Review: The first 8600GTS with 512 MB works like a charm
If you followed our work, you've seen the reviews of all the latest treats from Nvidia. We're talking about a latest batch of DirectX 10 cards – Geforce 8600GTS, Geforce 8600GT and Geforce 8500GT. Geforce 8600GTS and 8600GT cards are based on G84 core, while Geforce 8500GT works with the G86 core. Almost every Nvidia's partner, apart from the cards with reference details, showcased their modified cards. Quite convenient for an end-user, because let's face it – we all want more muscle for less buck.
Gainward is one of the partners who is fighting to keep its position as one of Nvidia's top partners. We've seen many attractive graphic cards from the latest generation, based on G84 and G86 cores. One of the first, and now rare, is 8500GT card with GDDR3 memory. Then we have fast BLISS 8600GTS and 8600GT cards, while Gainward produced one of the first 8600GTS cards with 512MB of memory. Having seen these cards earlier, GeForce 8600GTS with 512MB GDDR3 memory is our today's guest.
The card's full name is Gainward 8590-BLISS 8600GTS 512 TV DD. The speeds are Nvidia's reference ones, which means the core runs at 675MHz, and memory at 2000MHz. Gainward stuck to reference speeds with this card, although we've seen Gainward BLISS 8600GTS Golden Sample running at core speed of 725MHz and memory speed of 2200MHz.
The memory is 128bit, as in all the cards with G84 core. Samsung's K4J52324QE-BJ1A memory chips running at effective maximum of 2000MHz were used. On this card there are eight of them and if you want to know more, you can find out here. We must add that four of these memory modules are on the back side of the card, and they are passively cooled with small heatspreaders.
Graphics processor is built in 80nm production process, it has a DirectX 10 pedigree and comes with Shader Model 4.0. GeForce 8600GTS, 32 Stream processors, eight ROP’s and 24 Texture memory units, while Shader units run at 1450MHz.
The card is instantly recognizable, due to the famous Gainward style and it’s definitely different from all the others on the market. Due to its unique cooler, it takes up two slots. Only if you take the plastic cover off, you’ll be able to see the real cooler and the fan. The cooler is quiet and together with the aluminum block it does a good job in cooling the core.
What’s in the box
With the card you get two DVI adapters, S-video to RGBA cable and 6pin PCIe power plug. The card still needs additional power. You also get Cyberlink DVD Power2GO 5.5, Power Producer 3.2, Power Back 2.0, Media Show 3.0, the manual and a CD containing the drivers.