It has been a little while since I have actually used a nVidia based video card in my test rig. After using this one, I can tell you that it will be staying in the test bench for now. Hands down it handled today’s modern games better than the ATI Radeon HD 3850 card. Game play was smooth as silk, even at higher resolutions.
The packaging for the Albatron GeForce 9600GT is not too bad. I really like to see current game titles thrown in to entice people to purchase. It seems to add even more value to the bundle to get a $30-50 game that will show off the cards ability.
The heat on the 9600GT was minimal when compared to the ATI 3850. The cooling solution that Albatron uses works wonderfully on this card, keeping temps to a respectable level (And much lower temps compared to the ATI Radeon HD 3850). Noise was also not very bad at all, in fact, I really hardly noticed it enough to remember to write about it, even with an open bench setup. It should be mentioned that the ATI card was noticeably louder than the 9600GT throughout our testing.
When it comes to pricing and availability it should be noted that Albatron does not have any established distribution channels in the United States. We asked Albatron about this and they informed us that they are concentrating on other regions that have been traditionally strong for them. Albatron did tell us that the MSRP on the Albatron GeForce 9600GT-512x would be roughly $150, but it is up to the channel to set the street price. Prices on GeForce 9600 GT video cards here in the United States start at $144.99 and go up to $189.99, so Albatron seems to be competitive on price.
The Albatron GeForce 9600GT-512X was found to be just over 40% faster than the ATI Radeon HD 3850 graphics card that we tested it against and is roughly in the same price category. The ATI Radeon HD 3850 was launched on November 15, 2007 and had an MSRP of $179.99, but now can be found for just $109.99 online. At $150 the Albatron GeForce 9600GT-512X is 36% more expensive, but you get just over 40% more performance. If you throw in the online rebates the GeForce 9600 GT can be found for $119! The price versus performance value on these mainstream cards is excellent. Keep in mind that much of the performance boost at higher resolutions is thanks to extra frame buffer on the GeForce 9600 GT. The Albatron GeForce 9600GT-512X is the fourth GeForce 9600 GT that we have looked at and they seem to be the real deal.
Legit Bottom Line:
The Albatron GeForce 9600GT-512x is a solid performing card that comes in way over the top of the ATI Radeon HD 3850, which is a card that is in a similar price range once all the rebates are figured out. If you are looking for a card that is a solid performer without breaking that bank, this is one should be looking at.