Graphics Cards Guide

Gigabyte GV-NX96T512HP (GeForce 9600 GT 512MB) review

Gigabyte GV-NX96T512HP (GeForce 9600 GT 512MB)

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A Force for Efficiency

A Force for Efficiency

With the introduction of the GeForce 8 series, NVIDIA did away with the separation of 2D and 3D clock speeds for its desktop graphics. Previously, the clock speeds on an NVIDIA board were lowered when running a less intensive 2D application. When a 3D application was launched, the proper clock speeds were restored. This was an energy saving method that was discarded by NVIDIA due to the lower TDP requirements of the newer generation of cards and the fact that Windows Vista's Aero UI would be constantly taxing the graphics card anyway.

ATI however did not take the same approach. Instead, the company has aggressively played the energy efficient card, which culminated in the appearance of ATI's PowerPlay feature (previously on its mobile GPUs only) on its latest Radeon HD 3800 series. This feature allows for lower clocks on those compliant ATI graphics cards and in our experience, significantly reduced idle power draw compared to its NVIDIA counterparts.

So what's one to do if one desires the former 2D/3D clock separation of yesterday on a new NVIDIA card? One could either force that separation via third party utilities like RivaTuner or enjoy it out of the box from the vendor. The latter is in our hands today in the form of the Gigabyte Gv-NX96T512HP. While we knew that this was a Turbo Force edition card with additional features like enhanced performance tuning for maximum stability, we didn't realize about its 2D/3D clock separation till we plugged the card in. Before we go into all that, here are the technical specifications: