NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT Round-up: PNY, MSI, ASUS

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Performance Summary and Conclusion

Performance Summary: When we compare just the three GeForce 9600 GTs in this round-up, the performance summary is relatively clear. The two 9600 GTs with reference clocks (the ASUS EN9600GT SILENT and the PNY Verto 9600 GT) are just a bit slower than the overclocked MSI N9600GT OC in most of the testing that we performed. It didn't take much logic to expect these results, though. What impressed us was how well the GeForce 9600 GTs fared against the GeForce 8800 GT 512MB.

All three of these GeForce 9600 GTs are good choices for different reasons. If you want a no frills, single-slot 9600 GT that is probably one of the least expensive 512MB 9600 GTs currently available, then we'd have no problem recommending the PNY Verto 9600 GT to you. It's a good buy at about $139

PNY Verto 9600 GT 512MB
•  One of the least expensive 9600 GTs available
•  Single-slot cooler
•  Great bang for the buck
•  Reference cooler
•  Reference clocks

If you'd rather have a flashy, factory-overclocked 9600 GT and don't mind giving up two expansion slots, then we wouldn't hesitate to suggest that you check out the MSI N9600GT OC. You'll have to pony up
about $15 more (or about $155) for this card, though. For the extra coin, you get a custom cooler that works better than the reference design, a DVI-to-HDMI adapter, an audio cable to use with HDMI, and a plethora of custom MSI utilities.

MSI N9600GT OC 512MB
•  Factory overclocked
•  Good performance
•  Good custom cooler
•  DVI-to-HDMI adapter included
•  Best overclocking potential of the bunch
•  More expensive than other 9600 GTs
•  Two-slot cooler

On the other hand, if you'd prefer to buy a silent gaming solution that doesn't sacrifice performance and don't mind a two-slot solution, then the ASUS EN9600GT SILENT would have to be at the top of short list of candidates. In addition to the custom passive cooler and the custom PCB that goes with it, you get an DVI-to-HDMI adapter, an audio cable to use with HDMI, and a handful of custom ASUS utilities. This card would be perfect in a quiet HTPC that is also used for gaming or in any gaming PC designed with noise reduction in mind. Although we had difficulty finding this card in stock anywhere other than NewEgg, it was listed at $155 with a $20 rebate, which brings its price down to a very attractive $135.

•  Absolutely silent
•  DVI-to-HDMI adapter included
•  Good performance
•  Have to lift up the heatsink to fully connect power
•  Reference clocks
•  Two-slot cooler
•  Limited availability

Tags:  Nvidia, Asus, MSI, GeForce, pny, round-up, MS, force, GT, id

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