iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail

Platform

Video

Multimedia

Mobile

Other

GeForce 9600 GT Triplet

Some very interesting and original products from Gainward and Forsa.

July 8, 2008



<< Previous page

     Next page >>

NVIDIA's success in 2005-2006, when it was launching products step by step ending up with GeForce 8800, turned the company's head and brought chaos. We have an impression that marketing specialists of this company forgot about primary needs, permanently celebrating victories over the competitor. I was told once that some companies build their entire business on the slogan to be better than their competitors. That is, not to develop innovations or think about users, but just to be better than the competitor. NVIDIA is a perfect example of this modus operandi.

Why think about users? The company rolled out GeForce 8800 GTS 320/640 MB with 96 processors and a 320-bit bus. Then the same product name was used for a card with 512 MB of memory, a 256-bit bus, and 128 processors. They don't care if users are confused - in fact, a 640 MB card is slower than a 512MB card, based on a new core. Both cards are called 8800 GTS. A little higher frequency, and we get 9800 GTX. And no one took pains to explain to users why the first number was incremented and the suffix was changed. The former should indicate a change of generations. It took a real revolution to change 7800 to 8800. While 8800 and 9800 differ by mere 25 MHz.

That's not all. Now the 8800 GS are be renamed into 9600 GSO, because the '8' digit is already an eyesore, and there are so many G92 rejects that they must be utilized. Again no one has explained to users that the 9600 GT has 64 processors and a 256-bit bus, while the 9600 GSO has 96 processors and a 192-bit bus. Besides, they are based on different cores.

The lesson taught by the 8800 GTS 640 and 8800 GTS 512 based on different cores was wasted. Why think about users? What's important is that AMD with its 3870 is left far behind, and only the 3870 X2 is still kicking.

To say nothing about the mess with the 8800 GT and 9800 GT. Plus the GT200 with a consequent rollout of cut-down products based on its rejects. That's a real mess.

Some of you may think that I'm exaggerating. However, many retailers share this opinion. Even NVIDIA already realizes what they have done.

Moreover, this mess is undeservingly corrupting user impression of some products and their value. For example, GeForce 9600 GT is a very good product for its price, performance and features. The problem is with lots of older products and the notorious 9600 GSO. But it still makes sense to examine new products based on 9600 GT.

Today we are going to take a look at at products made by Gainward and Forsa. The former is a well-known manufacturer, while the latter is a startup. I cannot say that it's super, but it manufactures good products for minimal prices possible. There are both pros and cons. Today we are going to examine one card from Forse that is already replacing the regular reference 9600 GT.

Graphics Cards


Gainward BLISS 9600 GT PCX Golden Sample 1024MB
  • GPU: GeForce 9600 GT (G94)
  • Interface: PCI-Express x16
  • GPU frequencies (ROPs/Shaders): 700/1750 MHz (nominal - 650/1625 MHz)
  • Memory frequencies (physical (effective)): 1000 (2000) MHz (nominal - 900 (1800) MHz)
  • Memory bus width: 256bit
  • Vertex processors: -
  • Pixel processors: -
  • Unified processors: 64
  • Texture processors: 32 (BLF)
  • ROPs: 16
  • Dimensions: 190x100x33 mm (the last figure is maximum thickness of the graphics card).
  • PCB color: green
  • RAMDACs/TDMS: integrated into GPU.
  • Output connectors: 2xDVI (Dual-Link), HDMI, Display-Port, Audio
  • VIVO: not available
  • TV-out: not available.
  • Multi-GPU operation: SLI (Hardware).
Gainward BLISS 9600 GT PCX Golden Sample 512MB
  • GPU: GeForce 9600 GT (G94)
  • Interface: PCI-Express x16
  • GPU frequencies (ROPs/Shaders): 700/1750 MHz (nominal - 650/1625 MHz)
  • Memory frequencies (physical (effective)): 1000 (2000) MHz (nominal - 900 (1800) MHz)
  • Memory bus width: 256bit
  • Vertex processors: -
  • Pixel processors: -
  • Unified processors: 64
  • Texture processors: 32 (BLF)
  • ROPs: 16
  • Dimensions: 190x100x33 mm (the last figure is maximum thickness of the graphics card).
  • PCB color: green
  • RAMDACs/TDMS: integrated into GPU.
  • Output connectors: 2xDVI (Dual-Link), HDMI, Display-Port, Audio
  • VIVO: not available
  • TV-out: not available.
  • Multi-GPU operation: SLI (Hardware).
Forsa GeForce 9600 GT 512MB (New edition)
  • GPU: GeForce 9600 GT (G94)
  • Interface: PCI-Express x16
  • GPU frequencies (ROPs/Shaders): 720/1800 MHz (nominal - 650/1625 MHz)
  • Memory frequencies (physical (effective)): 1000 (2000) MHz (nominal - 900 (1800) MHz)
  • Memory bus width: 256bit
  • Vertex processors: -
  • Pixel processors: -
  • Unified processors: 64
  • Texture processors: 32 (BLF)
  • ROPs: 16
  • Dimensions: 175x100x33 mm (the last figure is maximum thickness of the graphics card).
  • PCB color: green
  • RAMDACs/TDMS: integrated into GPU.
  • Output connectors: 2xDVI (Dual-Link/HDMI), TV-Out.
  • VIVO: not available
  • TV-out: integrated into GPU.
  • Multi-GPU operation: SLI (Hardware).


