In spite of vast improvements of late, the Catalyst driver suite is still somewhat questionable. (There ARE alternatives, however....)
Yes, I too can see a difference between this card and the 9800 Pro --- the latter costs twice as much! But for my upper-middle-class PC, and the zillions of others like out there in the Silicon Universe, the 9600 XT is all that's needed to stay on top any game even tentatively set for release through 2004 --- and in the vidcard biz, that's an ETERNITY.
Get this card NOW!