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7900GS or 8600GTS?

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September 7, 2007 2:01:12 PM

I am trying to decide between the following two cards for a new build. I am not a hard core gamer but would like something with decent performance and longevity.

BFG Tech BFGR79256GSOCE GeForce 7900GS 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express for about $110
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MSI NX8600GTS-T2D256EZ HD GeForce 8600GTS 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express for about $135 - this also is fanless which is a plus in my book.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?ATT=14127287...

Thanks.

More about : 7900gs 8600gts

September 7, 2007 2:23:38 PM

rockyjohn said:
THG recommended the 7900GS and X1950Pro over the 8600GTS for gaming.

http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/09/05/the_best_gaming_...

However you need to balance that with whatever uses you are considering. I have read that the 8600GTS does better with watching videos (clearer picture) and it does have DX 10 that the others do not.

Frys.com currently has the BFG 7900 GS on sale for only $99 AR.

http://shop3.outpost.com/product/4970851



The Frys deal is the one I am looking at but since there is one in the state I am in I have to pay tax - thus the extra $10 or so.
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September 7, 2007 2:27:02 PM

The fanless thing shouldn't be a big issue unless your other components are near-silent. I'd even go digging around on eBay to look for a used 7900GT... that'd really whip that 8600 GTS.
September 7, 2007 2:32:05 PM

I consider the 7900GS faster, just as the above poser mentioned. As far as being future proof, none of them is. While the 8600 can run dx10 its can only do so on a technical level - it lacks the performance to do it at an acceptable speed. The 7900gs might be faster but can't run DX10 at all. Same goes for the 1950pro. I would suggest the 1950 pro since it's slightly more powerful than the 7900gs but not much more expensive. The DX10 only age is still a few years away and thus the DX9 cards will do fine for some time. If you can wait a little then you might get the next nvidia or ati card coming during the next months.
September 7, 2007 2:34:28 PM

rockyjohn said:
THG recommended the 7900GS and X1950Pro over the 8600GTS for gaming.

http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/09/05/the_best_gaming_...

However you need to balance that with whatever uses you are considering. I have read that the 8600GTS does better with watching videos (clearer picture) and it does have DX 10 that the others do not.

Frys.com currently has the BFG 7900 GS on sale for only $99 AR.

http://shop3.outpost.com/product/4970851


Who wrote this article? I really can't recommend a 7900gs anymore seriously it lacks in the shader dept. and it shows in recent games and even has a hard time beating out a 8600gt let alone 8600gts.

I would go for 8600gts or the 1950pro. Stay away from 7900gs. It's a crippled card for modern shader intensive games. With recent drivers 8600gts is not slower at all than 7900gs. Maybe uber high resolutions and AA... But these cards are not meant for super high resolutions. At least not anymore anyways.

http://firingsquad.com/hardware/nvidia_geforce_8600_gts...
September 7, 2007 2:35:25 PM

What are you planning to do with this card? If you are not a gamer, are you planning to make it an HTPC or do video editing? IF so go with the 8600. Knowing what you are using it for will help people tell you what to do.
September 7, 2007 2:39:14 PM

Slobogob said:
I consider the 7900GS faster, just as the above poser mentioned. As far as being future proof, none of them is. While the 8600 can run dx10 its can only do so on a technical level - it lacks the performance to do it at an acceptable speed. The 7900gs might be faster but can't run DX10 at all. Same goes for the 1950pro. I would suggest the 1950 pro since it's slightly more powerful than the 7900gs but not much more expensive. The DX10 only age is still a few years away and thus the DX9 cards will do fine for some time. If you can wait a little then you might get the next nvidia or ati card coming during the next months.


Even in medium settings with shader intensive games like bioshock the 8600gts beats a 7900gs and 7900gt. I don't know how it's not more future proof?
September 7, 2007 2:43:25 PM

I do some lighter gaming - the occasional RTS or FPS. I am not a hardcore gamer. The PC is mostly for home use: Internet, some video and photo editing, etc.

Thanks.
September 7, 2007 2:45:31 PM

Probaby the most intensive game I've played recently was Farcry with a 6600GT.
September 7, 2007 2:49:47 PM

Both of these cards would handle farcry at the highest resolutions. Either would do. But if you also want to offload some CPU while watching HD videos and dx10 go with 8600gts.

a c 169 U Graphics card
September 7, 2007 2:49:56 PM

if u do light gmaing ,then go for the cheapes card u find (between 8600GT, 7900GS ,X1950PRO)
September 7, 2007 3:05:05 PM

marvelous211 said:
Who wrote this article?


I really can't recommend a 7900gs anymore seriously it lacks in the shader dept. and it shows in recent games and even has a hard time beating out a 8600gt let alone 8600gts.



