CeBIT 2008 - Previewing The Trends

MSI Geforce 9600 GT (N9600GT-T2D1G Und N9600GT-T2D-OC)

MSI Geforce 9600 GT (N9600GT-T2D1G and N9600GT-T2D-OC)

Nvidia is filling up the price range between €130 and €230 with a variety of products. The new Geforce 9600 GT models (G94-300) and 8800 GS (G92-150) close the gaps between the Geforce 8600 and the 8800 GT/GTS 512. The new and filled out product line will make it hard for rival AMD/ATI to find a price nice in which to attack. After all, Nvidia is enabling its board partners to offer a full three products below the €150 mark which was previously the lone domain of the Radeon HD 3850. These are the Geforce 8800 GS with the pared-down 192 Bit memory interface, the Geforce 8800 GT with 256 MB of video memory and the new Geforce 9600 GT.

MSI makes two cards based on the 9600 GT GPU, both featuring PureVideo functionality for decoding HD-DVDs and Blu-ray discs with HDCP, lowering CPU load. As usual, MSI is offering a model with the "OC" designator at the end of its model name, identifying it as a model running at higher clock speeds. While the stock frequencies of a 9600 GT are 650 MHz (GPU), 900 MHz (memory) and 1625 (shader), MSI's OC model runs at 700/950/1750 MHz. The card features a 256 Bit memory interface and GDDR3 memory modules with a 1 ns access time. It is compatible with OpenGL 2.1 as well as DirectX 10 with Shader Model 4.0 and contains 64 stream processors (8800 GT has 112, GTS512 comes with 128). Under full load the card draws roughly 95 Watts and requires a 6-pin PCI Express power connector. The cooler is a single-slot solution similar to that found on the Geforce 8800 GT. Since the 9600 GT's power consumption is 15 Watts lower, it should remain cooler and thus a little quieter.

The second model carries the designation N9600GT-T2D1G. In this case, the clock speeds are less interesting, as they conform to Nvidia's specifications. Instead, the 1G in the name should pique your interest, as MSI equips its card with 1 GB of GDDR3 video memory, ensuring that the memory size will not be a bottleneck even playing games using high-res textures at high resolutions with anti aliasing enabled. Another interesting feature is the card's fan, a dual-slot solution with some holes in the back slot bracket. A large fan sits in the middle of the card, drawing some of the warm ambient air from inside the case and pushing it outside.

MSI is showing its new products in Hall 21 at stand B34 .