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Affordable DX10 - GeForce 8600 GTS and 8600 GT 224

Posted by Zonk
from the only-a-bit-more-than-nine dept.
mikemuch writes "While ATI still hasn't released a DX-10-capable graphics card, Nvidia today already released its affordable SKUs, in descending price and performance order the GeForce 8600 GTS and GeForce 8600 GT, and 8500 GT. The GTS costs $200-230, the GT from $150-170, and the 8500 reaching down to the $90 range. The architecture for the new GPUs is the same as for the 8800 line, but with lower clocks and fewer stream processors."
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Affordable DX10 - GeForce 8600 GTS and 8600 GT

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  • ATi ain't far behind (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @12:06PM (#18768215)
    While ATI still hasn't released a DX-10-capable graphics card...

    Don't worry - ATi will be announcing (if not launching) their new R600 range next week. I wouldn't buy anything until we see how that goes.
    • by Moryath (553296) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @12:39PM (#18768797)
      The Radeon X1950 beats the NVidia cards in every single test save for the "synthetic" crapmark test that has nothing to do with reality.

      Yet their final page says you should buy the NVidia rather than the X1950?

      Somebody's been paid off. This wasn't an article, it's a fucking stealth ad. They have no integrity.
      • by Lord Crc (151920)
        The Radeon X1950 beats the NVidia cards in every single test save for the "synthetic" crapmark test that has nothing to do with reality.

        Interesting, that's not what I've been seeing in tests. In fact, in most tests it seems the 8800 GTX beats the X1950 XTX with a comfortable margin. Here's one review that goes through a number of games: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/gf8 800-games.html [xbitlabs.com]
        • by Holmwood (899130) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @01:50PM (#18770099)

          The Radeon X1950 beats the NVidia cards in every single test save for the "synthetic" crapmark test that has nothing to do with reality.
          Interesting, that's not what I've been seeing in tests. In fact, in most tests it seems the 8800 GTX beats the X1950 XTX

          In context, it's clear the GP was referring to the NVidia cards that were reviewed by the article. And he's mostly right. In only one (of many) actual gaming benchmark did any of the Nvidia cards reviewed outperform the X1950.

          Where I believe the GP is mistaken is in his conclusions about the article. The article itself says, in conclusion:

          The 256MB version of the Radeon X1950 Pro is faster in most games, and by a pretty good margin, too.

          The article notes, correctly I think, that the X1650XT is not a good card for gamers to buy. It notes that the 1950 won't do DirectX10, and the budget NVidia cards may not be fast enough to do it well either.

          However, it's also instructive to have a look at this review at Hard OCP [hardocp.com]. There, in two demanding games (Oblivion and STALKER), the 8600 GTS appears to win handily over the 1950XT. If those benchmarks are accurate, it suggests the ExtremeTech article may draw conclusions that are too favorable to the X1950.

          Ah well, interesting times for all gfx card consumers!

          Holmwood
          • by Lord Crc (151920)
            In context, it's clear the GP was referring to the NVidia cards that were reviewed by the article.

            I realized this the second I hit submit (even after previewing). I tried to post a reply explaining that I'm a moron, but it seems to have been ignored :)
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by MikShapi (681808)
            I also got the impression that sane people compare apples to apples, and oranges to oranges.

            If you have 400$ and give them to ATI, you get a 1950XTX.
            If you have 400$ and give them to nVIDIA you get an 8800, possibly the lower-RAM (320MB) version.

            You're much better off with the 8800, it tears the ATI card a new one.

            Now if you have 200$ to spend, that's a whole different ballpark there.
            Giving them to nVidia will net you something that is, in most benchmarks, ALMOST on-par with the 400$ ATI card. *AND* is DX10
      • yes, but does ATI have any cards such as the 7950GX2 which has 2 cards bundled together on one PCIX slot - allowing for a total maximum of 4 cards (quad-sli)???
      • Which in most cases for gamers, doesn't usually matter-in most cases, the more powerful hardware is better than weaker hardware with new tech. However, with the way M$ is pushing Vista upgrading, how long will it be before there are less impressive games that require DX10 to run, and potentially DX10 hardware? Or what about DX10 games like Crysis? Maybe that will push performance past non DX10 cards. It's hard to say untill we can test things like that.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by lattyware (934246)
      I must say, I will *allways* buy nVidia until ATI shape up their Linux drivers. Twinview makes dual monitors as easy in Linux as anywhere else, and that is something valuable to me. But still, ATI cards *are* important - hopefully they mean nVidia will drop the price. But until then I am happy with my passive 7600GS.
    • by Afrosheen (42464)
      See how that goes? Look at the last 8 years of bad drivers and crappy Linux support for clues.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @12:06PM (#18768219)
    I wish there was an easier way to judge the speed of one Nvidia card against another just by looking at the name. I can never tell.

