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XFX 8600 GT XXX Video Card Review

Apr 17 2007, 12:00am CDT | by , in Reviews | Computer Hardware

XFX 8600 GT XXX Video Card Review
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Benchmarks

Features & Specifications
Just like the 8600 GTS cards I have reviewed today the XFX 8600 GT XXX shares the same features in common with its faster siblings. Most notable with the new line of cards is the new PureVideo HD capability that accelerates video decoding in HD Blu-ray and HD DVD titles making for vastly reduced CPU utilization. The XFX 8600 GT XXX won’t really be able to take advantage of the PureVideo HD benefits though since it does not support HDCP.

All other features are the same on the XFX 8600 GT XXX as on the 8600 GTS. The XFX 8600 GT XXX has 32 stream processors that run at 1355MHz. The core frequency for the card is 620 MHz and the 256Mb of DDR3 memory runs at 1.6GHz. The memory bus is 128-bit and outputs include dual dual-link DVI, HDTV and S-Video.

Other than blazing fast clock speeds the biggest place XFX sets itself apart from the pack when it comes to NVIDIA card partners is in their warranty. XFX has improved their industry leading double lifetime warranty again by extending coverage to cove the cards no matter what you do to them so long as there is no physical damage.

Test System Specifications
Before we get into the performance numbers for the XFX 8600 GT XXX I want to disclose the specifications of the test machine used for the benchmarks. The specifications are as follows:

  • CPU- Intel QX6700
  • OS- Windows XP Pro SP2
  • RAM- 2GB PNY XLR8 PC2-8500
  • Mainboard- EVGA 680i

Benchmarks & Testing
Now we will get into the gaming performance of the XFX 8600 GT XXX graphics card. I used my standard test suite of 3DMark06, FEAR, Battlefield 2142 and Quake 4 to put the XFX 8600 GT XXX through its paces. The first test up is 3Dmark06.

3DMark06
For testing with 3DMark06 I ran the application at default settings and ran the NVIDIA control panel at default settings as well. The 3DMark06 results were as follows:

  • Total 3DMarks- 5357
  • SM2.0- 2108
  • HDR/SM3.0- 1857
  • CPU- 3958
  • Return to Proxycon- 16.262
  • Firefly Forest- 18.869
  • Canyon Flight- 16.500
  • Deep Freeze- 20.139
  • CPU1- 1.327
  • CPU2- 1.888

To compare the total 3DMarks for the XFX 8600 GTS XXX was 6309 and the total 3DMarks for the PNY 8800 GTS 320MB was 9344.

Battlefield 2142
The next test up is with Battlefield 2142, an immensely popular FPS game. Since BF2142 lacks an in game test loop to record frame rate information I used Fraps to record the needed data. Frame rate information was recorded while playing a single player map called “Fall of Berlin” at a screen resolution of 1600 x 1200, 4x AA and all settings on high. Frame rates were as follows:

  • Min- 25
  • Avg- 28.938
  • Max- 32

FEAR
The next test up for the XFX 8600 GT XXX was with FEAR. FEAR is a demanding game title and was ran at 1280 x 1024 with 4x AA, 16x AF, no soft shadows and all other settings at max. I used the in game test loop to gather frame rate information and the results were as follows:

  • Min- 20
  • Avg- 35
  • Max- 72

I prefer to look at percentages with FEAR as it gives a clear idea of what the performance looks like. 12% of the time frame rates were below 25 fps, 63% of the time frame rates were 25 – 40 fps and 25% of the time frame rates were greater than 40 fps. At these detail settings the XFX 8600 GT XXX has no problem playing FEAR.

Quake 4
The final game test was with Quake 4. Quake 4 is a very popular game that is well known for its online multi-player gaming community. I used Fraps to record frame rate data with Quake 4 running at 1280 x 1024 with 4X AA and multi-core on. The recorded frame rate data is as follows:

  • Min- 22
  • Avg- 52.173
  • Max- 63

The XFX 8600 GT XXX performed well and the performance looks all the much better when you consider that the card retails for only $169.99 and you can shave another $20 off the price if you don’t go with the mack daddy XXX version, though the performance won’t be as good if you opt for the cheaper versions.

Verdict

Conclusion

Pros

  • Great price
  • Good performance
  • Single slot

Cons

  • Lacks HDCP support

Verdict
Gamers shopping for a cheap graphics card will be hard pressed to find a better card to spend their $169 on. The XFX 8600 GT performs well given its price tag, only takes up a single slot making it great for use in media center systems that will see gaming duties and carries the fantastic XFX Double Lifetime Warranty.

9.5
10
 
 

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