EVGA, Palit and XFX GeForce 9600 GT Video Card Review

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Final Thoughts and Conclusions

GeForce 9600 GT Logo

The NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT series has proven itself to be a very solid mainstream graphics card with a suggested MSRP between $169-$189.  Obviously, many of the board partners will have overclocked versions at higher price points, and the EVGA and Palit cards that we reviewed today are examples of this as both are priced over $200.

Brand 

 Model

 Core Clock

 Mem Clock

Shader Clock 

 Bundled Game

Price 

EVGA

512-P3-N867-AR

740MHz

1950MHz

1835MHz

None

 $209.99

Palit

XNE/96OTSX0252

700MHz

2000MHz

1750MHz

Tomb Raider: Anniversary

 $219.00

XFX

PV-T94P-YDF4

650MHz

1800MHz

1625MHz

None

 $179.99

The EVGA e-GeForce 9600 GT SSC was hands down the fastest card of the group thanks to having higher clock rates than the other cards.  The shader clock alone is 210MHz higher than what the standard XFX card has to offer!  When it comes to raw speed the EVGA e-GeForce 9600 GT SSC is clearly the winner. When it comes to warranties, EVGA provides a limited lifetime warranty to the original purchaser of each retail product that the product will not suffer, in material or workmanship, from any defect that adversely affects the performance of the product. This limited lifetime warranty is valid for the life of the retail product, so long as the original purchaser owns the product. EVGA requires that the product be registered within 30 days from ORIGINAL DATE OF PURCHASE to receive limited lifetime warranty. (All products not registered within 30 days will ONLY receive a 1 year limited warranty.) EVGA will cover all return shipping back to the customer for the RMA replacement with free ground shipping through UPS in the United States and free FedEX Ground shipping to Canadian Customers. While the warranty program might not sound as good as what XFX offers, EVGA also offers the 90-day Step-Up Program. Step-Up participants are allowed, for one time only, to trade in their existing EVGA video card and upgrade to a select greater performing video card. The EVGA Step-up Program is available to all EVGA graphics card customers who are within 90 days of their original purchase date (based upon their invoice date).

The Palit GeForce 9600 GT Sonic was a great all around graphics card and has both a solid feature list and bundle. Palit was also the only company that included a game with the bundle and that is a nice touch when someone is spending this much money on something. The cooling on the card as the best of the bunch thanks to the massive heat-pipe based heat sink that is used.  The three phase power design, DisplayPort and HDMI outputs, VDOTool overclocking software and improved cooling on this custom designed card make it innovative to say the least.  The only drawback on the card is that when it comes to the warranty on Palit video cards we had a tough time figuring out what they are backed with.  The Palit RMA home page states that the original distributor will cover the warranty, but neither the site or the product box and packaging tell you anything about a warranty. Legit Reviews contacted Palit about the warranty and was told this about the warranty: “Currently 2 Years but looking at the numbers for 3 year with possible customer options to purchase more.” It seems that Palit has a two year warranty of some sort that goes through where you purchase the card from. Palit certainly has a great product, but the warranty isn’t as clear as either EVGA and XFX.

The XFX GeForce 9600 GT standard edition was a solid card, but it didn’t shine compared to the two other overclocked brands. Nothing wrong with that and XFX has a great warranty program where they will repair and service your GeForce Series Graphics Card for as long as you live. Even for those of you who know how to push their cards to the limits, if anything goes wrong, XFX will service it free of charge. All you have to do is register the card with XFX online. If you ever decide to sell or give the card away to someone, XFX will still honor the protection plan for the second owner as well. They just need to register the card with XFX. You get the protection AND the added value of being able to pass along a full warranty. XFX is one of the few companies that has a no BS warranty and that is a big thumbs up for those that like to overclock or have bad luck with computer hardware.

NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT Retail Video Cards

After using these three GeForce 9600 GT video cards it’s clear that 512MB is the sweet spot as it is ideal for higher resolutions that require larger frame buffers. All of the cards did great and it was interesting to see the GeForce 9600 GT 512MB cards beat up on the overclocked GeForce 8800 GT 256MB at higher resolutions. The GeForce 8800 GT 256MB had a short life and with the launch of the GeForce 9600 GT 512MB series it is likely that it will be phased out. Sure the GeForce 9600 GT has less stream processors, but it makes up for that by having higher clock speeds.  If you are looking for a graphics card and have right around $200 to spend you have a tough choice as you can save a little and get a GeForce 9600 GT or spend a little more and get a standard clocked GeForce 8800 GT. That call is up to you as it depends on the funds available at the time of purchase!

Legit Bottom Line: The GeForce 9600 GT is the first GeForce 9 series card to hit the market, but there are many more to come.  With the mainstream GeForce 9 series graphics cards are performing near the GeForce 8800 GT models it should be interesting to see what the GeForce 9800 GT and GTX are capable of later this year.

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