    Are these faster than my 7800GS? Would they be faster than a 7800GT? Who can fucking tell?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jandrese (485)
      Maybe you could try looking at the benchmarks? The answer is yes BTW, but the question you should be asking is "How much faster are these than my current card?".
      • Yes, look at the benchmarks. But (unfortunately) benchmarks only typically look at a few cards, and not the entire lineup. How much faster are these than my NVidia 6200?

        Is there a site that lists every single NVidia card in the various form factors (AGP8x, PCI-E, etc.), and run the same benchmarks on them? Why can't they do this as part of their naming scheme? (ie: a 6600 being an average of 10% faster than a 6000 on a combination of all the benchmarks).
        • by jandrese (485)
          While that sounds great in theory, there are too many factors that go into the performance of a card to really roll it all into one number. Differences in Direct X and OpenGL performance alone would confuse things, not to mention the differences in feature support. Even if they were to do that, in a few generations you would have incredibly unweildy product numbers. Just looking at the performance difference between a Geforce 256 and a Geforce 8800GTX should show how crazy large the numbers would get. P
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Sinbios (852437)
          http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics.html [tomshardware.com]

          I'm sure those will appear on there eventually.

    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @01:06PM (#18769277)
      The first number is the major generation of hardware. So these are the 8000 series cards, the 8th generation of GeForce hardware. All other things being equal, a new generation card of a similar number performs better than an older one. So a 7600GT should outperform a 6600GT and an 8600GT should outperform a 7600GT. However the primary reason to look at new major version numbers is new features. In this case, 8 series cards support DirectX 10, 7 series are DirectX 9.0c.

      The second number is the minor version and generally increasing numbers indicate increasing speed. Usually, they indicate the amount of processing hardware so an 8800 has more pixel pipelines and shaders and such than an 8600. Then there's the letters. GTX > GTS > GT, not sure how it goes after that. Again, speed related.

      What it really comes down to though is you need to look at benchmarks. There's no one magic metric for cards, they'll be better at some things worse at others. You need to see how it performs on the stuff you are doing to make the determination.
    • by TypoNAM (695420) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @01:13PM (#18769415)
      http://www.gpureview.com/show_cards.php [gpureview.com] is your friend. Allows you to select any ATI and nVidia card known and compare them side by side. Somebody back about four years ago here on slashdot pointed me in the right direction to that site and have been using it since. :)
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Alastor187 (593341)
      I think when used correctly price can be a fairly good indicator of performance. Look at the manufacture retail price for different cards. The highest priced cards offer the most performance, likewise the lower priced cards over less performance. In some cases this works between manufactures. NVIDIA and ATI typically offer the same performance for about the same price. They are obviously competing so it is never exact, but I have never seen one severely undercut the other. I guess it makes sense, we w
    • There is a way to tell. All you have to know about the numbers is the higher the number the better the performance. The 7800 cards are the 7-series video chips. The 8800 cards are the 8-series chips. The next generation of Nvidia cards will be 9800 9-series chips.

      Inside each of those series the same rule applies: The higher the number, generally the better performing card. The 7900 line performs better than the 7800 line; the 8800 line performs better than the 8600 line; and so on.

