Need to buy a gift for somebody who loves technology but you can’t afford the big ticket items?
Manli 9600OC graphics card
The Manli 9600OC is an affordable graphics card based on Nvidia’s G94 core chipset
- Affordable, cool operation
- Struggles to run latest DX10 games, despite the 'OC' it's not factory overclocked
Cheeky nomenclature aside, the Manli 9600OC is a reliable graphics card that will run most 3D applications and games.
Price$ 116.00 (AUD)
The Manli 9600OC graphics card is aimed primarily at casual gamers. It uses Nvidia’s G94 core chipset, which debuted in early 2008 — a fair stretch of time in GPU years. Nvidia has since moved on to the GeForce 200 series (examples include the Manli Graphics GTX295 and Gigabyte GTX 260), with GT300 cards looming on the horizon. Despite its ‘old-timey’ status, the Manli 9600OC remains a reasonable, low-cost solution for video editing and mid-range gaming — just don’t expect to play the latest 3D games.
Like previous cards in the GeForce 9600 GT series, the Manli 9600OC comes with 64 stream processors, a core clock speed of 650MHz and a memory clock speed of 900MHz (1800MHz effective). It also sports 1024MB of GDDR3 memory and a 256-bit memory bus — the standard 9600 GT fare. As far as we can tell, the board’s specifications do not deviate from a run-of-the-mill 9600 GT, which begs the question: if the 9600OC isn’t factory overclocked, just what does the ‘OC’ stand for? (Perhaps they’re Mischa Barton fans?)
One area in which the Manli 9600OC does deviate from its 9600 GT brethren is size. At 190x123x24mm, it is significantly smaller than other 9600 GT boards we’ve tested, such as the MSI GeForce N9600GT and the Galaxy 9600GT OverClocked. This makes the Manli 9600OC an ideal candidate for people with mid-sized towers or overcrowded PCs. (Even better, there’s no room on the card for a picture of Manli’s obnoxious robot mascot — we hate that guy more than Jar Jar Binks.)
For connectivity, the Manli 9600OC comes with the requisite pair of DVI ports and an S-Video output. The card runs off a single 6-pin power connection and is reasonably energy efficient. It’s also nice and cool, courtesy of the Arctic-Cooling heatsink and fan. The card’s temperature remained below 50 degrees Celsius even while under load. By contrast, mid-range cards like the ATI Radeon HD 4870 can reach peak temperatures of 80 degrees or more. The Manli 9600OC comes with the usual G94 trappings, including HDCP compatibility, PureVideo HD Technology and support for SLI.
We installed the Manli 9600OC in a testbed with an Intel Core i7 965 CPU, 6GB of DDR3 memory and a Western Digital VelociRaptor (WD3000GLFS) internal hard drive encased in an Antec Skeleton chassis.
In 3DMark 06, the Manli 9600OC received a total score of 8055. In the more recent 3DMark Vantage, it scored a total of P4203. These results were significantly lower than the Sapphire HD 4770, which achieved 9422 and P7104 in the same testbed. (To be fair, the Sapphire HD 4770 costs around $70 more than the Manli 9600OC.)
In our Far Cry 2 DirectX 10 benchmark, the Manli 9600OC returned an average frame rate of 23.7 frames per second, which is a tad disappointing. Likewise, our DirectX 10 demo of Call of Juarez managed just 21.7fps. Our DirectX 9 benchmarks fared slightly better, with Half Life 2: Episode Two returning an average frame rate of 128.3fps. The DX9 version of Lost Planet: Extreme Conditions ran at a respectable 49.6 fps.
While none of these results are particularly impressive, they are in line with the Manli 9600OC’s affordable price point. Indeed, this is probably the most appealing aspect of the Manli 9600OC. At $116, it’s less than half the price of a 9600 GT graphics card from a year ago. If you’re not interested in playing the latest DirectX 10 games, then the Manli 9600OC is worth considering.
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