It was about three years ago.
But I too had a 960 and an i5 4690k etc.
And upgraded from a 1080p panel to an ultra wide 3440×1440 @ 60 Hz. Haven't had the joy of playing at higher fps than that either, apart from VR that is.
It was almost good enough so you might just be fine , especially if you can dial down a setting or two.
The console versions of this game is limited to 30fps btw.
If you want to get technical about it:
At 30fps you have 33.3 milliseconds per frame.
At 60fps that that becomes 16.6ms.
At 120fps 8.3ms.
Meaning the decrease in delay between frames when going from 60 to 120 is half that of when moving from 30 to 60 and so on.
The higher you go the lower the actual difference becomes less and less.
Pretty much beyond 120-140 fps it would be a rather small subset of humans capable of telling the difference.
60fps might not be 'fully ideal', but it's far closer to "good enough" than less (adoy).
And the cost of more could quite quickly be more than what is worthwhile, it's a fluid concept. It will all depend on level of personal interest and available funds.
Not everyone are as insane as myself.
Or at least, need to make different priorities than a single, childless, guy rapidly approaching his 40's
Elite has room for a great variety of play styles.
It doesn't have to be a twitch space combat game.
It could be a slower pace space trucking/mining simulator, or you can go off into the billions of still undiscovered and unmapped space with the only risk is crashing with stars.
It could be any and all of them.
It is perfectly feasible to use mouse and keyboard. The game is designed rather flexibly in this regard.
Most who do enjoy this does get a HOTAS, a bit for control, and it's a great boon to immersion.
But it does take a bit to get used to.
Personally I had experience from the old 90's with wingcommander, descent, free space etc using a hotas so elite and a hotas was like coming home.
So I have not only gone above and beyond on it.
But am currently playing with not one but two $400 flightstick with a $500 throttle and $350 or so worth of pedals.
You can get very decent set of a hotas between $130-$250.
And it's not required.
I myself play right next to players with mouse and keyboard and if at all they are at best half a step behind me even in the most intense forms of combat.
And several of them outperform other players with these extras.
There really is nothing you couldn't do with a mouse and keyboard setup compared to me with my over the top one.
I just get an immense sense of enjoyment from having it, so I find it absolutely worth it.
But that's only for me.