Palit GeForce 9600 GT Sonic @ [H]

FrgMstr

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Palit GeForce 9600 GT Sonic - Palit’s new GeForce 9600 GT Sonic overclocked video card has a unique design and cooling solution with enough output ports to satisfy any HTPC user. We evaluate gameplay in CoD 4, Crysis, and UT3 alongside a GeForce 8800 GT and a Radeon HD 3870.

Palit has packed a lot of custom features into their new GeForce 9600 GT Sonic. This Sonic branding isn’t just some kind of gimmick either where they throw a few extra MHz at you; they have improved this video card from the power circuitry to the output ports and delivered a great gameplay experience. It is right on the heels of GeForce 8800 GT performance in our three games tested, matching in Crysis and UT3 and coming very close in CoD 4.
 

maddude

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Good review. Interesting how it keeps up with the 8800gt so well. Is it worth getting it for the display port output? I can't imagine display port replacing dvi anytime soon. Over all though, with the custom cooling and added outputs, this looks like a good card. If I didn't have my 8800gt, I'd give this card a look.
 

Citizen86

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Last line, I think you guys linked to the wrong card when you said there's at least one 8800GT peeking under $200, but that's a 256mb card which doesn't really compare.... maybe you meant this one after MIR?

Looks like a nice card, I might recommend it although I think it still seems a little pricey being that it is still a 9600GT.

I know you guys choose the best-selling games at the time, but probably the last 6 reviews have been the same 3 games.... I think we all know how these video cards play on these games now. Especially Call of duty 4 and UT3, I'm personally a fan of COD4, but we all know that these cards play these games beautifully now.
 

FrgMstr

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Fixed that link Citi! Thanks.

As for the games, if you have any others that are more graphically demanding, please share. We feel as though if a card will play these three games, it will play pretty much any others.
 

Citizen86

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I guess that's the problem right now, there really isn't any other games that REALLY stress a video card like Crysis. I would say maybe a game like World in Conflict, but I haven't really played that one and I don't think it's one of the top-selling games.

Still though, a game like that may stress the video card more than UT3, which I don't think many people like much anyways :p
 

FrgMstr

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I guess that's the problem right now, there really isn't any other games that REALLY stress a video card like Crysis. I would say maybe a game like World in Conflict, but I haven't really played that one and I don't think it's one of the top-selling games.

Still though, a game like that may stress the video card more than UT3, which I don't think many people like much anyways :p

Here is our WiC coverage.

http://www.hardocp.com/article.html?art=MTM5OSwsLGhlbnRodXNpYXN0

When you PLAY it the way it is played rather than staring at the water and the sky, it is not that much of a graphically intensive game.

And yes, I understand what you are wishing we would do, and so do we. So if you have any ideas, please share.
 

Citizen86

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Yeah, like I said I haven't really played it, guess it's just what I've heard.

Anyways, it is kind of a strange thing to be asking for, eh? Please find a game that'll run like crap on our mid-range cards because it's ridiculous that we can run these brand new games at high resolutions with all the eye candy :rolleyes:

There really isn't anything to complain about. I know you guys will be looking at new games when they come out anyways. Assassin's Creed should be interesting with it's steep system requirements.

But anyways, enough off-topicness, cool card, a little yellow for my tastes though :p
 
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With the added HDMI port does this mean you could essentially plug 3 monitors into the card?

2 via DVI and one via HDMI?

If so this card is perfect for what I want to do with my puter. I just hope it can handle pumping all those displays.
 

Brent_Justice

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Yeah, like I said I haven't really played it, guess it's just what I've heard.

Anyways, it is kind of a strange thing to be asking for, eh? Please find a game that'll run like crap on our mid-range cards because it's ridiculous that we can run these brand new games at high resolutions with all the eye candy :rolleyes:

There really isn't anything to complain about. I know you guys will be looking at new games when they come out anyways. Assassin's Creed should be interesting with it's steep system requirements.

But anyways, enough off-topicness, cool card, a little yellow for my tastes though :p

Rainbow Six Vegas 2 out soon, uses a modified UE3 engine, we will definitely be looking at that.
 

lenardo

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as to how many monitors...

Currently i have 2 hooked up to mine (yes i Own this video card)- one via hdmi (30" hdtv) one via dvi (20" widescreen lcd)

the one thing that i am having problems with is the sound over hdmi with this card- just not working -so i just used the optical to my home theatre since i got a bluray drive on the computer i just built. and i must say the Video Quality via HDMI is great with this video card.

(budget gaming computer-total cost including x-fi card and bluray rom was 540 dollars- i reused my antec p180 case w/500 watt power supply)
 

hegulator

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Did I see that right in the picture? Internal audio connector... does that mean you can hook your sound card up to this 9600GT so that you don't have to use the vid card's onboard sound through the HDMI port?

If so, is this the first card that lets you do this? One of my big complaints with the 3870 is that you have to use the sound on the card if you want everything through the HDMI port.
 

anthrex

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yes it does.

dang I don't know which 9600gt to get. still leaning toward this one, but I dunno... arg 2 more weeks till i can.

