by August 3, 2004 0 comments

It’s always fascinating to play around with expensive high end gamers cards, but the cards that are used widely in the industry are the more economical middle segment cards such as the ATI 9600 chipset based ATI Radeon 9600XT. The Radeon 9600XT has an AGP 8X interface, 256 MB video memory, 500 MHz GPU and supports Open GL and DirectX 9 graphic libraries. We tested the card on a P4 3.0 GHz, 512 MB DDR RAM system with Win XP and compared its performance with the Gigabyte Radeon 9600Pro card, reviewed in October 2003 (page 104). Considering that XT cards are the highest end offering in the Radeon 9600 series and this ATI card has 256 MB video RAM and 500 MHz GPU as against 128 MB and 400 MHz of the 9600Pro, it should be performing much better than the Gigabyte card. However, the test results conveyed a different story. The ATI card managed to score over the Gigabyte in Quake III and 3DMark 2001SE by only a small margin of 2.5%, and in 3D Mark2003 by 7%. In spite of better specs, the ATI lagged the Gigabyte card in Serious Sam by 10%. The card comes with a unique feature called Overdrive, which protects it from getting over heated if you over clock the card to get even better performance. At a price of Rs 12,275 the card is worth the value, but 128 MB of extra video memory and 100 Mhz of extra clock speed over the 9600 Pro do not do justice to the performance.

The bottom line: At Rs 12,275, the card is competitively priced against the Gigabyte Radeon9600Pro, which was priced at Rs 15,000 when we reviewed it. Though, its price would have also come down now. Performance wise, both are more or less at the same level.

Ankit Kawatra

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