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Palit 9600GT 1GB Sonic and HD3850 Super+1GB

Palit 9600GT 1GB Sonic and HD3850 Super+1GB

Palit GeForce 9600GT 1GB Sonic

Below are a list of specifications taken from the Sonic 9600GT product page available at www.palit.biz.

  • Bus interface: PCI Express 2.0 Support
  • Memory: 1024MB GDDR3
  • Memory Interface: 256 bit
  • Core Clock: 700MHz
  • Memory Clock: 2000MHz (1000MHz x 2)
  • DisplayPort output supports a maximum of 10.8 Gbit/s data rate and 2560×1600 resolution
  • Dual Dual-link DVI outputs supports two 2560×1600 resolution displays
  • NVIDIA® unified architecture with GigaThread™ technology
  • NVIDIA® Quantum Effects™ physics processing technology
  • Full Microsoft® DirectX® 10 Shader Model 4.0 support
  • 16x full-screen anti-aliasing
  • True 128-bit floating point high dynamic-range (HDR) lighting
  • NVIDIA® PureVideo™ HD technology
  • OpenGL® 2.1 support
  • NVIDIA ForceWare® Unified Driver Architecture (UDA)
  • Certified for Microsoft® Windows Vista™
  • NVIDIA® Lumenex™ Engine
  • Dual 400MHz RAMDACs
  • Discrete, Programmable Video Processor
  • Hardware Decode Acceleration
  • High-Quality Scaling
  • Inverse Telecine (3:2 & 2:2 Pulldown Correction)
  • Bad Edit Correction
  • Integrated SD and HD TV Output
  • Noise Reduction
  • Edge Enhancement
  • Dynamic Contrast Enhancement
  • Dual Stream Decode Acceleration
  • HDCP capable

Aside from the usual standard G94 GPU features, we can see that Palit has increased the 9600GT reference frequency from 650MHz to 700MHz, and the memory clock from 1800MHz to 2000MHz. Also interesting is the inclusion of a ‘DisplayPort’ output connector. This is definitely something you don’t see every day. Not only is the card faster than the 9600GT reference, but Palit has doubled the onboard GDDR3 from 512MB to 1GB.

The 9600GT 1GB Sonic comes in a colorful, holographic green box. The familiar Palit robotic frog, “Frobot” is on the front, as well as some basic specifications.

Palit includes some basic accessories with the 9600GT 1GB Sonic. A DVI to DSUB adapter is included, along with a molex to PCI-E power adapter, optical SPDIF cable and an internal audio cable. Because the card has an HDMI output, these cables aid in getting audio sources to the card. You can find instructions on how to wire this card up for HDMI audio at Palit’s HDMI support page. Aside from a driver disc, the full version of Tomb Raider Anniversary is included; a nice bonus.

The card itself is quite a sight. The dual-slot plastic shroud makes it look a lot larger than the single slot reference 9600GTs. Although no one can deny that Palit’s design and use of color is unique, I can’t help but wish the shroud was black and looked a bit more subtle. Bright, flashy designs have never appealed to me personally. To each their own, I suppose. For those who put cooling performance higher on their list of important features—the dual slot Palit cooler should fit the bill.

When viewing the card from the top, the two copper heatpipes are visible, hinting to the non-reference cooler beneath.

The Palit card employs a 60mm fan. It is centrally mounted, and although the card is dual slot with an exhaust grill, the fan does not force all air out of the case like many blower style configurations. Some of the air will escape out the back of the case, but much of it will simply escape the shroud into the case.

Also at the top of the card is an SLI connector for those wishing to run a pair of 9600GTs in an Nvidia SLI capable motherboard. The small white connector is a two pin digital audio connector. The included internal SPDIF cable can be used to get audio for output via HDMI.

The card employs a single 6-pin PCI-E power adapter. This is always a good sign, as single connectors often equate to lower power requirements and better PSU compatibility.

At the rear of the card, we have a plethora of ports; many more than your average 9600GT. Aside from the usual dual-link DVI connectors, there is an HDCP compatible HDMI port, a DisplayPort and even an SPDIF optical connector. Despite having four display connectors, only two can be used at a time. Just about any combination of two ports can be used with the exception of HDMI and DisplayPort, which can not be used simultaneously. This is the first I have seen a ‘DisplayPort’ port on a graphics card. For those who don’t know what DisplayPort is; I refer you to the pertinent wiki.

At the rear of the card is a large heat spreader to keep the memory cool. Its color matches that of the plastic shroud.

With the shroud removed, the oversized heatsink is visible.

I didn’t have any issues getting the card up and running. I installed the Nvidia 175.19 drivers and was off to the races. GPU-Z has lots to say about the Palit 1GB Sonic 9600GT. As can be seen above, it comes in a factory overclocked 700MHz/1000MHz configuration.

