Pros: Great value for money; range of outputs; performance
Cons: Palit’s cooling turns it into a two-slot design
Bottomline: Just like the 8800GT before it, the 9600GT offers plenty of bang for your buck, and Palit’s Sonic adds a host of extra features
Sonic is the name Palit gives to its overclocked graphics card range, the latest of which features Nvidia’s G94 core, better known as the 9600GT.
It’s the first of Nvidia’s Geforce 9 generation and, somewhat unusually, it hasn’t been launched with an expensive, game-crunching card but instead with a more humble midrange model.
Don’t let this fool you though – just like the 8800GT before it, the 9600GT offers excellent value for money.
The G94 is built on a 65nm process and is basically a cut-down version of the G92 8800 and GTS cards, but with fewer yet faster-clocked stream processors.
The 9600GT comes with 64 stream processors as standard, clocked at 1,625MHz. It also features a core running at 650MHz and 512MB of GDDR3 running via a 256-bit interface at 900MHz (1.8GHz effective).
However, Palit has upped these specs with its Sonic version. The core speed has been tweaked 50MHz to run at 700MHz, while the memory clock has been boosted to produce 1GHz (2GHz effective) – 100MHz faster than the reference clock.
Palit has also changed the cooler on the 9600GT Sonic; the reference design is replaced by the copper radial cooler seen on previous Sonic models. This turns the 9600GT into a two-slot card, but the extra space it takes up is used to good effect.
The big surprise with the Sonic is the number of outputs it has, especially given its low price. You get two dual-link DVI ports, along with an optical S/PDIF and HDMI ports. There’s also a Displayport socket, something rarely seen on graphics cards.
It might not top our performance tables, but this card from Palit is excellent value for money and is loaded with features.