Heheh, I did.

The 7900 GS has a spot there not just because of stock performance, but because it overclocks well. Personally I advise the X1950 PRO usually, but the last time I checked it wasn't much of an overclocker. I should see if the recent AtiTool beta has changed that.

In any case, I don't look upon the 7900 GS quite as harshly as you do, but I am keeping track of the 8600 GTS pricing. I do think the 8600 GTS drivers have come ahead a bit since it was released, and the prive has gone down too, so it's certainly alot more viable than it was when it was +$200. It is getting pretty low and next month's "best cards for the money" article in the $140-ish price range is something I'm going to have to brood over.

Although, from what I can see the 7900 GS' are getting scarce anyway, so it might not even be an option for much longer...
September 7, 2007 3:11:27 PM

LOL Cleeve... Definitely when it first came out I couldn't recommend it either with their prices soaring near 1950xt prices. Now that the price has come down and drivers are a lot better I just can't recommend a 7900gs anymore to get 5 more fps in older games when new engines are showing up.

Even when overclocked though it doesn't help in recent engines like stalker, oblivion, bioshock because it's crippled with only 1/5 shader power of 8600gts.
September 7, 2007 3:28:51 PM

Well, I wouldn't exactly call it 1/5 of the shader power. The 8600's universal shaders are very different animals when compared to the 7900's pixel shaders.

But yeah, you can definitely see the 8600 GTS looking better in the new titles.
September 7, 2007 3:34:20 PM

8600gts=46400 Shader Operations/sec
7900gs=9000 Shader Operations/sec
1950pro=20700 Shader Operations/sec

Just heads up.
September 7, 2007 3:47:32 PM

You're missing the point though dude. Those raw numbers are a little misleading and don't really tell the story. The architecture is very different.

Even a synthetic benchmark won't show the 8600 GTS having 5 times the shader power of a 7900 GS. 7x00 series Pixel shaders work diffrently from the 8x00 series universal shaders. It's not an apples-to-apples comparison, and you'll never see a 5 times performance gain, even in a shader-only app.
September 7, 2007 4:31:15 PM

That is a pretty impressive card at a great price. What do you think of that for an HTPC build cleeve?
September 7, 2007 4:34:56 PM

don't argue with Cleeve, I think he's been at it for a while now
September 7, 2007 4:40:45 PM

cleeve said:
You're missing the point though dude. Those raw numbers are a little misleading and don't really tell the story. The architecture is very different.

Even a synthetic benchmark won't show the 8600 GTS having 5 times the shader power of a 7900 GS. 7x00 series Pixel shaders work diffrently from the 8x00 series universal shaders. It's not an apples-to-apples comparison, and you'll never see a 5 times performance gain, even in a shader-only app.


It's simple specs for you to see don't get offended by it. Of course you won't see 5x performance because there isn't a software that could measure this accurately or if it peaks within specs. What progs out there?
September 7, 2007 4:41:47 PM

spuddyt said:
don't argue with Cleeve, I think he's been at it for a while now


I don't think he's the only one who's been at it for a while now.
September 7, 2007 4:46:07 PM

anyway, I think (I may well be wrong, I'm not an expert) trying to compare pixel shaders and universal shaders is probably pretty pointless except in real benchmarks since they both work in very different ways
September 7, 2007 5:02:54 PM

In a game benchmark there are lot of variables.

It's obvious 8600gts is superior even to 1950pro when shader intensive situations even with lower memory bandwidth. How we can measure accurately? I don't know.
September 7, 2007 5:03:33 PM

Would that 8600gts work on a 350w power supply (Dell) without an extra power lead (i.e. just plugged into the PCIe slot)?
September 7, 2007 5:15:38 PM

prodystopian said:
Would that 8600gts work on a 350w power supply (Dell) without an extra power lead (i.e. just plugged into the PCIe slot)?


No, you have to supply power to the 6pin connector, either straight from the psu or with the dongle...
September 7, 2007 5:16:23 PM

I doubt it severly
@marvelous, I don't know either
September 7, 2007 5:23:12 PM

I noticed that there's a star next to my name now but there are members here who's been here longer who don't have stars. Before I had no stars. How do you achieve stars? What does stars represent?

September 7, 2007 5:31:33 PM

I have been wondering about those stars for quite some time. Does anyone else know? Also, marvelous, does you're card require an extra power lead and do you know if all 8600gts cards do?
September 7, 2007 5:49:20 PM

You mean a molex connector? Yes I have it on mine. All 8600gts does for your motherboard and video card protection. We know Geforce 8600gts require something like 70watts to run at peak. And PCI-E requires that you use a molex connector if you use more than 75watts. Nvidia went safe added molex connector to all 8600gts while 8600gt does not.

