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NVIDIA GeForce 8600GTS

NVIDIA GeForce 8600GT
NVIDIA prepares its next-generation mid-range and mainstream DirectX 10 GPUs

Earlier today DailyTech received it's briefiing on NVIDIA’s upcoming GeForce 8600GTS, 8600GT and 8500GT graphics processors. NVIDIA’s GeForce 8600GTS and 8600GT are G84-based GPUs and target the mid-range markets. The lower-positioned G86-based GeForce 8500GT serves as the flagship low to mid-range graphics card.

The budget-priced trio feature full support for DirectX 10 features including pixel and vertex shader model 4.0. NVIDIA has yet to reveal the amount of shaders or shader clocks though. Nevertheless, the trio supports NVIDIA SLI and PureVideo technologies.

NVIDIA touts three dedicated video engines on the G84 and G86-based graphics cards for PureVideo processing. The video engines provide MPEG-2 high-definition and WMV HD video playback up to resolutions of 1080p. G84 and G86 support hardware accelerated decoding of H.264 video as well; however, NVIDIA makes no mention of VC-1 decoding. G84 and G86 also feature advanced post-processing video algorithms. Supported algorithms include spatial-temporal de-interlacing, inverse 2:2, 3:2 pull-down and 4-tap horizontal, and 5-tap vertical video scaling.

At the top of the mid-range lineup is the GeForce 8600GTS. The G84-based graphics core clocks in at 675 MHz. NVIDIA pairs the GeForce 8600GTS with 256MB of GDDR3 memory clocked at 1000 MHz. The memory interfaces with the GPU via a 128-bit bus. The GeForce 8600GTS does not integrate HDCP keys on the GPU. Add-in board partners will have to purchase separate EEPROMs with HDCP keys; however, all GeForce 8600GTS-based graphics cards feature support for HDCP.

GeForce 8600GTS-based graphics cards require an eight-layer PCB. Physically, the cards measure in at 7.2 x 4.376 inches and available in full-height only. NVIDIA GeForce 8600GTS graphics cards feature a PCIe x16 interface, unlike ATI’s upcoming RV630. GeForce 8600GTS-based cards still require external PCIe power. NVIDIA estimates total board power consumption at around 71-watts.

Supported video output connectors include dual dual-link DVI, VGA, SDTV and HDTV outputs, and analog video inputs. G84-based GPUs do not support a native HDMI output. Manufacturers can adapt one of the DVI-outputs for HDMI.

NVIDIA’s GeForce 8600GT is not as performance oriented as the 8600GTS. The GeForce 8600GT GPU clocks in at a more conservative 540 MHz. The memory configuration has more flexibility, letting manufacturers decide between 256MB or 128MB of GDDR3 memory. NVIDIA specifies the memory clock at 700 MHz. The GeForce 8600GT shares the same 128-bit memory interface as the 8600GTS. HDCP support on GeForce 8600GT is optional. The GPU and reference board design support the required HDCP keys EEPROM, however, the implementation is up to NVIDIA’s add-in board partners.

GeForce 8600GT-based graphics cards only require a six-layer PCB instead of the eight-layer PCB of the 8600GTS. The physical board size is also smaller too – measuring in at 6.9 x 4.376 inches. GeForce 8600GT-based cards do not require external PCIe power. NVIDIA rates the maximum board power consumption at 43-watts – 28-watts less than the 8600GTS.

The GeForce 8600GT supports similar video outputs as the 8600GTS, however, the 8600GT does not support video input features.

NVIDIA has revealed very little information on the GeForce 8500GT besides support for GDDR3 and DDR2 memory. It supports dual dual-link DVI, VGA and TV outputs as well.

Expect NVIDIA to pull the wraps off its GeForce 8600GTS, 8600GT and 8500GT next quarter in time to take on AMD’s upcoming RV630 and RV610.

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By politicalslug on 3/14/2007 3:52:42 AM , Rating: -1
The video engines provide MPEG-2 high-definition and WMV HD video playback up to resolutions of 1080p. G84 and G86 support hardware accelerated decoding of H.264 video as well; however, NVIDIA makes no mention of VC-1 decoding.

This is just dumb. WMV9 is the same as WMV HD, which is the same as VC-1. They're all just different names for the same codec. Originally released as Windows Media Video 9, Microsoft submitted the codec to the HD-DVD and BlueRay camps under the name of VC-1.

Why they have someone writing this article that doesn't grasp that I dunno, but DailyTech can always send a check my way if they're looking for a writer who isn't totally ignorant of what they're writing about (or just too lazy to proofread).

By Anh Huynh on 3/14/2007 5:09:51 AM , Rating: 5
Yes, that is true, but we'd rather not jump to conclusions and add facts that aren't mentioned in documents. If NVIDIA explicitly stated VC-1 acceleration, we would've reported it, but they didn't, unlike ATI and Intel documents which explicitly state VC-1 hardware acceleration.

By phusg on 3/14/07, Rating: 0
By Chris Peredun on 3/14/2007 8:25:36 AM , Rating: 4
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't VC-1 the standard itself, and WMV-HD an implementation of it? WMV9 served as the code basis for VC-1, which WMV-HD was an implementation of?

If this is the case, the 8600/8500 may only be able to play back WMV-HD content (WMV3, WMVA, WVC1) and not other VC-1 content. If a fully standards-compliant decoder isn't implemented in the hardware, they might be setting themselves up for a fall. If they claim VC-1 compliance, and a later implementation of the SMPTE 421M codec standard (aka "VC-1") becomes popular - but fails to be accelerated properly - there will be a lot of angry videophiles.

By Alphafox78 on 3/14/07, Rating: 0
By Alphafox78 on 3/15/2007 8:09:47 AM , Rating: 2
Why did I get downrated for posting what my experiences are? sorry to disappoint anyone who thought they HAD to get a new HW accelerated video card to play VC-1 content. Trust me, you dont; I have the 360 HD-DVD drive and the CPU matters more than the video.

By Aikouka on 3/14/2007 9:57:52 AM , Rating: 4
I think you were right in your decision Anh, especially when referencing an article on Wikipedia about WMV and VC-1.

This remark here about hardware and software decoders:

Some 3rd party hardware and software decoders only decode WMVA based content.

Then coupled with this remark:

As of 2006, WMVA is considered a deprecated codec because it is not fully VC-1 compliant.

If it don't do WVC1, it isn't fully VC-1 compliant, so simply stating WMV HD, which is only content encoded in WMV9 (which includes WMVA, WMV3 and WVC1), so who knows what they're including support for! It's better to be safe than sorry.

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