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Home > Hardware Reviews > Graphics Cards

Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Gigabyte GV-NX86S256H

1. Introduction

Gigabyte as many other manufacturers have released their proposals based on Nvidia's 8600GTS graphics chipset series. While the current sold solutions are more or less the same, Gigabyte introduced a passive cooled graphics card with the codename "GV-NX86S256H". Since many users want to build an absolute noiseless system, passive cooled graphics cards are always interesting to test and compare. With DX10 support and the arrival of several new and "hot" games for 2007/2008, we present you Gigabyte GV-NX86S256H and what to expect from it.

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 that illustrates the main differences between the various GeForce 8 series GPUs:

8800 Ultra
8800 GTX
8800 GTS
8600 GTS
8600 GT
8500 GT
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
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.

- Gigabyte GV-NX86S256H

The Gigabyte GV-NX86S256H features 256MB of memory, a core clock of 675MHz and a memory frequency of 2.00GHz, which can be rated as a "generic" 8600GTS card. The retail package has all the needed logos and users can buy this product at the retail price of 165Euro (+ shipping). According to Gigabyte, the 8600GTS series include the Silent-Pipe 3 cooling system that introduces an all-new concept of VGA card cooling ─ Inner Turbulence Fluid Mechanics Design. Utilizing a series of layered long and short fins with trapezoid punches, Silent-Pipe 3™ transforms laminar (smooth) air flow into turbulent (rough) air flow inside the heat sink, increasing the heat exchange ratio and enhancing overall thermal performance.

Silent-Pipe 3: Features & Benefits

  1. Inner turbulence fluid mechanics design
  2. Front-flow thermal module with layered long-short fins
  3. High-performance heat pipe with sintered powder wicks and 90% of the heat sink is covered by heat pipe.
  4. Advanced Screen-Cooling thermal design
  5. Cooper thermal conductive base

The GIGABYTE GV-NX86S256H comes bundled with the Supreme Commander real-time strategy (RTS) computer game:

The card is rated as medium sized, however it will take two slots at your system, due to its massive passive heatsinks:

Looking at the side, we can see how the heatsink design looks like and that it covers the entire surface of the card.

The design is rather unique and we will find out later if it keeps its promises in keeping the GPU core cool enough...

At the back we find two(x2) DVI-D outputs and one TV-out output. HDCP is supported and you can output HD content to your TV/monitor.

SLI is possible with another 8600GTS card:

Its very interesting that there is no 6pin PCI-E power connector, the card draws its power from the system. That means you need a proper power supply

- Full specification

Graphics Engine
GeForce™ 8600GTS
Video Memory
Engine Clock
Memory Clock
2.00GHz (2x1000MHz DDR3)
Memory Interface
Max Resolution
2048 X 1536
Bus Standard
PCI Express x16
HDTV Output
Yes, S-Video to HDTV Out
VGA Output
Yes, With DVI-VGA adaptor
TV Output
Yes, S-Video to Composite
Dual DVI Output
Adapter/Cable Bundled
2x DVI to VGA adapter
1x HDTV-OUT adaptor
Software Bundled

1x CD-ROM (Supreme Commander)
1x CD-ROM (Utilities & Driver)

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