Performance

While we can't game at high resolutions, we can at least play these games at higher settings than integrated graphics solutions. While gamers won't really be keen on the 9500 GT, we've already mentioned why it is important to provide users with a good experience and developers with a good platform to develop on. Let's take a look at what we actually get. We've included a Radeon 3850 for reference which can be had for around the $100 mark just to show how much more you get for a little more cash.

Age of Conan

For Age of Conan, the lowest resolution we can select is 1024x768. This puts a little pressure on as we wanted to test at high settings where we were able. In retrospect, this may be a bit too aggressive for this game with the 9500 GT. Cranking down to medium settings might prove a little more playable.

The 3850 offers much higher performance than the rest of the pack for it's higher price. The 9500 GT is neck and neck with the 8600 GT which is as expected. The 3650 lags a bit here even though Age of Conan seemed to really favor ATI hardware when we looked at the 4k series recently.

Crysis

We went with medium quality settings across the board on this, as Crysis really reaches beyond current hardware. As with Age of Conan, though we could play this at the lowest res we tested with the 3850, we would really need to drop to low quality on most options in order to get the framerate up to a comfortable place.

The 9500 GT does lead the 3650, and trades blows with the 8600 GT (which really isn't a surprise). The 3850 does offer a good advantage as well.

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Oblivion is getting a little long in the tooth, but it's important to look at it as a baseline. We should expect good performance on this game. And we'll look at the ultra high defaults to see what happens.

We are playable at up to 1024x768 with the 9500 GT with pretty good quality settings. This isn't bad, but it isn't great either. Note that for about $25 more (about 33% more money) you can get a card that gives you more than double the frame rate in oblivion at 1680x1050 and is very playable at that res as well. Value isn't a key factor in these "value" cards is it?

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars

This test is done with everything cranked up except antialiasing.

And we see more of the same.

Race Driver GRID

Once again, high quality settings except for enabling AA.

And one more time: 3850 for not that much more cash blows away the 9500 GT in price performance. Performance of the 8600 GT just trails the 9500 GT. The only twist here is that the 3650 catches up to the 9500 GT at the highest res we tested for a just-less-than-playable frame rate.

The Card Antialiasing Performance
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  • ThermoMonkey - Wednesday, October 08, 2008 - link

    Don't you think this card is better Suited for HTPC???

    I mean it has an SPDIF input to pass audio over HDMI and that wasn't even mentioned! Wouldn't that provide 8-channel SPDIF (dependent of the sound card)

    Sure its a nice budget card that can game a bit. But I would never use this card for gaming when I can still buy a 8800GTS 512 G92 for $150 that games much better.

    Maybe I missed something in the article, anyone have any comments?
    Reply
  • BernardP - Monday, September 08, 2008 - link

    Simply because it is the most powerful card that fits in my case. It's true that price/performance is much better wih ATI HD3850 and NVidia 9600GT, but these cards are too long to fit in a smallish ATX case with all three hard-disk slots filled-up. As a casual gamer, I have to choose between getting a short video card or taking one of the HD's out...I get the shorter card. Reply
  • nubie - Monday, September 08, 2008 - link

    That is one choice, if all or some of your drives are 250Gb you can upgrade to 500GB for ~$75 and then choose a better card.

    An argument could also be made for getting a bigger case (if you need 3 drives now you are maxed for space already) or using a 5.25" to 3.5" adapter for your other drive.

    I can see your point, but if you are going to get a video card at all you might as well solve your case problem and then get a video card that delivers a good value for the price you pay.

    Your case sounds poorly designed, for example, this PC http://sportcompactpc.com/web/">http://sportcompactpc.com/web/ http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/gt3/">http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/gt3/ and an external dual HDD enclosure* can handle a Dual Slot 8800GTS (any card up to 235MM, it will supply 150watts for the video card) and 3-4 HDDs.

    I would bet that setup takes up less volume than your current case (it can also hold a second hard drive or a PCI card)

    If you don't want to change cases you can choose to pay more money for an inferior card based on your situation, or simply buy a card that will fit your case and delivers the same performance for less money.


    *(Like a WD 1TB book for example, or one using Firewire or SATA/eSATA)
    Reply
  • BernardP - Tuesday, September 09, 2008 - link

    Thanks for these thoughts, At this point, I am not willing to spend much on a two and a half year old machine. As soon as the new ATI HD46xx is out, prices should fall on the 9500GT. I want to go with NVidia as I currently have NVidia integrated graphics and NVidia drivers offers better scaling options at non-native resolutions, a must for me. Reply
  • Kougar - Monday, September 08, 2008 - link

    Hi guys.

    I know you get plenty of these, but even if not all the errors can be caught out the gate, certainly they should've been fixed three days after release. I'd use the quote option but it won't function on this PC with either browser, sorry. Such as:

    "People who don't already know what is and is not possible aren't going to buy into the hype."

    Following the context of the paragraph, they're one to many negatives in here. Ya just said the reverse of what you intended.

    "Alternate" was meant to be "alternately" on page 3.

    And worst of all, your specifications chart on page three is labeled "9600GT", when clearly it should have been labeled 9500GT. ;)

    This is not Dailytech, and I know y'all both love to dictate through voice recognition software, but that just makes the issue of Editing the articles afterwards all the more important. I didn't have time to read past page 3 so there are likely more errors to be found...

    Cheers



    Reply
  • Megaknight - Monday, September 08, 2008 - link

    I really hope AMD does a better job than Nvidia with the 46xx series. 9500GT has almost the same performance as 7600GT, 2 generations older! Reply
  • toyota - Monday, September 08, 2008 - link

    I hate to tell you but even though the 9500gt is wimpy, its still about twice as fast as 7600gt in modern games. Reply
  • psybience - Sunday, September 07, 2008 - link

    There is a mistake on this article on page 3. The 9600 GT actually has:

    64 stream processors
    1625 mhz shader clock
    16 ROPs
    650 mhz core clock
    256bit memory bus width
    1800 mhz memory clock
    Reply
  • toyota - Monday, September 08, 2008 - link

    well it is anandtech and they are not known for their proof reading... Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, September 08, 2008 - link

    While you are correct on the 9600 GT, this article is about the 9500 GT. That's part of the *huge* problem with NVIDIA right now. The G9x parts never should have been called 8000 series GPUs, but at launch the 8800 GT 256/512 didn't get the 9000 name because they weren't universally better than the 8800 GTX/Ultra. Now we have 8600 and 8800 parts renamed to the 9000 series just to make them seem like they aren't two generations old.

    9800 GT == 8800 GT 512
    9600 GSO = 8800 GS (a limited release 8800 GT with 96 SPs and 12 ROPs)
    9500 GT = 8600 GT Overclocked

    If you look at the mobile world, things become even worse. http://www.anandtech.com/guides/showdoc.aspx?i=335...">Here's a quick overview. 8700M = 9600M, 8600M = 9500M, 9800M = 8800M ... just change a few letters on the end.

    Honestly, I think NVIDIA has somehow come to the conclusion that obfuscation and confusion in their part naming is a good thing. Maybe not good for the consumer, but apparently it helps their partners and their bottom line. If not, why do they keep doing it? ATI at least seems to have calmed down on renaming and overlapping names. Not that performance is always clear when we're comparing stuff like 2600, 2900, 3600, 3800, and 4800 parts.

    The real failure, however, is what Derek indicates in this article: the huge gap between the entry-level $75 parts and the $100~$150 parts is inexcusable. Last-gen parts that sell for $100 are still twice as fast as "new" parts selling for $75. These $75 parts are really only worth $50 if you look at the performance offered.
    Reply

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