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

    F.E.A.R. Performance

    F.E.A.R. (or First Encounter Assault Recon) is a one of the newer entrants to our game benchmark suite, and it features jaw-dropping graphics, a killer Matrix-like "reflex time" feature, and a physics engine that can bring any system to its knees. This Monolith production includes a wide selection of System and Video settings, along with an in-game testing module to keep things 100% comparable between different graphics cards. In this case, as we are dealing with video card performance, so we have racked the computer and graphics settings to high (max only increases AF and AA) and then testing at the different resolutions.

    F.E.A.R. is one of the most demanding game benchmarks in our entire suite, and its overall design rewards both pure graphics performance and an SM 2.0/3.0 feature set. This is another game that shows the Gigabyte GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB in an extremely good light, at it finishes ahead of the GeForce 7900 GS, Radeon X1950 Pro and GeForce 7900 GT cards. F.E.A.R. is a very demanding benchmark, even at standard resolutions and details, and the Gigabyte GeForce 8600 GTS showed excellent performance levels.

    F.E.A.R. AA and AF Widescreen Performance

    The transition to 4X AA and 8X AF widescreen settings isn't quite as kind, as it puts a real strain on all the cards, especially in the area of memory bandwidth. This can be seen in the benchmark results, and the clear delineation between the mainstream and higher-end models.

    Company of Heroes Performance

    Company of Heroes is yet another new addition to our game benchmark suite, and as a newly-released product, it offers one of the most demanding benchmark environments ever. CoH is a WW2 real-time strategy game, which again provides us with a nice change of pace from the usual FPS benchmark. To give the video cards an even tougher time, we have enabled SM3.0, and set every available graphics option to High.

    Company of Heroes is another very demanding part of our game benchmarking suite, and one that the ATI Radeon cards seem very adept at running. The benchmark chart illustrates this, and in terms of a purely NVIDIA-specific analysis, the Gigabyte GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB rules the mainstream class, while almost chasing the GeForce 7900 GS 256MB down.

    Company of Heroes AA and AF Widescreen Performance

    The higher resolution widescreen results are very tough on the NVIDIA contingent, and all the GeForce-based cards take a big hit at these settings. Still, the Gigabyte GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB put in a good performance against the GeForce 7900 GS 256MB.

    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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