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NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GSO to NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB Mod Guide
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Note : This article was adapted from a vga.zol.com.cn article by Max_87, and edited by Dr. Adrian Wong. Full credit belong to the original authors.

Warning! Please do not attempt any of the steps in this article unless you are fully aware of the risks, and know what you are doing. Neither Tech ARP, nor the original writers, of this article will be held responsible for any damages that may occur as a result of following the methods or ideas described in this article. You have been warned!

 

Introduction

3 years ago, ATI and NVIDIA graphics card line-up was not as complex as it is today. Many of their graphics cards were actually using the same GPU, so enthusiasts could mod their lower-end cards, using software or hardware methods, into higher-end graphcs cards.

For example, the very popular Radeon 9800 SE to Radeon 9800 Pro mod, the GeForce 6200 to GeForce 6600 GT mod and the GeForce 6800 LE to GeForce 6800 GT mod. All these mods increased the performance and value of the graphics card, making graphics card modding highly popular.

When ATI and NVIDIA began using many different GPUs for different product lines, graphics card modding fell out of favour because enthusiasts could only overclock their graphics cards to maximize their potential.

However, a method for soft-modding an NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GSO into an NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB has been found. This mod instantly gives you a GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB card at half the cost!

 

Determining The Modding Possibility

 

GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB

GeForce 9600 GSO

GPU

G92-400

G92-150

Fabrication Process

65 nm

65 nm

Transistor Count

754 Million

754 Million

DirectX Support

DirectX 10

DirectX 10

Stream Processors

128

96

ROP

16

12

Core Clock

650 MHz

550 MHz

Shader Clock

1625 MHz

1375 MHz

Memory Clock

1944 MHz

1700 MHz

Memory Bus Width

256-bit

192-bit

Memory Type

GDDR3

GDDR3

Memory Size

512 MB

384 MB

Both the GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB and the GeForce 9600 GSO graphics cards use the NVIDIA G92 GPU. Performance binning of the G92 GPUs results in two different grades - those with all 128 fully-functioning stream processors are labelled as the G92-400 and used in the GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB cards, while those with at least 96 fully-functioning stream processors are labelled as the G92-150 and used in lower-end cards like the GeForce 9600 GSO.

Do note that some GeForce 9600 GSO cards might be using G92 GPUs will all 128 stream processors fully-functional. This is because NVIDIA has to deliver their GPUs according to market forces and not entirely according to the speed binning. So some, if not many, fully-functional G92 GPUs may end up getting used in the GeForce 9600 GSO.

That is not all though. To properly mod a GeForce 9600 GSO into a GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB, you must look for GeForce 9600 GSO graphics cards that have 8 GDDR3 memory chips. This is important as the GeForce 9600 GSO only requires 6 memory chips to achieve the memory capacity of 384 MB with a 192-bit memory bus. Therefore, most GeForce 9600 GSO cards only come with 6 GDDR3 memory chips.

The good news is there are some GeForce 9600 GSO cards that come with 8 GDDR3 memory chips. To simplify production, some companies choose to produce a single PCB design with 8 GDDR3 chips, and then create two different products by choosing the GPU to use. NVIDIA locked 32 of the 128 stream processors in the G92-150, so by using that GPU, the graphics card turns into a GeForce 9600 GSO. If the company wants to create a GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB card, they just need to use a G92-400 GPU instead.

So, when you look for a GeForce 9600 GSO, make sure it has 8 GDDR3 memory chips. That will give you a real good chance at modding the card into a GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB. With that said, there is no way for anyone to know for sure if the GeForce 9600 GSO has faulty stream processors or merely had them locked for marketing purposes.

If you have such a card, then let's proceed with the mod guide!

 

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