Nvidia GeForce 9500 GT review
Can't handle gaming, and beaten by cheaper media cards too.
Review Date: 13 Feb 2009
Reviewed By: Mike Jennings
Price when reviewed: £39 (£45 inc VAT)
Value for Money
The 9500 GT is basically the cut-off point for true gaming cards. Just £9 above it you'll find the HD 4650, capable of playable frame rates in the demanding Crysis at medium settings; the 9500 GT can't manage this, so from this card down you're looking solely at the media end of the market.
That's not to say it isn't worth considering, though. With a mere 32 stream processors and a 550MHz core clock, coupled with 256MB of memory, it might not be the meatiest card out there, but it will just about play the latest games at low settings - even if that does miss the point of buying a new game. More importantly, it doesn't require a power input and it will bear most of the brunt when decoding a Blu-ray disc for playback - a major factor for a media-centre PC.
In our tests the ageing, single-core CPU hovered around the 60% mark during the movie, which is around 8-10% better than the 9400 GT - perfectly watchable, in other words. Unfortunately for Nvidia, though, it's a good deal higher than the 30-40% CPU load of both the ATI media cards, which begs the question: why would you buy the 9500 GT over its more efficient rivals?
And we don't have an answer. It isn't fast enough to seriously consider it a gaming card in any respect - unless you play only retro classics - yet it also isn't as good as the very cheapest card in the group at HD media decoding. So, all things considered, we'd recommend you save yourself a few pounds and stick with the bargain HD 4350 for your entertainment system.
Author: Mike Jennings
- Tech firms shell out to prevent another Heartbleed
- Cisco: 100% of companies hosting malware
- Brits willing to pay for secure web services
- Google creates Maps time machine
- Facebook scores with mobile advertising
- Cook: Microsoft should have released Office for iPad sooner
- What's on this week's PC Pro podcast?
- Universal wireless charging gets a boost from Microsoft
- Amazon Phone: release date, features and 3D display
- Apple offers sneak peak at OS X via Beta Seed
- Hello Cortana, it's nice to meet you
- Windows 8.1 Update: an abject surrender
- The insane economics of Sky Now TV
- No such thing as a free app... so pay up if you want quality
- Time to outlaw crapware-laden installers
- Windows Phone 8.1 video: hands-on
- Office for iPad: key information
- Why every PC buyer owes Richard Durkin a debt of gratitude
- HTC One M8 vs Samsung Galaxy S5: 2014's big-hitters compared
- Windows XP end of life: key information
- How to upgrade from Windows XP to Ubuntu
- The great iPhone ripoff and how it works
- Heartbleed: what you need to know and do
- Data recovery: inside the clean room
- Best tablet PCs to buy in 2014
- How much RAM do you really need?
- News of the weird: the strangest ever tech stories
- Five hyped technologies: disruptive or not?
- Piracy's dying: why we're all going straight
- Office: should you buy it, rent it - or dump it?
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office
- How to write your company's IT security policy
- Raspberry Pi and Wolfram: a must-have for every child
- Could you get by with Office Web Apps?
- The best Android antivirus apps for 2014
- Headings vs headers: how to use both in Word