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Geforce 8600GTS: too good to be true?

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a b U Graphics card
October 5, 2008 12:15:14 AM

I'm looking for a video card for my bro's new computer. It'll be use for vista ultimate 64-bit, watching HD movies, and some light gaming. I want it to work well with Aero. I won't be overclocking it at all. The system will have an Intel E7200 and 4GB of 800Mhz RAM.

I was looking into a Geforce 8600GT or 8600GTS. The GTS seems like a really overclocked GT. Is the 8600GTS really as good as the specs make it look at (675 Core/1450 Shader/2000 Mem)? Is there any other major difference? What is the performance change? Which would you recommend?

Difference between GT and GTS:
135Mhz higher Core Clock
600Mhz higher Memory Clock
260Mhz higher Shader Clock


The 8800's are out of my price range, but I could get a 8500GT if that would make more sense.
a b U Graphics card
October 5, 2008 12:20:54 AM

both card are very weak for light gaming. If i had to pick i would pick the 8600gts its faster and you dont want to oc so getting that would be the best. do u purchase from newegg? look at the 3850 or the 8800gso they can be found very cheap these days.
a b U Graphics card
October 5, 2008 12:35:38 AM

Better off with the 9600GSO or the HD4670. The 8600GTS is pretty much a 9500GT that requires a power connector.
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October 5, 2008 12:42:23 AM

It'd help to know what your budget is to be able to recommend anything. The 8600GTS will work for light gaming though I'd stay clear of the 8600GT and especially 8500GT for any real gaming. If your PSU can handle it and you want to be able to play any game out there, this doesn't cost much more $ than any of the cards you mentioned and is far more powerful: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814133232
a c 106 U Graphics card
October 5, 2008 1:06:33 AM

An 8600GTS is pretty weak. At the very least get a Radeon 4670, or if you can spend a few more bucks a 9600GSO.
a b U Graphics card
October 5, 2008 1:22:35 AM

I wasn't expecting to get such harsh feedback about the 8600's. I would like to spend as little as possible, but there is no exact number for my budget. $120 for an 8800gt is more than I wanted to spend.

I found this new PNY Geforce 8600GTS for $47 on ebay: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ssPageNam... I thought that this was a great deal, but tell me if I'm wrong. What better card is there for under $50?

So, for light gaming would the 8600GTS work at all? Or should I move on to a totally different card? What games, besides Crysis, will a 8600GTS have trouble with? I never did get an answer on the difference between a 8600gt and 8600gts.
a c 176 U Graphics card
October 5, 2008 1:27:19 AM

He mentioned "Light gaming." I think an 8600GT will be just fine. Cleeve's latest hierarchy chart doesn't have the HD3300 on it, but if it is fully two tiers better than the HD3200 (which IS on the chart), the 8600GT is three full tiers better than that. The HD3300 will play Guild Wars with most eye candy turned on at 50 FPS on a 1440x900 monitor. Guild Wars isn't super demanding, but neither is "light gaming."
Sure, the HD3850 would be better, but if the budget doesn't allow it, the 8600GT will be just fine. A 9500GT is one tier better (like the 8600GTS), but also does not need an auxilliary power connector.
October 5, 2008 1:49:38 AM

An 8600 GTS will max Half life 2 at 1280x1024. Thats about it. I would highly recommend you purchase a 4670 from ATI. Much newer technology and its actually still supported and not constantly flamed on the threads here.
BTW, you missed a sweet deal as i just sold a 8600 GTS on eBay for $30.
a b U Graphics card
October 5, 2008 2:11:32 AM

Again, I don't doubt that a 4670 or 8800gt will be better than a 8600gts, but I don't want to spend $100 on a video card. I'm open to any cards better than an 8600gts for about $50. Let me know if you know where I can get a 9500gt, 9600gt, or 4670 for $50 and I'll get it.

Otherwise, how bad will a 8600gts actually be? I still want to know the performance difference between this and all these other cards. Does anyone have benchmarks?
October 5, 2008 2:15:08 AM

8600GT was good in 1985.

