The video card market has been an active place this year, with NVIDIA and ATI launching something new more often than I recall in recent years. The performance and the speeds of the components are reaching new highs on a regular basis, which is a good thing for two types of buyers. Those who insist on owning cutting edge hardware have something new to look forward to quite often, and those who want solid performance at a more reasonable price can count on what was hot becoming much cheaper rather quickly.
The promotional image above provides a quick look at the subject of this review, the ASUS TOP 512MB GeForce 9600GT graphics card. Based on my description of the recent developments in computer graphics, this card would fall into the second category. The technology is several months old now, and the price has come down to just over the $100 mark.
Before taking a look at just how much bang for the buck you get with this card, let's take a look at some published data on the ASUS TOP 512MB GeForce 9600GT. The items listed below cover some of the key points on the card, and for a complete list of the current features and specifications, please visit the official product page on the ASUS website.
Features and Specifications:
» Model: EN9600GT TOP/HTDI/512M
» Interface: PCI Express 2.0 x16
» Chipset: NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT
» Core Clock: 720MHz
» Stream Processors: 64
» Memory Clock: 2 GHz (1 GHz DDR3)
» Memory Size: 512MB
» Memory Interface: 256-bit
» Memory Type: GDDR3
For those familiar with the state of the video card market, it should be clear that these specifications are strong, but they aren't the top of the line. Despite shipping from the factory with an overclock of about 10% on the GPU, so many cards have been released since the 9600GT was launched that the extra bump doesn't really help it in a global sense. What we do have with the ASUS TOP 512MB GeForce 9600GT is a video card that should still pack quite a punch, while offering a much more competitive price than some of the truly high end offerings.
The box for the ASUS TOP 512MB GeForce 9600GT graphics card is shown below. The main visual element on the front of the box is an image of a female archer, but there are plenty of details provided regarding features, specifications, and what is included with the card. The back of the box goes into more details on the card's features, special innovations, and system requirements.
Inside the box, the card is sealed in an anti-static bag and isolated by form fitting foam for protection.