I want to buy the best available card without a power connector due to the fact that I do not wish to upgrade my psu. I know that both the 2600xt and 8600gt do not require extra power. The 8600 seems to fair better in most benchies but I have heard that the new drivers for the 2600 really help it. Is there a better card that is dx9 maybe? I don't really have a preference ATI or NVidia. Does anyone have a suggestion between the two? Or maybe something different perhaps? I would like to stick to a $150 max budget. Thanx for replies.
Those are just a few places that did tests with the newer drivers. As you can see the 2600xt performs much better than the Tom's hardware charts suggest (with the old drivers). But, the two cards are about even now. Therefore, the choice is really yours depending on what is important to you and what software comes with the individual cards that you are looking at.
Cleeve, what about the 8600gt or 8600gts? These benchmarks seem to indicate that these cards outperform the 2600xt. I'm asking because I am actually considering these cards as well for an HTPC.
I know the 8600gt does not need a connector and is rated for a 300W psu. Thanx for the advice all. It seems to be about what I came to. Those cards are now close to equal and outperform all similarly powered dx9 cards by some margin be it big or small.