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Asus EN9600GT Top/HTDI/512M Geforce 9600GT Videocard Review

Asus EN9600GT Top/HTDI/512M Geforce 9600GT Videocard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Once the darling of the budget constrained computer gamer, nVidia's Geforce 9600GT has been pushed aside by AMD's mainstream HD4850 and the sudden swell in Crossfire supporting 4-series Intel motherboards.
 78% Rating:   
Filed under: Video Cards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Asus Jul 04 2008   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Video Cards > Asus EN9600GT Top/HTDI/512M

nVIDIA GeForce 9600GT Core and Overclocking

The nVIDIA GeForce 9600GT (code named 'G94') is a mainstream graphics chip manufactured by TSMC on the 65nm process. Each chip contains 505 million transistors on a rather small die just 240mm2 in size. The default clock speeds for the G94-series are 650MHz GPU, 1800MHz memory and 1625MHz shader.... most manufacturers push their cards faster right from the get-go.

The Asus EN9600GT Top/HTDI/512M comes pre-overclocked from the factory for a 10% boost in performance; 720MHz GPU, 2000MHz memory, and 1800MHz shader.

The nVidia G94 GPU is DirectX10, Shader Model 4.0 and HDCP compliant, furthermore the core accomodates OpenGL 2.1, 128-bit HDR, and nVidia Quantum Effects physics processing. It also supports Purevideo HD 2/VP2 to accelerate High Definition content and reduce CPU load in Windows Vista.

On average Geforce 9600GT videocards consume about 95W power, more than the 75W the PCI Express slot delivers so a 6-pin auxiliary power connector is also needed.

The Geforce 9600GT videocard is compatible with the new PCI Express 2.0 bus interface, and slips into a PCI Express x16 slot. Nvidia SLI is supported via a single SLI card edge connector, so two Geforce 9600GTs can be teamed up to run in SLI mode with the appropriate nForce-based motherboard platform.

Nvidia has given the Geforce 9600GT 64 unified shaders, whereas the Geforce 8800GTX has 128, and the 8800GTS 640/320MB 96. What that means is clock for clock a Geforce 9600GT is close to, but not as fast as a GeForce 8800GTS. More stream processors allow the videocard to do more work per clock cycle, but the 8800GTX need only run at half the speed to do the same amount of work as a Geforce 9600GT.

The videocard comes with 512MB of GDDR3 memory. To ensure that the G94 stays in its place the card has just a 256-bit wide data bus. The GeForce 8800GTX uses a 384 bit bus and the 8800GTS 320/640MB a 320 bit data bus. Now let's find out how much further we can overclock the Asus EN9600GT Top/HTDI/512M videocard!

Overclocking Test Report

Overclocking Results:
Stock Overclocked
GPU (Core) Speed: 720 MHz 763 MHz
Memory Speed: 2000 MHz 2254 MHz DDR2
If you're new to Overclocking and not sure what to do, check out these two excellent Guides for some pointers:
Overclocking the CPU and Memory
Overclocking the Videocard

Asus's ship the EN9600GT Top/HTDI/512M videocard with slightly elevated clock speeds, but it's safe to say you can push the Geforce 9600GT and 512MB of GDDR3 further still. For the record, PCSTATS will be overclocking the EN9600GT Top/HTDI/512M's from a GPU core speed of 720 MHz, and memory speed of 2000 MHz.

Starting with the G94 GPU first and using nVidia's nTune software, our aim is to reach 800MHz... can the Asus EN9600GT do it?!

With a triple shot latte in one hand, and my jittery fingers on the overclocking slider I ramped up the speed in 10-20MHz increments using nVidia's nTune tool; first 731MHz, then 740MHz...749MHz, 756MHz, and 762MHz. The card held steady and stable in following 3D benchmarks.

And then things went all topsy. Up just one click and the EN9600GT started to crack. Once the GPU speed hit 765MHz artifacts bloomed like mosquitos over the entire 3DMark06 screen, and at 777MHz stability went out the window. Our goal of an 800MHz GPU overclock was not to be, so PCSTATS settled on 763MHz.

