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    Gigabyte GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB Review
    By Vince Freeman :  August 22, 2007

    Test Setup

    The Gigabyte GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB card is the top mainstream option in the NVIDIA GeForce 8 Series and is designed to replace the GeForce 7600 GT, while offering performance that rivals many higher-end GeForce 7 and Radeon X1000-based video cards. In this review, our standard system configuration consists of a high-end Intel platform, featuring a 2.93 GHz Core 2 Extreme X6800 processor, 2x1GB of CAS4 DDR2-800, and an Intel 975X motherboard, This represents a very serious high-end platform for performance video card benchmarking, and ensures that our system configuration will not be the limiting factor.

    The competition in our video card benchmarking comes from both the mainstream and entry high-end areas, and includes the GeForce 7600 GT 256MB, GeForce 7900 GS 256MB, GeForce 7900 GT 256MB, and GeForce 7950 GT 512MB from NVIDIA and the Radeon X1650 XT 256MB and Radeon X1950 Pro 256MB from the ATI side. Since this is a DirectX 10 card, we have naturally upgraded our operating system to Windows Vista Home Premium, the most popular and prevalent of the Vista flavors.

    Our benchmark selection is a series of high-end game tests such as Lost Planet (DirectX 9 & 10), Supreme Commander, Company of Heroes, F.E.A.R., 3DMark06 Advanced, Quake 4, DOOM 3, and FarCry. This represents a combination of many different game engines and feature sets, and all have proven stable and usable under Windows Vista.

    Initial testing is performed using standard 1280x1024 and 1600x1200 32-bit settings, and then we move to the widescreen arena with high-end 4X anti-aliasing and 16X anisotropic filtering results at 1680x1050 and 1920x1200 (or similar, depending on game support) resolutions . With widescreen gaming becoming so popular, this represents an area that high-end gamers will need covered.

    * Please note that unless otherwise stated, all performance graph results equate to the standard "higher is better" format.

    Test System

    General Settings:
    Desktop Resolution: 1920x1200
    Color Depth: 32-bit
    V-Sync: Disabled

    Intel Core 2 Reference System:
    Processors: Core 2 Extreme X6800 (2.93 GHz)
    Memory: 2 x 1GB Ultra DDDR2-800 (CAS4)
    Motherboard: Intel D975XBX2
    Motherboard chip set: Intel 975X
    NVIDIA reference drivers: ForceWare 158.24
    ATI reference drivers: Catalyst 7.6
    Hard-Drive: Seagate Barracuda 750GB
    IDE Interface: Serial ATA 3.0 Gb/s
    CD/DVD: Samsung DVD-R SH-S162
    Power Supply: Enermax EG651P-VE-24P 550W EPS12V
    Operating System: Windows Vista Home Premium
    Monitor: Dell 2407WFP 24" LCD

    Video Cards:

    Gigabyte GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB
    Radeon X1650 XT 256MB
    GeForce 7600 GT 256MB
    GeForce 7900 GS 256MB
    GeForce 7900 GT 256MB
    Radeon X1950 Pro 256MB
    GeForce 7950 GT 512MB

    Page 1 The Gigabyte GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB Card
  • Page 2 Test Setup and Benchmark Software
    Page 3 DOOM 3 and Quake 4 Performance
    Page 4 Farcry and Supreme Commander Performance
    Page 5 F.E.A.R. and Company of Heroes Performance
    Page 6 Lost Planet DirectX 9/10 Widescreen Performance
    Page 7 3DMark06 Advanced Feature Performance
    Page 8 Benchmark Analysis, Value and Conclusion

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