Our testing methods
Since we're focused on a single 8600 GTS card today, we won't spend too much time testing 3D gaming performance. For a more in-depth look at how the performance of the GeForce 8600 series compares to that of a wide range of competitors in a slew of different games, check out our initial review of the cards or our more recent Radeon HD 2400 and 2600 series review..
We recently compared a handful of GeForce 8600 series graphics cards, and today we're adding the OC2 to that mix. Here's how the cards stack up in terms of GPUs and clock speeds:
|GeForce||Core clock||SP clock||Memory clock||Memory size|
|Asus EN8600GTS/2DHT/256M||8600 GTS||675MHz||1458MHz||1008MHz||256MB|
|BFG 8600 GTS OC2||8600 GTS||720MHz||1458MHz||1110MHz||256MB|
|MSI NX8600GTS-T2D256E OC||8600 GTS||700MHz||1458MHz||1050MHz||256MB|
|MSI NX8600GT-T2D256E OC||8600 GT||580MHz||1188MHz||800MHz||256MB|
|MSI NX8500GT-T2D256E OC||8500 GT||459MHz||918MHz||400MHz||256MB|
|Gigabyte GV-NX86S256H||8600 GTS||675MHz||1458MHz||1008MHz||256MB|
The BFG card has the highest core and memory clocks of the lot, which should give it an advantage in our gaming tests. Interestingly, none of these cards rely on Nvidia's reference cooler, so ThermoIntelligence will be facing off against other attempts to improve on the stock GeForce 8600 GTS heatsink.
All tests were run at least twice, and their results were averaged, using the following test systems.
|Processor||Core 2 Duo E6400 2.13GHz|
|System bus||1066MHz (266MHz quad-pumped)|
|North bridge||Nvidia nForce 680i SLI SPP|
|South bridge||Nvidia nForce 680i SLI MCP|
|Chipset drivers||ForceWare 9.53|
|Memory size||2GB (2 DIMMs)|
|Memory type||Corsair TWIN2X2048-8500C5 DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz|
|CAS latency (CL)||4|
|RAS to CAS delay (tRCD)||4|
|RAS precharge (tRP)||4|
|Cycle time (tRAS)||12|
|Audio||Integrated nForce 680i SLI MCP/ALC885 with Realtek HD 1.66 drivers|
|Graphics|| Asus EN8600GTS 256MB PCIe|
MSI NX8600GTS 256MB PCIe
MSI NX8600GT 256MB PCIe
MSI NX8500GT 256MB PCIe
Gigabyte GV-NX86S256H 256MB PCIe
BFG GeForce 8600 GTS OC2 256MB PCIe
|Graphics driver||ForceWare 158.22 drivers|
|Hard drive||Western Digital Caviar RE2 400GB|
|OS||Windows XP Professional|
|OS updates||Service Pack 2|
Thanks to Corsair for providing us with memory for our testing. 2GB of RAM seems to be the new standard for most folks, and Corsair hooked us up with some of its 1GB DIMMs for testing.
Also, all of our test systems were powered by OCZ GameXStream 700W power supply units. Thanks to OCZ for providing these units for our use in testing.
We used the following versions of our test applications:
The test systems' Windows desktop was set at 1280x1024 in 32-bit color at an 85Hz screen refresh rate. Vertical refresh sync (vsync) was disabled for all tests.
All the tests and methods we employed are publicly available and reproducible. If you have questions about our methods, hit our forums to talk with us about them.
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