Pairing underpowered graphics processors with ridiculous amounts of graphics memory in order to make them look more desirable has been a sales tactic for years now, and it's why the sub-$100 graphics card market is flooded with 512MB cards (and even some 1GB models). But what happens when card makers strap way too much memory on decent graphics cards?
As the PC Games Hardware team has found out during the ongoing CeBIT show in Hanover, Germany, both MSI and Jetway are showing off GeForce 9600 GT cards outfitted with a mind-blowing 2GB of memory. To give you an idea of how over-the-top that kind of memory density is, we found in our testing that doubling the GeForce 8800 GT's onboard RAM from 512MB to 1GB didn't significantly impact performance in Crysis—even at settings too high for the card to properly handle.
Still, both graphics card makers apparently have 2GB 9600 GTs ready to go. The Jetway model is clocked at the stock 650MHz core and 900MHz memory speed, and although PC Games Hardware didn't publish specifications for the MSI model, it does say the card has a DisplayPort output. Both offerings also have custom, dual-slot coolers. Of course, you can already get a 9600 GT with DisplayPort and a dual-slot cooler by going with Palit's $199.99 Sonic model, which is "factory overclocked" and performs very well even with "only" 512MB of onboard memory. (Thanks to TechConnect Magazine for the tip.)