Overall, on a whole the 8600GT seems to be a great little card. It performs most the time greater than the heavily overclocked 7600GT model we have here today and is going to be great for a gamer who does not want to break the bank and get something to accommodate that smaller screen.
This is probably going to be the better bang for buck card priced at around the AU$200 (US$167) mark. The only thing we really need to confirm now is if the overclocking capability is across the board or just on the XFX. It is hard, and a little unfair, to compare overclocking on the XFX against the Gigabyte as one has active cooling and the other passive.
Final Thoughts - Silent but Violent Gigabyte Offering
Maybe it is not that violent but for people who are on a budget the chances are it is going to be compared to what they have been using. The cooler on this card what can we say? It kicks butt. It is heavy, feels high-quality and even lets us overclock.
What is our biggest gripe with the card? We could mention the lack of HDCP, but that is only on this model, of the 3 models on offer, 2 give us HDCP so that is not really a problem. You should not be forced to pay for HDCP if you are not going to use it. We could complain about only a single DVI-VGA connector but at least there is 1 and that probably is all you really need. We guess the biggest annoyance would have to be the lack of video cables, which might not be an issue for some readers.
Full version game
Capable of overclocking
No video cables
Rating - 9 out of 10 and TweakTown's "MUST HAVE" Best Features Award!
Final Thoughts - XFX XXX Incarnation
The XFX is a bit like a dog with rabies, all crazy looking (great performance) but not a lot to look at (small package). It comes out the gate growling and just wants to perform as much as possible. Then when you overclock it is like taking the dog off its leash.
Performance wise the card has a lot going for it from the 8600GT perspective, we know it is not an 8800GTX. While the Gigabyte left a little off the package the XFX really seemed to miss a chunk, lack of HDTV cables and no game really disappoint. In a solo review it may not have seemed as bad but when you look over at Gigabyte including Supreme Commander, a game that is quite recent, you have to feel slightly bummed out by the meager XFX offering.
I cannot bring myself to give the XFX an award simply because I feel that we may see cards that are cheaper, offer a full version game, and overclock just as much. The XFX is a great card nonetheless but with the increased price tag it is likely to carry, you may be better off looking towards a GTS card and overclocking that.
Rating - 8.5 out of 10