Nvidia GeForce 8600 GTS & GT Performance

Julio Franco

Posts: 9,084   +2,039
Staff member
When Nvidia launched the GeForce 8 series last November with the release of the GeForce 8800 GTX, no one really expected the graphics monster it was, and that is saying a lot given the hype that surrounds every upcoming high-end graphics product.

The GeForce 8800 GTX was significantly faster than anything available at the time, and even today it still holds the performance crown for Nvidia. Also cut-down 8800 GTS versions were also very impressive and soon became favourites amongst gamers. However, only a small percentage of gamers can afford to drop over $300 on a graphics card. This means the real battle, the battle of sales, takes place at the more affordable $200 - and below - price range.

And now finally, after a long wait Nvidia has released their mainstream GeForce 8 series graphics cards, but was the wait worth it?


Please leave your feedback here. Thanks!

I know the article is geared for gaming performance, but it still may be worth noting somewhere that the 8600 and 8500 both have full onboard HD decoding capabilities through an updated VPU (VP2) offloading all the processing work to the graphics card rather than the CPU, not even the 8800GTS has that. Admittedly it may not be a big deal because all that does is ease the load on your CPU, and if you have an 8800GTS you have enough processing power to handle what the card didn't digest.

The price point for the 8600s seem too high to be used for a HTPC but the 8500s could work, breathing life into an older (although you'd still have to have PCIe) system that might not be able to handle HD as nicely as you'd like.

But basically I agree with the article, the performance just isn't there to justify buying over a high end 7000 series card. I think Nvidia was banking on lots of people buying it just because it is a DX10 card. Although the 8600/8500 maybe a good choice for an HTPC that is going to be playing HD content and BluRay or HDDVDs.
I really hoping the AMD's 2600 is much better. I so want to upgrade my 7600Gt in my HTPC. My kids do like to game on it. I am so close to getting a x1950gt but still trying to hold out. The 8600 series is not even an option. :(
I am very disapointed in nVIDIAs GeForce 8600 and 8500 series of video cards. I thought that I might step-up to one, but I see that is a stupid idea. nVIDIA better release a newer and better very version and name it something like the GeForce 8650 GTX. That way there name will be cleared.
It's basically a 7900-Series Card Performance with a DirextX 10 Feature.....that's what it seems like or the 7900-Name of the DirectX 10 Cards :S .