      The letters coul
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by djtachyon (975314)
      Tom's Hardware has a great chart system: http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics.html [tomshardware.com]
  • Yay! DX10! (Score:5, Funny)

    by malevolentjelly (1057140) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @12:07PM (#18768227) Journal
    It's about time! I can't wait to play... .... ....... ...wait... nevermind. There are no DX10 games.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      And....no drivers for the only OS that supports it. Everybody wins!
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by kestasjk (933987)
      This is about Aero; now that there are some moderately priced DX10 cards out there Aero isn't just for rich gamers.
    • Something that I've wondered about for a while is when the graphics card manufacturers will wake up and realize that there are more markets for GPUs out there besides gamers. Sure, that may be a big market, but I think they could make a bundle selling semi-specialized cards for other niche markets. In particular, it wouldn't take much to produce home-theater/video versions of cards: basically take a medium-range card with hardware MPEG-2/4 decompression, scaling, and deinterlace, and put some standard video
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Chandon Seldon (43083)

        In particular, it wouldn't take much to produce home-theater/video versions of cards: basically take a medium-range card with hardware MPEG-2/4 decompression, scaling, and deinterlace, and put some standard video outputs on it -- say HDMI, Component, and VGA (that way you could get to DVI easily using an HDMI adapter, and you can get to S-Video or Composite by combining the component signals).

        That stuff all largely exists. It's just that gamer gear gets the marketing hype.

  • by Laebshade (643478) <laebshade@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @12:10PM (#18768269)
    Obligatory print version [extremetech.com]. No pictures, but who needs those?

    That said, while I'm not sure how these cards will perform, I have been using their big brother for a while. I've had a Leadtek 8800GTS (640mb) for a few months now, and it runs great. It would probably run better if I was using WinXP instead of Vista, but I'm happy with it.
    • by BoberFett (127537)
      Compared to their big brothers these new cards are highly castrated. These cards have 32 shader units to the 96 and 128 found on the 8800 GTS and GTX respectively, and the memory interface is only 128bit, while it's 320 and 384 on the GTS 640 and GTX. From the benchmarks I've been seeing, these cards aren't anything to get excited about. By the time DX10 games see the light of day we'll probably see far more powerful cards for less money. Anybody buying to play right now would be better off sticking with th
      • by Aladrin (926209)
        Oh really? Did you bother to look at the numbers of the old cards before you said that? The 7800GTX has 24 (!) shader units. That's better than 32 how?

        From: http://www.computerpoweruser.com/editorial/article .asp?article=articles/archive/c0508/12c08/12c08.as p&guid= [computerpoweruser.com]

        Okay, the 8500 (the $100 model) only has 16. But how does that compare to the 7800GTX I paid $500 for? The $200 8600 has 32, and all the other specs are higher also.

        It makes -no- sense to buy a 7800 once the 8500 and 8600 are released.
        • I've never paid more than $40 for a graphics card, and I've never found a game I couldn't play comfortably (high res, good frame rates). I buy a new $30-40 card every couple of years. Is there really any benefit to spending $500 on a card? I doubt I spent that much on my entire current PC.
          • by Aladrin (926209)
            Bragging rights. And the tech demos were fun for about 5 minutes.

            Notice I'm not defending my purchase at all. I was only marginally impressed with that card over my previous $150 card. That's not a real good feeling, I can tell ya. I'll probably be buying one of the $200 8600's shortly after they come out. And only that because I'm going to be putting together a new system.
        • by BoberFett (127537)
          The 8800 is a new architecture. You can't do a straight shader to shader comparison. If you did, then the 8800 GTX with it's 128 units should be six times as powerful as your 24 shader card. It's not. When comparing apples to apples, the 8800 to the 8600/8500, you can see that the hardware simply isn't going to hold up to increasingly demanding games when it has 1/3 the memory throughput and 1/4 or 1/8 the number of shaders. Look at the benchmarks that are coming out, they don't lie. The 7900s are as powerf
  • by bad_fx (493443) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @12:18PM (#18768417) Journal
    There's another look at these cards at anandtech, here: http://anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2970 [anandtech.com]

    I usually find their reviews to be the best around. Always very detailed, and from what I've seen always right on the money. (They seem impressed, but their bottom line seems to be that, for now, you're better of sticking with a 7600GT, 7900GS or X1950XT if you already have one.)
  • by SQL Error (16383) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @12:22PM (#18768481)
    The 8600GTS delivers 40% of the performance of the 320MB 8800GTS for 70% of the price.

