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Nvidia's GeForce 9600 GT Tested

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 21, 2008 1:30:16 PM

Nvidia's first card in the 9xxx series is a mid-range model. Does the card deserve it's name from a design or performance perspective? We tell all.

http://www.tomshardware.com/2008/02/21/nvidia_geforce_9600_gt/
February 21, 2008 1:46:50 PM

It makes me uber excited for the GX2 and other 9-series cards!
February 21, 2008 1:51:18 PM

3870 60$ price drop is awesome. But how does the 9600 gt fair in pricing?
Related resources
February 21, 2008 1:51:49 PM

Just Makes me want an 8800GT 512MB, lol. still nice to see that NVIDIA is moving forward with the 9xxx series cards though.
February 21, 2008 1:54:18 PM

I wish these reviews posted benchies for other cards a couple generations back. I have a volt modded 7900GT and I'd love to know where my card stacks up. The benchies posted mean nothing to me when they only compare similar cards.

If I'm thinking about upgrading I want to know if it's worth it yet for example. And wouldn't this be what the card companies would also want? Don't they want to show people how much better the new cards are to entice people to upgrade?
February 21, 2008 1:57:30 PM

You could always look up the Video Card comparison charts to see how a 7900GT would stack in games with similar settings.

I play Oblivion mostly and it sucks knowing that my 7900GT KO 512 can't run 1280x1024 2xAA 4xAF with Bloom on and MANY performance modifications with a 3GHz E6600 and 2GB DDR2-800, and still get less than 30fps outdoors. I want a GTS 512 and step-up to the GX2 in 3 months.
February 21, 2008 1:59:23 PM

Competition is great. Newegg has the 3870 now for 185. The 9600GT for 179.99. At those price points I still prefer the 3870. Just ordered one for a friend.
February 21, 2008 2:08:02 PM

Ahhh <sigh of relief> Let the price wars begin. ^ you said it compy, competition = win for us.

I would like to see 3870 xfire vs 9600 SLI next.
February 21, 2008 2:08:16 PM

the new card looks solid in its offering.benchmarks and scores show it to be an awesome performer.
can't wait to see what the 9800gt/gts does.
if the 9600gt performs pretty close to the 8800gt the 9800gt might blow it away.hope nvidia prices the 9800 series @ 250$.
February 21, 2008 2:29:56 PM

Couple of mistakes in the article at the end. The Dual card graph and the Recap graphs are wrong and make no sense. Otherwise, nice "full" article.
February 21, 2008 2:30:17 PM

I hope that, looking at the 9 series independently of the 8 series, that the 9 series naming scheme will make more sense.

I think the 8 series names are all goofed, and nv is moving foward, ignoring the previous mess.
a b U Graphics card
February 21, 2008 2:43:34 PM

p05esto said:
I wish these reviews posted benchies for other cards a couple generations back. I have a volt modded 7900GT and I'd love to know where my card stacks up. The benchies posted mean nothing to me when they only compare similar cards.

Ask and yee shall recieve. :hello: 

Firingsquad has a 7900GS in with a wide assortment of 9600GT clock speeds and other cards:
http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/nvidia_geforce_9600...

Although, they put the 7900GS in the Oblivion HDR + FSAA tests (which the card doesn't support, so who knows what they were running with it - HDR or FSAA & Bloom?)

LegionHardware has a 512MB 7900GS in their OC'ed 9600GT review:
http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=724&p=2


February 21, 2008 4:20:58 PM

id still like to see an 8800gs vs the 9600gt

considering the gs is about 30-40 dollars less when base models are compared.
February 21, 2008 4:34:38 PM

Any rumored release dates on 9800GT/GTS/GTX cards (if that's the naming convention to be used)? Now that the 9600 is out, maybe there are more accurate rumors! Hehe.
a b U Graphics card
February 21, 2008 4:54:41 PM

echofoxtrot said:
id still like to see an 8800gs vs the 9600gt

considering the gs is about 30-40 dollars less when base models are compared.

