NVIDIA's Mainstream Graphics - GeForce 8600 GT & 8500 GT

The NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR3

The NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT 256MB DDR3

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.

MSI sent us an overclocked GeForce 8600 GT 256MB. However, we will be clocking it at the reference speeds for this article.

The cooler is slightly thicker than a single slot, though we don't think it will affect the adjacent expansion slot. It can be rather noisy though.

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.

1.4ns rated DDR3 memory at 1400MHz gives it the same memory bandwidth as the GeForce 7600 GT.

There are two dual-link DVI outputs on the GeForce 8600 GT.

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
Core Code G84 G73 RV560
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
Memory Bandwidth 22.4GB/s 22.4GB/s 21.6GB/s
Ring Bus Memory Controller - - 256-bit (for memory reads only)
PCIe Interface x16 x16 x16
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
Obsessed with technology?
Subscribe to the latest tech news as well as exciting promotions from us and our partners!
By subscribing, you indicate that you have read & understood the SPH's Privacy Policy and PDPA Statement.