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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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RE: Come on people
By Etern205 on 3/14/2007 12:02:03 PM , Rating: 2
The 7900GTX has a 256bit memory bus, while
the 8800GTX has a 384bit memory bus, plus
new architectures, the 7900GTX does not have.
e.g. Stream Processors. Of course it's going to be faster
Do your research you freaking noob!

Also as for the Nvidia's Cards, they shouldn't have done
something like this...

High-End: 320-384+bits
Midrange: 256-300bits
Low-End: 64-128bits

RE: Come on people
By mezrah on 3/14/2007 2:14:58 PM , Rating: 2
Good points about the high end, although I don't think he deserved to be called a noob, but whatever.

I think the point most people are missing is that we are looking at mid-range cards here. From a cost standpoint, Nvidia can't just throw 256-bit or higher into mid-range cards. Perhaps in the future, but we arent' at that point in time yet. A more realistic breakdown for now is:

High-End: 256-bit and up
Mid-Range: 128-bit to possibly 192-bit?
Low-End: 64-bit to 128-bit

RE: Come on people
By shabodah on 3/14/2007 2:53:41 PM , Rating: 1
You're one of those people who'd prefer a 500mhz 256bit setup over a 1000mhz 128bit one, eh? lol.

RE: Come on people
By InsaneScientist on 3/14/2007 7:37:03 PM , Rating: 1
LOL - so true.... And here we thought that the ignorant always believe that a higher clockspeed is better.

For anyone who doesn't know:
a 256-bit bus with 500MHz memory will have the exact same bandwidth as a 128-bit bus with 1000MHz memory, but the 256-bit bus with the slower memory will be a whole lot more expensive.

RE: Come on people
By coldpower27 on 3/14/2007 6:15:19 PM , Rating: 2
And just the same thing when you do that to the mainstream.

7600 GT has a 128Bit Memory Interface at 1.4GHZ
8600 GTS has a 128Bit Memory Interface at 2.0GHZ plus the New Stream processors the older architecture doesn't have.

Will it be enough to beat the 7900 GTX, it will be close as the projected level is 7950 GT ballpark performance. Not bad for a mainstream card based on the Geforce 8 architecture.

256Bit or Higher Interfaces generally have minimum die size requirements of around 200mm2 or greater, or you have to up PCB complexity considerably, either way increases production costs considerably which is unacceptable for a mainstream SKU.

So unless we find a way to make 200mm2 die sizes, much more affordable, maybe when we switch to 450mm Wafer technology, sometime next decade... or some major breakthrough comes in on PCB technology. You will always have high clocked memory on 128Bit Interface on the mainstream SKU.

Upper Enthusiast: 320/384Bit or more...
Low Enthusiast: 256Bit
Performance: 128Bit
Upper Value: 128Bit
Lower Value: 64Bit

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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