Isn't it $20. $159 vs $179 (on newegg anyway).
February 21, 2008 5:38:50 PM

Wooo! The midrange is finally worth it now. Hope the 9800's are going to be worth it.

That was some strange graphing done at the end. Framerates for 2D in the Desktop?
February 21, 2008 5:44:46 PM

pauldh said:
Isn't it $20. $159 vs $179 (on newegg anyway).



I picked up an 8800GS from the Egg for $149.99 even.
February 21, 2008 6:06:05 PM

Quote:
for some strange reason every time a new product comes out it still doesn't make me want to upgrade. I want something exciting and new. this just doesn't do it for me.



:sleep:  Me too. Still waiting :sleep:  ....9600GT = Yawn
February 21, 2008 6:35:45 PM

If this is midrange for 9 series then the 9800GTX is going to be scary
February 21, 2008 7:16:57 PM

compy386 said:
Competition is great. Newegg has the 3870 now for 185. The 9600GT for 179.99. At those price points I still prefer the 3870. Just ordered one for a friend.



Lol.. you spent $5 more on a card that performs worse? That doesn't make any sense...
a b U Graphics card
February 21, 2008 7:40:13 PM

Shoot, Newegg had the MSI 8800GT for $185 AR last week. Much better buy than either of these IMO.
February 21, 2008 10:23:43 PM

The best price I ever saw was when Fry's had the 8800GT 512MB on sale for $70.
a b U Graphics card
February 21, 2008 10:27:14 PM

$70? LOL, Argh, I missed that one.
February 21, 2008 11:23:04 PM

Evilonigiri said:
The best price I ever saw was when Fry's had the 8800GT 512MB on sale for $70.


What? When was that?
February 21, 2008 11:27:37 PM

caamsa said:
What? When was that?

Around the time 8800GT 512MB came out. :(  They had like 2 in stock.

Damn Frys.
February 22, 2008 12:44:28 AM

rallyimprezive said:
I hope that, looking at the 9 series independently of the 8 series, that the 9 series naming scheme will make more sense.

I think the 8 series names are all goofed, and nv is moving foward, ignoring the previous mess.


I don't think there is any hope of that. In my simple little mind, the 9600 anything should be faster in all aspects than any 9500 or lower. That would make it sooooo much easier and I think it even makes more sense too. Then you can add your GT, GS, GTX, Ultra blah blah blah to separate the numbers within the series.

K.I.S.S. and I'll spend more money with company X more often. When I have to spend an hour reading just to find out 9xx cards are slower than most 8800's, it just pisses me off!! :fou: 
February 22, 2008 2:51:38 AM

bfellow said:
If this is midrange for 9 series then the 9800GTX is going to be scary



For sure. The performance should be enough to excite strangestranger up there. The GPU is so hindered in the 9600, if running full tilt for the GTX...should be interesting. Hopefully with ATI in the race now, NV won't get to cocky with the prices like they did with the 8800s
February 22, 2008 8:41:02 AM

Well it's really strange that 9600 performs that much better than 1st gen 8800GTS. It has higher clocks about 30% but then old GTS has 32 more SP. It's also strange that in some reviews in some games G92 based GPU perform better that GTX and Ultras......Driver Issues

it would be nice to see a test with older cards AND a test "clock for clock" with 9600GT, old 8800 GTS, and 8800GT. We could see how the new ROP optimisations despite their number of 16 vs old GTS 20 ROP do in games. Then we'll see if there is a major tech improvement with G92 chips.
February 22, 2008 8:50:42 AM

9800GTX isnt going to be anything special, as much has been repeated MANY times.

http://www.fudzilla.com/index.php?option=com_content&ta...

"A G92 with Tri SLI support

We learned that the new G92 based card will be branded as 9800GTX. From what we know it is a card similar to the 8800GT(S) but it has two SLI connectors.

Finally, there will be a card to replace the retired 8800GTX. We don%u2019t know how many people will go out and buy three high end cards, but you never know.

