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Inno3D iChill 8600GTS XStriker3 Review - Page 1 of 6

INTRODUCTION

These NVIDIA 8600 mainstream graphic cards have been coming out of the woodwork lately. NVNEWS previewed a couple of NVIDIA 8600 GTS cards at launch and just recently did a review on the MSI 8600GTS OC Edition card here. I have been running the EVGA GeForce 8600 GTS SuperClocked that Mike previewed here. I encourage you to refer his preview for the listing of features for the 8600 GTS. As far as pure speed, the 8600 GTS runs the bulk of DX9 games much like the 7900GT and a little behind the 7900GS, which is surprising as I would have thought it would have been ahead of both these cards. It picks up in Oblivion and starts to shine in S.T.A.L.K.E.R., although resolution takes its toll the frame rate with all the settings turned up.

Inno3d iChill 8600GTS XStriker3

Just what is the 8600 GTS? First off, it has a newly designed 80nm core (G84) while the 8800 GTX (G80) has a 90nm core. Where the G80 has an estimated 681 million transistors the G84 has only 289 million. Still, this means that the 8600 GTS mainstream card has more transistors than Nvidia’s previous high-end G71 graphics chip which has an estimated transistor count of 278 million.

The new 8600 core has been improved to enable better shader performance per clock. Texture processors can now calculate 8 texture addresses per clock instead of the 4 that the 8800 GTX can calculate, enabling the ability to sample more unique texture locations in the memory. This newly designed processor includes a new video processor as well as a BSP (bitstream processor) engine. With H.264 High Definition Video Processing, 8600 GPUs are able to take on the duties for bitstream processing as well as the inverse transform in HD decoding. This can free up significant CPU time while allowing the system to do more at one time with the same processing power. While all this sounds very good, the downside is that the G84 comes with 32 stream processors onboard. This is down significantly from the 128 stream processors of the G80. The memory interface on the G84 is 128-bit, which is down from the 384-bit of the G80. Yes, the design has been improved, but there seems to be significant performance gap between the 8600 GTS and the 8800 GTS, 320MB card in the 8800-series. What is there to fill the gap?

iChill Technology

That brings me to what NVNEWS received in the mail today from Inno3D. From half-way around the world we received their elite rendition of the 8600 GTS, the iChill 8600GTS XStriker3. They have an up-front claim of air boost technology, heatpipe technology, and a silent cooler with large airflow. This is all wrapped up in one compact 8600 GTS package. Since I have been working on a personal 'low budget', high-performance gaming rig, anything concerning 'air cooling' gets my immediate attention. These cooling claims certainly did it! I am eager to see what is so special about this Inno3d iChill 8600GTS XStriker3 card compared to the rest of the pack. I will have to say it rates at least a NVNEWS 'Triple' just on the name title alone! So much for the naming let's see what makes up the basis for these claims.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Chipset - NVIDIA Geforce 8600 GTS
  • Memory - 256MB GDDR3
  • Core Frequency - 702MHz
  • Memory Frequency - 2100MHz
  • RAMDAC - 400MHZ
  • Interface - PCI-Express
  • Memory Bus - 128-bit
  • Max. Resolution - 2560 x 1600
  • SLI Ready - Yes
  • Stream Processors - 32
  • Output - #1. Dual-Link DVI #2. HDTV

Features Specific to the Inno3D iChill 8600GTS XStriker3

1. Air Boost Technology - this is based on Bernoulli's Principle which states that during steady air pressure all air particles that pass any given point follow the same path at the same speed. Hence increase and decrease in the same velocity occurs simultaneously with air pressure or a change in the airflow gravitational potential energy.
2. Heatpipe Technology - features copper base heatpipes filled with liquid material that extend directly from the GPU centre to provide heat conductivity and vaporizes heat transfer. The Aluminum fins are specially designed to allow air flow pass through easily and remove heat efficiently.
3. Silent Cooler with large Air Flow - features combination of passive and active cooling solutions. The silent cooling fan allows air circulation from the center and sides of the card and is built with systematic noise reduction.

Next Page: The Inno3D iChill 8600GTS XStriker3

Last Updated on June 5, 2007


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