EVGA e-GeForce 8600 GTS (PCI-e review: EVGA e-GeForce 8600 GTS (PCI-e

Half Life 2: Episode One
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
1,600x1,200 (4xAA, 16xAF)  
ATI Radeon X1900 XT (256MB)
77 
Nvidia GeForce 8600 GTS
68 
Nvidia GeForce 8600 GT
60 

Quake 4
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
1,600x1,200 (4xAA, 8xAF)  
ATI Radeon X1900 XT (256MB)
65 
Nvidia GeForce 8600 GTS
42 
Nvidia GeForce 8600 GT
36 

Company of Heroes
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
2,048x1,536 (high quality)  
1,600x1,200 (high quality)  
ATI Radeon X1900 XT (256MB)
44 
63 
Nvidia GeForce 8600 GTS
23 
34 
Nvidia GeForce 8600 GT
20 
30 

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
1,600x1,200 (high quality)  
1,280x1,024 (high quality)  
Nvidia GeForce 8600 GTS
33 
42 
ATI Radeon X1900 XT (256MB)
32 
42 
Nvidia GeForce 8600 GT
28 
37 

What the GeForce 8600 GTS has that its higher-end cousins and those older cards don't is Nvidia's PureVideoHD 2.0 technology. Unlike our experience with Nvidia's original PureVideo HD decoding software, we were very impressed with the quality of HD video output under PureVideo 2.0. One of our main complaints with Nvidia's original version of PureVideo HD was that it would lose almost all detail in heavily shadowed areas. That wasn't the case here at all. We still think that a dedicated Blu-ray player and high-definition TV combo provides a sharper HD image, but the GeForce 8600 GTS gets it very close and should please all but the most sensitive movie watcher.

As much as we like Nvidia's HD output with this new card, ATI's new cards could very well emerge with the win in the home theater PC market. A few weeks ago we reported that ATI plans to integrate an audio chip into its forthcoming low- and midrange graphics cards. The idea is that for those cards with a built-in HDMI port, on a motherboard equipped with an HD audio chip, you'll be able to pump both audio and video from your PC out of a single output, with no extra internal or external cable clutter. This EVGA e-Geforce 8600 GTS has a two DVI outputs, so you couldn't output audio with it anyway, but we do expect that other 8600 GTS cards will have an HDMI option. With no audio chip though, you'll need to patch the signal into the card from your PC's audio chip. Connecting the cables is only a minor hassle, but that difference could be a feather in ATI's cap when its new cards hit the market.

Test bed configurations:

Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800; Intel 975XBX2 motherboard; 2GB Corsair XMX Memory (two at 1GB each); 160GB Seagate 7,200rpm hard drive; Windows XP SP2; Drivers: ATI Catalyst 7.3, Forceware 93.71, Forceware 97.94 (GeForce 8800 GTS), Forceware 158.16 (GeForce 8600 GT and 8600 GTS)

Editors' Top PicksSee All

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Quick Specifications See All

  • Interface Type PCI Express x16
  • Graphics Engine NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GTS
  • Size 256 MB
  • Compatibility PC