Much like the GTS which we reviewed on launch day the 8600GT is aimed at the price-conscious consumer who still wants to play today’s games at reasonable resolutions. Just like its bigger brother the GT fully supports the DirectX 10 standard and has an impressive array of video decoding features under the hood. But whereas the GTS has two HDCP enabled DUAL-DVI connectors by default, it was left up to the individual card manufacturers to decide whether they would add HDCP support to the GT or not.
A reference 8600GT is otherwise more or less a downclocked version of the GTS (the reduced power consumption lead to the removal of the PCI power connector), as both cards have the same amount of stream processors, are fabricated with 80nm technology and have a 128bit memory interface. Just like the GTS the 8600 GT is also very effective at handling textures (in certain situations even better than the 8800 series). By default the 8600GT cores are running at 540Mhz while the memory is set to 700Mhz (1400Mhz DDR). The shader clock runs at a high 1,19Ghz. All in all a very impressive board, especially considering its price starts at $150.
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