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Monday | March 8, 2021
Midrange Graphics Card Round Up

Midrange Graphics Card Round Up


Zotac 9600 GT AMP! Edition
We have reviewed a few AMP! Editions in the past and the 9600 GT version is just as impressive as anything that has come before it. The settings chosen by Zotac mean that the card is faster than the vast majority of similar models and the bundle provided is ideal with no useless items included. Zotac recently increased their warranty to five years which adds further value to the overall product but it could do with a small price cut to be even competitive with some other models.

Zotac 9600 is available for £140 // $185

Gainward 9600 GT /Palit
Gainward and Palit do not go as far as Zotac and XFX with their enhanced speeds but still do enough to make their cards faster than the reference design. Higher specification cooling is a real bonus on these models but it is the range of outputs which most impressed us. This card will have no problems connecting to any high end display both now and for a good few years to come. The fact that it is also capable of outputting an optical audio signal is just the icing on the cake.

Gainward 9600 GT is available for £129.24 // Palit 9600 is available for £120 / $179

Asus 9600 GT
Asus have priced their 9600 GT at a very good level when compared to Zotac, Palit and Gainward. Essentially this is a stock clocked model but the addition of some design tweaks (PCB colour) and the addition of an impressive cooler gives the card an edge over any cards which use the reference design. Also worth considering is that the Asus version, when overclocked, performs as well as the Zotac AMP! Edition but this model costs around £30 less.

Asus 9600 GT is available for £114 // $170

There is very little we need to say about the XFX XXX other than it is by far the best 9600 GT we have used. A redesigned cooler, cool looking PCB and enhanced clockspeeds which outperform all other GTs is a great basis for the card to do well. When we then consider that the card will be bundled with the excellent Assassins Creed from next week onwards it becomes even more attractive… but that is not all. How does a retail price which matches the reference design card sound? Pretty much the perfect 9600 GT.

XFX 9600 GT XXX is available for £114 // $190

Gainward 8800 GTS GS GLH
The Gainward GTS costs more than the other cards in this review but it has the specifications and performance to back up the higher price. It is clocked faster than a standard GTS and features an additional 512Mb of DDR3. The bundle provided is also very good with all the required cables and adaptors along with a free copy of Tomb Raider Anniversary. Overall this was the fastest card on show today.

Gainward 8800 GTS GS GLH is available for £210

Zotac 8800 GT
Throughout our testing Zotacs 8800 GT 1GB was never far away from the 8800 GTS in terms of performance. This on its own makes the product worth considering but the real selling point is that this model is £40 cheaper than the slightly higher performing GTS. In the current market that price difference could mean extra budget for a faster CPU or additional memory when creating a new system build.

Zotac 8800 GT is available for £143 // $290

Asus 3850 OC Gear
The Asus 3850 OC Gear impressed us in a few ways. Firstly it has a much better cooler than the reference models. In addition to this it uses much higher specification memory which really shows in our overclocking tests. When we then look at the bundle we see that every cable and connector we could hope for is included as is the very impressive OC Gear module. Unfortunately all of this comes at a price and this card is actually more expensive than three of the better performing 9600s in this review. The Asus 3850 therefore wins our shortlist award for being the best 3850 money can buy, but really it is in great need of a price cut.

Asus 3850 OC Gear is available for £131

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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