Overclocking is alive and well! PCSTATS has all the details
you need to see at a glance to know how the various videocards tested perform
relative to each other. The chart we've compiled below lists the highest
overclocked core and memory clock speeds we were able to achieve while
maintaining 100% stability. Results are grouped by GPU class, and ranked by
highest memory overclock to lowest.
9600GT Sonic ships from the factory pre-overclocked, but PCSTATS was still able
to squeeze an extra bit of performance by overclocking the GDDR3 memory to
2240MHz and nVidia G94 processor to 765MHz. Not bad for a mainstream
Replacing the GeForce
8600GT: Better value, better features
put together a GeForce 9600GT offering that stands out in this crowded market.
It did this by overclocking the GPU up 50MHz and the memory up 200MHz from
stock. A bundled copy of the game Tomb Raider:
Anniversary is a nice touch, but hardly a deciding factor.
With a retail price of $219 CDN ($219 USD, £114 GBP), the Palit 9600GT Sonic
is priced at a small premium.
By all accounts the Geforce 9600GT is set to be the new
darling mainstream videocard this year. Like the Geforce 8600GT it replaces, the
Geforce 9600GT is affordable and quick within its mid-level class.
Gaming speeds and DirectX10 support are nice for Windows
Vista users, but we want more than just a videocard these days. HDCP compliance
is a necessity, SM4.0 and High Definition video output options almost considered
standard. To that end we're pleased the Palit 9600GT Sonic includes an HDMI jack
(with audio!), the emerging DisplayPort standard and twin DVI jacks. DisplayPort
is the one ahead of the curve option, this open VESA initiative seeks to
displace the hodge-podge of Standard and High Definition cables television
displays currently rely upon. Dual DVI jacks ensure multi-monitor support and an
SLI connector allows two Geforce 9600GT videocards to be teamed for all the
benefits that entails.
an overclocking tool called VDOTool with the 9600GT Sonic, but for the purposes
of PCSTATS overclocking tests we relied on nVidia nTune.
I can think of many instances where pre-overclocked
videocards have really fizzled in the overclocking department, the Palit 9600GT
did well. In our tests the 9600GT Sonic overclocked an additional 115MHz to
765MHz core, and an extra 440MHz to 2240MHz memory.
Strenuous 3D benchmarking kicked the PWM enabled cooling
fan into high gear, so the Palit 9600GT Sonic can certainly make itself
The thermal solution on the Palit 9600GT Sonic is tucked
away beneath an odd ventilated orange plastic casing. The dual slot cooling
solution would be a waste of space were it not for the expansive media outputs.
New to mainstream videocards of its class is a 6-pin auxiliary power connector.
The Geforce 9600GT is rumored to draw 95W, far less than flagship graphics
cards, but clearly more than its predecessors.
Palit Microsystems are still relatively new to us, so
we'll have to hold back our judgement on the company till we've tested a few
more of its products. From a cursory level, the Palit 9600GT Sonic seems well
engineered - the PCB employs a novel 3-phase power supply, the cooling system is
satisfactory and the I/O end of the card is extremely versatile. The bright
orange plastic cage around the videocard cheapens things, but honestly, it's
irrelevant when the pixels hit the screen.
The flurry of Geforce 9600GT videocards entering the
market only testify to the appeal of this GPU. Within the mainstream class, the
Palit 9600GT videocard offers great game performance and exception High
Definition output options - HDMI, DisplayPort. If you have a modest budget but
demand HDMI, you might want to consider the Palit 9600GT Sonic for your next