XFX GeForce 9600GT XXX Alpha Dog Review :: XFX GeForce 9600GT XXX Alpha Dog Edition Features

04-04-2008 · Category: Hardware - Video Cards

By Doc Overclock

XFX GeForce 9600GT XXX Alpha Dog Review

  • NVIDIA G94
  • 505 Million Transistors
  • 64 Stream Processors
  • 740 MHz
  • 1750MHz shader clock
  • 2 GHz Memory Clock
  • DirectX 10
  • Pixel Shader 4.0
  • Vertex Shader 4.0
  • 256-bit memory bus
  • 512MB memory

The 9600GT is based upon NVIDIA’s G94 chip which is the replacement for the 8600GT. It is based upon TSMC’s 65 nanometer process with 505 million transistors. In many ways the 9600GT is half an 8800GT 512MB in terms of the number of texture units, the number of Stream Processors and in terms of ROPS. But there are mitigating circumstances, which will allow the 9600GT to outperform other cards with more SPs in some instances.

Memory bandwidth is an important consideration, and the 9600GT from XFX has it in spades. The memory clock on this card is 2GHz effective, meaning that with a 256-bit memory interface the bandwidth of the card is 64GB/second effective. That is a huge leap from the 8600GT, which only had a 128-bit memory interface so the 9600GT will benefit from the increase.

The texturing fill rate of the XFX 9600GT is 23.68 Gigatexels a second. There are 32 texturing units on the 9600GT compared to the 64 found on the 8800GT, 9800GTX and other fully fledged NVIDIA high end cards. Meaning the higher number counts a bit but as we’ll see in the performance section of the review texture fill rate isn’t everything. The number of ROPs on the 9600GT is 16 the same as those found on the higher-end cards as well.

PCI Express 2.0 was released with the launch of the Intel X38 chipset a year ago. PCI Express 2.0 is the second generation Serial Point to Point Protocol that replaced the AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port) and PCI standard. The first generation PCIe transfers data at a 2.5 Gigabytes per second signaling rate per lane (x16 lanes provides up to 4 GB/second). PCI Express 2.0 doubles that so up to 8GB/second of bandwidth is now available to the video card.

NVIDIA launched the 8800GTX in 2006 to a lot of deserved praise as it was the first DirectX 10 card on the market and ahead of the others by a few months in addition to having the performance to outdo the competition quite easily. The 9600GT fully supports the same feature set as the 8800GTX and all of its followers. DirectX 10 brought Unified Shader support, Pixel Shader 4.0, Vertex Shader 4.0 and Geometry Shaders to game developers. AMD and S3 have moved on to SM 4.1 with DirectX 10.1, but NVIDIA is still on SM 4.0. The average user will not likely see any difference between the two. The 9600GT added new features to the NVIDIA PureVideo HD feature set called Dual Stream Decode and Dynamic Color and Contrast. Dual Stream Decode allows the graphics card to decode up to two High Definition streams simultaneously, meaning that the card can run the director’s commentary along with the movie at the same time. Dynamic Color and Contrast adjust those settings if the driver feels it’s needed.