Half-Life 2: Episode Two
The GeForce 9600 GT outperforms the GeForce 8800 GT 512MB thanks to the higher core frequency. Starting from the 1600x1200 mode these two cards match each other’s performance. It means that Episode Two doesn’t fully employ all the computing capacity of modern top-performance GPUs.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl
The game doesn’t support FSAA when you enable the dynamic lighting model, but loses much of its visual appeal with the static model. This is the reason why we benchmarked the cards in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. using anisotropic filtering only.
The new card is slower than the Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT 512MB but allows playing at the same resolutions, up to 1600x1200/1680x1050 inclusive. So this result is quite good especially in comparison with the ATI Radeon HD series. The latter is traditionally weak in this test, except the expensive dual-chip ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2.
Unreal Tournament 3
Forcing FSAA from the graphics card’s driver doesn’t produce any effect as yet. That’s why the game is tested with anisotropic filtering only.
Notwithstanding the perfectly optimized game engine, the Nvidia GeForce 9600 GT doesn’t look brilliant even if compared with the ATI Radeon HD 3850 and Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT 256MB. Epic Games’ project seems to put all of the GPU’s computing capacities to use, and it is in this parameter that the GeForce 9600 GT is greatly inferior to every other graphics card in this test session.