The HD2600XT costs about the same as the 8600GT and is a comparable card. IMO it's better at stock speeds and would get my money over the GT. In some games it competes with the 8600GTS. The HD2600 pro is slower than both these cards and not a whole lot cheaper. I'd spend the extra $20 if gaming is the intent and grab the XT.
For me the hd 2600 xt is the winner
it costs less then the 8600gt
has the same performance with the 8600gt
more features for the 2600
and in case of video decoding blows away the 8600gt there was an article on tomshardware which was the best the 2400 and 8500 gt failed in most aplications the 8600 more or less and the 2600 xt made it threw all tests...gona see if i can find it...i'll edit later
The performance of the 2600 XT is very close to that of the GeForce 8600 GT, but the 2600 XT has a performance edge when antialiassing is disabled. Although the GeForce seems to have the edge when antialiassing is turned on, it’s not much of a real-world advantage since neither card can effectively use 4x AA beyond 1024x768. We therefore advocate the 2600 XT as the best buy in this price segment.