Sparkle GeForce 9600 GT Passive review

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2 - introduction to the GeForce 9600 GT graphics card

GeForce 9600 GT Architecture

An introduction to the GeForce 9600 GT graphics card

Well, we already tested like a dozen of these cards in the past so it really doesn't need that much explanation, yet the GeForce 9600 GT products are based on a 64 shader processors based GPU, it comes with 512MB of GDDR3 memory, on a 256-bit memory bus. I'm pretty excited about that as making the move to the 256-bit memory bus was something Guru3D had been looking forward to for a long time in the mid-range segment.

The 'default slash reference' core and memory speeds are 650MHz and 900MHz, respectively. For the real Guru's; the shader domain is clocked at 1625 MHz. The total memory bandwidth is 57.6GBs with a texture fill rate of 20.8 billion pixels per second.

The GPU, under the new codename 'D9M' (G94 for the rest of us), is a DirectX 10, OpenGL 2.1, Shader Model 4.0 product designed for PCI Express 2.0. It's fabricated at 65nm. As quick reference, the product will nearly double up the framerate in the more extreme situations compared to the older 8600 GT series.

For the freaks Guru's - the GPU is manufactured on TSMC's 65nm process node and accounts for half a billion transistors (505 Million to be precise). As stated, it has 64 unified shader processors, binding to 16 ROPs.

The G94 GPU based cards can peak at 90 Watts power consumption and will therefore require a power supply with at least 400W and 26A on the entire 12V rail, it will also require a 6-pin PCI-Express connector as the card will surpass 75 Watts (PCIe slot) energy consumption, and that is new compared to previous mid-range cards such as the 8600 GT (except the 8600 GTS though).

8800 GTX
GeForce 8800 GT GeForce 9600 GT Sparkle edition
Shader Processors 128 112 64 64
Core Clock (MHz) 575 600 650 650
Shader Clock (MHz) 1350 1500 1625 1600
Memory Clock (MHz) 900 900 900 900
Memory amount 768 MB 512 MB 512 MB 512 MB
Memory Interface 384-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit
HDCP Yes Yes Yes Yes
Two Dual link DVI Yes Yes Yes Yes

The 9600 GT launched at prices ranging from $169 to $199 with special edition cards (faster clocked) more expensive. But right now you can pick them up under 100 bucks which is a pretty good deal.

The 9600 features two dual-link HDCP enabled DVI-I outputs. Both HDMI and DVI support HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) which will be a requirement for protected content. In the long run; the card would support DisplayPort connectors fine as well, this obviously being board-partner dependant.

Next to bringing a pretty competitive product to the market, NVIDIA also introduced some new PureVideo features allowing several new functions. Let's have a look at these first.

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