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 Post subject: Replacement for 9600 GT
PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 1:52 pm 
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Location: Tulsa, OK
Hi,

Currently using an ECS 9600GT with a passive cooler. I've been getting artifacts lately on screen, and a swap with a different card indicates the 9600 is failing.

I'm looking for a suitable replacement that performs as well or better than the 9600, has a passive cooler, if possible, and multiple outputs, including HDMI.

I play some games, but none of the latest, graphically demanding ones, watch a lot of HD video, and will be upgrading my 24" Dell monitor later this year.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacement for 9600 GT
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 1:14 am 
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If you're getting artefacts then that might indicate overheating GPU or memory. It would be highly worthwhile monitoring the GPU temperature during use then removing the cooler, cleaning it up and then putting it back together again. This will almost certainly fix the problem. Alternatively if the cooler itself is perhaps not quite up to the job and makes the card borderline on overheating with even a small bit of dust on it, swapping the cooler for an Accelero S1 Plus would also avoid a new card.

If you are set on replacing it anyway, there's not a huge choice for passive cards and dissappointingly many of the entry level ones which are passive won't even be faster than a 5 year old 9600GT. Geforce GT610, GT620 and GT630 just aren't worth getting. Pretty much any mid range card could be made passive by attaching an Accelero S1 Plus and this is what I would do. It might also be worth looking at previous generation cards if the rest of your system is not up to date and you don't play the latest games anyway: My brother recently got a Zotac GTS450 'Eco Edition' (underclocked, undervolted and hence near silent even with a tiny cooler) and this may make financial sense for an older system.

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 Post subject: Re: Replacement for 9600 GT
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:23 am 
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I don`t think I would invest in a cooler for such an old card, especially one that begins to show signs of failure.

Saphire and Club3d make passive versions of the hd7750 which should be a decent upgrade over the 9600gt. There`s also the Powercolor 7850 though I would avoid such a powerful passive card. You could end up needing to increase the speed of your case fans thus defeating the point of a passively cooled card.

If you`d rather have an nvidia card, your should look into a gtx650/660 with an aftermarket cooler.

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 Post subject: Re: Replacement for 9600 GT
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:36 am 
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You could buy almost any card <120W TDP and stick an Accelero S1 on it. This tends to be easier than finding a "just right" passively cooled card. You can also use it on future upgrades.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6835186054

The one issue I have with the Accelero S1 is that the included VRM/RAM heatsinks tend to fall off. Make sure to clean the parts well beforehand, and properly apply the heatsinks with pressure for 30s. Edit: also my model (rev1) takes up three slots including the video card slot. The new model might be lower profile, though, as it mentions SLI. Anyone know about this?

You could even try the cooler on your current card, and buy a new card if the improved cooling is a no-go.

It might also be worth mentioning that the cooling on video cards has come _miles_ from where it was a decade ago. Most of the <120W options are quieter than the best non-passive options in 2004. Is your machine 100% silent?

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 Post subject: Re: Replacement for 9600 GT
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 9:52 am 
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Just looked up the card that the OP has, the ECS comes prefitted with the Accelero S2! I remember this card now, there were a few 9600GT's that came with it. The S2 has the heat capacity for the 9600GT but needs a little airflow for some cases. I tried both the S2 and then the S1 and the S1 is a big upgrade.

In light of this, the heatsink should be just fine. It would be worth stripping the card down, cleaning and rebuilding just to make sure that the cooler is on OK.

If the card itself is definitely on the way out then I would suggest taking the heatsink off and reusing it on a new card. Although I can't give any guarantees of mounting hole compatibility, the S2 should be able to work with any modern low/mid range card up to around 95W. The GTS650 would be a good guess.

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 Post subject: Re: Replacement for 9600 GT
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:05 am 
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Location: Tulsa, OK
ntavlas wrote:
I don`t think I would invest in a cooler for such an old card, especially one that begins to show signs of failure.

Saphire and Club3d make passive versions of the hd7750 which should be a decent upgrade over the 9600gt. There`s also the Powercolor 7850 though I would avoid such a powerful passive card. You could end up needing to increase the speed of your case fans thus defeating the point of a passively cooled card.

If you`d rather have an nvidia card, your should look into a gtx650/660 with an aftermarket cooler.


