Nvidia's GeForce 8600 series graphics cards

DX10 goes mid-range
— 12:11 AM on April 18, 2007

I DON'T ACTUALLY have to write these reviews, you know. If I get enough caffeine into my bloodstream, letters begin to swim across the page, form into words, and a stream of trenchant observations interlaced with bad jokes just kind of assembles itself in front of me. At least, that's what I think happens. After staying up 'til 4:00 AM to push one of these babies out of the door, I have little or no recollection of the process by which they get written. In fact, I was surprised to learn the other day that I reviewed the Radeon X1650 XT last October. Can't say I recall that one.

Anyhow, before I forget, the prompter of today's stimulant-enhanced activities is Nvidia's launch of a new line of DirectX 10-capable mid-range graphics cards, known as the GeForce 8600 series. In fact, Nvidia is setting loose a whole range of products, from the bargain-bin GeForce 8300 GS to the GeForce 8600 GTS, which merits at least six shots of espresso, by my reckoning. I've spent the better part of the past week testing out the GeForce 8600 GTS and its little brother, the GT, against their predecessors and natural competitors from the Radeon camp.

So how well does the unified architecture behind the killer GeForce 8800 translate into a mid-range GPU? The answer's slipped my mind, my hands are shaking, and I need to visit the men's room. But I think I've stashed some charts and graphs in the following pages, so let's see what they have to say.

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