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Leadtek WinFast PX9600 GSO Extreme 384MB

If you find yourself wanting a 9600 GSO that packs a bit more punch, the Leadtek Extreme version may be an option.
@ShawnBakerTW
Published Thu, Jul 24 2008 11:00 PM CDT   |   Updated Fri, Sep 18 2020 10:50 PM CDT
Rating: 86%Manufacturer: Leadtek

Introduction


Leadtek WinFast PX9600 GSO Extreme 384MB



It's been a while since we've seen anything from Leadtek, but they have graced us with their presence today bearing a 9600 GSO Extreme which carries with it 384MB of GDDR3 memory.

We're not quite sure what makes this 9600 GSO so Extreme, but we intend to find out today. Not unlike its 8800 GS twin brother, the 9600 GSO hasn't really had much attention due to AMD offering two new cards, the 9600GT already being excellent value and of course NVIDIA offering two new high-end models as well.

There are a lot of people on a tight budget though, and the 9600 GSO might come in at a price point that's most attractive to them. We'll have a look at the Extreme version from Leadtek today and see if it's worth buying or if should you save a few more dollars and just buy the better known 9600GT.

The Package




Leadtek opt for quite a long thin box which has all the standard information we're used to seeing. Across the top of the box we have the brand Leadtek, while to the right we have some NVIDIA logos and the Vista one.

Leadtek WinFast PX9600 GSO Extreme 384MB


The middle of the box has a picture of a robot character, while below that we have the model along with a picture of the card. At the bottom of the box we have some of the main features like 384MB of GDD3 memory, Direct X 10, HDCP and more.

Leadtek WinFast PX9600 GSO Extreme 384MB


Turning the box over, we have a picture of the card which also lets us know some more features that are on offer. We have the specifications, mention of what's included in the package and some other bits of information.

Leadtek WinFast PX9600 GSO Extreme 384MB


Leadtek WinFast PX9600 GSO Extreme 384MB


Inside the box we don't have a whole lot going on. We really only have the normal cables and paperwork with a driver CD, quick install guide, molex to PCI Express convertor, component/s-video out and DVI to VGA connector.

The Card




Out of the box we can see the card uses something a bit more exciting than the single slot plastic cooler that we're so used to seeing on the 9600 series of cards. We have a big fan sitting on a heatsink that uses heat-pipe technology.

Leadtek WinFast PX9600 GSO Extreme 384MB


We also have another heatsink at the back of the card. Leadtek have also opted to keep the card in its original single slot form which is great news for people who are tight for space.

Leadtek WinFast PX9600 GSO Extreme 384MB


Leadtek WinFast PX9600 GSO Extreme 384MB


While the card does use a different cooler, the 6-pin PCI Express connector is still located at the back of the card while an SLI connector is located across the top. We also have the port for the loop back cable, but Leadtek haven't included this nor have they included a DVI to HDMI connector in the package.

Leadtek WinFast PX9600 GSO Extreme 384MB


As we mentioned before, the card is a single slot one; on the I/O department we have two Dual-Link DVI connectors and a single TV-Out port.


Specifications

The card is of course an Extreme model as mentioned. What this means is that the core and memory have both been bumped up. The core's gone from the default 550MHz to 600MHz and the 384MB of GDDR3 memory has gone from 1600MHz DDR to 1800MHz DDR.

Test System Setup and 3DMark06


Test System Setup

Processor(s): Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 @ 3GHz (333MHz x 9)
Cooling: Corsair Nautilus500 (Supplied by Corsair) with Arctic Cooling MX-2 Thermal Compound (Supplied by Arctic Cooling)
Motherboard(s): GIGABYTE X48-DQ6 (Supplied by GIGABYTE)
Memory: 2 X 1GB Kingston PC6400 DDR-2 3-3-3-10 (KHX6400D2ULK2/2G) (Supplied by Kingston)
Hard Disk(s): Seagate 250GB 7200RPM SATA-2 7200.10 (Supplied by Seagate)
Operating System: Windows XP Professional SP2, Windows Vista SP1
Drivers: ForceWare 175.19


Today we'll be looking at the overclocked 9600 GSO from Leadtek against the stock clocked 9600GT and the stock clocked 9600 GSO we looked at from ZOTAC the other day. We'll see if the overclock brings performance up to the 9600GT or if it even manages to pass it.


