Power Consumption, Performance, Pricing, Final Thoughts

Power Consumption

Mid-range GPU comparison: Gigabyte GTS 250 1GB and 9600GT 512MB Graphics Cards - Graphics Cards 81

All three of these cards are pretty efficient when it comes to overall power usage. The GTS 250 took a bit more juice to operate at load, but overall these numbers are consistent with previous findings regarding video cards with these technical specifications. In other words, the power usage is consistent with the reference information from ATI and NVidia.



Mid-range GPU comparison: Gigabyte GTS 250 1GB and 9600GT 512MB Graphics Cards - Graphics Cards 82

After spending more than two weeks with both of these video cards, I really can’t do much but smile at how much performance is available on the market at this price point. The 9600GT is an excellent solution for users looking to build portable, silent gaming rigs and this card even accomodates multimedia users looking to for their next HTPC graphics upgrade. The 9600GT also supports resolutions up to 2560×1600, which more than most home theater systems use for 1080p high-definition LCD displays. Gaming on a 52″ 1080p LCD would be an optimal situation for the 9600GT and with a GPU heat threshhold of 105c, it wouldn’t have any troubles being placed in low-ventilation areas in a home entertainment center or other enclosed area.

The Gigabyte GTS 250 was also no underdog in our performance testing. It beat the HD 4770 in several of our gaming benchmarks and also recorded most of the highest scores in our GPGPU testing. This card also handled gaming at 1920×1200 with some of the most GPU-intensive games currently available. For a mid-range video card to handle these resolutions with ease is exceptional.


Pricing and Availability

As of August 9, the Gigabyte GV-N96TSL-512I 9600GT was available at Newegg.com for $99.99. The Gigabyte GV-N250ZL-1GI GTS 250 is available at Newegg for $124.99 after MIB. These cards were also found on several other online resellers. 


Final Thoughts

Mid-range GPU comparison: Gigabyte GTS 250 1GB and 9600GT 512MB Graphics Cards - Graphics Cards 83

We’d like to thank Gigabyte for providing the GTS 250 and 9600GT for our review today. Both cards should appeal to different budget-minded users looking for an easy upgrade that will let them play today’s PC games at decent resolutions. I wouldn’t recommend them for anything over 1920×1200, but they are more than adequate for gaming at lower resolutions. I would also recommend these cards for those building home theater PCs because they both have native HDMI on board and should give users smooth DVD and Blu-ray playback.

As we stated at the beginning of the article, now is a great time for consumers looking for a mid-range graphics solution for their HTPC, gaming, or graphics workstations. We can’t say for sure how long the mid-range class of cards will continue to give users gaming experiences close to higher-end video cards, but we recommend not waiting and grabbing them while they are cheap and powerful.


« PreviousNext »