Geforce 9800 GX2, a dual chip card, will work with quad SLI, while Tri SLI works with three single chip cards with two connectors. It will be fun to compare the performance of three 9800GTX cards against two 9800 GX2 cards."


Did you really expect nvidia to come out with a super new chip when these ones work fine as they are??
February 22, 2008 9:29:19 AM

It seems that 9800 GX2 will come out in march. Then 9800 GT around april.
February 22, 2008 11:45:58 AM

Or 9800GTX, which is it :D 
February 22, 2008 12:35:31 PM

Phrozt said:
Lol.. you spent $5 more on a card that performs worse? That doesn't make any sense...


I don't see how it's slower. It's faster with AA turned off and slower with AA turned on. Really no noticible difference either way. 3870 also supports sound through HDMI so I can connect to my 60 in HDTV. Also CF is supported on both AMD and Intel boards. IMO ATI cards also have better color output. That last one is almost 100% subjective, but I find the image quality to be superior.
February 22, 2008 1:33:46 PM

I would take an HD3870 over the 9600GT simply for the better stock cooling. You can get them at the same price and the overlcock well. The pros and cons of each card are about even, but xfire scalability with intel chipsets and the dual slot cooler would sway.

However, I got my 8800GT 512 basically for free, so I could careless either way!!!!!!! :p 
February 22, 2008 2:49:09 PM

How big is this card by the way? I'm hoping to fit it in a TT Lanbox..
February 22, 2008 4:02:26 PM

Quote:
for some strange reason every time a new product comes out it still doesn't make me want to upgrade. I want something exciting and new. this just doesn't do it for me.


I completely agree. Oblivion has been out for two friggin years, and the best cards on the market still can't play a comfortable 60fps in most demanding settings. While Nvidia's 9xxx release may be exiting for some it means nothing to me. When I see a card that can chew through Oblivion for under 200$, then we can do business.

Now the Intel Wolfdale on the other hand. That has made me a little giddy. Maybe Intel should purchase Nvidia. I'm not joking.
February 22, 2008 4:19:48 PM

Wow, they are actually in stock at NewEgg, and they havent raised the prices. I think this card isnt as big of a sell out as people anticipated. Everyone is already happy with their 8800GT/S
February 24, 2008 1:11:49 AM

I need someone's opinion on which video card I should upgrade to. Would it be better to get two of 9600 GTs and run them in SLI or get one 8800 GTX 768 MB? The price is about the same for each option but I'm not sure which one would be better.
a b U Graphics card
February 24, 2008 1:53:15 AM

So when are these price drops going to affect the rest of the world? The HD3870 is still minimum $256 here.
a b U Graphics card
February 24, 2008 3:17:18 AM

Ive read the drops are US first, maybe another couple weeks worldwide. Ive said it before, if nVidia can ramp up their clocks, theyll have a killer card on their hands
February 24, 2008 7:17:50 PM

Regarding the article...

In general, I thought it was great. But one thing that I find a bit... odd is the Performance Recap at the end. While I like the idea of an overall gaming performance graph, I don't know that its results are completely reflective of the individual tests that it's based upon. I mean, is 10 FPS in Oblivion really equal to 10 FPS in Crysis?

Wouldn't a relative graph at the end be more useful? IOW, if the 8800GT 512MB was the fastest card in every test, why not show a graph at the end that reflects how each card performed relative to it in every test?

For example, if we were simply comparing the 8800GT 512MB and the 9600GT 512MB, we would see...
Crysis: 8800GT = 44.5 FPS, 9600 GT = 34.9 FPS
STALKER: 8800GT = 54.4 FPS, 9600 GT = 46.5 FPS
Oblivion: 8800GT = 97.2 FPS, 9600 GT = 91.7 FPS
UT3: 8800GT = 123.6 FPS, 9600 GT = 109.2 FPS
AVERAGE: 8800GT = 79.925 FPS, 9600GT = 70.575 (8800GT 512MB = 13.2% better FPS than 9600GT)