The 4670 will spank it all over the place.
October 5, 2008 2:38:44 AM

dagger said:
If you don't mind the mail in rebate, there's factory oced 9600gso for $55 ar.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Outperforms 9600gt, far outperforms 4670, and blows away the 8600gt.


8800 GT >9600 GT >ATi Radeon 4670/9600 GSO >8600GTS >8600GT
I'd recommend getting the 8800 GT or the HD 4670.
If you're stuck on the damn 8600 GTS,then don't tell us you are,and go buy the thing(granted that it's half the speed and costs 10~ dollars less than the listed HD 4670.)
October 5, 2008 2:42:46 AM

jaragon13 said:
8800 GT >9600 GT >ATi Radeon 4670 >9600 GSO >8600GTS >8600GT


Ranking is mostly right. Although a stock 550mhz core/1600mhz ram 9600gso ranks above 4670 and below 9600gt.
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Powercolor/HD_4670/2...
The $55 factory oced version at 650mhz core, 1900mhz ram will overshoot 9600gt, although still slower than 8800gt.
a b U Graphics card
October 5, 2008 2:48:07 AM

Where is your 8800GT and HD4670 for $60 (without rebates)? I'm "stuck" on the 8600gts, because people keep suggesting cards that cost over twice my budget. I understand that the GTX280 would be better than all these cards, but that doesn't help me.
October 5, 2008 2:55:55 AM

Dougx1317 said:
Where is your 8800GT and HD4670 for $60 (without rebates)? I'm "stuck" on the 8600gts, because people keep suggesting cards that cost over twice my budget. I understand that the GTX280 would be better than all these cards, but that doesn't help me.


There are no 8800gt or 4670 for $60, even if counting in rebates. If you won't consider rebates, 8600gts is the highest you can go. If you do, the oced 9600gso is there.
October 5, 2008 2:56:16 AM

He needs a card around $50, a $90 4670 is not $50 people. At $50 a 8600GTS is about all there is worth buying.
a b U Graphics card
October 5, 2008 3:16:35 AM

Spathotan's got it! And dagger, I wasn't talking about you; I was talking about jaragon13. Sorry my budget's not higher. The only way I could go a bit higher is if I went down to 2gb of ram. I will consider the 9600gso, though.
October 5, 2008 3:20:48 AM

any 8600xx is not that bad it's about the same as the 7600xx agp,i even played crysis with that wasn't that bad either,and it only had 256 ram not 512 like most 8600's,Dougx,nevermind us gaming freaks with our overclocked/overpriced/overpowered [small nuclear power plant required :)  ] video cards,,for what you have in mind almost any 8600xx with 512 ram will fill your needs,and if it is not pushed beyond it's strengths will do nicely..:) 
October 5, 2008 3:24:13 AM

if you can find a 4550 for around that price get it otherwise get the 8600 GTS
a b U Graphics card
October 5, 2008 3:40:49 AM

I'm having a hard time finding anything about the 4550 online. Does anybody know the specs of this card? Newegg has one without much of specs, ebay's got none of them, and there aren't reviews of them anywhere.

Dokk2 brought up that I should have 512mb. Does that make a large difference over on the 8600 cards, the 9600gso, or the 4550? I thought that 512+ of vram was only for enthusiast cards.
October 5, 2008 3:58:54 AM

just a word to the wise, stay away from ebay
October 5, 2008 4:10:57 AM

They used to sell a few 512mb 8600GTS's, but good luck finding one brand new. Newegg only sells one 256mb, ZipZoomFly dosent sell them at all anymore, and TigerDirect sells three overpriced (Typical TigerDirect prices) 256mb ones.

Its really hard to find something worth buying for a brand new system in the $50 range, and its also really hard to susgest somebody buy a 8600GTS or say its what he/she should buy. I understand you got a budget here, but in the best interest of your money and your bro I susgest finding some way to cut corners in the system or come up with some more $$. I can almost guarantee you that he will not be happy with the 8600GTS, its on par with a 7900GS (I owned both these cards, exactly the same FPS in every game I played them with).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 9600 GSO for $80

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... factory OCed 9600 GT for $105.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... factory OCed 9800 GT for $107 after MIR

Ebay is also an option, ive sold several cards up there easily, including my old 8800GT with a thermaltake DuoOrb cooler for around $85. A quick glance over a search and I see a few 8800GT's, even some first gen 8800GTS's for around $60-$75. Just make sure you go with sellers with 95%+ feedback if they have really high numbers (800+), or 100% if they have low numbers (fewer than 50).

