Despite having the same G84 core as the GTS, the GeForce 8600 GT did not require a separate Molex power connector. Evidently, the slower clocks make that unnecessary, though perhaps NVIDIA was just being conservative when they added the power connector to the design of the GTS. The clock speeds however are quite a drop from the GTS, with the core at 540MHz instead of 675MHz and the DDR3 memory reduced to 1400MHz DDR from 2000MHz on the GTS model.
The number of stream processors remains the same however, but obviously, the ones found on the GeForce 8600 GT run slower too. Another difference has to do with HDCP support, which is not compulsory on the GT like it is on the GTS. Our featured GeForce 8600 GT from MSI for instance, is not HDCP compliant. So, if HDCP support is important, that's something to ask before getting any GeForce 8600 GT graphics card. You do however, get two dual-link DVI outputs, so it's about time to crank up the resolutions and display size if you have the spare cash.
The cooler we found on the MSI card was quite audible, but we assume that with the number of models in the market, consumers should find one that fit their taste. Passive coolers are also a viable option, given its low power consumption (around 43W according to NVIDIA) so the noise and heat issue are less prominent for these mainstream GPUs. Listed below are some of the probable market rivals that the GeForce 8600 GT will face and their specifications for your reference. As for the actual performance figures, you'll find that in the benchmarks later.
|GPU/VPU||NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT 256MB||NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT 256MB||ATI Radeon X1650 XT 256MB|
|Transistor Count||289 million||177 million||330 million|
|Manufacturing Process (microns)||0.08||0.09||0.08|
|Core Clock||540 MHz||560 MHz||575MHz|
|Vertex Shader Pipelines||32 Stream Processors (operating at 1190MHz)||5||8|
|Rendering (Pixel) Pipelines||12||24|
|Texture Mapping Units (TMU) or Texture Filtering (TF) units||16||12||8|
|Raster Operator units (ROP)||8||8||8|
|Memory Clock||700MHz (1400MHz DDR3)||700MHz (1400MHz DDR3)||675MHz (1350MHz DDR3)|
|DDR Memory Bus||128-bit||128-bit||128-bit|
|Ring Bus Memory Controller||-||-||256-bit (for memory reads only)|
|Molex Power Connectors||NIL||NIL||NIL|
|Multi GPU Technology||Yes (SLI)||Yes (SLI)||Yes (CrossFire)|
|DVI Output Support||2x Dual-Link||1x Dual-Link, 1x Single-Link||1x Dual-Link, 1x Single-Link|
|Estimated Retail Price (US$)||~US$149||~US$109 - 129||~US$219|