3DMark06

Version and / or Patch Used: Build 110
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmark06/
Buy It Here





3DMark06 is the worldwide standard in advanced 3D game performance benchmarking. A fundamental tool for every company in the PC industry as well as PC users and gamers, 3DMark06 uses advanced real-time 3D game workloads to measure PC performance using a suite of DirectX 9 3D graphics tests, CPU tests, and 3D feature tests.

3DMark06 tests include all new HDR/SM3.0 graphics tests, SM2.0 graphics tests, AI and physics driven single and multiple cores or processor CPU tests and a collection of comprehensive feature tests to reliably measure next generation gaming performance today.


Leadtek WinFast PX9600 GSO Extreme 384MB


In our first test we can see the Leadtek 9600 GSO managing to outperform the stock ZOTAC model and performing very similarly to the 9600GT, even coming out ahead sometimes.

Benchmarks - 3DMark Vantage


3DMark Vantage

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.1
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmarkvantage/
Buy It Here




3DMark Vantage is the new industry standard PC gaming performance benchmark from Futuremark, newly designed for Windows Vista and DirectX10. It includes two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, and support for the latest hardware.

3DMark Vantage is based on a completely new rendering engine, developed specifically to take full advantage of DirectX10, the new graphics API from Microsoft.


Leadtek WinFast PX9600 GSO Extreme 384MB


Firing up Vantage, we can see that the overclocked 9600 GSO again performs very close to the 9600GT with the stock model sitting about 10% behind.

Benchmarks - PT Boats: Knights of the Sea


PT Boats: Knights of the Sea

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo
Developer Homepage: http://en.akella.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.pt-boats.net/





PT Boats: Knights of the Sea is a naval action simulator that places gamers in charge of a mosquito fleet of the Allied Forces, Russia or Germany during the height of World War II.

Using the latest Direct X 10 technology PT Boards - Knights of the Sea manages to apply a lot of stress to the components of today which in turn gives us quite an intensive benchmark.


Leadtek WinFast PX9600 GSO Extreme 384MB


Leadtek WinFast PX9600 GSO Extreme 384MB


Under PT Boats we can see that the Leadtek card gives us a little boost over the ZOTAC one, but it still sits far behind the 9600GT here.

Benchmarks - CINEBENCH R10


CINEBENCH R10

Version and / or Patch Used: Release 10
Developer Homepage: http://www.maxon.net/
Product Homepage: http://www.maxon.net




CINEBENCH is a real-world test suite that assesses your computer's performace capabilities. MAXON CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's award-winning animation software, CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Spider-Man, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more.

MAXON CINEBENCH runs several tests on your computer to measure the performance of the main processor and the graphics card under real world circumstances. The benchmark application makes use of up to 16 CPUs or CPU cores and is available for Windows (32-bit and 64-Bit) and Macintosh (PPC and Intel-based).


<
Leadtek WinFast PX9600 GSO Extreme 384MB


Under CINEBENCH we can see that all three cards sit extremely close together.

Benchmarks - World in Conflict


World in Conflict

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.0.5
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.massive.se
Product Homepage: http://www.worldinconflict.com





World in Conflict is a real-time strategy video game by Massive Entertainment and to be published by Sierra Entertainment for Windows (DX9 and DX10) and the Xbox 360.

The game is set in 1989 where economic troubles cripple the Soviet Union and threaten to dissolve it. However, the title pursues a "what if" scenario where, in this case, the Soviet Union does not collapse and instead pursues a course of war to remain in power. It is an intensive new game is sure to put plenty of stress on even the latest graphics cards and we use the built-in benchmarking for our testing.


Leadtek WinFast PX9600 GSO Extreme 384MB


Leadtek WinFast PX9600 GSO Extreme 384MB


Under WIC we can see that the Leadtek 9600 GSO is able to actually outperform the 9600GT at all resolutions.

Benchmarks - Crysis


Crysis

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.2.1
Timedemo or Level Used: Custom time demo
Developer Homepage: http://www.crytek.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.ea.com/crysis/
Buy It Here





From the makers of Far Cry, Crysis offers FPS fans the best-looking, most highly-evolving gameplay, requiring the player to use adaptive tactics and total customization of weapons and armor to survive in dynamic, hostile environments including Zero-G.

