Originally Posted by dralb
The 8800GT performs better, but the 9600GT is cheaper. I also think the 9600 scales better in SLI.
edit: the 9600GT is a great budget card, but I personally think it gets more credit than it deserves. Any nre post looking for a new GFX card gets pages of replies recommending this card over the 8800GT and such. the simple fact is, it is a midrange card and, just because it is new, doesn't make it better than older tech. (in all cases)
Here comes another one...
I have not owned an 8800gt, but am very happy with my 9600gt ($110.00 after $40 MIR at newegg). It was too cheap to pass up. I could not find an 8800gt for under $150, although they might be now. My 9600gt games better than it benches. I overclocked my 9600gt and got a 10K 3dmark06 score, but play Crysis on high setting @ 1400X900 with FPS in the mid to high 20s-low 30s. It runs cool (51 degrees max overclocked), uses little power and does everything a $110 card should do and so much more. The fan on my card is loud if turned up too high, but at 55%, it maintains 51 degrees under load after overclocking. These choices all depend on the price/performance ratio for many of us and I cannot imagine a better price/performance ratio than what I managed.
If your decsion is purely performance driven between these two cards, I guess the 8800gt is the way to go.
Some benches of my card seen here