Gigabyte GVR96X128D 9600XT - HotHardware

Gigabyte GVR96X128D 9600XT

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The GV-R96X128D 9600XT from Gigabyte
High-End Quality at a Mid-Range Price

By, Jeff Bouton
March 2, 2004

The Gigabyte GV-R96X128D 9600XT
Not Just a Reference Design

Just like Gigabyte's motherboards, the GV-R96X128D 9600XT sports a blue PCB.  The unit comes with a common configuration powered by ATi's RV360 GPU.  The RV360 is clocked at a potent 500MHz, making the card the highest clocked GPU  currently in ATi's line-up.  The GPU is complimented by 128MBs of DDR RAM clocked at 300MHz (600MHz effective).  Gigabyte chose high quality Samsung chips that are designed specifically for higher clock speeds and history has shown there should be a bit of headroom over their default rating.  We did think that the perfect match to the GV-R96X128D's gold cooler would be some gold RAM sinks, but Gigabyte opted to leave the RAM chips naked.  Let us not forget to mention that when the card is powered up, the cooler emits a cool blue light thanks via an embedded LED.

   

   

The edge of the card sports the common VGA, TV-Out, DVI configuration commonly found on most video cards today.  The unit offers both a VGA and DVI connector, with the latter able to be converted to VGA with the included DVI-to-VGA adapter.

It appears that Gigabyte has put together a clean, sharp looking card with an ample amount of horsepower to run the latest games available.  While we're speaking of horsepower, we've opted to load EA Sports NASCAR Thunder 2004 for our eyecandy segment, which we will follow up by running the card through its paces to see how it compares to other cards in its class.

 

In-Game Screenshots With The Gigabyte GV-R96X128D 9600XT
NASCAR Thunder 2004 from EA Sports

Before we get started with benchmarking a video card, we like to take a few in game screenshots to show what it is capable of.  This time around we opted to use EA Sports NASCAR Thunder 2004. Much like its previous version, this is one amazing looking game that does a great job of delivering on the realism.  To get started we took a couple of screenshots with no Antialiasing or Anisotropic filtering enabled, then we worked our way up to full AA and Anisotropic settings.

NO AA 4XAA 6AXX/16Aniso

With no AA enabled the video quality was decent, although we could see severe jagged edges on the rearview mirror as well as the concrete wall on the right edge of the track and the light poles.  To clean things up a bit, we enabled 4X AA and saw a nice improvement.  The mirror edges were significantly less jagged and the wall was more smooth, improving the overall look quite a bit.  Next we aimed for the stars and increased the Antialiasing to a maximum 6X and Anisotropic filtering to 16X.  This is where the game really popped on the screen, with the in-game details really coming to life.  There were no rough edges to be found and the details of the surroundings were far more realistic.  The road details looked almost real which is easily seen when you compare the image in the mirror of the lower two images.  What was even more impressive is how fluid the game was even with the driver qualities and game qualities set to their maximum and the game resolution set for 1024x768. 

The Test System & AquaMark3

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