Gainward Bliss 9600GSO 768MB Golden Sample Graphic Card Review

Gainward Bliss 9600GSO 768MB

Is it a 9600GT replacement? I think it is, so let’s have a look at what the Gainward Bliss 9600GSO 768MB promises.

The Appearance

The Gainward Bliss 9600GSO 768MB is a nice looking card, much thanks to the awesome looking cooler. As you can see it the cooler has a fan right smack at the center, with the aluminum fins covered by a black piece of protective plastic with red markings on it. To add to the value of this product, the heatsink also comes with copper heatpipes for transferring heat from core to the dissipation fins.

Gainward Bliss 9600GSO 768MB
Gainward Bliss 9600GSO 768MB
Gainward Bliss 9600GSO 768MB

Even the memory modules at the back of the card are covered by a plate to aid in heat dissipation.

The card comes with 2x DVI port and an S-video output port.

I must say it’s a lovely card but what about the performance?

The Bundle

– Power connector
– S-Video cable
– 1x DVI-VGA converter
– Composite TV Video Cable
– Installation guide & driver CD.
– CyberLink PowerDVD 8

Card Details

Here’s a summarized detail of the card.

GPU 9600GSO
GPU Code Name G92
Memory Type DDR3
Memory Bandwidth 192-bit
Memory Capacity 768MB
Core Clock 600Mhz
Memory Clock 900Mhz (1.800Ghz DDR)
Shader Clock 1500Mhz

More details at the official product page

Test Setup

The computer setup used for this review.

Processor Intel E2140 Overclocked @ 3.2ghz
RAM 2x 2GB OCZ DDR2 PC2-8500 Reaper HPC Edition
Motherboard Albatron PXP35
Cooler Sunbeamtech Core-Contact Freezer Heatsink
Monitor 20″ Dell Ultra-sharp Wide-screen LCD
Operating System Windows XP (SP2)
Driver Version ForceWare Release 175 (Version: 175.16)

The Performance

All tests were done with 4xAA (except for 3dmark06), with 16xQ CSAA when possible. The card will be compared to the 9600GT, however the 9600GT results were taken from an earlier review using an older driver, so you could expect the actual 9600GT scores to be a little better.

Gainward Bliss 9600GSO 768MB
Gainward Bliss 9600GSO 768MB
Gainward Bliss 9600GSO 768MB

I was also told that this card is a greatly overclockable as well, so there was I spending the night doing countless reboot. 🙂 Managed to run the card at 755Mhz on core , 980Mhz on memory with 1888 shader clock. Now that’s quite a lot of overclock over the 600 / 900 / 1500 – we’re looking at an increase of approximately 25.8% in core speed, nearly 10% on memory and 25.8% on shader clock.

3Dmark06

Default setting.

Card Score
9600GSO 768MB 10237
9600GSO 768MB Overclocked 11190
9600GT-512X 10220
8800GT-512X 10962
8800GTS-512X 11926

As you can see in my other recent reviews, I’ve decided to do a simple overclocking and test to only test with 3dmark06 but this card – it just changed my mind, I just had to see what it could do after that amount of overclocking! In fact, after the 3dmark06 test on the overclocked speed – I decided to include the 8800GT and the 9800GTX as comparison.

Looking at it, despite being on a reduced memory bandwidth of 192-bit , the card scored well against the 9600GT and on overclock, it positions itself between the 9600GT and 8800GTS (G92)!

Lost Planet : Extreme Condition

Graphic Detail : Maximum at 1680 x 946

Card Snow (Average) Cave (Average)
9600GSO 768MB (4xAA) 25.1 36.4
9600GSO 768MB (4xAA) Overclocked 28.5 41.2
9600GSO 768MB (16xQ CSAA) 16.8 23.9
9600GSO 768MB (16xQ CSAA) Overclocked 18.9 26.4
9600GT-512X (16xQ CSAA) 19.7 28.1
8800GT-512X (16xQ CSAA) 25.1 35.6
8800GTS-512X (16xQ CSAA) 25.1 36.1

F.E.A.R.

Graphic Detail : Maximum at 1680×1050

Card Average
9600GSO 768MB (4xAA) 48
9600GSO 768MB (4xAA) Overclocked 56
9600GT-512X (4xAA) 65
8800GT-512X (4xAA) 68
8800GTS-512X (4xAA) 74

The overclocking didn’t help on both the tests above, the card falls behind a little on this old game. It’s far off from being among the close to the rest when running on stock.

Company Of Heroes : Opposing Fronts

Graphic Detail : Maximum @ 1680×1050

Card Average
9600GSO 768MB (4xAA) 54.1
9600GSO 768MB (4xAA) Overclocked 57.4
9600GSO 768MB (16xQ CSAA) 41
9600GSO 768MB (16xQ CSAA) Overclocked 48.2
9600GT-512X (16xQ CSAA) 46
8800GT-512X (16xQ CSAA) 41.1
8800GTS-512X (16xQ CSAA) 52

Amazingly this card works pretty much like an 8800GT but after the overclock, it comes close to the 8800GTS.

A Little Explanation On The Performance

So how is it possible that and a 9600GT can out-run the 9600GSO that has 50% more memory, pixel shaders, vertex shaders and texture clocks? How is it possible that the 9600GSO still slacks even after 25.8% overclock on core and shader clock?

I know some of you have read articles / reviews claiming that the 9600GSO on stock beats 9600GT on ALL TESTS, I’ve read them too and from what I saw, the tests doesn’t bring out the weaker aspect of the 9600GSO. And what is the weak point of the 9600GSO?

