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ATI 9600Pro vs. Nvidia 5600
Reviewed by James Sams on 09.26.2003

Card: ATI 9600PRO 128MB RAM Nvidia 5600 256MB RAM
Estimated Retail Value: $200.00 $200.00
Estimated Street Price (non-OEM): $175.00 $150.00

Company and Product Introduction
Everyone knows of the battle between ATI and Nvidia for the top slot in the consumer graphics card market. Nvidia has been the Intel of the graphics world, encountering some competition but not enough to worry about for the past several years, until ATI came back onto the scene. While Nvidia still holds the top spot as far as sales are concerned, ATI has begun to beat or hold even with Nvidia as far as performance is concerned as of late. In addition to their hardware performace, ATI has invested much effort into improving their previously notoriously bad drivers.

The introduction of ATI's and Nvidia's latest series of midrange cards has confused many consumers, as the continued assumption that bigger marketing numbers are equivalent to better benchmarks, performance, and quality. A key fact to remember, in spite of all the marketing, is that the 9600 and the 5600 are not meant to replace the 9500 series and the TI4x00 series of cards, in the strictest of sense. If you remember some of the scores of the older seires of cards, you will see, the newer cards will not hold up against the old cards in DirectX8 benchmarks. The new cards add only two important features, DX9 support and the 0.13u processing technology. The latter is only important insofar as it is an experimentation of sorts for the companies to improve the next round of cards.

ATI 9600PRO thumbnail Nvidia 5600 Nvidia 5600 thumb
ATI's 9600PRO Nvidia's 5600 Nvidia's 5200, which is used at times for comparison later in the article
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