by Rob Williams on April 7, 2008 in NVIDIA-Based GPU
If on the lookout for a good GPU at a great price, it’s easier than ever. NVIDIA’s 9600 GT packs a punch and retails for well under $200. We are taking Gigabyte’s stock-clocked solution for a spin to see how it stacks up against our other models. And yes, it overclocks like a beast.
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.
I have to admit that I’m surprised at the results here, since the 9600 GT is faster than at least the EAH3850 TOP in all regards. But even still, I consider 20FPS “playable” for this game, and at the gorgeous resolution of 1920×1200, the 9600 GT managed to average at out 28FPS. Not bad for a sub $200 offering!
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.
The HD 3850 might have scored higher in Crysis, but Gigabyte’s 9600 GT made a comeback with Call of Duty 4. I admit… this game constantly impresses me. Despite the intense graphics, it’s playable with high settings at the very demanding 2560×1600 resolution with a sub-$200 graphics card!