|Palit GeForce 9600 GT 1GB Sonic NE/960TSX0202|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Saturday, 31 May 2008|
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Palit GeForce 9600 GT 1GB Sonic
NVIDIA has been getting very good at topping themselves with each new product launch. Just two short months ago, the dual-GPU GeForce 9800 GX2 arrived on-scene and crushed the competition. Mere days later the GeForce 9800 GTX launched and offered a decent price point for a modern replacement of the GeForce 8800 GTX. But all of these high-level products leave a big hole in the low- and mid-income segments of the enthusiast markets. Everyone like to game, right?
It doesn't happen very often, but occasionally NVIDIA offers a rough diamond that compete with all of those polished gems. We last witnessed this phenomenon in the GeForce 8800 GT video card product launch. Back then, an upper-crust mid-level graphics card was handing out pink-slips to some of NVIDIA's most expensive crown jewels. So imagine the value in a card based on binned-down G92 GPU's but still delivers excellent performance with plenty of scalability for high-resolution monitors. Because it's part of the GeForce 9-series family, it can offer a vast array of multimedia capabilities, but without the cost of a higher level product. Enter the Palit GeForce 9600 GT 1GB Sonic graphics card SKU NE/960TSX0202.
In the past, Benchmark Reviews has compared GeForce 8800 Graphics Performance: GT vs GTS vs GTX. In that article, it was shown that a more affordable 8800 GT could easily beat a heavily-overclocked 8800 GTS and close the gap with far more expensive 8800 GTX. Not much later we tested the ZOTAC GeForce 8800 GT AMP! Edition HDMI video card which in many tests performed very near to the more expensive 8800 GTX. So now that NVIDIA has realized that there's a growing market of multimedia enthusiasts who aren't ready to drop coin on a top-shelf graphics solution just to have HDMI or DisplayPort capabilities. This is why the Palit GeForce 9600 GT 1GB Sonic graphics card proves that video cards don't have to be so narrow-minded.
Powered by the NVIDIA G94 graphics processor, which is a scaled down G92 GPU with half the cores disabled, the Palit GeForce 9600 GT video card rakes-in higher mid-level performance at the price of low-end graphics. The new PCI Express 2.0 interface sends data at rates up to 5.0 GBps, which then uses the memory bus to build an enormous 1024 MB video frame buffer for smoother performance and realistic textures in PC games. The 1000 MHz (2 GHz DDR) video memory on the 9600 GT communicates with a fast 700 MHz G94 graphics processor through a 256-bit memory interface. For an extra performance boost during intense gaming situations, NVIDIA has designed the 9600 GT to offer 64 stream processors operating at the unmatched 1750 MHz shader speed.
It seems like it was just yesterday that I bought my first discrete graphics card to outfit an overclocked Cyrix M2-300 6x86MX-based computer. Back in those Windows 98 (first edition) days of 1998 the term GeForce wasn't even in existence yet, and NVIDIA was called referred to as nVidia. So when I bought my first computer late that year, I would have never thought Quake II played on my RIVA TNT2 AGP video card would mark the last time I would spend money in an arcade. This was nearly ten years ago and since that time NVIDIA has developed several successful GeForce product lines, including the newly launched 9th generation.
Compared to the older PCI Express x16 bus which it replaces, the new PCI Express 2.0 interface delivers 5.0 GBps of graphical bandwidth which amounts to twice the data throughput over the previous generation. In the new generation of PCI Express 2.0 compatible motherboards, such as the Gigabyte's GA-X48T-DQ6 we used for testing, this new technology delivers bleeding edge graphics while remaining backwards compatible with older PCI Express x16 motherboards.
In the chart below, we have arranged the currently supported GeForce family of products beside the 9th- and 8th-generation parts. While the 9600 GT is the third-best 9-series GeForce product, it slips to forth in the current NVIDIA roadmap behind the 8800 GT. But here's the twist: Palit hasn't gone with the reference engineering, and the 9600 GT Sonic comes out of the gates with more speed and vRAM than any 8800 GT has ever seen.
About the Company: Palit Multimedia Inc
Palit Multimedia Inc. provides a wide range of industry-leading graphics cards to North and Latin America with a focus on service, support and innovative products. Palit Multimedia is affiliated with Palit Microsystems, a world-leading supplier in the design, manufacture, and distribution of PC graphics accelerators which was established in 1988. Palit is well positioned to maintain an industry leadership due to the vast array of NVIDIA and AMD's ATI VGA products and on-going development efforts.