1 - An introduction out of the blue
|Product:||GeForce 9600 GT Passively cooled|
|Street price:||99 EUR|
Last week NVIDIA released the entry-level GeForce 9500 GT. That product is under the 100 USD level and granted, while cheap offers a great feature set. Gaming however it remains a bit of a culprit. The next 'best thing' would for you to purchase a GeForce 9600 GSO or 9600 GT. And when you look around a little, you'd be amazed how low prices on these cards are right now. Well, at least I was.
For example, 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.
'But Hilbert, bro, dude .. my man .. why go passive', you ask ? Well, noise has always been an issue with graphics cards. The past few years however manufacturers has put more emphasis on cooling solutions that though are high performance, are silent. Every now and then however there are some companies out there releasing a product completely passively cooled.
Granted it's a bit of a trade off, as when you passively cool a product you'll need good ventilation in your PC, adding noise again.
By definition that does not have to be a bad thing though. There are several situations where passive cooling can be ideal, Home Theater PCs for example, or water-cooled PCs when you go for that in-audible environment. Or even if you game to heavily, the common desktop PC if you like the lack of noise as much as I do.
So then, let's take that passively cooled 99 EUR costing 9600 GT model from Sparkle, and put it through our benchmark suite.