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Home > Hardware Reviews > Graphics Cards

Monday, October 01, 2007
Gainward 8600GT PCX 512MB

1. Introduction

- Introduction

Gainward, like many other manufacturers, has released several products based on nVidia's 8x00 series. For entry level users wanting a powerful product at an affordable price, Gainward introduces the 8600GT series with passive cooling and an extra 256MB, instead of "pushing" memory and core frequencies. So how good is this proposal, considering that the 8600GT series does not perform much better than the previous 7900GS? We plan to find out, testing a number cards with synthetic and real life games, with both DirectX 9 and DirectX 10.

NVIDIA's Unified Architecture GeForce 8 Series GPUs - First to Support Microsoft DirectX 10 Games and Applications.

NVIDIA® GeForce® 8 series graphics processing units (GPUs) redefine the PC gaming experience. With a revolutionary unified architecture and full support for Microsoft® DirectX® 10 games, GeForce 8 series GPUs deliver unprecedented performance, extraordinarily detailed environments, and film quality game effects.

Below is a table illustrating the main differences between the various GeForce 8 series GPUs:

  GeForce
8800 Ultra
GeForce
8800 GTX
GeForce
8800 GTS
GeForce
8600 GTS
GeForce
8600 GT
GeForce
8500 GT
GeForce
8400 GS
Core Clock (MHz) 612 575 500 675 540 450 450
Shader Clock (MHz) 1500 1350 1200 1450 1190 900 900
Memory Clock (MHz) 1080 900 800 1000 700 400 400
Memory Amount 768MB 768MB 640MB or
320MB
256MB 256MB 256MB 256MB
Memory Interface 384-bit 384-bit 320-bit 128-bit 128-bit 128-bit 64-bit
Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec) 103.7 86.4 64 32 22.4 12.8 6.4
Texture Fill Rate (billion/sec) 39.2 36.8 24 10.8 8.64 3.6 3.6

The GeForce 8600 GT and 8600 GTS are essentially the same product, with the only difference being the core and memory clock frequencies.

Gainward currently offers many different variants of the 8600GT series, with specific features:

Model
Core
Memory
Other features
8491-Bliss 8600 GT 256MB Passive
540 MHz
1.40 GHz
2562MB
8859-Bliss 8600 GT 256MB HDMI SilentFx
540 MHz
1.40 GHz
256MB + HDMI
8606-Bliss 8600 GT 512MB
540 MHz
1.40 GHz
512MB
8866-Bliss 8600 GT 512MB HDMI SilentFX
540 MHz
1.40 GHz
512MB + HDMI
8781-Bliss 8600 GT 256MB GS Goes Like Hell
625+ MHz
1.80 GHz
256MB 1,0ns DDR3
8798-Bliss 8600 GT 1024MB TV DD
600 MHz
1.00 GHz
1024MB 2,0ns DDR2

Starting from the 8491 model, the lowest entry 8600GT with 256MB, we proceed to the 8606 with 512MB, while both are offered with passive cooling and HDMI output. For extreme users, the 8781 is pre-overclocked, while the 8798 comes with 1GB of DDR2 ram! For our review, we used a mid-level model, the 8606-Bliss 8600 GT 512MB

- Gainward 8600GT PCX 512MB

The Gainward 8600GT PCX 512MB features 512MB of memory, a core clock frequency of 540MHz and a memory frequency of 1.40GHz, as is the case with generic 8600GT Nvidia based cards.

The retail package sports a variety of logos showing product features. Users can buy this card at the retail price of €143~158 (+ shipping). The contents are carefully packaged:

While, no retail game is included, there are two discs with drivers and utilities.

To sum it up, the retail package includes:

  • A 8800GT card
  • A printed start manual
  • 2x DVI-D to VGA converter
  • A TV-out cable (HDTV support)
  • Software CD with drivers
  • Retail version of CyberLink DVD Solution

The card is small with a big copper heatsink covering the GPU and memory modules. There is no noise thanks to this passive design, however the heatsink gets quite hot. Don't make the mistake of touch the card while it's working under full load. We measured it at over 70° Celsius!

The card's output offers two DVI-D outputs and one TV-out. HDCP is supported and you can output HD content to your TV/monitor.

SLI is possible with the Gainward 8600GT card, while no external power is needed for the card to work:

- Full specification

Product Name:
Bliss 8600 GT 512MB
Barcode:
471846200-8606
GPU:
NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT
GPU Clock speed:
540
Memory:
512MB DDR3
Memory Clock speed:
1400
Pixels per clock (peak) :
NA
Bandwidth:
NA
RAMDAC:
NA
Bus:
PCI-Express
Cooling:
2-Slot Fan
Video-Features:
Extreme HD-Output
Connectivity:
DVI-I + DVI-I




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