It's been a very long time since my last post in this blog. Now I returned with one-to-one benchmark review of two nVidia GeForce video cards. The first one is the last year's champion for mid-range video card 8600GT and the second is current year's most favourite video card 9600GT.
There is no major improvement since last year's DirectX 10 and Shader Model 4.0 are newly equipped in 8600GT. The 9600GT also adopt the very same technology, therefore there is no graphic quality difference between these two cards, except for the speed performance.
Before going to the benchmark result, first I will show you the general comparison between these cards:
8600GT 9600GT Core Clock 540 MHz 650 MHz Shader Clock 1190 MHz 1625 MHz Memory Clock 700 MHz 900 MHz Memory Amount 256 MB 512 MB Memory Type GDDR3 GDDR3 Memory Interface 128-bit 256-bit Memory Bandwidth 22.4 GB/s 57.6 GB/s Texture Fill Rate 8.64 Billion/s 20.8 Billion/s Stream Processors 32 64 Interface PCI-E 1.1a PCI-E 2.0
In this test, I used a EVGA GeForce 8600GT OEM card and a Galaxy 9600GT Single Slot Fan card. My 8600GT actually don't run in standard speed, it was overclocked from the factory to 600MHz for the core clock. For comparison purpose, I also made a test for an overclocked 9600GT to 700MHz/1000MHz/1750MHz for its core, memory, and shader clock. Below are the picture of both cards:
- CPU: Intel Pentium D 940 overclocked to 3.60GHz
- RAM: 2 x 1GB DDR2 PC-4200
- Mainboard: Gigabyte GA-8I945PLGE-RH Intel 945PL chipset
- Harddisk: 2 x Western Digital 7200rpm SATAII 160GB
- OS: Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic SP1
From results above, 9600GT obviously outperforms 8600GT significantly. With over 60% difference for 3DMark Vantage, 36% for 3DMark06, and almost 100% in average for Crysis, GeForce 9600GT is surely a worthy successor of 8600GT. It is also shown that the performance increases quite significantly when 9600GT is overclocked. However, the performance difference is subtle in Crysis, perhaps it is because of the bottleneck with my processor speed.
Although superb in performance, 9600GT is also very power consumptive, a 600W power supply is a must as this card requires additional power (using two headed molex power cable which should be attached directly from your power supply). Also, its big size makes a micro-ATX case won't fit, therefore a mid-size ATX with cleared hard-disk bay is required.
With cheap price tag, around $140 now, no wonder 9600GT becomes a very popular card for mid-end gamers who don't have much money to buy the luxurious 9800GTX or GX2. If this price is still too expensive, nVidia offers a slightly slower version of 9600GT named 9600GS (a.k.a 8800GS) is also a good choice as it only slightly different in speed but quite much cheaper. Another more expensive alternative (but still in similar price range) is 8800GT, which is more powerful than 9600GT but with a slight more expensive price.
At last, nVidia moto The perfect price and performance combination to get the most bang for your buck for GeForce 9 series is finally proven.