Gainward BLISS 9600 GT PCX Golden Sample 512MB
Forsa GeForce 9600 GT 512MB (New edition)
Each graphics card has 512 MB of GDDR3 SDRAM allocated in eight chips on the front side of the PCB.

Samsung memory chips (GDDR3). 1.0 ns memory access time, which corresponds to 1000 (2000) MHz.

Gainward BLISS 9600 GT PCX Golden Sample 1024MB
The graphics card has 1024 MB of GDDR3 SDRAM allocated in sixteen chips on the front and back sides of the PCB.

Samsung memory chips (GDDR3). 1.0 ns memory access time, which corresponds to 1000 (2000) MHz.



Comparison with the reference design, front view
Forsa GeForce 9600 GT 512MB (New edition) Reference card NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT
Gainward BLISS 9600 GT PCX Golden Sample 1024MB
Gainward BLISS 9600 GT PCX Golden Sample 512MB


Comparison with the reference design, back view
Forsa GeForce 9600 GT 512MB (New edition) Reference card NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT
Gainward BLISS 9600 GT PCX Golden Sample 1024MB
Gainward BLISS 9600 GT PCX Golden Sample 512MB

The photos above show that all the three cards differ from the reference design to this or that degree. The Forsa card has a tad shorter PCB, the additional power connector is shifted to the center of the card. And Gainward cards have unique PCB layouts, because they are equipped with special video outputs. Besides, one of the cards has a non-standard memory volume.

This change of design in Gainward cards has led to the disappearance of TV-Out, although this GPU has built-in support for this function. That's why only the card from Forsa has a TV-Out. It's an original jack. You will need a special bundled adapter to output video to a TV set via S-Video or RCA.

Analog monitors with D-Sub (VGA) interface are connected with special DVI-to-D-Sub adapters. What concerns video output through HDMI, Gainward cards possess such connectors. However, the Forsa card does not have a DVI-to-HDMI adapter in its bundle (these graphics cards potentially support full video-audio output to an HDMI receiver). So, you will have to buy this adapter to output signal through HDMI.

Maximum resolutions and frequencies:

  • 240 Hz Max Refresh Rate
  • 2048 x 1536 x 32bit x85Hz Max - analog interface
  • 2560 x 1600 @ 60Hz Max - digital interface (all DVIs with Dual-Link)

What concerns MPEG2 playback features (DVD-Video), we analyzed this issue in 2002. Little has changed since that time. CPU load during video playback on modern graphics cards does not exceed 25%.

What concerns HDTV, a review is available here.

All cards require additional power supply, so each card is bundled with a molex to 6-pin adapter, even though all modern PSUs are equipped with these cables.


Write a comment below. No registration needed!


Next page >>

Article navigation:

Page 1: Introduction, graphics cards

Page 2: Cooling

Page 3: Bundles, packages

Page 4: Performance in games

Page 5: Conclusions



blog comments powered by Disqus

  Most Popular Reviews More    RSS  

AMD Phenom II X4 955, Phenom II X4 960T, Phenom II X6 1075T, and Intel Pentium G2120, Core i3-3220, Core i5-3330 Processors

Comparing old, cheap solutions from AMD with new, budget offerings from Intel.
February 1, 2013 · Processor Roundups

Inno3D GeForce GTX 670 iChill, Inno3D GeForce GTX 660 Ti Graphics Cards

A couple of mid-range adapters with original cooling systems.
January 30, 2013 · Video cards: NVIDIA GPUs

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1

An external X-Fi solution in tests.
September 9, 2008 · Sound Cards

AMD FX-8350 Processor

The first worthwhile Piledriver CPU.
September 11, 2012 · Processors: AMD

Consumed Power, Energy Consumption: Ivy Bridge vs. Sandy Bridge

Trying out the new method.
September 18, 2012 · Processors: Intel
  Latest Reviews More    RSS  

i3DSpeed, September 2013

Retested all graphics cards with the new drivers.
Oct 18, 2013 · 3Digests

i3DSpeed, August 2013

Added new benchmarks: BioShock Infinite and Metro: Last Light.
Sep 06, 2013 · 3Digests

i3DSpeed, July 2013

Added the test results of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 and AMD Radeon HD 7730.
Aug 05, 2013 · 3Digests

Gainward GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST 2GB Golden Sample Graphics Card

An excellent hybrid of GeForce GTX 650 Ti and GeForce GTX 660.
Jun 24, 2013 · Video cards: NVIDIA GPUs

i3DSpeed, May 2013

Added the test results of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770/780.
Jun 03, 2013 · 3Digests
  Latest News More    RSS  

Platform  ·  Video  ·  Multimedia  ·  Mobile  ·  Other  ||  About us & Privacy policy  ·  Twitter  ·  Facebook


[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Copyright © Byrds Research & Publishing, Ltd., 1997–2011. All rights reserved.