All those cards are considerably better than the 8600GTS, I know the budget, but like I said if you can find some way to cut corners in the build or coax more cash out of him, this should be stuff you are looking for. Raising the bar to around $100 will expand your options tenfold over a $50 budget. Just something to think on.


a b U Graphics card
October 5, 2008 4:50:34 AM

Currently, my budget is $50, but you're saying that I can get literally ten times the performance from a $80-$100 card? IF I were able to expand the budget a little, what card would you recommend? (I could get 2 8600GTS's, but somehow I don't think anyone here will recommend that.) I've had only good experiences with ebay, even with computer parts, so I wouldn't be against it.

What is the difference between the 9600GSO and 9600GT? Just the memory bandwidth?

Is the 9800GT a lot better than the 8800GT? I see very little difference in specs or price.
October 5, 2008 5:28:17 AM

Between the two get the 9800GT. Considering the price difference which is very, very minimal, there is no reason to get the 8 over the 9.

And yes, the difference between the 8600 and a 8800/9800 is preety damn large.
October 5, 2008 5:49:01 AM

around 32 old shaders versus 112 new and faster shaders. the 8800gt all the way.
October 5, 2008 6:44:21 AM

Well you said it. Your better off getting 2g ram now and a good card, because 2 more G of ram later is only $30ish.

Or you could be dumb, and get 4g of ram and a crappy card that will be hard to get your money back out of, then end up buying another card for $80+ later after you realize you were stupid and stubborn, and your choice screwed you.
October 5, 2008 7:22:12 AM

If hes got a budget then hes got a budget, its not your money roadrunner and it probably isnt his since its his brothers system. If everything was as easy as you make it out to be then we wouldnt need your divine advice.

Back on topic and to things that actually matter, if you want to deal with MIR then the GSO shoota linked is a great deal.
October 5, 2008 7:40:36 AM

spathotan said:
If hes got a budget then hes got a budget, its not your money roadrunner and it probably isnt his since its his brothers system. If everything was as easy as you make it out to be then we wouldnt need your divine advice.

Back on topic and to things that actually matter, if you want to deal with MIR then the GSO shoota linked is a great deal.



Its stupid people like you with no commom sense, that makes these forums necesary. 2g of ram is plenty for todays average system. I could care less what he buys. I just think it is idiotic for noobs to ask for advice, when obviously, they got their minds made up.


He said he dont want to buy a $95 card, so what makes you think he wants that GSO. If its not in his budget, its not in his budget. Rebates take 4-6 weeks, if you get it at all. Next time use a little common sense.
a c 106 U Graphics card
October 5, 2008 7:47:27 AM

Well then in that case you mighnt as well go with the 8600GTS. I don't think you'll get a better deal for that price. You could always try and bid on someones used card, at your own risk of course.
October 5, 2008 7:48:01 AM

If its necessary to have the forums, people makes mistakes, and you understand that. Why would you be stupid enough to be upset. BTW im getting sick of that catch phrase, so stfu
October 5, 2008 8:04:55 AM

I just took an MSI 8600GTS OC out of my system yesterday. It has been a great video card for the money. I've been able to play HL2, Crysis, Bioshock, Stalker, Prey, Oblivion, etc. at 1440x900 or 1680x1050 (with some of the eye candy turned down), and get playable frame rates. It's not the fastest thing around, but for $50 it's a good card.
October 5, 2008 2:40:40 PM

Dougx1317 said:
I'm having a hard time finding anything about the 4550 online. Does anybody know the specs of this card? Newegg has one without much of specs, ebay's got none of them, and there aren't reviews of them anywhere.

Dokk2 brought up that I should have 512mb. Does that make a large difference over on the 8600 cards, the 9600gso, or the 4550? I thought that 512+ of vram was only for enthusiast cards.


