In overall comparisons the 8800GT is faster. With the 8800GT, you are able to turn on more eye-candy. If money is the issue, the 9600 is a good choice, but if you can swing the 20 pounds more, go with the 8800GT. A friend of mine just got an 8800GT, and is loving it with Crysis!!!
Since the price difference in minimal, spend a little more for a slightly better performance. In bandwidth restricted environments, the gap should be larger and the 8800GT should allow you a much richer/better/more immersive experience.
I was leaning towards the 9600GT for heat/power reasons but you guys make a good case for the 8800GT - what sort of environment would be restricted bandwidth? Lots of large textures or high polygon rate etc?
EDIT: And what about a factory OC 9600GT like this that runs at 700Mhz - would the standard 8800GT still outperform that everywhere or would it be more even?
I've been thinking this over and I think I'm going to wait a week or two and see what comes out about the 9800GTS/GT. I'll make a decision based on that. I don't think the 9600GT is the way to do though.
I've not splashed out on a high-end graphics card since I bought a Geforce 2 all those years ago - I've always gone for low-mid range since then. Maybe it's time to buck the trend
I've been thinking this over and I think I'm going to wait a week or two and see what comes out about the 9800GTS/GT. I'll make a decision based on that. I don't think the 9600GT is the way to do though
I've stated my viewpoint earlier in this thread 8800>9600.
However you do realise there's going to be a hefty price to go with the newer models? I'd still go for the 8800GT myself.
The extra cash you'll need to to spend to get the 9800GT/GTS isn't going to be justified in the increases you may receive.
However, If you've got the spare cash to spend though...
Yeah I'm not sure really, I just want to wait and see what happens with the next 9xxx models, the GT/GTS may be better than we think. I've definitely come round to your 8800>9600 way of thinking though. It's just a matter of how good the new models actually are.
What's the deal with PCI Express 1.0 however? Do you know if the 8800GTs will work on that now?
As Lord worte above the 8800Gt will work just fine in a PCI-E 1x slot.
Think of PCI-E 2.0 as simply a new revision of an existing technology, not a new technology in it's own right.
PCI-E 1.x and PCI-E 2.0 are designed to be both backwards and forwards compatible.
You can use a PCI-E 1.0, PCI-E 1.1 or PCI-E 2.0 card in any of the aforementioned slots.
The only real difference is the data throughput rates of the revisions.
PCI-E 1.x delivers 250 MB/s of data in both directions. PCI-E 2.0 delivers 500MB/s. in both directions
As 16 lanes is the norm (32 lanes can exist but are way too expensive to produce at a cost-effective level)
Given that, the throughput for each spec can be expected to be PCI-E1.x 8GB/s bandwidth. PCI-E 2.0 can deliver up to 16 GB/s of bandwidth (both directions combined).
Newer cards also demand more power than the old PCI-E slots could deliver, so you'll probably need to connect a power connector from your PSU to the graphics card.
Consider this when buying. If the card needs a PCI-E plus straight from the PSu as opposed to a molex, you might need a PSU upgrade if your current one lacks the necessary connector. Although i'm sure adaptors are available, you might find the power supplied might be weak as the rails weren't designed to handle the extra wattage the card draws. Just food for thought
Given that no card really saturates the current available bandwidth you'll, the card will run ''slower'' on your board than on a PCI-E 2.0 compliant board, but this speed decrease shouldn't be too noticeable