Answer : memory bandwidth. See, the memory bus width for the 9600GT is 256-bit while the 9600GSO is 192-bit. We’re looking at quite a bit of reduction here, it’s down to only 75% of the 9600GT’s capacity. So if you do a bit of memory bandwidth calculation to find out the total bandwidth available for the 9600GT is 57.6GB while the 9600GSO is only running at 43.2GB (75% of 9600GT) on stock and 47GB (~81% of 9600GT) on overclock.

Gainward Bliss 9600GSO 768MB
Gainward Bliss 9600GSO 768MB
Gainward Bliss 9600GSO 768MB

As you can see, the tests I did were on high resolution and with AA enabled. The memory bandwidth affected the card’s performance capacity. So now back to the question – why is it that overclocking didn’t help? The core was greatly overclocked indeed but not the memory. It was barely a 10% boost. By having a memory bus width that’s 75% less, the memory needs a 33% overclock just to level the memory bandwidth – that’s 1200Mhz mind you.

Yes they’re on different core, the 9600GT is on a G94 while the 9600GSO is on a G92 – that part makes little difference in my opinion. Putting them both on the same core isn’t going to miraculously equalize them.

So all in all, you’ll see the 9600GSO will pull-ahead when the application does not rely on memory bandwidth and will pull-ahead even further when lesser AA is used. 🙂

Operating Temperature

The card runs at 44°C on idle and 54°C on load.

When overclocked, the card idles at 39°C and 52°C on load – however this reading was done with the fan at full speed.

Readings were taken when ambient temperature was around 25°C.

Conclusion

You win some, you lose some with this card. The memory bandwidth is not as good as the 9600GT but the rest of the parts are just waiting to give you framerates.

All in all it is a great card, and the overall package makes it real value for money since it comes with a heatsink that’s with heatpipe and a free utilities. It also is overclockable if you need more juice.

Retail price of this card at the time of this article is slightly above RM 500. 🙂

goldfries recommended

goldfries rated this product :

28 Comments

  1. So does this mean it’s a budget card that is meant for normal gamers?Hmm, coz i do have a friend that wanna change his gpu card and can’t really decided :D..i even see this card outperform the 9600gt a bit after being oc..hmm :D..thanks for the guide as usual 😀

  2. Author

    Wah start to spam already ah? 😛

    It’s something in between budget and mid-range. It’s good to use as you can see.

  3. Lol, I always visited ur site ma…so add some comments lor :P..So lets say if my friends wanna play games like starcraft ii and Devil May Cry 4, this card should b more than enough right? roughly how much does this 1 cost?

  4. i think this card cost around 500-700?

  5. May i know if this card runs perfectly on ‘chapalang’ PSU? Thinking about upgrading my GC but worried about my PSU too.

  6. of course the card doesn’t run perfectly on ‘chapalang’ PSU. if you use the chapalang PSU, chances you under power is high. It will definitely affect the performance.

  7. It can be run on chapalang psu, but not recommend la…

    better get a good true power psu la..

    you also don’t say byebye to your few hundred investment ma~

  8. that’s right. a decent PSU is just like RM100 extra compared to chapalang PSU

  9. 9600GSO
    550Mhz core clock with shaders clocked at 1,375Mhz, and 384MB memory clocked at 1,600Mhz on a 192-bit memory bus

    8800GT
    256-bit memory interface and the 512 MB of GDDR3 memory often hinders its performance at very high resolutions and graphics settings

    Their memory bus bandwidths aren’t the same. I don’ see there’s a way to mod it into 88000GT as not only you don’t have the expertise in doing so, also will void the warranty.

  10. But i see some of 9600gso can can be mod into 8800gt if get lucky..
    Any mod will void the warranty, anyone who wan to mod/oc should know it 1st before attempt it..

  11. hmm.. where did you see it then?

  12. only the 9600GSO OC from Galaxy can be moded into 8800GT… coz it has 8 ram chips which is needed by the bios…

  13. Author

    to GTS, not GT. 🙂 And yes, 8 ram chip version.

  14. you guys are comparing 8800GT/S 512MB with 9600GSO.
    this card is priced at RM5xx, i believe 8800GT 256MB would be a worthy opponent.
    at a lower resolution, or maybe on a 19″ lcd, i dun think there would be any differences.
    and most importantly, 8800GT 256MB is around RM400~

  15. thats one hell of a big card.

    eh. 8 ram chip version can mod to 8800GT right? 😀

    cool stuff. wanted to get one of these before the 4850 came out.

  16. why you wanna mod it before 4850 come out? it’s still the same if you mod it now

  17. and 4850 already out and better than mod it.. it just for low budget user..

  18. 4850 not only for low budget gamer.. this card have cost and performance balance… i saw some reviews , it almost can get smooth FPS on every latest games.. This is worth to buy at this time.. 🙂

  19. Gainward really has some bling card lineups….but it seems that the extra 256mb memory + price doesnt quite justify the performance. The regular 384mb OC or no-oc edition seems to be the best bang of the buck imo

  20. Actually i not understand why Gainward want to release a card with 768MB memory? From the review, i doesn’t see any improvement.

  21. @meyon, i believe this is just a technical showcase, telling everybody that i have an overclocked 9600GSO with a “golden” hsf

  22. i just have a Gainward Bliss 9600GSO and this card is cool enough. for most games, it runs very well. and for what im playing, like WoW, Assassins Creed, Call of Duty 4, Driver Grid and NFS PS, 9600GSO no OC performed good enough with AMD A64 x2 5000+ BE oc 2.8GHz, Kingston HyperX 1G x 2 @ 800 MHz (5-5-5-5-12-1T @ 2.0v), BioStar TF 8200 A2+, Seagate SATA 250G @ 7200RPM
    all games runing @ 1280×1024 with MAX Graphic Effects, Vsync on, Triple Buffer on, 4xAA & 4xTF. and it performed 60FPS steady, and sometimes it could be lower whild effects are BURNING OUT, LOL



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