Well the thing is, I play in 1024 * 768.
Games I play are world of warcraft, bioshock, all half life II titles, and possibly stalker.
This is why the 2600XT would be a good one for me, with 2 2600XT's in Crossfire as a possible future upgrade.
I have a coolermaster 380 watt power supply and allready know I won't need a new PSU with the 2600XT.
Further more, the 2600XT is a bit cheaper than the 8600GT, let stand the 8600GTS.
The only problem that I find is that almost all hardware sites do not use the latest drivers for benchmarking with for example bioshock.
I mean, ATI made new drivers ESPECIALLY for bioshock, why not update reviews if you're serious about informing buyers about hardware performance?
Of course toms hardware is the best example of outdated benchmarks and reviews when it comes to this.
Other sites were using the hot-fix patch. I didn't know ATI had more recent drivers other than the hot-fix patch. Before the hot-fix bioshock was not playable. I think 8600gts wins looking at many different sources but it does beat 8600gt in this game.
You got 1 thing right. Tom's Hardware does use old drivers to tell it's readers which card is better.
2600xt does fine in raw speed compared to 8600gt. But it does terrible once AA is applied. 8600gt is just more solid if you want to play other games too. Far as price though they're about same.
Yeah Jakc, you're absolutely right. I have been going back and forth on getting an oc'ed 8600gt or a 2600xt for my wife's computer. I've found virtually nothing that compares these cards using ati's new drivers. Just forum gossip about how much better the 2600xt runs using them. I personally would consider an xfx 8600gt xxx edition before the 8600gts. Last I checked it's $120 after MIR. A pretty good price and free shipping. And the shader clock runs faster on the oc gt version than the stock gts. Plus no power cable needed. But if the 2600xt is really that improved with new drivers; who the hell knows which to buy. Especially without any fresh benchies. Here is an older review of the xfx oc'ed cards, just to show the difference in the shader clocks. http://www.bjorn3d.com/read.php?cID=1086&pageID=3330
I'm sure any of those 3 will really fly at that resolution though.