IntroductionIt'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 PackageLeadtek 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.
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.
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.
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 CardOut 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.
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.
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.
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.SpecificationsThe 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 SetupProcessor(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 SP1Drivers: ForceWare 175.19Today 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.3DMark06Version and / or Patch Used: Build 110Developer Homepage:http://www.futuremark.comProduct 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Last updated: Apr 7, 2020 at 12:27 pm CDT
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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.
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