Thanks for the replies everyone - they are very helpful.

The ECS 9600GT came with an Accelero cooler attached to it (S2, I think). My case is an Antec P280, roomy with a few fans running undervolted at low speed. GPU temps have always been well under 70C, and I blow out the dust regularly.

The artifacts occur during boot up and randomly in windows, so I don't think it is a heat issue. Graphics drivers were updated when the artifacts began to appear, and that made no difference. My hardware is otherwise reasonably recent (Intel i7-2600, etc) so all i need is a functioning graphics card that meets or exceeds the performance level of my current card.

I've read the more recent reviews of various cards here at SPCR that do mention that fan cooling for graphics cards has vastly improved, but since i don't need a raging game monster, I'll stick with passive - one or two less moving parts to fail, and graphics card fans have been a chronic problem in my experience.

Looking around, the selection of passively cooled cards is disappointing. If I needed something more powerful, I'd go to the trouble and expense of a higher end card and add an after market cooler, but for my uses I don't think it is necessary.

In addition to the cards you mentioned, Asus makes a 7750 passively cooled card. The card and cooler combine to be pretty enormous, but there is plenty of space in my case, so something like that should work.

Are there issues going from Nvidia to AMD on an existing Windows install? I've always used Nvidia cards so never had to switch drivers before.

edh wrote:
Just looked up the card that the OP has, the ECS comes prefitted with the Accelero S2! I remember this card now, there were a few 9600GT's that came with it. The S2 has the heat capacity for the 9600GT but needs a little airflow for some cases. I tried both the S2 and then the S1 and the S1 is a big upgrade.

In light of this, the heatsink should be just fine. It would be worth stripping the card down, cleaning and rebuilding just to make sure that the cooler is on OK.

If the card itself is definitely on the way out then I would suggest taking the heatsink off and reusing it on a new card. Although I can't give any guarantees of mounting hole compatibility, the S2 should be able to work with any modern low/mid range card up to around 95W. The GTS650 would be a good guess.


Given the temps I'm seeing I am almost certain the cooling is not an issue. The RAM sinks are all still attached, so i don't think it is overheating RAM that is the trouble.

I do have an 8600Gt in another machine that has a fan cooler on it and the fan has begin to whine a bit more than it did when new. I hadn't thought to pull the Accelero off the 9600 for future use - excellent suggestion.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacement for 9600 GT
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 12:24 pm 
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It doesn't take a lot of video card to get better performance than the venerable 9600GT. The HD 7750 is one and there's a couple of passive versions. This is as low as you want to go for gaming. If you want to turn up the bells and whistles on your future (1080p?), then you might need a card with beafier performance...which will lead to a fanned card...and there are plenty of pretty quiet cards out there.

Switching from Nvidia to AMD: It's not that hard.
- (optional) download CCleaner.
- set a restore point :)
- use the Nvidia uninstall utility in your control panel.
- reboot into default graphics mode.
- (optional) run ccleaner registry scan and remove all the NVidia references (if the only thing you have from Nvidia is the graphics card...if you happen to have other Nvidia components...it's trickier)
- install the new card, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Replacement for 9600 GT
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 12:31 pm 
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CA_Steve wrote:
It doesn't take a lot of video card to get better performance than the venerable 9600GT. The HD 7750 is one and there's a couple of passive versions. This is as low as you want to go for gaming. If you want to turn up the bells and whistles on your future (1080p?), then you might need a card with beafier performance...which will lead to a fanned card...and there are plenty of pretty quiet cards out there.

Switching from Nvidia to AMD: It's not that hard.
- (optional) download CCleaner.
- set a restore point :)
- use the Nvidia uninstall utility in your control panel.
- reboot into default graphics mode.
- (optional) run ccleaner registry scan and remove all the NVidia references (if the only thing you have from Nvidia is the graphics card...if you happen to have other Nvidia components...it's trickier)
- install the new card, etc.


Thanks for the how-to on the drivers. I have CCleaner installed, so will use that optional step.

The 9600 never had any trouble doing what I needed it do to, so something a little more powerful should be enough.

When you say "If you want to turn up the bells and whistles on your future (1080p?)" do you mean 1080p video, or games?


