For testing power consumption, we took our test system and plugged it into a Seasonic Power Angel. For idle numbers, we allowed the system to idle on the desktop for 15 minutes and took the reading. For load numbers, we measured the peak wattage used by the system while running the game Call of Duty 4 at 1280×1024 with high graphics quality.
Power Consumption Results: Looking at total system power consumption levels, the GeForce 9500 GT was very impressive. The GeForce 9500 GT used the least amount of power at idle and load! It used 10W less power at idle than the GeForce 9600 GT and 32W less when playing Call of Duty 4.
For starters, I apologize on the performance charts for not including more mainstream graphics cards! NVIDIA never sampled me any GeForce 8500 GT or 8400 GT graphics cards, which are the other graphics cards in NVIDIA’s mainstream graphics card lineup. I added the GeForce 9600 GT to the performance charts for this article and as you can tell the GeForce 9600 GT is nearly twice as fast as the GeForce 9500 GT in the majority of the benchmarks and for protein folding.
The street price on the GeForce 9500 GT is expected to be $80, but will sure to be lower with rebates in the months to come. Major online retailers are already selling the GeForce 9500 GT and prices start at $69.99 on Newegg. For $69.99 you can get your hands on a 512MB GDDR2 version of this card by EVGA (Remember our review used the 256MB GDDR3 version). When it comes to pricing on the GeForce 9600 GT, it can be found on Price Grabber for $104.99 over at Newegg and has a $5 rebate making it $99.99. The GeForce 9600 GT that we tested the 9500 GT against can be had for offers much more performance as my testing showed a 62% performance gain in Call of Duty 4 and a 102% boost in Bioshock at 1280×1024. For those that don’t want to break the bank and game at lower resolutions the GeForce 9500 GT is a sure to play the current game titles, but you’ll have to keep an eye on the settings as to reach smooth frame rates you’ll have to tone it back to medium in some games.
Performance aside the GeForce 9500 GT offers consumers other things like compact size, a quiet cooler and low power consumption. The fact that it doesn’t need any additional power connections means that it will make for an easy upgrade for many that don’t have a power supply that is able to handle more devices. These strong areas make for great selling points not to mention that the GeForce 9500 GT can run F@H and is CUDA ready for parallel applications. In the future things like GPU video transcoding will be sure to take off and the GeForce 9500 GT can already run commercial software packages to support GPU video transcoding like Badaboom Media Converter from Elemental Technologies. If that doesn’t impress you, keep in mind that is also support NVIDIA PhysX technology that will be seen in more upcoming game titles. For a video card that can be found for $69.99 it has a ton of features and I have to give the cards a thumbs up.
Legit Bottom Line: The GeForce 9500 GT isn’t going to impress you with high resolution gaming performance, but it can run all the latest game titles, Folding@Home, PhysX Technology and GPU video transcoding for under $70.