As I finish up testing this video board, I can't help to wonder how they managed to get such good power in a package that is currently retailing for US$172. Granted the card came in dead last in every test, but that was expected. What wasn't expected was the range between performance levels.
With 128MB of a very good quality memory, not only can you get some very workable numbers from the default settings, but you can get even more with its effective overclocking capabilities. Though I expected a bit more from the memory modules, I didn't expect nearly the levels I received from the VPU core itself. Overall a very nice touch.
The cooling is smallish, but effective. There was very little sound put out by the fan used, but if you prefer a total quiet solution you can look into the Sapphire 9600XT Ultimate Edition, which will feature heatpipe cooling instead of the active type.
Bottom line...If you're looking for solid performance but don't have a boatload of money to spend on your next video board, then you have definitely found your dream card. With good performance and a price that is about $30 less than other 9600XT boards available, you just can't go wrong.
Less expensive than other 9600XT boards
Playable frame rates with AA/AF enabled
Excellent overclocking of core
Very good performance
Memory overclocking a bit off
Rating - 9/10 and TweakTown's Best Value Award
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