|Foxconn GeForce 9500 GT G96 Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Saturday, 16 August 2008|
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9500GT-256FR3 Detailed Features
In the last section, we skimmed over the exterior appearance of the new GeForce 9500 GT video card. So far, there isn't too much excitement stirred up by this little product because of the minimalist design and single slot size. As we continue with the detailed features, the Foxconn 9500GT-256FR3 will be pulled apart for a closer look at the GPU and vRAM components.
Like other members of the GeForce 9 series family, the GeForce 9500 GT can offer native HDMI functionality if the manufacturer includes it in their design. Because HDMI audio functionality is controlled at the hardware level, there is no need for additional drivers or software. Much like the SPDIF connection on the back of a motherboard, the video cards audio out function is plug-n-play. Although Foxconn did not enable HDMI on their 9500GT-256FR3, the P/SPDIF connection is still evident at the side of the card near the SLI connection.
I am unaware if the other model SKU's Foxconn offers for the 9500 GT include HDMI, which is unfortunate because the G96 graphics processor is equipped with the PureVideo 2 engine for GPU-assisted decoding of the H.264 and VC-1 CODEC's.
Once I had carefully removed four spring-loaded screws, the GeForce 9500 GT fan-sink came apart with a light pull. Unlike other GeForce 9-series products, the Foxconn GeForce 9500 GT did not use a carbon or aluminum-based Thermal Paste. Instead, a gummy pink thermal interface material was used to mate the GPU to the fan-sink base.
The G96 graphics processor looks identical to the G92 GPU found in the GeForce 9800 GTX, but the inner workings are night and day different. Rated to consume not more than 50W of power, the G96 has also found itself inside mobile applications.
Four Qimonda HYB18H51232BF-10 GDDR3 memory module IC's are used on the Foxconn 9500GT-256FR3, yielding a total of 256 MB of video frame buffer. These parts are rated for up to 2000 MHz, and have been seen on many other models from the GeForce family. Up to 512 MB can be integrated into the GeForce 9500 GT by add-in card partners.
With the fan-sink removed, the PCB looks very bare on the GeForce 9500 GT. With exception to a few capacitors (both solid and standard), along with a couple of power management components, the surface is barren. All of these production optimizations add up to an efficient product that NVIDIA plans to market for less than $100.
This concludes our in-depth look into the Foxconn GeForce 9500 GT Standard OC Edition graphics card, which has revealed several interesting discoveries about the hardware and the assembly process for this economy product. The 9500 GT is as basic as they can get anymore, with an appearance reminiscent of the GeForce MX 400 days. In our next section, Benchmark Reviews begins testing on the Foxconn 9500GT-256FR3 against several other close competitors, but first we spend some time explain how it's all done here in our lab.