We used the latest officially available drivers and set all detail levels to maximum, so don't be surprised by low scores. By lowering the detail settings you can get a playable frame rate in all games that we ran. Always take the time to download the latest available drivers, as they might get you a slight performance increase and resolve certain issues.
The Jetway Radeon HD 2600 Pro performs well on 1024x768. At a slightly higher and much more common resolution of 1280x1024, the HD 2600 Pro provides us with a playable framerate.
The Club 3D 8600GT Passive Heatpipe manages well with 35.8 FPS, just behind the Gainward 8600GT HDMI with GDDR3 memory clocked at 1400MHz. Keep in mind that the memory on the Club 3D card is clocked at 1000MHz, while the core clock is identical, reference 540MHz.
The Gainward with 1024MB wins, primarily due to the 60MHz higher clock.
Although the Club 3D 8600 GT Passive Heatpipe is slightly slower than the two Gainward 8600GT cards, it will also provide you with a sufficient frame rate, just like the Gainward cards.
We can see that memory speed is very important in F.E.A.R. The additional 512MB on the Gainward gigabyte card doesn't help much.
It's nice to see a relatively inexpensive card, in this case the Jetway HD 2600 Pro, beat all three Geforce 8600GT cards. We can only hope that Nvidia will improve its drivers in the near future.
The Club 3D 8600 GT passive Heatpipe is a bit slower than the Gainward cards, but the difference is small, almost negligible.
World in Conflict is a demanding game which can bring most graphics cards to their knees. We see that our four cards barely got us a playable frame rate at 1024x768. Combined with AA and a slightly higher resolution, the game becomes a brutal tyrant and the poor cards just can't keep up with it. If you need a higher resolution you can forget about AA and high details.
Club 3D 8600 GT Passive Heatpipe with GDDR2 memory performs on par with the GDDR3 equipped Gainward 8600 GT HDMI. It looks as if the Club3D's 512MB versus 256MB on the Gainward really pays off. The Gainward 1024MB card scores 2FPS, or 8 percent better than the other GeForce cards.
We tested the Club 3D Geforce 8600 GT Passive Heatpipe card on reference 8600 GT clocks, 540MHz for the core and 1000MHz for the 512MB of GDDR memory. The main selling point for this card is not high clocks and overclockability, but the silent operation, courtesy of the passive heatpipe cooler.
The cooler strongly resembles Arctic Cooling's Accelero and performs well. As always, when getting a passive card, you should assure good airflow in the chassis.
It's hard to go for a GDDR2 card these days, especially when so many cards with faster memory are available in the same price range, but the low price and memory size might be appealing to some consumers. We noted that its performance doesn't suffer much when compared to the GDDR3 card with 256MB or the GDDR2 card with 1024MB of memory.
It's just slightly slower than the other two 8600 GT cards we compared it to, but it's passively cooled, silent and still offers enough power for the casual gamer. If you're not too interested in the latest games, and you would rather keep your machine quiet, the Club 3D Geforce 8600 GT Passive Heatpipe is an interesting option. At €100 it's one of the lowest priced passively cooled 8600GT cards with 512MB of memory, albeit it uses slow GDDR2 memory.