    The 8600GT outperforms a 7600GT - but is priced like a 7900GT.
    • by wcbarksdale (621327) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @12:41PM (#18768835)
      Thank you for explaining some letters and numbers I don't understand in terms of some other letters and numbers I don't understand.
      • by aliquis (678370)
        I don't know if this is exactly true but this was the case for the geforce 6-series:

        Ultra - Fully working and enabled gpu, fastest clockrate.
        GT - Fully working and enabled gpu, not as high clock as Ultra.
        GS - Partly disabled gpu.
        GTO - Partly disabled gpu, lower clockrate than GS. /NU - The normal version is also called NU, Partly disabled and slower than GTO.
        LE - Even more disabled gpu.
        XT - As disabled as LE but with 128-bit memories.

        XT was higher clocked than LE thought, but I think LE is still better.

        So i
        • by aliquis (678370)
          Uhm, did my / make NU go up there? Guess I should have previewed :)

          Should have been:
          Ultra - Fully working and enabled gpu, fastest clockrate.
          GT - Fully working and enabled gpu, not as high clock as Ultra.
          GS - Partly disabled gpu.
          GTO - Partly disabled gpu, lower clockrate than GS.
          NU/nothing - The normal version is also called NU, Partly disabled and slower than GTO.
          LE - Even more disabled gpu.
          XT - As disabled as LE but with 128-bit memories.
  • Don't care (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @12:25PM (#18768541)
    As long as there is no stable, useful and fast system supporting DX10, there's no point buying a card supporting it.
    • by dave562 (969951)
      And by the time games are coming out that require DX10, these cards will be so out of date it won't even be funny... unless you're the guy laughing at your friend who went out and spent a chunk of change on a card that doesn't really have any support just because he wanted to have the biggest ePeen on the block.
    • by vux984 (928602)
      Yes, there is no compelling reason to upgrade to DX10 today just to get DX10.

      But to paraphrase your comment: As long you are buying a new video card, there's no point buying a card that doesn't support it.

      If your still using a 5000 or 6000 series unit, an upgrade might well be in order. If you are buying a new mobo to upgrade cpu's and your existing card is AGP a new card is mandatory... for me, I think the sweet spot is the 320MB 8800GTS, but for someone on a tighter bugdet the new 8600 might be a better v
      • All true. But DX10 support is certainly no purchase directing feature. If card A doesn't support it but is otherwise identical with card B, but 50 bucks cheaper, card A is gonna be my choice.

        I've seen far too many "Vista ready" and "Vista certified" products that were anything but that to believe that spin anymore.
    • You know, you can use these cards with DX9 under XP. Just because the card supports DX10 doesn't force you to use it.
  • The current Forceware drivers for Vista are the buggiest, worst performaing drivers that Nvidia has ever put out. Take a look at their forums sometime; they are trying very hard to alienate their customers.

    It doesn't matter how great these cards sound on paper. Without at least decent drivers they are worthless.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Take a look at their forums sometime; they are trying very hard to alienate their customers.

      It's just that what with the AMD-ATI merger, ATI has more press than nVidia. They thought they'd try to be like ATI by putting out drivers that don't work.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @12:39PM (#18768789)
    WTF is with people calling a product a Stock Keeping Unithttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stock_Keeping_Uni t [wikipedia.org]? It's a physical item, not a freaking number.
    • I'm glad you pointed this out Anonymous, it grinds my gears as well. Some nerds thought the acronym sounded cool, but you are quite right.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Aladrin (926209)
      You apparently haven't worked retail.

      Yes, it's a Stock Keeping Unit. When a manager wants to talk about the variety on his shelf, he talks about the number of SKUs on it. Each SKU is a different item in the computer, but may be VERY close to another product in actuality. Yellow Rubberbands vs Red Rubberbands, for instance.

      Like it or not, sometimes the real world carries over into our little tech paradise and we have to understand their terms. Even worse, sometimes we start using them ourselves! Oh noes
    • Parent is 100 percent right, however marketing and business tend to think in SKU terms for a variety of reasons.

      Apparently like all other acronyms someone outside of the original world heard it and thought it was cool and made them sound like they were part of the industry and it propagates from there.

      Personally SKU has a lot of useful connotations, the best I can think of is "Total versions of a product" which in most businesses is important, but like I said the parent is right, this is part of the over us
  • Content? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BagOBones (574735) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @12:59PM (#18769157)
    I wouldn't worry about ATI/AMD not having DX10 hardware until their is content and a significant number of users that can use it.

