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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game GeForce GTX 960 MSI Gaming 4GB Edition Radeon R9 280X Crossfire
Cyberpunk 2077 65% 5%
Hitman 3 114% 36%
Assassins Creed: Valhalla 51% 4%
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War 46% 7%
FIFA 21 17% 47%
Grand Theft Auto VI 132% 47%
Far Cry 6 138% 52%
Genshin Impact 65% 5%
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands 136% 50%
Battlefield 6 114% 36%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the graphical capabilities of the AMD Radeon R9 280X Crossfire are significantly better than the Nvidia GeForce GTX 960 MSI Gaming 4GB Edition.

The GTX 960 has a 391 MHz higher core clock speed than the R9 280X, but the R9 280X has 192 more Texture Mapping Units than the GTX 960. As a result, the R9 280X exhibits a 138.2 GTexel/s better Texture Fill Rate than the GTX 960. This still holds weight but shader performance is generally more relevant, particularly since both of these GPUs support at least DirectX 10.

The GTX 960 has a 391 MHz higher core clock speed than the R9 280X, but the R9 280X has 32 more Render Output Units than the GTX 960. As a result, the R9 280X exhibits a 14.7 GPixel/s better Pixel Fill Rate than the GTX 960. However, both GPUs support DirectX 9 or above, and pixeling performance is only really relevant when comparing older cards.

The GTX 960 was released over a year more recently than the R9 280X, and so the GTX 960 is likely to have better driver support, meaning it will be more optimized for running the latest games when compared to the R9 280X.

Both GPUs exhibit very powerful performance, so it probably isn't worth upgrading from one to the other, as both are capable of running even the most demanding games at the highest settings.

The R9 280X has 2048 MB more video memory than the GTX 960, so is likely to be much better at displaying game textures at higher resolutions. This is supported by the fact that the R9 280X also has superior memory performance overall.

The R9 280X has 463.8 GB/sec greater memory bandwidth than the GTX 960, which means that the memory performance of the R9 280X is massively better than the GTX 960.

The GeForce GTX 960 MSI Gaming 4GB Edition has 1024 Shader Processing Units and the Radeon R9 280X Crossfire has 4096. However, the actual shader performance of the GTX 960 is 1803. The R9 280X having 2293 better shader performance and an altogether better performance when taking into account other relevant data means that the R9 280X delivers a massively smoother and more efficient experience when processing graphical data than the GTX 960.

The GeForce GTX 960 MSI Gaming 4GB Edition requires 120 Watts to run and the Radeon R9 280X Crossfire requires 550 Watts. We would recommend a PSU with at least 400 Watts for the GTX 960 and a PSU with at least 1000 Watts for the R9 280X. The R9 280X requires 430 Watts more than the GTX 960 to run. The difference is significant enough that the R9 280X may have an adverse affect on your yearly electricity bills in comparison to the GTX 960.

Game FPS Benchmarks On Ultra

GPU Architecture

Core Speed1241 MHzvs850 MHz
Boost Clock1304 MHzvs1000 MHz
ArchitectureMaxwell GM206-300-A1GCN 1.1 Tahiti XTL (x2)
OC Potential Fair vs Fair
Driver Support Great vs -
Release Date10 Mar 2015vs01 Oct 2013
GPU LinkGD LinkGD Link

Resolution Performance

green tick vs -
green tick vs -
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green tick vs -
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GPU Memory

Memory4096 MBvs6144 MB
Memory Speed1753 MHzvs1500 MHz
Memory Bus128 Bitvs768 Bit
Memory TypeGDDR5vsGDDR5
Memory Bandwidth112.2GB/secvs576GB/sec
L2 Cache 1024 KB vs green tick 1536 KB
Delta Color Compression yes vs no
Memory Performance 0% green tick vs green tick 0%

GPU Display

Shader Processing Units1024vs4096
Actual Shader Performance87%vs100%
Texture Mapping Units64vs256
Texture Rate79.4 GTexel/svs217.6 GTexel/s
Render Output Units32vs64
Pixel Rate39.7 GPixel/svs54.4 GPixel/s

GPU Outputs

Max Digital Resolution (WxH)5120x3200vs4096x2160
VGA Connections0vs0
DVI Connections1vs0
HDMI Connections1vs0
DisplayPort Connections-vs-

GPU Power Requirements

Max Power120 Wattsvs550 Watts
Recommended PSU400 Watts & 29 Ampsvs1000 Watts & 42 Amps

GPU Features

Shader Model5.0vs5.0
Open GL4.5vs4.3
Open CL-vs-
Notebook GPUnono

GPU Supporting Hardware

Recommended ProcessorIntel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHzvsIntel Core i7-3770K 4-Core 3.5GHz
Recommended RAM8 GBvs8 GB
Maximum Recommended Gaming Resolution1920x1080vs1920x1080

Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

GPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewOverview
GeForce GTX 960 MSI Gaming 4GB Edition is a special edition of NVIDIA's Performance GeForce GTX 960 2GB, created by MSI.

Overclock: Central Unit
The Central Unit now runs at 1241MHz, instead of 1127MHz and goes up to 1304MHz, in Turbo Mode.

Overclock: Memory Clock
The Operating Memory Clock while the Frame Buffer was doubled to 4GB - a gimmick in most situations, as the graphics card doesn't prove to be powerful enough to run under circumstances in which 4GB are needed.

Cooling Solution
The reference NVIDIA Single-Fan Cooling System has been replaced by MSI's Dual Fan Twin Frozr V Cooling Solution. This means the card runs cooler under load.

Benchmarks indicate a 4% performance over the reference GeForce GTX 960 2GB.
Radeon R9 280X Crossfire is a solution of two Radeon R9 280X put together using AMD'S Crossfire technology.
Check the page of Radeon R9 280X to know more about its chip.
Crossfire relies a lot on proper driver support and may suffer from micro-stuttering in lower frame rates (below 30). Benchmarks indicate the performance is overall, is up to 60% better than a single Radeon R9 280X performing by itself but at times (depending whether or not the 3D game supports crossfire or in the graphics driver) it performed worse than a single Radeon R9 280X. Expect this combination to draw up to 550 Watt though the average power consumption should be slightly lower.
Even the most demanding games will run at the highest settings.
Recommended CPU
Possible GPU Upgrades
GPU Variants