Real time editing, bump mapping, dynamic lights, network system, integrated physics system, shaders, shadows and a dynamic music system are just some of the state of-the-art features the CryENGINE 2 offers. The CryENGINE 2 comes complete with all of its internal tools and also includes the CryENGINE 2 Sandbox world editing system.


Leadtek WinFast PX9600 GSO Extreme 384MB


Under Crysis we can again see the 9600 GSO from Leadtek come out ahead at particular points. At the higher resolution the two cards perform almost exactly the same.

Benchmarks - Unreal Tournament 3


Unreal Tournament 3

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1
Timedemo or Level Used:
Developer Homepage: http://www.epicgames.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.unrealtournament3.com/
Buy It Here





Following the formulae that made Unreal Tournament so great the third installment to the series has hit us recently with better than ever graphics. The games uses the latest Unreal Engine which like most modern day games when maxed out puts the pressure on our lineup of graphics cards.


Leadtek WinFast PX9600 GSO Extreme 384MB


Under UT3 we see the Extreme GSO from Leadtek giving us a good jump on the stock clocked ZOTAC one, though we do trail just behind the 9600GT in this case.

Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF


High Quality AA and AF

Our high quality tests let us separate the men from the boys and the ladies from the girls. If the cards weren't struggling before they will start to now.


3DMark06

Leadtek WinFast PX9600 GSO Extreme 384MB


With AA and AF on, we see the 9600GT still ahead, but only just with the Leadtek giving us a nice jump on the ZOTAC.


World In Conflict

Leadtek WinFast PX9600 GSO Extreme 384MB


Leadtek WinFast PX9600 GSO Extreme 384MB


Turning AA and AF on under WIC sees a gain once again over the ZOTAC 9600 GSO, though it does trail behind the 9600GT.

Benchmarks - 3DMark06 - XP


3DMark06

Version and / or Patch Used: Build 110
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmark06/
Buy It Here





3DMark06 is the worldwide standard in advanced 3D game performance benchmarking. A fundamental tool for every company in the PC industry as well as PC users and gamers, 3DMark06 uses advanced real-time 3D game workloads to measure PC performance using a suite of DirectX 9 3D graphics tests, CPU tests, and 3D feature tests.

3DMark06 tests include all new HDR/SM3.0 graphics tests, SM2.0 graphics tests, AI and physics driven single and multiple cores or processor CPU tests and a collection of comprehensive feature tests to reliably measure next generation gaming performance today.


Leadtek WinFast PX9600 GSO Extreme 384MB


Under XP we again see the Extreme 9600 GSO and 9600GT perform extremely close to each other.

Benchmarks - CINEBENCH R10 - XP


CINEBENCH R10

Version and / or Patch Used: Release 10
Developer Homepage: http://www.maxon.net/
Product Homepage: http://www.maxon.net




CINEBENCH is a real-world test suite that assesses your computer's performace capabilities. MAXON CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's award-winning animation software, CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Spider-Man, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more.

MAXON CINEBENCH runs several tests on your computer to measure the performance of the main processor and the graphics card under real world circumstances. The benchmark application makes use of up to 16 CPUs or CPU cores and is available for Windows (32-bit and 64-Bit) and Macintosh (PPC and Intel-based).


Leadtek WinFast PX9600 GSO Extreme 384MB


Under CINEBENCH we see the ZOTAC ahead here, followed by the Leadtek and the ECS 9600GT right at the back.

Benchmarks - World in Conflict - XP


World in Conflict

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.0.5
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.massive.se
Product Homepage: http://www.worldinconflict.com




World in Conflict is a real-time strategy video game by Massive Entertainment and to be published by Sierra Entertainment for Windows (DX9 and DX10) and the Xbox 360.

The game is set in 1989 where economic troubles cripple the Soviet Union and threaten to dissolve it. However, the title pursues a "what if" scenario where, in this case, the Soviet Union does not collapse and instead pursues a course of war to remain in power. It is an intensive new game is sure to put plenty of stress on even the latest graphics cards and we use the built-in benchmarking for our testing.

