The Albatron 9600GT-512X, the mid-range 9-level card that entered the market recently. 🙂 Does this card disappoint? Not at all!
The Albatron 9600GT-512X uses the reference model’s cooler, in fact the card looks exactly like the 8800GT – which is why I couldn’t be bothered to take pictures of it. You’ve seen the 8800GT with reference cooler, you’ve seen the 9600GT with reference cooler
– Power connector
– S-Video cable
– 2x DVI-VGA converter
– Composite TV Video Cable
– Installation guide & driver CD.
Here’s a summarized detail of the card.
|GPU Code Name||G94|
|Memory Clock||900Mhz (1.800Ghz DDR)|
More details at the official product page
The computer setup used for this review.
|Processor||Intel E2140 Overclocked @ 3.2ghz|
|RAM||2x 1GB Kingston DDR2 667 @ DDR2 800|
|Monitor||20″ Dell Ultra-sharp Wide-screen LCD|
|Operating System||Windows XP (SP2)|
|Driver Version||ForceWare Release 174 (Version: 174.16)|
*Yes, the test was done prior to the 174.53 release.
The Albatron 9600GT-512X runs at 650Mhz core clock and 972Mhz memory clock. Shader clock is at 1625Mhz. All tests were done with 16xQ CSAA when possible.
Lost Planet : Extreme Condition
Graphic Detail : Maximum at 1680 x 946
|Card||Snow (Average)||Cave (Average)|
Graphic Detail : Maximum at 1680×1050
Company Of Heroes : Opposing Fronts
Graphic Detail : Maximum @ 1680×1050
I’ve managed to push this card to 750 / 1100 and got it to successfully pass 3dmark06. Shader was at 1875 Mhz.
|Core / Memory||Score|
Interesting enough, it comes to the 8800GT performance level. On the side note, I’m using nVidia’s Control Panel for overclocking and it limits the memory overclock to only 1100 Mhz. 3rd party applications such as Rivatuner would allow more overclocking space.
The card runs at 45Â°C on idle and 61Â°C on load. When overclocked, the card idles at 45Â°C and 64Â°C on load. Readings were taken when ambient temperature was around 25Â°C.
IMPRESSIVE! Considering that this card is usually around 80% the price of the 8800GT and around 60% of the 8800GTS while delivering performance that’s much closer to the higher range cards.
The 9600GT indeed is the best value card available for the masses and it sure beats the lacklustred introduction of the 8600GT.
I do face some performance issues that annoyed me. For example, some of the 3D applications that I run would actually sort of hang and the system goes into a pause. It’s not a crash, neither does it create any artifacts. It’s just the rendering goes totally off as seen in the pictures below. Here’s a screen shot of what happened with Supreme Commander : Forged Alliance. I usually play it in WINDOWED mode so that I could attend to many other things while playing, all I did was MINIMIZE the game and restore it and the rendering goes back to normal.
From my best educated guess, it looks like a driver issue since this is the 174 drivers. The other 8 series cards and even the ATI counter-parts had no issues with the game.
UPDATED : The latest driver solved the above problem. So if ever your 9600GT card experiences any similar issues, do try checking for the latest drivers!
Anyway, I still love this card for it’s sheer simplicity, nice pricing and great performance. I just hope the issue resolves with the new 174.53 drivers that I’ll be testing the game on this weekend. 🙂