4550 is a bad idea. Performing below 8600gt, for around the same price.
http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Reviews/hd45...

If you're willing to use rebates (takes several weeks for them to pay up), then there's 9600gso.

Factory oced for $55 ar.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If not, 8600gts.

256mb is enough for casual gaming. For serious gaming, you'll need more.
October 5, 2008 3:22:52 PM

I bought an 8600 back in January with very low expectations. I was pleasantly surprised! It was capable of CoD4, UT3, and of course the older games I still enjoy. It has since been boxed back up but they are decent budget cards. Don't expect the visual quality of a 8800 or a 3870 out of it though. It's playable but it isn't always pretty.
October 5, 2008 3:35:47 PM

roofus said:
I bought an 8600 back in January with very low expectations. I was pleasantly surprised! It was capable of CoD4, UT3, and of course the older games I still enjoy. It has since been boxed back up but they are decent budget cards. Don't expect the visual quality of a 8800 or a 3870 out of it though. It's playable but it isn't always pretty.


It's okay for older games, but CoD4 is questionable. See fps chart.
October 5, 2008 4:38:34 PM

I think something's amiss in that chart. My AGP 2600XT can hit 40fps nicely. It's on medium/high, but the jump in cards is much greater than that of the jump in graphics settings.

Anyway, I'm all for dumping 2GB of ram for a better GPU. It's a great idea.
October 5, 2008 4:41:11 PM

frozenlead said:
I think something's amiss in that chart. My AGP 2600XT can hit 40fps nicely. It's on medium/high, but the jump in cards is much greater than that of the jump in graphics settings.

Anyway, I'm all for dumping 2GB of ram for a better GPU. It's a great idea.




WOW. Finally someone with some sense. Great minds do think alike!
October 5, 2008 4:43:44 PM

frozenlead said:
I think something's amiss in that chart. My AGP 2600XT can hit 40fps nicely. It's on medium/high, but the jump in cards is much greater than that of the jump in graphics settings.

Anyway, I'm all for dumping 2GB of ram for a better GPU. It's a great idea.


The chart is from guru3d. They used high settings and 4x AA. You're probably running on lower settings and no AA, that's why. :p 
October 5, 2008 4:45:20 PM

I vote for 4670 and only 2gb of ram.
October 5, 2008 4:51:47 PM

Oh and if you do get the 8600, you better make darn sure it is HDCP ready or he wont be watching his HD movies. The ones I see on Newegg that state HDCP ready are as much as the other cards that have been mentioned.
October 5, 2008 6:00:12 PM

Its HDCP, but its optional. Just like memory sizes it had to be provided by the OEM. Like I already said, its hard enough finding a 8600GTS brand new, and even then who knows if it has the HDCP EEPROM.
October 5, 2008 6:22:07 PM

As stated, I run high/med settings. I use 4x AA to compensate for my low monitor res.
October 5, 2008 7:15:03 PM

I have to agree with frozenlead here. I used a 2600XT in a microATX machine I used on a 690G board with a 4200+ X2 Brisbane. It gave me good enough FPS in Lord of the Rings Online, I think about 50-65 with high settings, that was on a 19" widescreen @ 1400 x 900. But there is no denying its outdated and overall junk. But if what you have works with what you play then there is no reason to swap.
October 5, 2008 8:32:02 PM

frozenlead said:
As stated, I run high/med settings. I use 4x AA to compensate for my low monitor res.


Med is lower than high, isn't it? Try highest settings, and you'll get similar results. Guru3d is a reputable site. :p 
October 5, 2008 8:34:55 PM

I know its a reputable site, but think about it.

A 2600 to a 3870/4670 is a hell of a jump. Do you really think that setting a few things to high as opposed to medium is supposed to make that much of a difference on the hardware? It just isn't logical.
October 5, 2008 8:37:54 PM

frozenlead said:
I know its a reputable site, but think about it.

A 2600 to a 3870/4670 is a hell of a jump. Do you really think that setting a few things to high as opposed to medium is supposed to make that much of a difference on the hardware? It just isn't logical.


For CoD4? Very logical. The engine is scalable, besides, highest settings come with 16x AF.
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