The Competition, Cont.’d
GeForce 9800 GT/GeForce 8800 GT
Ah, the GeForce 8800/9800 GT. This is a card that has had a long, successful run. Our Gigabyte GV-NX88T512HP is actually the older GeForce 8800 GT, but it's architecturally identical to the newer 9800 GT and it boasts clock speeds even higher than the 9800 GT reference: 700 MHz core, 920 MHz memory, and 1,700 MHz on the shaders.
With 112 shader units and a 256-bit memory interface, this is probably the most powerful sub-$100 graphics card you can buy today, since the Radeon HD 4830 is no longer a contender.
GeForce 9600 GT
Gigabyte's GV-N96TSL-1GI runs at the reference GeForce 9600 GT clock speeds, but it boasts the 'silent cell' cooler that produces no noise at all. On top of this, Gigabyte has graced the card with a full gigabyte of RAM.
Sporting a 256-bit memory interface and 64 shader units, the GeForce 9600 GT has a reputation for being a very fast card for the dollar.
GeForce 9600 GSO
The GV-N96GMC-512H is an interesting flavor of 9600 GSO. This Gigabyte card is factory overclocked at 650 MHz GPU with 1,625 MHz shaders, compared to the reference 600 MHz GPU and 1,500 MHz shader clock rates. Even the 900 MHz GDDR3 memory is clocked faster than the 800 MHz reference speed.
Add to this a nice 256-bit memory interface, along with a completely silent passive cooler, and the GV-N96GMC-512H is a powerful representative of the GeForce 9600 GSO--much more powerful than the 128-bit G96 version. So, we must keep this in mind when looking at the benchmarks.
Diamond Radeon HD 4670
Diamond’s version of the Radeon HD 4670 sticks close to the reference model with a 750 MHz core and 800 MHz memory (1,600 effective) clock. But it’s far from a pushover. Until now, the Radeon HD 4670 has been the most powerful reference graphic card you can get without a discrete power cconnector, and with its 320 stream processors and GDDR3 memory, the new GeForce GT 240 needs to provide impressive performance in order to best it.
On a side note, Diamond’s Radeon HD 4670 will underclock itself to 165 MHz GPU and 300 MHz memory at idle to save power.