Introduced last fall, the RV350 based Radeon 9600 was meant both as a replacement for the more expensive to produce RV300 based Radeon 9500 and as a "proof of concept" for ATIs ability to design a .13µ graphics chip. While still not as fast as the 9500 Pro, 9600 Pros are never-the-less very popular today and are excellent performers when compared to cards in the same market segment from other companies.
Sapphire, as you might have noticed by now, has been very good to Rage3D. Many of our review cards are provided by Sapphire and for that we are very grateful. For this review, Sapphire has provided us with an opportunity to check out one of the stranger 9600 variations, a Radeon 9600 (non-Pro) with 256MB of memory.
Physically identical to a regular 9600, the 256mb version simply uses 32MB chips as opposed to 16MB chips that are found on normal 9600 cards to get the extra 128MB of memory. A simple solution that doesn't require any re-engineering of the PCB or control hardware.