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8600 vs. 7950: beginner's question

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 20, 2007 5:55:46 AM

I'm sure this'll seem like a stupid question to people here who know what they're talking about, but I was hoping someone could help me out.

I'm looking into buying a new system right now, so doing some research, but don't really follow the advances in graphics cards on a regular basis. I see the 7950 described as one of the better cards available, but the 8600 is the newer release and newer card. Can someone explain to me in basic terms why the 8600 is still worse than the 7950, and if there are any advantages in the 8600 (other than saving a few quid). Is it more 'future-proof' in terms of at least working further into the future, although not necessarily providing optimum performance?

Price is important in my purchase but so is longevity - I tend to keep my machines/graphics cards for a long time, playing the newer games until my machine can't cope, then just sticking to slightly older games when the machine has been passed. So something that will continue to be good for a while is probably more valuable to me than something that's great now but will be outdated faster. Hope that makes sense. Will appreciate any advice.
May 22, 2007 3:49:12 AM

If you are willing to go up to $175, the 8800GTS 320MB for Evga or any other manufacturers (I prefer Evga due to their return and warranty policies), you would be getting a card that would last much longer into the future than either of the other two.
May 29, 2007 4:19:21 PM

Interesting caveat on the 8800s, though -- they lack the H.264 onboard decoding of the 8500/8600 series that offloads Blu-Ray/HD-DVD decoding from the CPU onto the video card. So, for a HTPC, getting the 8600 is a no-brainer. You can get one for just over $100 (e.g., an EVGA 8600 GT).
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a b U Graphics card
May 31, 2007 7:46:03 AM

Thats only good if you plan on not gaming. The 88s kill the 86s, or if you will the 88s 86 the 86s. And as for HD replay, yes youll see a pull on your cpu that wont be there from using the 86 series, its not that bad, and if you ever choose to game, then what? The 8800gts is the way to go, or the 7950 as far as that goes with gaming in mind
May 31, 2007 3:22:31 PM

Quote:
Interesting caveat on the 8800s, though -- they lack the H.264 onboard decoding of the 8500/8600 series that offloads Blu-Ray/HD-DVD decoding from the CPU onto the video card. So, for a HTPC, getting the 8600 is a no-brainer. You can get one for just over $100 (e.g., an EVGA 8600 GT).
Another interesting "anti-caveat" I've been discovering, however -- these 8500/8600 cards were designed among other things for the specific new feature to decode HD video content from Blu-Ray, HD-DVD and more. However, ONLY TWO each of the 8500GT and 8600GT cards include HDCP compatibility -- oops, blank screen when playing Blu-Ray and HD-DVD content.

And surprise, surprise, every single 8500GTS and 8600GTS card on the market includes HDCP, at an additional cost of $100 or so. And when you call these card manufacturers to ascertain which cards actually support HDCP, surprise, surprise, they recommend that you buy the GTS versions.

HDCP support is built into all 8500 and 8600 chipsets, but manufacturers can specifically choose not to implement it. Now you can see why. Greedy bastards.
May 31, 2007 5:04:05 PM

Thanks for the replies to the people that tried to help. Looks like I'm gonna lay out the extra cash and go with the 8800GTS, so ultimately I didn't have to choose between 7900/8600.
a b Î Nvidia
a b U Graphics card
May 31, 2007 10:53:15 PM

Quote:
Interesting caveat on the 8800s, though -- they lack the H.264 onboard decoding of the 8500/8600 series that offloads Blu-Ray/HD-DVD decoding from the CPU onto the video card.


How many times do I have to remind you that that's not true. :!: :?: :!:

It's not the H.264 decoding that is missing it's the BluRay / HD-DVD DRM infection decryption that the GF8500 and GF8600 have that make them different. Get it right for FAQ sake! :roll:

Deleted your other HDCP ramblings where you figure out you were in error to begin with. But I do need to adress the last part cause it shows again you haven't bothered to inform yourself.

Quote:
HDCP support is built into all 8500 and 8600 chipsets, but manufacturers can specifically choose not to implement it. Now you can see why. Greedy bastards.


That is no different than the X800/700 and GF6 and most X1K and GF7 series cards, they all have support at the chip level, they just lack the expensive crypto chip and handshake hardware and firmware that costs money to license. The GF8800s all have them in their (separate from the G80) NVIO chip, and all the X2Ks will have the essential comonents as well. nV didn't include it on some to reduce the cost for the majority of users that won't be using them for HTPCs. When you're selling cardsat the $50-70 level, having to spend $1.50 per card for the firware/IP accosiated with HDCP alone is a pretty expensive front end cost to cut into margins, and you gotta decide what you want to pay for. nV and AMD are approaching the strategy differently, and no one will know which is better because it's unlikely we'll get the margins on a card to card basis.
a b Î Nvidia
a b U Graphics card
May 31, 2007 10:58:16 PM

GF8800GTS-320 is a wicked choice for a long term build.

Neither of your other options will be anywhere near it in a year's time.
July 7, 2007 9:53:30 PM

Which 7950 Graphics Card do you mean exactly? GX2 or GT?
July 12, 2007 12:58:27 PM

In response to the OP OQ:

Actually the 7900GS will beat any 8600 on the market, and you can o/c it too. The following review is worth the read. O/C the 8600GT.

f61
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