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Four GeForce 9600 GT Cards Compared

Passively Cooled and Overclocked

The GeForce 9600 GT (G94) was the first graphics chip in Nvidia’s 9-series. Although it only has 64 stream processors, it is just 20% slower than the GeForce 8800 GTS 512 and can easily compete with the older 320 and 640 MB 8800 GTS models.

It’s available with a variety of different memory sizes—512 MB is standard, but almost every vendor offers models with 1 GB and even the first special models with 2 GB are already on the market. Recent tests have shown is that there is almost no difference between 512 and 1,024 MB; you can only tell when running two 3D boards in parallel using SLI at high resolutions. With current graphics drivers, the 9600 GT supports the calculations of extended physics effects in games through Nvidia’s optimized PhysX technology. It can also do calculations on the GPU using Folding@Home, and with the Badaboom video encoder, it converts videos faster than a CPU.

In this test we have four unique models with some nice modifications.

The Asus EN9600GT Silent is cooled passively, while the MSI Hybrid Freezer switches between passive and active cooling depending on chip temperature. Palit delivers an overclocked GeForce 9600 GT Sonic version with a quiet double-slot cooler and small air channel. But our focus is on its HDMI port and DisplayPort outputs. Sparkle increases speed even more. The company has a super-quiet double fan on its Calibre 9600 GT and a button to choose from three different speeds.

  • JAYDEEJOHN
    So it beats the GTX eh? And you can find brand new nVidia drivers, but no ATI ones? And wheres the 4670? Got halfway thru, decided to skip the rest
    Reply
  • jaragon13
    What about the HD 4850? It costs less than the "last 8800 GTS 512's"
    Asus sells them for what? 170 dollars,free shipping on Newegg?
    Maybe I even saw one @ 160...
    Reply
  • Sus-penders
    Why would anyone get an 8800GTS for $179 when you can buy a better performing HD 4850, for LESS money??? ATI still exists, you know...
    Reply
  • Ryun
    No offense, as the article and tests run were good (I especially like the overall FPS charts), but this information would have been more pertinent, like, 6 months ago.
    Reply
  • Niva
    Uh, I don't get what the people about are upset for. It's a good article, I enjoyed reading and seeing where these cards fit into the scheme of things. I know ATI has made a comeback with their recent cards but until their drivers are completely open and stable I'll stick with nVidia myself so I especially enjoyed this article. Thanks Toms!
    Reply
  • L1qu1d
    Waste of 3 mins, it makes very little sense, the 9600 GTs in sli are around the 280 GTX in performance, yet it manages to get destroyed by the 4870.

    This article would've meant something around the time the cards came out...now I'd much rather like to see the 4850 cards compared or 260s or w.e else that is this gen.
    Reply
  • MooseMuffin
    NivaUh, I don't get what the people about are upset for. It's a good article, I enjoyed reading and seeing where these cards fit into the scheme of things. I know ATI has made a comeback with their recent cards but until their drivers are completely open and stable I'll stick with nVidia myself so I especially enjoyed this article. Thanks Toms!
    Exactly what is open about nvidia's drivers?
    Reply
  • wh3resmycar
    nobody reads the introduction anymore?
    Reply
  • warezme
    warms my heart to see the old 8800GTX included in this test list.

    It's amazing this ancient cards at default speed still sit in the middle of the pack and quickly rise to the top when you turn up AA and texture quality up, beating most every other card cept for 260GTX and SLI and CF rigs.

    It also explains why a pair of old 8800GTX's in SLI OC'ed to at least Ultra speeds on a fast rig are still very hard to out perform by any single card (period)
    Reply
  • There is a reason to get the 9600GT over the 8800GT, power consumption. Look at the numbers, the 9600GT has 1/2 the number of shaders (hence a smaller die). I know the shader clock runs a little faster but a good quality stock PSU with 300W (real, like antec, corsair, etc) should be fine for running it.
    Reply