Graphics Cards Guide

MSI N9600GT-T2D512-OC (GeForce 9600 GT) review

MSI N9600GT-T2D512-OC (GeForce 9600 GT)

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The MSI N9600GT-T2D512-OC

The MSI N9600GT-T2D512-OC

Given the highly competitive scene in the NVIDIA graphics card business, with multiple vendors vying to push the same product, MSI has rightly tried to spruce up its GeForce 9600 GT offering with a custom cooler. This is your basic if well-made cooler that uses heat pipes to distribute heat to the cooling fins. The fan itself is relatively quiet though we found the red translucent plastic shroud rather unsightly. It is however well secured to the cooler so no unnecessary vibrations here. Besides the well performing non-standard two-slot cooler, the card is identical to the reference board.

The amount of overclocking on this MSI card is decent and on par with many of its competitors. The core has been upped to 700MHz while the memory is now at 1900MHz DDR. The stream processors also got a slight increase to 1680MHz. Obviously, we have seen more extreme versions out there but 700MHz is in fact quite common among retail overclocked GeForce 9600 GT editions.

MSI has also included quite the collection of accessories and cables for the prospective buyer. The S/PDIF cable to interface with your audio device and channel digital audio through the graphics card's output (via HDMI) is included, along with a DVI-to-HDMI adapter. This perhaps will make up somewhat for the lack of any games or applications in the package. The complete list is as follows:

  • Driver CD
  • Installation guide
  • DVI-to-VGA adapter
  • DVI-to-HDMI adapter
  • 6-pin Molex power connector
  • 7-pin mini-DIN to Component/S-Video dongle
  • S-Video extension cable
  • S/PDIF cable

Test Setup

The same setup we used for recent GeForce 9600 GT shootout was called into action again. This was a system with an Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 (2.66GHz) processor, an Intel D975XBX 'Bad Axe' motherboard, 2GB of low latency HyperX DDR2-800 memory from Kingston in dual channel and a Seagate 7200.7 SATA hard drive with Windows XP Professional (Service Pack 2 and DirectX 9.0c). We took our scores for some of the cards tested in the shootout and compared them with the MSI. All the GeForce 9600 GT cards were using beta ForceWare 174.12. In case you need any refreshing, the table below shows the variety of cards we'll be comparing (but not all cards from the shootout will grace this article).

Specifications of the GeForce 9600 GT Contenders
Graphics Card Core Clock Memory Clock Stream Processor Clock
ASUS EN9600 GT 650MHz 1800MHz DDR 1625MHz
Leadtek WinFast PX9600 GT Extreme 720MHz 1800MHz DDR 1750MHz
MSI N9600GT-T2D512-OC 700MHz 1900MHz DDR 1680MHz
XFX GeForce 9600 GT 512MB XXX 700MHz 2000MHz DDR 1750MHz
XpertVision GeForce 9600GT Sonic 700MHz 2000MHz DDR 1750MHz
Zotac GeForce 9600 GT AMP! Edition 725MHz 2000MHz DDR 1750MHz

With the exception of the ASUS, which doubles as a reference card due to its standard clocks, the rest have clock speeds that are similar to those found on the MSI. The results presented were taken using the included time demos and other built-in benchmarking tools available in the following games:

  • Futuremark 3DMark06 (ver 110)
  • Company of Heroes (ver 1.3)
  • F.E.A.R (ver 1.0)
  • World in Conflict (ver 1.05)
  • Supreme Commander (patched to 3255)
  • Crysis (ver 1.1)
  • Unreal Tournament 3 (ver 1.1)