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Comments

  1. Winfrey
    Winfrey Very good writeup as always mike! Before I read this article I didn't know very much at all about Palit in the video card industry. I got a pretty good impression from this article though:thumbup
  2. Zuntar
    Zuntar Nice review Mike, easy to see charts too! Thanks!!!
  3. zero-counter
    zero-counter Would it have made more sense to compare the 9600gt 1GB DDR3 version to the 9600gt 512MB DDR3 version, in proving differences in memory size?

    The current comparison seems biased..considering memory type differences between the two 1 GB cards and the other card having a smaller memory size yet comparable memory type. These specifications can definitely impact the outcome of a benchmark comparison. On that note, your graphs showed the 3850/256MB/DDR3 as a very close contender for the 9600GT, given its memory deficiency.

    It is obvious in your benchmarks, that the memory type made a difference when comparing the 3850 ref. 256MB/DDR3 model to the 3850 1GB/DDR2 one. Why not at least the 512MB version of the 3850 if you were not able to procure a 1GB one (only current one I have found is the CF version)? I am aware that the tests are limited to what is on hand and available to you.

    Otherwise, the review was informative when comparing your charted info to other reviews out there to the 512MB version of the card in discussion (9600gt).

    Please correct me if my logic is flawed. Thanks! :)
  4. BuddyJ
    BuddyJ
    zero.counter said:
    Would it have made more sense to compare the 9600gt 1GB DDR3 version to the 9600gt 512MB DDR3 version, in proving differences in memory size?
    Sure, it would have been great. Send us one.
    The current comparison seems biased..considering memory type differences between the two 1 GB cards and the other card having a smaller memory size yet comparable memory type. bla bla bla
    I don't think bias enters the picture. It's an apples to apples comparison for the ATI cards, with an orange thrown in because we were graciously provided with it, plus it gave readers a sense of what sort of performance they can get from a similarly priced card. Both Palit cards are right around $130.
    I am aware that the tests are limited to what is on hand and available to you.
    That should alone should have answered your original question.
  5. zero-counter
    zero-counter
    Buddy J said:
    Sure, it would have been great. Send us one.
    You may see the point I am attempting to push. If you want to be unbiased, yet informative, then you should procure samples of similar qualities for testing. If someone wants to pay shipping both ways, I could possibly loan a couple of things in the best interests of the site, let me know.
    Buddy J said:
    I don't think bias enters the picture. It's an apples to apples comparison for the ATI cards, with an orange thrown in because we were graciously provided with it, plus it gave readers a sense of what sort of performance they can get from a similarly priced card. Both Palit cards are right around $130.
    Apples to apples as in Fujis to Granny Smiths? Or Fujis to Fujis? The 3850 GPU core is identical, yes. The orange, as you stated, was admittedly the control in the review albeit not related to the 9600gt. But the memory type can impact performance severly, especially when enabling AA and AF with higher resolutions. I understand the price issue, but there is more to consider here.
    Buddy J said:
    That should alone should have answered your original question.
    This was obviously understood (as pointed out) and posted so that everyone can see that a lack of resources is not justification for a somewhat biased review. For future reference so as this issue does not repeat itself, reviews might be clear, concise, fair, and unjust (every other aspect of the review was absolutely great, just the odd comparison). I said that in hopes that future reviewers take this into consideration. ;)
  6. Thrax
    Thrax I don't think bias means what you think it means.
  7. lemonlime
    lemonlime You are 100% correct about including the other cards, zero.counter. Including results for a 512MB 9600GT and 512MB GDDR3 HD3850 would have been ideal. Believe me, I was of the same school of thought. I would have included them if I could have. The review definitely lacked the appropriate range of competitive products to provide an accurate picture of their abilities. None the less, I did the best I could with what I had to work with.

    I should mention that the 256MB HD3850 was paid for out of my own pocket for this review. It wasn't overly expensive, so I didn't mind. Beyond that, I'm afraid I just can't buy three aging cards. I don't get to keep the two Palit cards, (they are on their way to other Icrontic reviewers for other projects) so this is definitely not something I can justify. Icrontic was not able to pitch in for additional hardware and we had nothing else coming from other manufacturers, so that is all I had.

    It is very challenging to produce a solid review without all of the appropriate tools. I will see about adding a paragraph to the introduction of the article to forewarn readers about the lack of comparison cards and the apples to oranges comparison of the 9600GT and HD3850s. I do appreciate the feedback and the offer to lend hardware for review. We'll definitely take you up on that next time :)
  8. zero-counter
    zero-counter
    Thrax said:
    I don't think bias means what you think it means.
    Really? Care to elaborate? There are two issues at hand, availability of parts and the decision to run the review...displaying a seemingly biased outcome, given the details. To push the review, knowing what i have stated, could be viewed as being bias. Relatively speaking of course.

    Lemonlime...your article is great, and I understand the constraints. I was just bringing up a point that I am pretty sure the normal visitor of Icrontic would understand already, but someone googling the card and arriving at the article may not fully understand the comparison for whatever reason. Just a point. I appreciate your response and look forward to future reviews! :)

    I love this site, and will always view it as a useful, entertaining, and intellectually enveloping place to visit.

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