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Gigabyte GV-N96TSL-1GI Geforce 9600GT Rev.B Videocard Review

Gigabyte GV-N96TSL-1GI Geforce 9600GT Rev.B Videocard Review - PCSTATS
Price Check: $/£/€
Abstract: This isn't an old 9600GT GPU making a comeback with 1GB of GDDR3 memory, this new Geforce 9600GT graphics card from Gigabyte uses the 'revision B' nVidia 'G94' GPU; it's built with a smaller manufacturing process, has a physically smaller silicon die, uses less power and consequently runs cooler.
 85% Rating:   
Filed under: Video Cards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Gigabyte Mar 25 2009   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Video Cards > Gigabyte GV-N96TSL-1GI

It's easy to mistake the Gigabyte GV-N96TSL-1GI videocard for one of the many Geforce 9600GT's that have been on the market for over a year... after all, one Geforce 9600GT is the same as the next, right? Wrong!

This isn't an old 9600GT GPU making a comeback with 1GB of GDDR3 memory, this new Geforce 9600GT graphics card from Gigabyte uses the 'revision B' nVidia 'G94' GPU; it's built with a smaller manufacturing process, has a physically smaller silicon die, uses less power and consequently runs cooler. Reduced power consumption made it possible for Gigabyte engineers to make the GV-N96TSL-1GI Geforce 9600GT videocard completely fanless. The great thing about passively cooled videocards are that they're excellent for media center's, particularly HTPC's that sit next to the television. The last thing you want to hear while watching a movie is the whine of a VGA cooling fan after all.

In place of the stock single-slot videocard thermal solution, Gigabyte's GV-N96TSL-1GI videocard features a double-slot wide passive "Silent Cell" heatsink with widely spaced fins to take advantage of convective cooling forces. Three heatpipes help conduct the heat from the GPU towards the outer reaches of the thin aluminum fins, so even with the slightest of breezes the videocard runs mildly warm. The heatsink busts out the back of the PC via a small vent so it also take advantage of the internal airflow escaping the PC to exhaust heat outside the chassis, rather than let it just rise and heat up the CPU heatsink.

The changes don't stop there. The revision 'B' nVidia 'G94' GPU has also been tweaked while undergoing a die shrink from 65nm to a 55nm, dropping the overall power use of the videocard. PCSTATS will be testing how much the Gigabyte GV-N96TSL-1GI has managed to cut its power requirements compared to standard Geforce 9600GTs a little later in this review.

Gigabyte GV-N96TSL-1GI Videocard


Gigabyte's GV-N96TSL-1GI videocard doubles the previous standard of 512MB video memory found on 1st generation Geforce 9600GTs up to 1GB of GDDR3. This PCI Express x16 2.0 videocard also supports nVidia SLI, so two Geforce 9600GTs can be teamed together for a performance advantage. The card is fully HDCP compliant and features a dedicated HDMI port for 1080p HD content (it can carry audio via a SP/DIF pass-through cable into the card). Alongside the HDMI jack there are Analog and DVI video outputs that support a maximum resolution of 2560x1600 pixels.

Since the nVidia G94 GPU is based on familiar technologies, we'll just mention that continues to be DirectX10, Shader Model 4.0 and HDCP compliant. Additionally, the core accomodates OpenGL 2.1, 128-bit HDR, nVidia Quantum Effects physics processing, and Microsoft Windows XP/Vista operating systems. It also supports Purevideo HD 2/VP2 to accelerate High Definition content and reduce CPU load.

Gigabyte has definitely bought some freshness to the table with the GV-N96TSL-1GI videocard, especially for HTPC owners. A completely silent video card that's built with a more efficient GPU that has a pedigree of solid gaming performance, and HDMI. The Gigabyte GV-N96TSL-1GI videocard should retail for around $150 CDN ($110 USD, £80GBP) , which puts it at exactly the price of the old Geforce 9600GT.

Let's take a closer look and see how this puppy handles!

Home Theatre Ready?

At the business end of the Gigabyte GV-N96TSL-1GI videocard you'll find the option most important to any serious home theatre PC builder, the HDMI output.

Unlike AMD Radeon videocards, the Geforce 9000-series of videocards does not have a built-in audio codec. You'll need to connect the supplied SP/DIF jumper to the motherboard or soundcard SP/DIF header if you wish to include the audio stream with the HDMI output.

DVI and VGA video connectors adapters are handy for users with older CRT monitors still. Dual monitor output is supported with one monitor being fed signals via DVI and the other through VGA or HDMI.

On the rear of the Gigabyte GV-N96TSL-1GI videocard there's an auxiliary 6-pin PCI-Express power socket that needs to be plugged in. The passive heatsink makes this a bit of tight fit, but it doesn't block it. The heatsink pushes the width of the GV-N96TSL-1GI videocard to two slots, and since this is a passively cooled videocard PCSTATS recommends leaving one additional free slot empty between the GV-N96TSL-1GI videocard and any other expansion card.

Next up a quick look at the passive videocard heatsink on this Geforce 9600GT videocard from Gigabyte....

© 2014 PCSTATS.com Next Page >

 

Contents of Article: Gigabyte GV-N96TSL-1GI
 Pg 1.  — Gigabyte GV-N96TSL-1GI Geforce 9600GT Rev.B Videocard Review
 Pg 2.  Silent Cell 2 Passive Videocard Heatsink
 Pg 3.  nVIDIA GeForce 9600GT Revision B GPU & Power Draw
 Pg 4.  Overclocking Report and Test System Specs
 Pg 5.  Videocard Benchmarks: 3DMark Vantage
 Pg 6.  Videocard Benchmarks: FEAR
 Pg 7.  DX10 Videocard Benchmarks: Call of Juarez
 Pg 8.  DX10 Videocard Benchmarks: Lost Planet
 Pg 9.  DX10 Videocard Benchmarks: Crysis
 Pg 10.  Advanced Videocard Benchmarks: FEAR AA/AF
 Pg 11.  Advanced Videocard Benchmarks: Crysis AA/AF & Conclusions

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