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Gigabyte GV-R96X128D 9600XT Videocard Review
Gigabyte GV-R96X128D 9600XT Videocard Review  - PCSTATS
Abstract: How many people got a new videocard this holiday season? If you did, it will probably be the last AGP based videocard you get, considering PCI Express is just around the corner.
 85% Rating:   
Filed under: Video Cards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Gigabyte Jan 05 2004   C. Sun  
Home > Reviews > Video Cards > Gigabyte GV-R96X128D

GPU cooling and Overclocking

The heatsink on the Gigabyte GV-R96X128D's ATI 'RV360' VPU is a bit on the small side compared to the monsters used with current Nvidia cards. Since the Radeon 9600XT core is built with 0.13 micron manufacturing technology, less heat is produced because individual transistors are smaller.

Unlike the more expensive Radeon VPUs, the 9600XT core is actually not protected with a metal shim around the edge of the FCPGA chip. If you're planning to install a larger third party heatsink like the Zalman HP-80A this is good news. Remember to be careful otherwise you could chip a corner off the brittle silicon core however.

Those of you with case windows should like the deep blue glow given off by the Gigabyte GV-R96X128D's fan. The fan is pretty much silent under power, and that is certainly an advantage of most Nvidia graphics cards on the store shelves these days.

If you have an older PC, please keep in mind that while this is a mainstream videocard, the Gigabyte GV-R96X128D is not 2x AGP compatible! There's no 2x AGP key, and any attempt to make it fit will probably just result in a fried motherboard once you turn the system on.

How about a little Overclocking on the side?

Despite the 0.13 micron manufacturing process the core is built with, the Radeon 9600XT VPU didn't seem to have much in the way of headroom. Starting at 500 MHz we slowly raised the core speed of the Gigabyte GV-R96X128D a few MHz at a time. To my surprise the RV360 core seemed to have a lot of legroom as it passed 550 MHz very easily. In the end it ran 602 MHz with the stock cooler. Now that is quite a feat!

The 128MB of DDR memory on the Gigabyte GV-R96X128D are based on the same 2.8ns Samsung DRAMs we find on other Radeon 9700 Pro/9800 Pro videocards, but for some reason I was expecting more conservative results from them. Starting at 200 MHz the memory overclocked to a mere 327 MHz.

Unlike most other ATi based videocards we've tested, the Gigabyte GV-R96X128D's core and memory did not play nicely together. In order to run both the core and memory overclocked we had to lower the core speed to 587 MHz.

PCStats Test System Specs:

intel pentium 4 3.0c

clock speed: 15 x 200 mhz = 3.0 ghz

gigabyte 8knxp, i875p


ati radeon 9800 pro
ati radeon 9700 pro
gigabyte radeon 9600 pro
msi fx5900u-vtd256
albatron geforcefx 5600 ultra (rev2)
msi g4ti4600-vt2d8x
gigabyte gv-r96x128d


2x 256mb corsair twinx 3200ll

hard drive: 40gb wd special ed
cdrom: nec 52x cd-rom
powersupply: vantec stealth 470w
software setup

windowsxp build 2600
intel inf 5.03
catalyst 3.9
detonator 52.16

workstation benchmarks

gun metal 2
quake iii arena ver 1.17

aa test, af and aa+af test
quake iii arena

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Contents of Article: Gigabyte GV-R96X128D
 Pg 1.  Gigabyte GV-R96X128D 9600XT Videocard Review
 Pg 2.  — GPU cooling and Overclocking
 Pg 3.  Benchmarks: 3DMark2001, 3DMark03
 Pg 4.  Benchmarks: AquaMark
 Pg 5.  Benchmarks: AquaMark3
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: CodeCreatures
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: GunMetal 2
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: Quake III Arena
 Pg 9.  Benchmarks: UT2003
 Pg 10.  Benchmarks: 3DMark2001, Quake III Arena w/AA
 Pg 11.  Benchmarks: 3DMark2001, Quake III Arena w/AF
 Pg 12.  Benchmarks: 3DMark2001, Quake III Arena w/AA+AF
 Pg 13.  Gigabyte's Mainstream 9600XT

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