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

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

3DMark Vantage

3DMark Vantage is Futuremark’s latest DX10 benchmark exclusively for Windows Vista. This is truly the next generation 3D benchmark.

We used the default ‘Performance’ setting preset, and the usual 1280×1024 resolution. Detailed benchmark settings can be seen below.

3DMark Vantage is comprised of numerous tests including full scale gaming, CPU and card feature tests. For the purposes of this review, we’ll be focusing on the GPU tests and overall score.

As can be seen, the Palit 9600GT Sonic 1GB takes the cake with a 600 point lead over the reference HD3850. To my surprise, the Palit Super+1GB scored almost 1000 points lower than the reference HD3850. The lower memory bandwidth has definitely bottlenecked the card in 3DMark Vantage.

We see a similar trend in the individual GPU tests with the Super+1GB trailing the reference card by a few frames per second.

A few custom tests were run to see if more agressive antialiasing would paint a different picture. Interestingly, the reference 3850 couldn’t complete the test at 8x MSAA and caused constant freezeups. The Super+1GB didn’t have an issue. It could be a memory capacity limitation that caused this issue at 8x MSAA, but without being able to complete the test, a conclusion can’t be drawn. The 9600GT Sonic 1GB did well across the entire range of AA settings, as did the Super+1GB. Each card exhibited a mere 2-3 FPS delta between 8x MSAA and no antialiasing at all.

3DMark 2006

Futuremark’s 3DMark 2006 is arguably the most popular 3D benchmark of all time. We benchmarked using the default settings, as that is the most widely recognized configuration.

3DMark 2006 provides a pattern similar to what we saw in 3DMark Vantage. The 9600GT Sonic 1GB scores highest at almost 12,000 points, with the reference HD3850 trailing by about 1,500. Again, the reduced memory bandwidth of the Super+1GB has it trailing behind the reference HD3850 by almost 2,500 points.

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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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