My card even runs without the molex connector but it's better to be safe than sorry.
September 7, 2007 6:02:13 PM

Yes I was referreing to the molex connector, couldn't remember that. Anyway, I was asking because I knew the 8600gt cards don't require oneand I'm considering whether to buy now or wait for the 2900pro/8700gts or whatever the next round of cards will be to upgrade my PC and use later in a fresh HTPC. Thanks for the info.
September 7, 2007 7:47:47 PM

marvelous211 said:
It's simple specs for you to see don't get offended by it. Of course you won't see 5x performance because there isn't a software that could measure this accurately or if it peaks within specs. What progs out there?


Heheh. Offended? That's an odd interpretation to get from my reply. All I did was point out that there's nowhere near a real-world 5x shader performance delta, honestly wasn't expecting you to take it personally.

As far as programs focused on shader performance, I'm pretty sure 3dMark would have a test specifically for that.


P.S. the stars beside our names used to reflect our post counts, but it seems to have reset when we went to a new forum a little while back. Looks like we still have the titles but lost our posts.
September 7, 2007 8:32:02 PM



3dmark doesn't seem to test accurately when we look at the pixel shader part of it.



P.S I see. But I don't have many posts under my belt here. I'm new to the board, been here less than a week :kaola: 

a c 143 U Graphics card
September 7, 2007 8:39:48 PM

prodystopian said:
I have been wondering about those stars for quite some time. Does anyone else know? Also, marvelous, does you're card require an extra power lead and do you know if all 8600gts cards do?


The stars are a measure of wisdom. Congratulations on getting your first :) 

(Just kidding. I have no idea...)
September 7, 2007 8:44:54 PM

aevm said:
The stars are a measure of wisdom. Congratulations on getting your first :) 

(Just kidding. I have no idea...)


That's what I though at first because people who has more posts don't even have stars and I got my first one. :kaola: 
a b U Graphics card
September 8, 2007 3:33:03 AM

marvelous211 said:
Stay away from 7900gs.


Let's see, in the one benchmark provided on this thread - the Far Cry game - which the poster identified as his most system challenging game, the 7900GS out performed the x1950XP 46.5 to 44. The poster "is not a hard core gamer but would like something with decent performance". The 7900GS certainly fits that bill and the card I listed is a BFG card on sale for $100 AR. The least expensive comparable x1950Pro on newegg is HIS for $120 or Sapphire for $133. I would say that gives the 7900GS a more than reasonable performance/price advantage. The least expensive 8600GTS is $133. I would say the 7900GS is a reasonable alternative. And it was presented in a balanced way with consideration for the advantages of the other two cards, the poster's needs, and THG reviews.
September 8, 2007 4:37:01 AM

rockyjohn said:
Let's see, in the one benchmark provided on this thread - the Far Cry game - which the poster identified as his most system challenging game, the 7900GS out performed the x1950XP 46.5 to 44. The poster "is not a hard core gamer but would like something with decent performance". The 7900GS certainly fits that bill and the card I listed is a BFG card on sale for $100 AR. The least expensive comparable x1950Pro on newegg is HIS for $120 or Sapphire for $133. I would say that gives the 7900GS a more than reasonable performance/price advantage. The least expensive 8600GTS is $133. I would say the 7900GS is a reasonable alternative. And it was presented in a balanced way with consideration for the advantages of the other two cards, the poster's needs, and THG reviews.


He provided that the most demanding game he ever tried was far cry information later. :sarcastic:  If you were going to quote me from something, please use some logic.

7900gs is crippled card for modern games something to consider if he's going to play games from time to time in the future and let's not forget HDCP which BFG 7900gs can't even do. A 1950pro or 8600gts would give him the extra fps of being fluid or not and better image quality to boot.

He also mentioned that he has to pay tax and shipping charges which would be in the same ball park. $5 for lower frame rates for games like oblivion, stalker, bioshock, probably ut3? I don't care what Tom hardware recommends and I disagree with Tom's hardware. Maybe 4 months ago when 8600gts was much more expensive than 7900gs but it's not anymore.
September 8, 2007 8:40:54 PM

Thanks for all of the great input. So here is what I am thinking:

Since I am not a hardcore gamer and typically play ones that run 6 - 12 months old (and on sale), it seems like the 8600GTS is where I am leaning.
- It is fanless which is a plus for me since the computer is in my basement with the home theater
- Performance seems close enough to the 7900GS to not be too much of a differentiator
- As a newer card and newer technology, maybe it will have better shelf-life and maybe as newer drivers are released, it can continue to be optimized.

Thanks everyone.
!