When you analyse the average speeds obtained in our different tests, you can easily see that the card is really only suitable for screens that are 19 inches and under. And even then, you need to be pretty generous when it comes to graphic effects so as to retain a speed that is high enough for games such as Far Cry 2 or Crysis Warhead. For games in 2009, it'll no doubt be necessary to settle for even less graphic detail or opt for a higher performance card.
Size, energy consumption and noise
The 9600 GT is of average size; 23 cm long. Nothing remarkable about the original heatsink, and frees up an extra PCI port. Hot air remains within the casing however instead of being expelled. A single 6-pin PCI-Express power supply is all that's needed to plug the card in. The fan is discrete when the card is idling (we took a reading of 38 dB (A)) and audible but not too much so with intense 3D activated (44.5 dB(A)). Moderate energy consumption in both 3D (217w) and 2D (118w). ATI's Radeon HD 4670 scores 93 and 189w under the same conditions.
- Moderate energy consumption
- Takes up little space
- Performance levels not enough for demanding games
This is a model designed for occasional players, or those who give little importance to the level of graphic detail in games. For anything else, you'll need to go for something more powerful.