Thanks for the review guys hope you'll be able to squeeze in another 9600gt in the meantime :D
 

Niceone

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Don't see too many reasons for buying this card when there is this significantly cheaper Palit version which also has excelent cooler:
http://www.vr-zone.com/articles/64_Shader_Processors:_NVIDIA_Geforce_9600GT/5575-4.html

This one costs (Finland) 150€ (225 USD) and Sapphire HD3870 single slot (cheapest HD3870) costs 185€ (275 USD)... Palit 9600 GT is much better than reference model Saphire's model is much worse than reference model. Not too difficult to choose..
 

jo blo

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I just got the new dell 2408 monitor that has display port connector. I'm seriously considering this card because its the only card available with display port that I've seen.
Has anyone tried this yet and can tell me if it's worth it?
Or has anyone seen any other mainstream cards with display port connector yet?
Not too wild about Palit's 2 year parts and labor warranty.
 

Citizen86

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The Witcher Gameplay and Performance

Assassins Creed I'm sure will be considered when/if it is released.

I wondered about Oblivion too, but without the extra graphical mods and such, it's not so bad anymore.... and I don't know any review website that will download a bunch of mods for a game and then test it. Would be interesting though :p
 

skalogre

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Don't see too many reasons for buying this card when there is this significantly cheaper Palit version which also has excelent cooler:
http://www.vr-zone.com/articles/64_Shader_Processors:_NVIDIA_Geforce_9600GT/5575-4.html

This one costs (Finland) 150€ (225 USD) and Sapphire HD3870 single slot (cheapest HD3870) costs 185€ (275 USD)... Palit 9600 GT is much better than reference model Saphire's model is much worse than reference model. Not too difficult to choose..

I noticed that one, too. Does it run at similar same temperatures as the one reviewed by [H]?

On a sidenote, does anyone think that I should dump my HD3850 for this, btw? I am trying to work out if it is worth it for me, my LCD's native resolution is 1440x900 and am just wondering if I should upgrade this soon. The 8800 GT would probably run far too hot in my small case.
 

ASIA911

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That's a puny little fan. Since I'm the owner of the 8800GTX OC, I'm getting sick and tired of these 8600, 8800gt, gs and the 9600. Isn't it time for the BIG Boys now?
 

ShagnWagn

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Comparing a factory overclocked 9600GT to a stock clock 8800GT? tsk tsk... :p You could have pulled out one of those 8800GT OC cards. ;)

I guess this review evened the price gaps though. Factory OC cards are rarely worth the extra $ IMO.

I like the HDMI port. Too bad you can't output both audio and video through it! :( For me, that would make it even better considering it runs much cooler than an 8800GT.
 

hegulator

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Comparing a factory overclocked 9600GT to a stock clock 8800GT? tsk tsk... :p You could have pulled out one of those 8800GT OC cards. ;)

I guess this review evened the price gaps though. Factory OC cards are rarely worth the extra $ IMO.

I like the HDMI port. Too bad you can't output both audio and video through it! :( For me, that would make it even better considering it runs much cooler than an 8800GT.

Why can't you output audio and video through it? That's what I was refering to in my post above... it looks like you can hook your sound card to it and pipe the audio from a dedicated sound card (x-fi or whatever) through the vid card and out the HDMI port. The "interal audio connector" cable they show in the picture looks like those cables we used to use to connect our sound card to our CD drives, eh?
 

Niceone

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I noticed that one, too. Does it run at similar same temperatures as the one reviewed by [H]?

On a sidenote, does anyone think that I should dump my HD3850 for this, btw? I am trying to work out if it is worth it for me, my LCD's native resolution is 1440x900 and am just wondering if I should upgrade this soon. The 8800 GT would probably run far too hot in my small case.
They don't use similar way of meassuring (They use Rivatuner numbers). Those reference cards have much smaller temps than in [H] test.. core temperature is 10c smaller on Palit on load (48C vs 58c)

--------
http://enthusiast.hardocp.com/article.html?art=MTQ0Niw2LCxoZW50aHVzaWFzdA==
[H]'s Palit Geforce 8800 GT 512 had almost identical cooler

http://resources.vr-zone.com/yantronic/9600gt/sonic/IMG_9877.jpg
 

ShagnWagn

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Why can't you output audio and video through it? That's what I was refering to in my post above... it looks like you can hook your sound card to it and pipe the audio from a dedicated sound card (x-fi or whatever) through the vid card and out the HDMI port. The "interal audio connector" cable they show in the picture looks like those cables we used to use to connect our sound card to our CD drives, eh?

Yeah I know what you are talking about. I guess I'm talking out of my arse since I don't have one. I tried looking up documentation/manuals for it, but Palit's own website doesn't even list this as a product. :confused:

On other forums, many of the Palit owners have been asking why their audio doesn't come through HDMI. Perhaps they just didn't RTFM? I would say the optical port is for the audio. I am seriously doubting if that little cd-audio cable will push 5.1 sound through, and especially not hi-def movie lossless (like TrueHD). Can anybody confirm?

