Galaxy 9600GT Low Profile Low Power Review

Introduction

9600 gt copy

9600 GT was introduced at a time when Nvidia’s 8800 GT was a revelation for the mainstream and showed what a $250 card could do.  Soon after, AMD/ATI introduced HD3800 series at $179 and $219 price points to counter 8800GT’s dominance in the market.  9600 GT was thus born as a result of Nvidia’s attempt to compete with the newly introduced HD 3800 series, and in the end it ended up trading blows with HD 3870. This price segment is a sweet spot for graphic card sales and the manufacturers realize this.  You can easily get a HD4870 1GB or a GTX 260-216 for less than $200 in this price segment these days.

Lately, a green revolution has overtaken the industry.   Every manufacturer is trying to come up with some green product that consumes less power.  Nvidia has recently announced their green lineup of cards. These cards use the normal models but reduce the stock frequencies to lower power consumption. As a result, we see cards without external power connectors that draw all the needed power from the PCI-Express slot. The 9600 GT that we are testing was sent to us by Galaxy and is a “Green” 9600 GT.  This card is a low-profile design which should also be ideal for HTPC’s.


galaxy logo

Galaxy, established in 1994, is a Nvidia Add-in-Board (AIB) partner which manufactures products from the low-end GeForce 7200 series to the high-end GTX200 series. They manufacture products based on Nvidia’s reference design as well as using their own in-house production facilities to manufacture graphic cards based on their own designs using high-end coolers from Arctic Cooling and others.

Galaxy has shipped to the US for a long time as they built video cards for many of the tier 1 brands in the market today. They realized they could create a brand for themselves and save the end customer the middleman fees.  Two years ago they launched Galaxy in the US and their products are now available at Best Buy, Microcenter, Fry’s, Dell.com, Newegg, TigerDirect and many other sites.  They have excellent quality and toll-free tech support with a 2 year transferable no-registration warranty.

Let’s take a look at what I am reviewing today:

Galaxy-9600GT-Low-Profile


If you have any questions regarding the review, please post them in this forum thread.

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  • Roger

    Hi. I think this is a great looking card. I would love to put in my machine (acer small form desktop, amd dual core, 4gb ddr2) But I worry about power load because my machine has a teeny tiny 220watt psu. I can’t and don’t want to upgrade because the psu is a proprietary acer form that I cant upgrade easily. It sucks.

    What would I risk trying this card on my machine? How can I find out if this would be suitable for my situation? Thanks and great review!!

  • MrK

    I think it should be fine

  • Roger

    thanks!

  • Roger

    Update:

    Just got this card, put it in my small form Acer. It’s very snug and it gets really hot, but it seems to work fine. I drilled some extra holes in the case, but maybe I need some more. Right now it’s idling at 61 C after cooling off from a short time under load where it reached 80 C. I don’t know if this is normal or not. No crashes yet, but I guess I’ll continue to baby it a bit.

    Thanks for this great article!

  • Roger

    Update #2:

    I’ve been using this card for a while with no problems, but recently it has been overheating.

    The fan seems to come on and off, sound loud and strange, and generally run inconsistently. I’m not sure if there is a way for me to manually control the fan or if that would help.

    Concerning GPU temperatures, sometimes, things are fine. The GPU temperature will stay at 50-60C while doing basic tasks, watching youtube videos, etc. No problem. Other times the temperature will rise to 90 C or more simply running Windows 7. Sometimes, with a load on the GPU, the temperature will rise to 125 C causing the card to shutdown. This will happen with loads from high resolution gaming or just youtube videos (not even fullscreen!). Then again other times, I can game for 45 minutes getting temperatures getting on up to 80 C with 75% fan speeds.

    This is probably not the ideal place to post this, but since I posted here earlier, why not…

  • Pixel

    Mine did the same thing. The fan is buggered, noisy at first, then noticed when I had the lid off that when it wasn’t just noisy/vibrating but stalling and strugling to turn. I sent it back to supplier (you have to remove the heatsink held by tape to replace yourself thus voiding waranty) and 3months later I am about to get it back. Hope it does not do it again.

    Oh and I used a manual controller as at high speeds it was quieter but in the end still faulty.