If it's for pure gaming, more often than not the 9600GS will outperform the HD3850. Considering it's also cheaper, the 960GS gets my vote. Both close and nice cards though, so it depends on the games you play.
So yeah, 9600 wins. Its cheaper too. Its a no brainer.
that benchmark is WAY off. the reference card was a 9600gso with 768mb memory " 8800 GTS, 768 MB same thing"
my vote goes to the 9600 with the 3850 in a VERY close second.
Quite the contrary. The 768mb card doesn't do anything in lower resolutions not that 9600gso or 9600gt can play crysis @ 1920x1200 or would you want to turn on 4xAA @ 1280x1024 when it's not fast enough.
Crysis @ high uses about 380mb of vram @ 1600x1200. A 384mb GSO can handle that resolution quite easily.
I would also like to point out that Palit 9600gt sonic is actually a factory overclocked card @ 700/1750/2000. Neoseeker supposed got their 9600gt 760/1912/2168 while they got the GSO from 600/1500/1800 to 742/1858/1954. 9600gso got bigger overclock when you compare from the reference point and how that overclock is going to change some of the outcome of the benchmarks from a overclocked performance point of view.