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Question about the usefulness of 1gb of GDDR2 RAM on a Geforce 8600GT

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 15, 2008 8:29:34 PM

Greetings. i was wondering exactly how useful 1 GB of GDDR2 ram would be on a Geforce 8600GT.

here are 2 Geforce 8600GT options, 1 of which i was planning to get:

EVGA 01G-P2-N795-TR GeForce 8600GT 1GB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express x16
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

EVGA 512-P2-N756-TR GeForce 8600GT 512MB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express x16
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I was told by a poster called 'amtek' on the evga.com forums that:

"Just one comment about the 1GB model of these cards. While they are decent in speed, theres really no way you can take advantage of 1gb on memory with these cards because gaming at the resolution and detail that WOULD use 1gb of memory, would not be possible with the 8600's processor. Its kinda of silly that Nvidia is now adding 1gb of memory to all mid-range cards with 128bit interfaces, while the high end cards like the 8800GTS (G92) and 9800GTX that could possibly take advantage of the extra memory remain at 512mb."


This statement exceeds my knowledge and i would love to hear what more experts think about this. is it really true that the 1GB of GDDR2 ram on the geforce 8600GT is really wasted, or could it possibly come into use at some point? am i just better off getting the 512MB version even if its only $20 cheaper? Do i neccessarily have to be gaming in huge resolutions like 2560 x 1600 to actually take advantage of that much RAM, which would be useless because the processor on the 8600GT cant handle those resolutions?

thank you for your time and i appreciate your help.
May 15, 2008 8:37:19 PM

Well basically, you need more memory at really high resolutions, which an 8600 chip is too slow for anyhow, so the extra memory is a waste. He's right, 1 meg doesn't make a difference even on the faster cards yet, so save your $$
May 15, 2008 8:38:02 PM

I meant 1 gigabyte, not meg.
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May 15, 2008 8:43:16 PM

It's badly wasted, and it's GDDR2 ram which is even worse. So you have a bunch of memory that you wouldn't use and the memory that you will use is lower speed. There are different models of the EVGA 8600GT which have either 512mb or 256mb of GDDR3 memory. Think about what your price range is.

Here's a list of EVGA 8600GTs which are better choices:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Remember, it matters what you're going to be doing with it. If you're going to be doing a little bit of light low resolution gaming and just want the ability to output high res for media, it will be fine to suit your needs. But if you're interested in doing high res gaming or really much of any gaming at all, you'd really do yourself a huge favor by shelling out as little as $30 more for a performance boost that will make all the difference.

Once again, the 8600GT 1gb, especially with DDR2, sounds ridiculous and pointless. If you just want to use your system as a Home Theater PC, or as a very basic card, it will work. If you want to game, consider the 8800GS or similar models. You won't regret having made the jump.
May 15, 2008 8:46:32 PM

High Memory amounts on lower end cards is all a marketing tactic, complete waste of money. If you can afford the extra budget an ATI 3850 would be a far superior budget card, because a 8600GT will struggle in most games unless you don't mind low/medium settings.
May 15, 2008 9:04:11 PM

Dont get a card like that its just a marketing ploy to shift more cards. The generally accepted standard seems to be 512mb GDDR3 and upwards these days.
mactronix
May 18, 2008 1:19:18 AM

thank you guys very much for your help! in fact to be honest i didnt even know that a GDDR3 512 MB version of the EVGA card even existed, but thanks to your suggestions, now i know that it exists!

it really sucks that NVIDIA has decided to add so much more memory to cards that wont even see the benefit of it... like the higher end geforce 8 series would be able to benefit from such 1GB ram but not the middle tier cards.

good point, i guess you are right, it surely must be a marketing tactic :( 
May 18, 2008 2:40:59 AM

It's a good way to spend extra money, increase heat, and use more electricity.

!