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GeForce 8600 GTS - Gigabyte GV-NX86S256H

GeForce 8600 GT - Gigabyte GV-NX86GT256H

GeForce 8500 GT - Gigabyte GV-NX86T256H


NVIDIA pulls the wraps off its new mainstream products

NVIDIA today announced its latest DirectX 10 product offerings to serve the $129-$229 price points. The new GeForce 8600 GTS, 8600 GT and 8500 GT introduces technology previously exclusive to the high-end GeForce 8800-series to more affordable levels. NVIDIA’s new mainstream product lineup features Shader Model 4.0 support, GigaThread technology and NVIDIA’s Quantum Effects physics processing technology. The addition of NVIDIA’s Lumenex engine to the mainstream sector provides value-conscious buyers with 128-bit floating point HDR rendering and anti-aliasing levels of 16x.

The new mainstream flagship is the GeForce 8600 GTS, which takes the spot previously held by the GeForce 7900 GS. NVIDIA slots the GeForce 8600 GTS below the GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB, which currently occupies the $299-$329 price points. GeForce 8600 GTS based products fill in the $199-229 price points. GeForce 8600 GTS-based products feature 32-stream processors clocked at 1.45 GHz. NVIDIA has set the reference core and memory clock speeds at 675 MHz and 1.0 GHz, respectively.

Catering to the $149-159 price points is the slightly detuned GeForce 8600 GT. GeForce 8600 GT-based products feature 32-stream processors as with the GeForce 8600 GTS; however, NVIDIA detunes the shader clock down to 1.18 GHz. Reference core and memory clock speeds are set at 540 MHz and 700 MHz, respectively. NVIDIA slots the GeForce 8500 GT at the bottom of its new mainstream product lineup. The new GeForce 8500 GT fills in the $89-$129 price points with its 16-stream processors. NVIDIA clocks the 16-stream processors at 900 MHz on the value-oriented offering. Reference core and memory clock speeds of the GeForce 8500 GT are 450 MHz and 400 MHz, respectively.

All three new models feature support for NVIDIA’s PureVideo HD video processing technology. PureVideo HD technology remains unchanged from the previous product generation. Nevertheless, PureVideo HD provides hardware acceleration for H.264, VC-1 and MPEG-2 high-definition and standard-definition video formats.

NVIDIA GeForce 8-series
8600 GTS 8600 GT
8500 GT
8800 GTS
Stream processors
32 32 16 96
Core clock
675 MHz 540 MHz 450 MHz 500 MHz
Shader clock
1.45 GHz
1.18 GHz 900 MHz 1.2 GHz
Memory clock
1.0 GHz 700 MHz 400 MHz 900 MHz
Memory interface
128-bit 128-bit 128-bit 320-bit
Memory bandwidth
32 GB/sec 22.4 GB/sec 12.8 GB/sec 64 GB/sec
Texture fill rate (Billion/sec)
10.8 8.6 3.6 24

NVIDIA does not integrate HDCP support for its GeForce 8600 and 8500 products. Add-in board manufacturers will have to purchase external EEPROMs with HDCP keys. Expect GeForce 8600 GTS-based products to all have HDCP support. NVIDIA does not require HDCP support on GeForce 8600 GT and 8500 GT based products. Manufacturers are free to include or exclude the feature at their own discretion.

Expect NVIDIA’s new products to hit retail immediately after the announcement. AMD expects to launch its attack on the GeForce 8600 and 8500-series next month with its upcoming ATI Radeon HD 2600 and HD 2400.

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Lack of hdcp on ALL models...
By stepone on 4/18/2007 10:42:14 AM , Rating: 2
I for one am more dissapointed by the lack of hdcp on the 8600GT & 8500GT. Yes the individual card makers can add support themselves but from looking through the specs on the initial cards relased from xfx, asus, bfg etc it appears that NONE of the cards below the GTS are sporting HDCP support.

I was in the process of choosing components for a new media PC when these cards were released and it seemed like a streak of luck for low power cards with excellent HD video decode to be released at just the right moment to go into my new system (coupled with a cheap xbox360 HD DVD drive or possible blu ray in the future when it becomes cheaper or if it wins the format war)... boy was I mistaken!

For most gamers out there this won't be a problem, however with the new pure video 2 engine providing excellent hadware decode of all the codecs used in both HD DVD and Blu Ray these cards would be perfect for a media centre PC and at a good price (around £55 for an 8500GT/£90 for a 8600GT). I just assumed that even though hdcp was't mandatory on these cards that most of the board makers would still integrate hdcp support but since that has fallen through I then cast my eye to the GTS. Now remember I won't be using the card for gaming so lukewarm frame rates in <insert generic fps game name here> don't bother me so much.
However what DOES matter is the noise of the card and low and behold it's strike 2 against the card with just about every review stating that the fans are pretty damn noisy and worse still the 8500GT cards have only 2 pin fan connectors and thus have no thermal control meaning they run the fan at full speed ALL THE TIME!

After having carefully picked out Noctua case fans and CPU heatsink & fan precisely for their low noise and good cooling im not about to have the graphics card mess that up for me.
Now I realise that the 2nd revision of these cards will hopefully redress these issues but they probably won't be available for another 2-3 months and i'm not waiting that long to build my new system.

My only hope now lies with the new AMD ATI cards due out in May in the hope that they offer hdcp on their HD 2400\2600 and that their new UVD lives up to expectations.

Who knows, perhaps this was just fate dashing my hopes, but I hope that by making me wait a few more weeks until ATI release their new cards it may all work out in the end...

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
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