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XFX GeForce 8600GTS XXX - nVidia's new mainstream DX10 is here!

By: Shawn Baker | NVIDIA GeForce GPU in Video Cards | Posted: Apr 17, 2007 4:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 9.0%Manufacturer: XFX Technology

The Card


With all the boring bits out the way, it's time to get down and dirty with the graphics card itself. Sitting at only 7.2" long, it is a very standard mid-range card as far as size goes.



The front of the card is dominated by the largish heat sink fan combination but on a very positive note, the cooler is thin enough that it doesn't take up any other slots. The smaller fan means that it has to spin at a higher speed to push more air which results in more noise - the card isn't whisper quiet but at the same time, it isn't what we would call unbearable either.


It could be a lot worse though as XFX managed to attain a large factory overclock with just stock cooling. We should see some modified cards over the next few months that use coolers from companies like Arctic Cooling and Zalman and possibly push clock speeds even higher as chip revisions improve but that's all still in the future.



The back of the card is as always very standard looking, we have our normal array of numbers that tell us what the card is and the normal details like serial number and what not. The heat sink fan screws in as opposed to clips which gives you a more solid and sturdy cooler.



As mid-range graphics cards become more and more powerful, we are seeing the PCI Express power connecter needed on more and more cards. nVidia's GeForce 8600GTS requires a single 6-pin PCI Express power connector and if your power supply doesn't have one XFX have been kind enough to include a converter in the package, so you should be up and running in no time.



The top of the card naturally has an SLI connector which of course if you find yourself with a second 8600GTS down the track, you can get an increase in performance of up to 90%. We will be investigating SLI performance down the track in a separate article. We also have the tension bar running across the top of the card, which is supposed to help prevent the card from bending and damaging the SLI connector but does it really help? Who knows but it looks kick ass!



Like all XFX cards the I/O give us our black plate and it includes two DVI ports capable of outputting up to 2560 x 1600 thanks to the support of Dual-Link.


nVidia's standard GeForce 8600GTS comes clocked in with a core of 675MHz and a memory clock of 2000MHz DDR. While XFX do have this model, they also have an Extreme edition that has a core clock of 720MHz and memory clock of 2180MHz DDR. Finally there is the XXX version (which is what we have with us today) with a 730MHz core and a crazy 2260MHz DDR memory clock, which is quite a boost over the regular reference versions and more than enough grant to "Play Hard".


Two of the major features are dual Dual-Link DVI connectivity and the fact that HDCP is supported. We should see HDCP support on the lower end models such as the 8500GT and 8600GT and once we see a HDMI version of the card, it is quickly going to become the graphics card of choice for home theater users as HDCP will help bring next gen movie formats like Blu-ray and HD DVD to your HDTV through a PC a lot easier.

Samsung 941BW (Black) LCD Monitor


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