The GeForce 9600 GT is a strange product in many ways – not because of its performance, or really its price for that matter either. No, it's because it's breaking Nvidia's tradition of launching the fastest graphics card in a new series first and it's not as if the company's mid-range was already pretty crowded because of the slew of end-of-year releases in the GeForce 8-series.
Yes, we're talking about the GeForce 8800 GT (in both 256MB and 512MB variants) and the GeForce 8800 GS here – products that Nvidia has admitted probably should have been a part of the GeForce 9-series, but launched in the busiest buying period of the year.
Had Nvidia launched said products—and also the GeForce 8800 GTS for that matter—as part of the GeForce 9-series, the company was worried that sales for its current GeForce 8-series cards would have dropped through the roof – it's hard to imagine that this didn't happen anyway but, yeah, it led to a big sea of grey.
Today we've got BFG Tech's GeForce 9600 GT OC 512MB graphics card on the test bench – a card that hopes to change our feelings for the GeForce 9600 GT. So let's have a look to see what's going on...
Click to enlarge
Box and bundle
These days it seems like with every new graphics card, there's a new box design from BFG Tech – the mask on this one apparently belongs to the character found on BFG Tech's GeForce 8-series boxes. Now, I'm not quite sure what he turns into when he puts his mask on, but it'll no doubt be some über dude... or something.
All of the required information is presented in an intuitive manner and this time the performance indicator in the bottom right corner on the front of the box suggests that this card is at the high side of "better." On the back, there's a more detailed breakdown of this – and this time the shield is coloured Silver.
According to BFG Tech, it's great for general computing and HD video, with the bar 'full', while the bar for gaming performance is around 60-70 percent full. Indeed, the company recommends that this card is best suited for gaming at 1920x1200 or less.
Click to enlarge
Like we're used to seeing, BFG Tech's GeForce 9600 GT OC bundle isn't anything special and there are no games in the box – whether that's important to you is of course personal preference, but I prefer not to be given free games in a graphics card bundle, as it's usually an excuse to increase the price and, more often than not, the game isn't to my liking. Maybe I've got a weird taste in games? I dunno.
What you do get in the box though is a pair of DVI-to-VGA converters, a component-out cable that connects to the card's HDTV out connector, a 2x4-pin Molex to 6-pin PCI-Express cable (for those that don't have one on their PSU), a couple of case stickers, a quick install guide and a driver CD.