Duel: GeForce 9600 GT vs. HD 3870
To give you a more precise idea of how the GeForce 9600 GT compared to one of its direct rivals, the Radeon HD 3870, we brought all the performance scores of those two cards together, then calculated the spread.
As can be seen clearly, STALKER and Age of Empires III are the exceptions: the only games for which the GeForce 9600 GT managed to edge the HD 3870. In all the other cases, the HD 3870 was fairly clearly ahead of its rival, with spreads of 13 to 15% with Call of Duty 4 and World In Conflict, and smaller ones with Unreal Tournament 3 and Supreme Commander.
The situation was reversed once the filters were enabled, even though the spreads weren't as wide. In four games, the HD 3870 kept the advantage or was only slightly behind the 9600 GT. Two games gave the card an especially strong advantage in filter mode, with a difference of more than 20%: Oblivion and Supreme Commander.
I see the lowest priced 9600GT at $90, %65 after rebate, with free Far Cry 2.
Not bad at all.