirements themselves through binning.

Right now EVGA does not sell its GeForce GTX 950 low power graphics cards on its website. It is unknown at what price these units will be launched at this time.

Source: EVGA

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  • WithoutWeakness - Thursday, April 7, 2016 - link

    I'd love to see a low-profile GTX 950 without an auxiliary power connector. Reply
  • Valantar - Thursday, April 7, 2016 - link

    You'll have to wait for the next generation for something like that - a GTX 950 simply won't fint on a PCB that small (unless you make it ridiculously long). With HBM or GDDR5X and a narrower bus, though, this should be quite possible. 14/16nm should give a nice performance boost to <75W GPUs too. Reply
  • mczak - Thursday, April 7, 2016 - link

    I'm not convinced it wouldn't be doable. There's plenty GTX 750Ti with half height, and still quite short versions. Albeit they are still double-height and you get crappy (because wimpy) fan.
    A half-height GTX 950 should not be all that much more difficult to do. Certainly though the pcb would need to be redesigned (as far as I can tell, all those new "low-power" GTX 950 still use exactly the same pcb including vrms etc., they still even have the solder pads for the 6-pin power connector).
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Saturday, April 9, 2016 - link

    The 750Ti was based on a smaller '07 chip vs the 950 using a larger '06. The 750 is an up-scaled 740, vs the 950 being a downscaled 960. Although the core counts are similar, the 950 is built around a much larger and more capable GPU and needs more external hardware as a result requiring a bigger PCB. Reply
  • Kakti - Thursday, April 7, 2016 - link

    Totally agree - the only reason I'd consider buying this is for an htpc build and if I'm buying a card w/o the need for auxiliary power, it should be single slot as well. If I'm going two slots I might as well buy something a lot more powerful.

    I'm really hoping the new process nodes will allow Pascal and Polaris to get a big bump in performance in this same power envelope
    Reply
  • Gigaplex - Saturday, April 9, 2016 - link

    Glad I'm not the only one disappointed by the lack of single slot compatibility. Reply
  • DCide - Thursday, April 7, 2016 - link

    I'm not sure I get the advantage of producing models with only 3 outputs. Does it significantly improve the cooling with the additional vent space? If not, it seems this 8-model lineup could be trimmed down to only 3: 0954, 0958, and 1958. Reply
  • DCide - Thursday, April 7, 2016 - link

    Or can it do without the vents at all? E.g. Perhaps it's useful in installations where there's physical space but not an actual second slot, and an extra DVI port would get in the way.

    Otherwise I don't get it - a small cost savings doesn't seem worth the trouble.
    Reply
  • AnteaterWill - Thursday, April 7, 2016 - link

    I bought a prebuilts HP and put a 750 Ti inside at Christmas time. If I was buying a card today I'd buy that. Reply
  • yhselp - Thursday, April 7, 2016 - link

    Yet again, another 75W GTX 950 that is not low-profile... Not being low-profile totally defeats the purpose. Seriously, what are they thinking?! I refuse to believe it's impossible to dissipate 75W with a low-profile design if that's the excuse. Reply

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