Leadtek WinFast PX9600 GSO Extreme 384MB


Leadtek WinFast PX9600 GSO Extreme 384MB


Without AA and AF we again see the 9600 GSO Extreme from Leadtek beating the 9600GT from ECS.

Benchmarks - Unreal Tournament 3 - XP


Unreal Tournament 3

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1
Timedemo or Level Used:
Developer Homepage: http://www.epicgames.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.unrealtournament3.com/
Buy It Here





Following the formulae that made Unreal Tournament so great the third installment to the series has hit us recently with better than ever graphics. The games uses the latest Unreal Engine which like most modern day games when maxed out puts the pressure on our lineup of graphics cards.


Leadtek WinFast PX9600 GSO Extreme 384MB


Finally we have UT3 with the 9600 GSO just trailing behind the 9600GT, but it offers us a nice jump on the ZOTAC 9600 GSO offering.

Temperature and Sound Tests


Temperature Tests



With the TES 1326 Infrared Thermometer literally in hand we found ourselves getting real-world temperatures from the products we test at load (3D clock speeds).

There are two places we pull temperature from - the back of the card directly behind the core and if the card is dual slot and has an exhaust point we also pull a temperate from there, as seen in the picture.


Leadtek WinFast PX9600 GSO Extreme 384MB


The bigger cooler on the Leadtek helps keep temps down with it being the coolest card here.


Sound Tests



Pulling out the TES 1350A Sound Level Meter we find ourselves quickly yelling into the top of it to see how loud we can be.

After five minutes of that we get a bit more serious and place the device two CM away from the fan on the card to find the maximum noise level of the card when idle (2D mode) and in load (3D mode).


Leadtek WinFast PX9600 GSO Extreme 384MB


The bigger fan also helps keep noise levels down, which is always nice.

Power Consumption Tests






Using our new PROVA Power Analyzer WM-01 or "Power Thingy" as it has become quickly known as to our readers, we are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated graphics cards installed. Keep in mind; it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into AC wall socket).

There are a few important notes to remember though; while our maximum power is taken in 3DMark06 at the same exact point, we have seen in particular tests the power being drawn as much as 10% more. We test at the exact same stage every time; therefore tests should be very consistent and accurate.

The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum - only a 7,200RPM SATA-II single hard drive is used without CD ROM or many cooling fans.

So while the system might draw 400 watts in our test system, placing it into your own PC with a number of other items, the draw is going to be higher.


Leadtek WinFast PX9600 GSO Extreme 384MB


Power draw at load is about the same with the idle being closer to the 9600GT instead of the GSO in this case.

Final Thoughts




If the GSO wasn't confusing you before, it probably is now. The out-of-the-box overclock on offer from Leadtek for the most part puts us at about the same speed or slightly faster than the stock 9600GT. The only time the 9600GT really comes out ahead is at the higher resolution, but the performance it offers there tends to be too low anyway, making it kind of pointless.

The price on the Leadtek 9600 GSO is pretty much the same price as the 9600GT, making it a tough decision. And since power draw on both cards are almost identical, that isn't going to be a deciding factor. The good news is that the 9600 GSO from Leadtek does run cooler and quieter than a 9600GT that uses the standard cooling. The other thing is the Leadtek offering, while being aftermarket is still a single slot card which is good news; most aftermarket cooled 9600GT cards tend to be dual slot.

While the bundle was clearly on the lighter side of things, the cooler of choice and overall performance on offer here from the 9600 GSO Extreme is excellent. If you find yourself wanting a quick 9600 GSO that performs pretty much like a 9600GT; sometimes better, sometimes slightly worse, for the same price and with better noise levels and temperatures, this card is great.

You have to wonder what the point of buying a 9600GT is? - Ultimately though, if you want a little bit more memory and you're going to overclock, the performance it offers is better again than the 9600 GSO overclocked. At the moment the line-up looks like this. The 9600 GSO is the slowest, and by slowest we mean only 10% slower than a 9600GT. From there you can spend some more dollars and get an overclocked 9600 GSO or a stock clocked 9600GT, which for the most part perform the same. The fastest setup out of the lot is an overclocked 9600GT which is going to cost more money again.

It's all over the place with these nine series cards, and with new models around the corner like the 9800GT and 9800GTX+, prepare to get really confused.

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Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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