XFX 8600GT - The Card
Looking at the front of the card it appears similar to XFX's previous mid-range offering the 7600GT. Thanks to the smaller heatsink and fan, unlike the Gigabyte, we can see most of the surrounding bits and pieces on the front of the card.
We can see our DDR3 modules along with a sexy looking black PCB. Not that these things really matter, push come to shove, as you hopefully be spending more time looking at the new DX10 visuals, not the hardware itself.
Turning the card over we see 2 screws that hold the small heatsink in place, it is nice to see more companies using screws even for smaller coolers as they just make it feel more sturdy and is overall safer when shipping from overseas.
Like the Gigabyte we do not have an extra power connector and the only other piece on the card to make mention of is the SLI connector, while we will not be utilizing that today, we do intend to in the coming weeks.
We have our dual dual-link DVI connectors on the side along with a TV-out port, unfortunately XFX has not included a S-video to component connector so you may have to buy one separately.
Overall the card looks good and the chances are we will find most of the offerings from companies utilize the standard heatsink and fan even though after seeing the Gigabyte heatsink it does not quite look as cool. Looks aside, in usual XFX style they've pumped up their XXX model clock speeds to 620MHz on the core and 1600MHz DDR on the memory, which should provide a nice performance boost.