|Foxconn GeForce 9500 GT G96 Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Saturday, 16 August 2008|
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Foxconn 9500GT-256FR3 Conclusion
Benchmark Reviews begins the conclusion section by rating the product presentation. Normally, most manufacturers do a decent enough job at dressing up the retail package with nice images and helpful specification. However, when your retail package is just barely bigger than a 5.25" Optical Drive you aren't left with too many options. Foxconn has done what they could with the 9500GT-256FR3 packaging, but the lack of product specifications leave a lot to be desired. They do manage to tout the 60+ awards they've received in the past six months (Benchmark Reviews awarded the FOXCONN GeForce 9800 GTX Standard OC Edition 9800GTX-512N, but I guess we aren't important enough).
Next we rate the product appearance for Foxconn's GeForce 9500 GT Standard OC Edition video card. This is where things become a little rough, since we're judging a graphics card that looks very similar to the GeForce MX 440 from many years back. I'm not suggesting that every new product NVIDIA makes should have a full-cover plastic shroud, but I would really think that the fan-sink could have been a little more modern in design. Perhaps a simple cooling module reminiscent of the GeForce 6800 or 7900 series.
In terms of product construction, NVIDIA has made it very difficult to score the 9500 series with a low rating. The PCB is quite barren, with only a few capacitors and regulators matched beside four DRAM modules. In all seriousness, the 9500 series is as low-tech as I've seen a video card in many years. On the downside, Foxconn had a quality control issue with this particular card because two of the four securing screws for the fan-sink were not fully fastened and allowed the heatsink component to be uneven on the GPU. With all of the bad publicity this chip is getting for heat-related failures, it would be worth-while to ensure these are built correctly by add-in card partners.
In regards to product functionality, Foxconn's GeForce 9500 GT Standard OC Edition video card offers modest performance in multimedia application and low performance in 3D gaming. The retail package claims that "Gaming performance at its best for titles like Race Driver GRID, Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures, and Spore without costing a bundle." Well I played Race Driver GRID along with Crysis and World in Conflict, and the experience was certainly not "at its best". However, performance on titles with low-demand graphics such as Age of Conan, Spore, Monopoly, and Solitaire were all acceptable. In all fairness, NVIDIA does enable SLI for the 9500 series.
For a company a giant as Foxconn, it surprises me that their products aren't more readily available to the North American market. You'll be hard-pressed to find the Foxconn GeForce 9500 GT Standard OC Edition video card 9500GT-256FR3 listed for sale at any of the major online retailers, however our PriceGrabber tool found a few other brands selling for around $70. NewEgg also lists several brands of the 9500 GT, which sell for between $55-$80. Considering the suggested retail price of $99 it should be hard to identify the value.
In conclusion, I feel that the Foxconn GeForce 9500 GT offers HTPC and multimedia builders a quality graphics card for home theater and video applications when gaming is not a priority. For most graphics cards functionality is measured with video games performance alone. However, with the GeForce 9500 GT you have to recognize that it's a product made for a particular purpose. The Foxconn GeForce 9500 GT includes D-Sub, DVI, and S-Video/Component Video connections, but I feel that native HDMI video output would have really added significant value to the product. The GeForce 9500 GT can be paired into an SLI set for added performance, but the pricetag for the added performance would put it on par with the much more powerful GeForce 9800 GTX. Ultimately the 9500 series is good for multimedia and low-demand video games, but if HDMI and faster frame rates are desired you'll want to move up the GeForce product line for another solution.
+ Inexpensive High Definition Multimedia graphics
- Very low performance in modern 3d video games
Final Score: 7.85 out of 10.
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