Crysis (1280x1024, no AA/AF): 8800GT 512MB = 27.5% better FPS than 9600GT
STALKER (1280x1024): 8800GT 512MB = 17.0% better FPS than 9600GT
Oblivion (1280x1024): 8800GT 512MB = 6.0% better FPS than 9600GT
Unreal Tournament III (1280x1024, no AA/AF): 8800GT 512MB = 13.1% better FPS than 9600GT
AVERAGE: 8800GT 512MB = 15.9% better FPS than 9600GT

So, with just these four games, it looks like there's a decent difference between simply the average of the FPS values of each game and the average of the relative difference between them for each game. The second value, though, is actually rather close to the difference shown by the Tom's Hardware Average Performance graph, so maybe they're already taking this into consideration somehow.

Anyway, just thought it might be worth mentioning. But maybe I'm just being an idiot and I overlooked something. :)  (I am a history major, not a math major. :)  )
February 24, 2008 7:57:07 PM

For me, I am already pretty content with my 8800gts oc. We'll see how well the 9800's n up fair in benchmarks and price...
February 25, 2008 4:20:51 PM

the 9600(whatever) ain't no da** 9 series card?

Until they come out with a real new architecture its an 8650 at best... :pfff: 
a b U Graphics card
February 25, 2008 5:14:59 PM

8650? Oh comeon, it does very good for a 6 series card. AT least call it an 8750. :) 
February 25, 2008 5:21:35 PM

p05esto said:

If I'm thinking about upgrading I want to know if it's worth it yet for example. And wouldn't this be what the card companies would also want? Don't they want to show people how much better the new cards are to entice people to upgrade?


While they aren't as up to date as they should be, Tom's GPU guides have as the last page "what about this other card?", which lists Nvidia on one side and ATI on the other to see comparative generations. The recommendation is to only upgrade if the new card is two steps above. Here's the one from February 2008:

http://www.tomshardware.com/2008/02/04/best_cards_febru...
February 25, 2008 5:54:43 PM

deltapapazulu said:
I completely agree. Oblivion has been out for two friggin years, and the best cards on the market still can't play a comfortable 60fps in most demanding settings.


Keep in mind that Oblivion is the Crysis of it's generation. The Witcher runs a bit better with a 3870x2 than Oblivion does. Yet, I'm so happy with my new Oblivion performance that I don't mind lows of 25 fps with ultrahigh quality and HDR.

My 3870x2 can get from 25 to 60 fps average in Oblivion at 1024 x 768. When I finally ditch this CRT for an LCD in the middle of March, then I'll give it a try at 1680 x 1050. Of course, Oblivion recognizes Crossfire and dual GPU on one PCB is Crossfire without the hassles, but it cost me $450.

If Nordic Hardware is right, you'll see an equivalent card in June for $299. The 4870 is expected to be 50% faster than a 3870 (the range of the 3870x2). The 4850 is expected at $250, but the 4870x2 will be $499. You'll need to spend more than $200 for 60fps in Oblivion.

deltapapazulu said:

Now the Intel Wolfdale on the other hand. That has made me a little giddy. Maybe Intel should purchase Nvidia. I'm not joking.


Intel's developing their own discrete GPU's, so why buy Nvidia? Intel does not need underperforming chipsets, whereas ATI had great chipsets and slightly under performing cards that they reengineered into winners. All Nvidia has are good to great GPU's and an SLI multicard interface that no one else wants to license.

a b U Graphics card
February 26, 2008 4:32:40 AM

yipsl said:
The recommendation is to only upgrade if the new card is two steps above.

Three tiers actually ;) 
February 26, 2008 5:57:17 AM

Or you crack the die on the 8600 and then step up to the 9600, as I just did. I do enjoy the performance boost that the 9600 offers. So do not shoot me down for this. I do things differently than others. I live in my own little world. Don't worry, they know me here.
February 26, 2008 6:34:52 AM

randomizer said:
Three tiers actually ;) 


so what is the time to upgrade the 8800GT?
February 27, 2008 3:22:50 PM

This card should be able to run Bioshock nicely, right?
!