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GeForce 9600 GT/GTS 250/GTX 260 Non-Reference Roundup

Test System And Benchmarks

I'm going to preface this test system information by pointing out that, while the CPU is an older Q6600 model, it has been overclocked to 2.7 GHz and should perform on par with a brand-new Core 2 Quad Q9400 CPU. Some readers have suggested in the comments section that the platform will severely bottleneck the system, but evidence and experience have shown that this should not be the case. A 2.7 GHz Core 2 Quad will perform well enough and allow these video cards to stretch their legs.

System Hardware
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo Q6600 (Kentsfield), 2.7 GHz, FSB-1200, 8 MB Cache
PlatformMSI P7N SLI Platinum Nvidia nForce 750i, BIOS A2
RAMA-Data EXTREME DDR2 800+ 2x 2,048 MB, DDR2-800, CL 5-5-5-18 at 1.8 V
Hard DriveWestern Digital Caviar WD50 00AAJS-00YFA 500 GB, 7,200 RPM, 8 MB cache, SATA 3.0 GB/s
NetworkingOn-Board nForce 750i Gigabit Ethernet
Graphics CardsGigabyte GV-N96TSL-1GI 1 GB DDR3 PCIeGigabyte GV-N96TZL-1GI 1 GB DDR3 PCIeAsus ENGTS250 Dark Knight 1 GB DDR3 PCIeZotac GeForce GTS250 AMP! Edition 1 GB DDR3 PCIeAsus ENGTX260 Matrix 896 MB DDR3 PCIeMSI N260GTX Lightning Black Edition 1,792 MB DDR3 PCIe
Power SupplyUltra HE1000X, ATX 2.2, 1,000 W
Software and Drivers
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit 6.0.6001, SP1
DirectX VersionDirectX 10
Platform DrivernForce Driver Version 15.25
Graphics DriverNvidia GeForce 185.68
CrysisVersion: 1.2.1, Video Quality: Very High Details, Demo: CPU Benchmark + Tom’s Hardware Tool
Left 4 DeadVersion 1.0.1.1, Video Quality: all settings at maximum, Demo: Tom's Custom Benchmark
Fallout 3Version 1.4, Video Quality: Ultra, Demo: Tom's Custom Benchmark + FRAPS
World in ConflictVersion: 1.0.0.9, Video Quality: Very High Details, Demo: Game-Benchmark
Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate BoxVersion 1.1, Video Quality: All settings at maximum, Demo: Tom's Custom benchmark and FRAPS
3DMark Vantage                                Version: 1.0.1, Demos: Performance, High, and Extreme Presets