Our attention turned to overclocking the 512MB of GDDR3 memory to at least 2300MHz (or 1150MHz x2). Starting at 1000 MHz, the GDDR3 played nicely for the most part. Up it went to 1100MHz, then 1120MHz, and 1135MHz.... where the card failed to stop a flood of visual artifacts from appearing. I pushed the Asus EN9600GT to 1150MHz, but it pushed back and crashed down to earth. In the end we settled for a stable overclock of 1127MHz (2254MHz DDR2).

In the end PCSTATS was able to overclock the Asus EN9600GT to 2254MHz memory, 763MHz GPU.

Prelude to Benchmarks:

The details of how the Asus EN9600GT Top/HTDI/512M test system was configured for benchmarking; the specific hardware, software drivers, operating system and benchmark versions are indicated below. All benchmarks for the Asus EN9600GT Top/HTDI/512M are run in Windows Vista Ultimate, the reference videocards were tested in both Windows XP and Vista for the DX10 benchmarks. PCSTATS is in the process of making the transition to a Windows Vista only test platform, so keep this in mind as you scan the benchmark results.

PCSTATS Test System Configurations
Test System Reference System
Processor:

AMD Athlon64 FX-62 (AM2)

Clock Speed:

14 x 200 MHz = 2.8 GHz

Motherboards:

Foxconn C51XEM2 (NF 590 SLI)

Videocard: Asus EN9600GT TOP/HTDI/512M (Geforce 9600GT 512MB)

Asus EAX1900XTX/2DHTV/512M/A
Asus EAX1950PRO/HTDP/256M/A
MSI NX8800GTX-T2D768E-HD
Foxconn FV-N88SMCD2-ONOC
MSI NX8800GTS-T2D320E-HD-OC
nVidia GeForce 8600GTS SLI
Foxconn
8600GTS-256
MSI NX8600GT-T2D256E-OC
MSI NX8600GTS-T2D256E-OC
Gigabyte GV-NX85T256H SLI
Gigabyte GV-NX85T256H
MSI NX7950GX2-T2D1GE
MSI NX7900GTX-T2D512E
Gigabyte GV-NX76GT256D-RH
Biostar Sigma-Gate GeForce 7600GS
Albatron 8600GT-256
MSI NX8800GT-T2D512E-OC
Asus EN8800GT TOP/G/HTDP/512M/A
Palit 9600GT Sonic*
Biostar V903GT52-NV1AN*

Memory:

Corsair Twin2X2048-6400C3

Hard Drive: 74GB Western Digital Raptor WD740
CDROM: AOpen Combo 52x
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling TurboCool 510 SLI
Heatsink: Athlon64 FX-62 Reference Heatsink
Test System Setup:

Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit
nVIDIA nForce Forceware 15.08
nVIDIA Forceware 174.16

Microsoft Windows XP Pro SP2
Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit*

Benchmarks:

3DMark06
Quake 4
FEAR
Call of Juarez
Lost Planet

Benchmarked results are grouped by GPU manufacturer (AMD/ATI or nVidia), then by GPU generation, and then by GPU class (high end, mainstream, value). This approach provides a clearer view of how performance can differ from generation to generation, and class to previous generation. The product being tested is marked with the red colour bar.

On with the benchmarks!

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Contents of Article: Asus EN9600GT Top/HTDI/512M
 Pg 1.  Asus EN9600GT Top/HTDI/512M Geforce 9600GT Videocard Review
 Pg 2.  Power Consumption of Videocards
 Pg 3.  — nVIDIA GeForce 9600GT Core and Overclocking
 Pg 4.  Videocard Benchmarks: 3DMark06
 Pg 5.  DX10 Videocard Benchmarks: Call of Juarez
 Pg 6.  DX10 Videocard Benchmarks: Lost Planet
 Pg 7.  Videocard Benchmarks: Quake 4
 Pg 8.  Videocard Benchmarks: FEAR
 Pg 9.  Advanced Videocard Benchmarks: Quake 4
 Pg 10.  Advanced Videocard Benchmarks: FEAR
 Pg 11.  Maximum Videocard Overclocking Chart & Conclusions

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