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 Post subject: Re: Replacement for 9600 GT
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 1:35 pm 
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games. Stuff like increasing AA or AF, shadow and water quality, ground clutter, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Replacement for 9600 GT
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 1:45 pm 
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CA_Steve wrote:
games. Stuff like increasing AA or AF, shadow and water quality, ground clutter, etc.


Thanks for the clarification. The 9600GT fared pretty well with the few games I do play, so it seems the 7750 should cope. If I get sucked into heavier gaming, I'll break out the wallet and go bigger. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Replacement for 9600 GT
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 2:04 pm 
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If it's artefacts on bootup that sounds like the video memory is more likely to be going. It changes everything when you say the artefacts are on bootup!

For NVIDIA/AMD, what I would suggest is that if you are planning on keeping the card for a long time, as you have with this one, NVIDIA is better for long term driver support. AMD tends to end of life cards earlier. Installing a passive cooler is not a particularly big or expensive job so I wouldn't hold out for a factory fitted passive card.

The existing S2 could definitely be reused on the 8600GT that you mention to sort out the fan noise.

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 Post subject: Re: Replacement for 9600 GT
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 2:15 pm 
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edh wrote:
If it's artefacts on bootup that sounds like the video memory is more likely to be going. It changes everything when you say the artefacts are on bootup!

For NVIDIA/AMD, what I would suggest is that if you are planning on keeping the card for a long time, as you have with this one, NVIDIA is better for long term driver support. AMD tends to end of life cards earlier. Installing a passive cooler is not a particularly big or expensive job so I wouldn't hold out for a factory fitted passive card.

The existing S2 could definitely be reused on the 8600GT that you mention to sort out the fan noise.


The artifacts come and go, but they appear both during boot and in windows. I imagine the card is not long for this world.

Is there that large a difference between AMD/Nvidia in terms of driver support? As in, not supporting older cards when paired with a newer OS? Or just dropping them altogether sooner?


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 Post subject: Re: Replacement for 9600 GT
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 3:56 pm 
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Fallsroad wrote:
Is there that large a difference between AMD/Nvidia in terms of driver support? As in, not supporting older cards when paired with a newer OS? Or just dropping them altogether sooner?

Nvidia's current driver supports ~8 generations of cards. AMD split their drivers into two forks. One contains the last 3 generations and is the one that's continually updated. The other is for 3 older generations of cards and they'll put out an update as needed: "These updates will focus on resolving application specific issues and critical updates."

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 Post subject: Re: Replacement for 9600 GT
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:36 pm 
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My personal experience with nvidia drivers has been somehow better: there have been slightly fewer bugs, slightly better compatibility with older games and better linux support (if that`s relevant to you). Until recently nvidia had better frame latencies as well, something I have experienced in a few cases (games with the unreal 3 engine).

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 Post subject: Re: Replacement for 9600 GT
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 5:56 am 
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It's also worth mentioning that if you use Linux with the proprietary binary blob drivers, nVidia is still way ahead. And (at least several years ago) I could only ever get vsync working in Linux on nVidia cards.

AMD drivers are Linux satisfactory these days, but not outstanding.

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 Post subject: Re: Replacement for 9600 GT
PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:19 pm 
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andymcca wrote:
It's also worth mentioning that if you use Linux with the proprietary binary blob drivers, nVidia is still way ahead. And (at least several years ago) I could only ever get vsync working in Linux on nVidia cards.

AMD drivers are Linux satisfactory these days, but not outstanding.


For a card like the 7750 Linux will not quite yet work out of the box (see phoronix article here http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTMyMDg), but a 6000 or 5000 series should be painless. OSS drivers on Linux have much better long-term support, and older hardware will "just work."


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 Post subject: Re: Replacement for 9600 GT
PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:56 pm 
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How silent is the rest of your PC?
I used to have a 9600GT that i personally modded to passive, then a 450 that I also modded (to a S2 or S1 with fans though).
However, this year I've had personal experience with both a 650 and 660 with the DirectCu cooler from Asus, and they are silent enough for me out of the box. Even in games. I'm using the 660 right now, and the fan I hear is the... back case fan :)
Of course, YMMV but if you can return easily it might be worth trying one of those Asus cards.

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