nVIDIA has further strengthened its lead over AMD with
the release of the GeForce 8600GTS and it is the first DirectX 10 videocard
aimed at the mainstream market. Those of you waiting for a truly Microsoft
Windows Vista ready videocard now have something to get. Best of all the GeForce
8600GTS is more affordable than the previous GeForce 7600GT generation!
MSI has taken what nVIDIA has done with the GeForce
8600GTS and tweaked it so it's even better. The MSI NX8600GTS-T2D256E-OC comes
factory overclocked and equipped with a swanky low noise heatsink. The MSI
NX8600GTS-T2D256E-OC retails for an aggressive $224 CDN ($199 USD, £99 GBP)!
Faster than the previous generation, quieter, and less expensive. Talk about the
best of both worlds!
The MSI NX8600GTS-T2D256E-OC videocard is based on the
reference design but sports the usual MSI red colour. The heatsink that MSI
installs looks very much like a custom Arctic Cooling Silencer and allows the
NX8600GTS-T2D256E-OC to operate at a high speed yet remain quiet. According to
MSI its custom heatsink keeps the G84 core ~15 degrees Celsius cooler than the
reference heatsink. Looking at the technology behind the GeForce 8600GTS, it is
nice to see that the core automatically supports HDCP. If you're building a home
theatre or entertainment PC, you do not have to worry about high definition
movies running at a lower quality. The nVidia G84 core obviously has less
horsepower under the hood with 32 stream processors (96 for GeForce 8800GTS and
128 for GeForce 8800GTX) but as the benchmarks indicated, that wasn't too huge a
limiter. Memory bandwidth will be the thing that holds the GeForce 8600GTS back
the most as the memory bus width is only 128 bits wide.
In the benchmarks the MSI
NX8600GTS-T2D256E-OC performed well at lower resolutions (1024x768) with details
at max. At higher resolutions the lack of bandwidth really held the
NX8600GTS-T2D256E-OC back. Even though the MSI NX8600GTS-T2D256E-OC comes
pre-overclocked from the factory, PCSTATS was able to overclock it to 774 MHz
core and 2240 MHz memory! Overclocking helps when running at high resolutions
and we saw some decent performance boosts from stock in the benchmarks.
nVIDIA is moving at a pace AMD simply can't keep up
with. For well over a year now nVIDIA has owned the videocard market and with
cards like the MSI NX8600GTS-T2D256E-OC, consumers have hardly noticed the
absence of the "other major videocard player". The MSI NX8600GTS-T2D256E-OC is a
great videocard and if you've been itching to upgrade to a DirectX10 unit, but
don't want to spend a lot of money, this card is for you!
Find out about this and many other reviews by joining
the Weekly PCstats.com Newsletter today! Catch all of PCSTATS
latest reviews right here.
Here are a few other articles that you might enjoy as
- MSI NX8800GTS-T2D320E-HD-OC 320MB Geforce 8800GTS Videocard
- MSI NX7900GS-T2D512E-OC Geforce 7900GS Videocard
- PowerColor Radeon X1550 512MB Videocard Review
- Foxconn FV-N88SMCD2-ONOC GeForce 8800GTS 320MB Videocard
- MSI NX8800GTX-T2D768E-HD Geforce 8800GTX PCI Express
- Biostar Sigma-Gate GeForce 7600GS V7603GS-21 Videocard
- Asus EAX1950Pro HTDP/256M/A Radeon X1950Pro Videocard
- Gigabyte GV-NX76T256D-RH Silent Geforce 7600GT Videocard
- nVidia's Geforce 7950GX2 and the MSI NX7950GX2-T2D1GE
- MSI NX7900GT-VT256E-HD HDCP-enabled Geforce 7900GT
- Asus EN7900GT TOP/2DHT/256M/A Videocard