ATI Radeon 9600 Pro AGP Video Card Review

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Overclocking:

When we were overclocking this video card, we had high hopes as people have been getting good results when overclocking the ATI Radeon 9600 PRO. ATI has released the 9600 PRO with the memory rated at 600MHz and core rated at 400MHz. We used RadClocker version 1.800d to overclock the ATI Radeon 9600 PRO.

The next thing I do when I overclock a video card is find the max of the core. I found the max at 533MHz with the memory still at 600MHz. I then reset the core to its default and find the max of the memory. I found the max of the memory at 688MHz with the core still at 400MHz. When I went to overclock both the core to 533MHz and the memory at 688MHz, the card would lock up while benchmarking. By lowering the core to 527MHz and the memory to 662MHz we were able to get the ATI 9600 PRO stable! This was a 127Mhz increase on the core and a 62MHz increase on the memory. As we noted before, the Samsung memory was only rated to 600MHz, so to be able to pull off a 62MHz overclock with 100% stability in our test system provided a nice performance boost! We were very happy with how well the ATI 9600 PRO overclocked with no cooling on the memory and the small factory cooling solution for the core!

Conclusion:

As I mentioned in my introduction, the ATI Radeon 9600 PRO is not the newest video card on the market, but still offers great gaming performance with a “budget” price tag for the average gamer. The retail ATI 9600 PRO does not come with a solid bundle, but it does come with the reputation of being, “built-by-ATI” and that does mean you’ll get certain quality from your purchase.

We are happy with the overall image quality and gaming performance the ATI Radeon 9600 PRO delivers and find it hard not to recommend to the “DIY” consumer that is considering building a solid system on a decent budget. There is no question that die-hard gamers should go with the more powerful and expensive ATI 9800 PRO or nVidia FX 5900 to keep pace with other top gamers!

Check here for current pricing on various 9600 PRO cards.

For more information on ATI and their product lines, visit the ATI website.

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