I really wish [H] did a full eval of the card instead of just performance numbers. This is not your standard video card... especially when it has throughput for audio as well! Would be nice if it had lossless support for a true hi-def HTPC. :cool:
 

hegulator

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Yeah I know what you are talking about. I guess I'm talking out of my arse since I don't have one. I tried looking up documentation/manuals for it, but Palit's own website doesn't even list this as a product. :confused:

On other forums, many of the Palit owners have been asking why their audio doesn't come through HDMI. Perhaps they just didn't RTFM? I would say the optical port is for the audio. I am seriously doubting if that little cd-audio cable will push 5.1 sound through, and especially not hi-def movie lossless (like TrueHD). Can anybody confirm?

I really wish [H] did a full eval of the card instead of just performance numbers. This is not your standard video card... especially when it has throughput for audio as well! Would be nice if it had lossless support for a true hi-def HTPC. :cool:

Yeah, this is one thing that I'm very interested in, but haven't been able to find any info about.

Hey Kyle, do you have any experience with audio output on the HDMI plug on this thing? What is the little internal audio cable for? How does all this stuff work?
 

Brent_Justice

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With the added HDMI port does this mean you could essentially plug 3 monitors into the card?

2 via DVI and one via HDMI?

If so this card is perfect for what I want to do with my puter. I just hope it can handle pumping all those displays.

This comes straight from Palit:

You could use 3 with the 2x DVI and 1x HDMI and then the DisplayPort connection.

Technically the way DisplayPort is designed with micro packets so theoretically they could hook up even more. DisplayPort can also be converted into 15 pin VGA, HDMI and DVI with the corresponding adapters. This is makes the card extremely flexible.

In essence, DisplayPort can handle 6x 1080i streams over a single cable so it should be possible to handle 6 different monitors. I am not sure what the industry has on the market to date but this is definitely the technology choice of the future.
 

gathagan

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Did I see that right in the picture? Internal audio connector... does that mean you can hook your sound card up to this 9600GT so that you don't have to use the vid card's onboard sound through the HDMI port?.
No, there's only SPIDF output on the back plate.
Are you mistaking the space in the shroud by the PCIe power connector for an input? That's just to give the locking clip space to operate.
 

gia

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I'm curious about the audio as well as I want to build and HTPC but I don't know much about them.
 

Lukenlogs

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Disclaimer: I love the [H], and I'm on it every day

As the term "HTPC" was mentioned in the intro-summary, I'd hoped that this review would have just a little bit about 1) the audio cable and what we can do with (which I suspect is not much, given that it's only a 2-pin, wth?:confused:), and 2) the experience of watching a hi-def movie with the card. Also, I didn't see any mention of this card actually having an on-board sound chip, like the 3870 cards do.

Incidentally, I just built an HTPC a few months ago, and threw a 3870 in it, and the on-board sound works great. We run the sound & video over an HDMI using an HDMI-DVI converter and it all works flawlessly.

I appreciate Kyle's take on most hardware reviews' benchmarks & FPS charts and I like how he differentiates [H]imself with his "apples-to-apples" review, but I do wish an extra page for us HTPC builders could get slapped onto the end of the reviews, especially for cards with HDMI & now the forthcoming-but-still-nearly-useless DP.

Hugs!

Luke
 

brownkc

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I agree with Luke. Based on the design of this card, at least one page should have been put to use reviewing the various connections and quality of video. The only thing for HTPCer's is a comment tucked in the end that it is quiet.

Also, after reviewing it, would you recommend leaving the ugly shroud on or taking it off. It looks like it have nothing to do with channeling airflow. In fact , without it there might be better heat dissipation.
 

lenardo

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the card has TWO sound hookups-not just one.

1) the exterior Optical hookup everyone See's that uses the passthru cable from sound card

2) the INTERNAL digital audio cable for hooking directly to either your sound card (if it has the digital audio pins-the xfi audio does not) or directly to the dvdrom/blu-rayrom unit itself if IT has the digital audio output.

my Blu-ray drive does NOT have the digital audio pins just sata and power connectors so i could not hook the digital wire up

i probably Will open my case and hook up my OLD dvdrom drive which does have the digital out and see what happens....after vacation.
 

jack_flack

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I am interesting in finding out about the internal audio cable as well. What is a good sound card that would have pins to accommodate this?
 

ScourggeFX

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In the review you mentioned you used the 169.xx drivers. The recommended drivers for the 9600gt are the 174.xx ones, especially if you want to SLI. I use 171.16 as the 174.xx causes freezing in all games for me. Is the 169.xx by choice? Also, how do they perform once you SLI? x8 and x16 PCI-e lanes?

With one card UT3 is smooth, but with SLI there are too many instances of hitching and jerking regardless of SLI method used. Ruins gameplay for me. Perhaps in a future review you could address this issue
 

evildre

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Palit has come a long way.

During my system builder days we used Palit Daytona TNT2 m64 cards in our lowest-end machines that didn't have integrated graphics. They were TNT2s and I didn't expect much from them, but those things lasted a long time. Never really thought of them as a performance-oriented company, though ... their GeForce 2 MX cards tended to blow caps after a couple months ...
 
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