Today we give you one more GeForce 8600GTS card. After learning that ATI HD 2600 generation is strong enough to battle GeForce 8600GT, the popularity of GeForce 8600GTS cards has risen significantly. However, the truth is that ATI has an older generation of cards, Radeon X1950 Pro that still has enough muscle to defeat GeForce 8600GTS in most of the tests.
DirectX 10 support will play a decisive role in this comparison, so many will turn to Geforce 8600GTS cards in the future. We’ve seen that the cores of these cards have no trouble in running at speeds greater than default 675MHz, so many Nvidia partners opted for selling over-clocked cards. MSI is not an exception, either.
MSI NX8600GTS-T2D256E-HD-OC with the suffix OC clearly shows this is an over-clocked card. Our test card runs at 720MHz core and 2200MHz memory speed.
You may be left a little bit baffled if you’ve already seen or bought an OC version of MSI card, and your card runs at somewhat different speeds from the ones we’re testing today. The reason is that we received one of the first samples, from the time when MSI still made decisions about the speed of MSI NX8600GTS-T2D256E-HD-OC card. BIOS is to blame for the core and memory frequencies. All the cards should run at these speeds with no trouble whatsoever.
We decided not to alter the speeds for the test so we’ve left it at 720MHz core and 2200MHz memory speed. We did some testing with 700MHz core and 2100MHz memory, as we’ve found these speeds in the specs.
We've noticed that MSI offers two versions of OC cards, and they differ from one another in cooling. While our test model uses the default nVidia cooler (left picture), MSI constructed a slightly larger and efficient dual-slot cooler that you can see on the right picture. The advantage of MSI cooling is a little more freedom in overclocking, although the nVidia cooler also does a decent job. The cooler is quiet, and at room temperature of 27.6°C it cooled the card to decent 52°C while idle, and 75°C while playing the test games. MSI version of the cooler should lower the temperature by a couple degrees Celsius.
The card has 256MB of 128bit GDDR3, whereas the shader speed is default 1450MHz. Memory speed is 2200MHz and it is pretty close to the maximum speed we’ve managed to squeeze out. The card is HDTV and HDCP ready and it has Dual-Link DVI outputs that MSI calls Yellow DVI. A nice gift is a full version of the game “Company of Heroes” which you can try in DirectX 10 if you own Vista.
We found NX8600GTS-T2D256E-HD-OC online for €174 + shipping and it is a good reason to stay and see what exactly this card can do.
In the box, next to all the cables and manuals you need, we found a full version of the game Company of Heroes.