Nvidia's GeForce 9600 GT Tested

New PureVideo?

There's no other change between the G94 and the G92 - at least, not officially. The improvement in ROPs (a better compression ratio at high resolutions) Nvidia is touting was already present on the G92, and hasn't changed, like the improvement in texturing units (doubling the number of address processors per filter unit). The only addition is native DisplayPort support (the presence of the interface was left to the partners' discretion).

The same goes for PureVideo: the GeForce 9600 GT's implementation is strictly identical to that of the 8800 GT (PureVideo 2). On the other hand, new PureVideo HD functions have been added via the 174. drivers, which were made available to the press only for the 9600 GT. There are four improvements: dynamic enhancement of color and contrast (the exposure of each frame can be corrected via the histogram, meaning that it's calculated 30 times per second), simultaneous dual-stream video decoding (Picture In Picture is supported, though with new versions of the players), and finally the possibility of keeping the Aero interface when playing HD video.

In practice, we examined the differences using several films - we weren't able to make captures of HD films - and the only one we thought we could discern a difference in was Full Metal Jacket, Chapter 7, where the detail in the backlit shadows seemed a little better with the 174. drivers (due to the improved contrast). Even here, the difference didn't really jump out at you. That makes sense, since the masters for HD movies are especially carefully prepared, and unlike a TV signal, with HD there's not much that needs improvement.

  • tijmen007
    Nice Review, was really helpfull chosing between the HD4670 and 9600GT. Cause the HD4670 is a bit slower as the HD3850 due its memory bus of 128-bit.

  • Unicorns_FTW
    Wow, it is amazing how much AA & AF deplete your FPS on games such as Crysis and COD 4. I have a Palit 9600GT along with a E8400, and it more or less matches these benchies. Great review once again.
  • silicondoc
    Thanks for the review - helps in putting together medium range systems. Card prices have gone up now ( Feb 2009 ) after they went down during and about "black Friday" time.
    I see the lowest priced 9600GT at $90, %65 after rebate, with free Far Cry 2.
    Not bad at all.
  • ceponatia
    9600GT is a POS. It has wonderful performance, as the review stated, until it crashes to a black screen. I have had two different cards and they both do the same thing. Buy a Radeon.
  • Great, looks like I need to spend more money on a better graphics card. Thanks for testing.
  • i think gefore 8800 GT is Good!