Today NVIDIA unleashes its mainstream Graphics Processing Units (GPU) based on the GeForce 8 architecture by announcing the GeForce 8600 GTS, GeForce 8600 GT and GeForce 8500 GT.
The GPUs are Windows Vista and DirectX 10-ready and will be featured on graphics cards at price points ranging from $89-$229.
EVGA e-GeForce 8600 GTS Superclocked
The GeForce 8600 is manufactured using an 80nm fabrication process, which translates to higher core speeds than were possible with the 90nm-manufactured GeForce 7900 Series. Memory speeds are significantly higher as well, achieving an effective data transfer rate of 2GHz.
MSI NX8600GTS OC Edition
The GeForce 8600 GTS supports HDCP over dual-link DVI, allowing high-definition (HD) video playback. The GPU features a second video processing unit (VP2), for 100% offload of H.264 decoding during HD video playback.
Listed below are key specifics of the GeForce 8600 Series.
GeForce 8600 Specifications
On the plus side is the Unified Shader Architecture that employs up to 32 stream processors and the ramped up core and memory clocks. On the down side is the 128-bit memory interface.
Last generation's mainstream was a breakthrough as the GeForce 7900 GS [Sept, 06] was introduced with a 256-bit memory interface at the $199-$249 price range.
An interesting 3D performance match up - higher core and memory speeds on a 128-bit memory interface vs. moderate clock speeds on a 256-bit memory interface.
Next, we take a look at two overclocked GeForce 8600 GTS graphics cards that we've been testing.