Yesterday saw the introduction of NVIDIA’s GeForce 9 series of GPUs, starting with the GeForce 9600 GT. Carrying a MSRP of $169 - $189, the GeForce 9600 GT was designed to fill a void in NVIDIA’s product lineup. The GeForce 8600, NVIDIA’s original sub-$200 competitor was being sorely beaten by AMD’s Radeon HD 3850. The GeForce 9600 GT was introduced to rectify the situation.

Had the world remained the same, the GeForce 9600 GT would have competed with and done a good job of destroying the Radeon HD 3850. However, AMD didn’t remain still and quietly reduced the prices of its Radeon HD 3800 series GPUs in the channel. The GeForce 9600 GT no longer was a competitor of the Radeon HD 3850, but rather up against the 3870.

A 256MB Radeon HD 3850 will set you back around $150, while the 512MB models are $170 parts. Stock clocked GeForce 9600 GTs are doing a good job of hovering right at $179.99, while factory overclocked cards will set you back closer to $200. The Radeon HD 3870 has now dropped to below $200 and we even found one for about the same price as a 9600 GT. The table below is a small sample of what we found at some popular e-tailers:

Vendor ATI Radeon HD 3870 NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT eVGA GeForce 9600 GT SSC
Newegg $184.99 $179.99 $209.99
mwave $209.90 $179.90 N/A
NCIX $189.92 $179.00 $204.13
Tiger Direct $199.99 $199.99 N/A
ZipZoomfly $224.99 $179.99 N/A
Average $201.96 $183.95 $207.06

 

On average the Radeon HD 3870 is more expensive than the GeForce 9600 GT. If you look at absolute lowest pricing, the Radeon is within $5 of the 9600 GT, making these two competitors.

Given the most recent pricing data, we took a closer look at Radeon HD 3870 vs. GeForce 9600 GT performance. Our testbed remained identical to what we used in our launch article, we’ve merely added a few more game tests. We stuck to a single resolution per title, so for resolution scaling have a look back at our original GeForce 9600 GT review.

The Test

CPU: 2 x Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9775 (3.2GHz/1600MHz)
Motherboard: Intel D5400XS (Intel 5400)
Chipset: Intel 5400
Chipset Drivers: Intel 8.1.1.1010 (Intel)
Hard Disk: Seagate 7200.9 300GB SATA
Memory: 2 x 2GB Micron FB-DIMM DDR2-8800
Video Card: ATI Radeon HD 3870
NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT
EVGA NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT SSC
Video Drivers: ATI: Catalyst 8.2
NVIDIA: 174.12
Desktop Resolution: 1920 x 1200
OS: Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit

 

Game Test Settings

Game Resolution AA AF Detail Settings
Bioshock 1600 x 1200 0X 1X Highest in-game
Call of Duty 4 1600 x 1200 0X 16X Highest in-game
Crysis 1600 x 1200 0X 1X

High Quality defaults

ET: Quake Wars 1600 x 1200 0X 16X Highest in-game
ET: Quake Wars 1600 x 1200 4X 16X Highest in-game
Half Life 2: Episode Two 2560 x 1600 0X 16X Highest in-game
Half Life 2: Episode Two 2560 x 1600 4X 16X Highest in-game
Oblivion 1600 x 1200 0X 16X Ultra High Quality defaults
Oblivion 1600 x 1200 4X 16X Ultra High Quality defaults
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 1600 x 1200 0X 16X Highest in-game
Unreal Tournament 3 2560 x 1600 0X 16X Highest in-game
World in Conflict 1600 x 1200 0X 0X Medium Quality defaults (with Heat Haze, Debris Physics and DX10 Enabled)
NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT vs. ATI Radeon HD 3870
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  • qquizz - Wednesday, March 12, 2008 - link

    I am looking forward to this, "Next week we'll have a follow-up looking at how the 9600 GT stacks up to the 512MB Radeon HD 3850 and the almighty 8800 GT 512."

    Reply
  • Cenarius - Tuesday, March 04, 2008 - link

    Final sentence in review reads:
    "Next week we'll have a follow-up looking at how the 9600 GT stacks up to the 512MB Radeon HD 3850 and the almighty 8800 GT 512."

    Been checking daily, and now we're heading into the middle of the week AFTER next week, so where's the follow-up already? :-|
    Reply
  • ufoall - Monday, March 03, 2008 - link

    may i know what will be the price after 2 months... Reply
  • BenSkywalker - Monday, February 25, 2008 - link

    A quick comment-
    quote:

    The 9600 GT makes the most sense at the $169 - $179 price range, and at those price points you're going to be dealing with stock clock speeds.


    The eVGA 675MHZ clock and MSI 700MHZ clocked part are both available from New Egg for 179.99. Obviously neither are clocked to 740 but the MSI part is closer to the SSC then stock and sits at the 'regular' MSRP.
    Reply
  • Samus - Monday, February 25, 2008 - link

    Hard to believe you can have a card that play's Crysis this well for < $200.

    Crysis 1600x1200 at 40+FPS
    Reply
  • Xajel - Monday, February 25, 2008 - link

    wonder why Anandtech didn't test both cards with overclocking in mind, I think it will be very intersting, and even the OC results for 9600GT was only compared in persentage to it self, I hope to see more detailed comparition for these two babies Reply
  • dingetje - Monday, February 25, 2008 - link

    i agree, and i'm most interested in oc'ing results of the cards with non stock cooling and the faster memory installed (0.8 or 1 ns memory) Reply
  • araczynski - Sunday, February 24, 2008 - link

    sounds to me like the smart money's on waiting for the 9800 series to come out and leaving this neutered dog for the OEM's to put into their systems and brag about. Reply
  • strafejumper - Sunday, February 24, 2008 - link

    would like to see this new card compared to a 8800 GT 512MB in price, performance, and price/performance Reply
  • solitude1951 - Saturday, February 23, 2008 - link

    This is sorta off topic but it looks like a good place to get reliable info. I've got an old Dell 8400. It's got the 3.4 gig chip with raid on. Will my computer even run one of the cards being discussed. I can't afford a new computer but I need more speed. UT3 demo stutters at the lowest display settings. Any advice? Reply

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