    1. You need a Game that supports DirectX 10, how many have been released so far?
    2. You need the user to be running Windows Vista to have support for DirectX 10
    3. The user needs to have also purchase a DirectX 10 graphics card to complete the loop.

    It is the chicken and the egg, and history hasn't been kind to the early adopters of graphics cards that are the FIRST to implement a new API.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by n0w0rries (832057)
      I'm perfectly happy sticking with XP until...

      1) There's a moderately priced, high performance DX10 video card available ($200-$250)
      2) There's a way to address the DRM laden Vista (either a hack/patch/new version)
      3) There's a DX10 game that I have to have that doesn't include spyware, adware, or malware.

      The only way to convince big corporations that their new direction sucks is to vote with your wallet. Don't buy whatever crap they want to shove in your face. I play bf2 a lot, but didn't buy bf2142. Why?
  • More opinions! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Vigile (99919) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @01:05PM (#18769245)
    Here are some links to other interesting reviews of these products:

    http://www.pcper.com/article.php?type=expert&aid=3 92 [pcper.com] tested under Vista 64-bit and shows the 8600 GTS behind the aging ATI X1950 Pro
    http://enthusiast.hardocp.com/article.html?art=MTM yNCwxLCxoZW50aHVzaWFzdA== [hardocp.com] tested under XP and shows better performance on the 8600 GTS
    http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=8409 [hexus.net] tested under XP but not a lot of newer games
  • by guidryp (702488) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @01:12PM (#18769387)
    So in short, you pay more and get less performance in hopes that someday, you will need DX10.

    It seems nice of Nvidia to leave ATI/AMD a chance to beat them squarely in the $200 bracket by showing up with more memory bandwidth.

    8600 is ok but hardly anything to get excited about. More about features than performance or bang/buck.

  • Pot & Kettle (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @01:38PM (#18769845)
    While ATI still hasn't released a DX-10-capable graphics card,

    And while Nvidia still hasn't released working Vista drivers...

    I would Mod the article submitter Troll -1 over the wording in this article.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by will_die (586523)
      new non-beta drivers out today, so far they have fixed the problems I was having. They are on the nvidia site.
  • by teflaime (738532) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @01:40PM (#18769881)
    I, among others, have yet to see a convincing arguement to buy a DX-10 capable video card. I'm not upgrading to Vista, until they remove their DRM supportive crap and their awful driver signing nonsense. I'll switch to an over-priced Mac first.
    I don't play FPS, which is most likely to be the biggest genre that actually thinks it needs DX-10.
    My next logical upgrade will be to dual SLIs, unless I can't use dual monitors with them (I know some people who said they've had trouble with SLI and dual monitors, but I haven't researched it much because I'm not upgrading right now).
  • I am pretty happy with my Radeon 9550. It has a fairly small passive cooler, so I guess it doesn't produce so much heat and I have

    Open

    Source

    3D

    Drivers

    I was/am looking at a 7600GT (the version from MSI has a passive cooler that covers the whole front of the card, which was tested to be more effective than the heat pipe solutions), but opens source is so damn convenient, since you don't have to compile extra proprietary modules (it worked pretty well back when I used Nvidia with Debian, but it was always a pit
  • Please fill in the following for before writing any reviews:

    DX9 support: [ ]
    DX10 support: [ ]
    Wattage: ______
    Wattage: ______ (the real number this time)
    Plays a game my 4 year old card cannot play just fine [ ]

    Since there is currently no game you can check off that last box for, and the wattages are complete shit, we can all just completely IGNORE ATI and nVidia until they get a F'ing clue about making cards for anything but 40 year old virgins still living in their parents basements.

    .
  • by Sparr0 (451780) <sparr0@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @02:30PM (#18770823) Homepage Journal
    Everyone keeps calling these "DX10" cards, despite that being a misnomer. They are SM4 cards, and DX10 happens to be the first version of DX to support SM4. OpenGL also supports the new shaders (and has for longer). When are we going to start hearing about developers switching to OGL to get geometry shaders (which produce some sick effects) in WinXP, still the most popular gaming OS?
  • ...they come out with these just after I buy a new 7900GS, thinking that a DX10 card was going to be out of my price range for a long while....sigh.
  • The only real interesting thing about this series is the ability to do 100% offload of HD content. It looks like it could make playing BluRay and HD DVD movies on a midrange PC possible.

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