by Rob Williams on March 31, 2008 in Graphics & Displays
NVIDIA’s 9600 GT card is a great offering for the price range, but ASUS ups the ante by offering a TOP version that adds 70MHz to the core and 100MHz to the memory. Add in HDMI support and the ability to overclock the card even higher… then the EN9600GT TOP proves to be a great offering.
Each graph for our benchmarking results are labeled with the resolution that the game was played at, while omitting secondary settings such as Anti-Aliasing, Anisotropic Filtering, texture quality, et cetera. To view all specific settings that we used, please refer to our testing methodology page, where we have screenshots for each game.
It’s not often that a game comes along that truly pushes our hardware to the utmost limit. Crysis is one of those few games, and that will be the case for at least the next year. Don’t believe me? Boot up your top-end machine, max out your resolution and set the graphics to “Very High”. I guarantee tears will be shed within a few seconds of loading a level.
The level we chose here is Onslaught, also known as level five. We begin out in a tunnel, but what’s important is that we are in control of a tank. What could be more fun? Our run through consists of leaving the tunnel and hitting the other side of the battlefield, killing six or seven enemy tanks along the way.
It goes without saying that any level in Crysis would make for a great benchmark, but this one in particular is gorgeous. Using the “Medium” settings, the game looks spectacular and is playable on all of our graphic cards, so we stick with it. Throughout the level, there is much foliage and trees and also large view-distances. Explosions from the tanks is also a visual treat, making this one level I don’t mind playing over and over, and over.
Settings: Due to the intensiveness of the game, no AA is used at any resolution, and the secondary settings are all left to Medium.
Our EN9600GT shined throughout all of our testing, except for the 2560×1600 setting, where the EAH3850TOP managed to pull ahead by an incredibly small 0.1FPS. Personally, I find 15 – 20 FPS to be fine for playing this game, so considering that our sub-$200 GPU managed to run the game at the highest resolution possible and still remained fully playable… it’s an impressive feat.
Call of Duty 4
While Crysis has the ability to bring any system to its knees with reasonable graphic settings, Call of Duty 4 is a title that looks great no matter what setting you choose, even if you have it running well! It’s also one of the few games on the market that will benefit from having more than one core in your machine, as well.
The level chosen here is The Bog, for the simple fact that it’s incredibly intensive on the system. Though it takes place at night, there is more gunfire, explosions and specular lighting than you can shake an assault rifle at.
Our run consists of proceeding through the level to a point where we are about to leave a building we entered a minute before, after killing off a slew of enemies. The entire run-through takes about four minutes on average.
Settings: High details are used overall throughout all tests, although 4x AA is used for our 1920×1200 setting. That AA is removed in our 2560×1600. As we can see in the graphs below, both of those settings are quite similar in performance.
Here is where the HD 3850 begins to show its wear. The EN9600GT fell just below Palit’s stock-clocked 8800 GT card, so it’s a great showing overall. Please note that our EAH3850 TOP included only 256MB on-board memory, so the updated 512MB versions might prove it to be a better competitor.