Sparkle GeForce 9600 GT Passive review -
3 - Sparkle GeForce 9600 GT 512MB passive edition
Sparkle GeForce 9600 GT 512MB passive edition
So as the purchase price will show, these cards can be pretty cheap. The product as tested today is passively cooled, comes with a customized blue PCB and some pretty good value at a 99 EUR price tag. See for roughly the price of the regular GeForce 9600 GT you can buy this passive edition already, and that is pretty good. What's the tradeoff you ask ? Well most 9600 GT cards are often overclocked and come in at the same price. Sparkle will set the core frequency at default reference speeds for you. With passive cooling, which will run much warmer; it's the wise thing to do. So the clock frequencies where similar to reference, 650 MHz on the core, 1600 MHz on the Shader processors and 900 MHz on the memory (1800 effective).
It's all about the cooler, other than this you can expect a reference based graphics card with dual-slot design. Packaging and box contents; included in the box you'll find:
- GeForce 9600 GT 512 MB passively cooled
- Driver CD
- HDTV block (3-way RCA component)
- SVideo cable
- 6-pin to Molex power cable
- manual / quick install guide
- VGA->DVI dongle
Lacking is a HDMI converter which in this era is a no-go in my eyes. Also there is no additional software to be found. You receive the basics, but do get that passive cooler at a great price.
Setting up the PC
Installing the card into your system will be a pretty easy job. Just slide the card into a free PCIe slot, connect one 6-pin connector to the card. I do recommend you to just buy a decent stable PSU with some reserves, always.
Once the card is installed we startup windows. We installed our driver, rebooted and that was it. The card will work straight out of the box. Just the way we like it.
We review and benchmark the Sparkle GeForce GTX 650 Ti Dragon series and perform an in-depth test with the latest games available.
Sparkle GeForce 9600 GT Passive review
I had a peek around for an exotic model GeForce 9600 GT. I ended up with Sparkle .. get this .. 99 EUR for their passively cooled product with 512MB GDDR3 memory. I'm sorry but that's just a heck of a lot more value than the 9500 GT will offer gaming performance wise. And next to that, as this review will show .. the product has a few surprises ready under it's sleeves.
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Sparkle recently released a GeForce 8800 GT that actually is passively cooled. Because the reference cooled 8800 GT already runs insanely hot to 90 degrees C, doing the cooling part passive .. would definitely make things even worse. Combine that with the rumored GPU core temperatures of 110 Degrees C I pretty much stereotyped the product even before we had tested it.
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