Up until now, there hasn’t been a midrange priced DX10 card but NVIDIA changed that with the release of the GeForce 8600 and GeForce 8500 series. The mid and low range is where companies get the most sales so it’s no surprise that these cards should be well sought after. Today we’re going to look at the high end of the mid range cards with the Foxconn GeForce 8600 GTS.
The Foxconn GeForce 8600 GTS card comes in at a 675MHz core and 1000MHz memory. The unified shaders are clocked at 1450MHz. While the GeForce 8800 GTX card has 128 shader units and the GeForce 8800 GTS card has 96 shader units, the GeForce 8600 GTS has a low 32 shader units available. I would’ve thought it would come in with half what the GeForce 8800 GTS card would have but NVIDIA might have looked at the performance and price ratio and deemed 32 is enough for the midrange card. Available memory on this card comes in at a standard 256MB of GDDR3 ram. Memory channel is at 128-bit.
The card sent to us is pretty much the reference design for the NVIDIA card. During the review, Foxconn did inform me that the retail version will contain a non-reference cooler that’s supposed to improve cooling by 15%. As for the rest of the card, it’s pretty much the standard fare. This card is SLI capable so you’ll be able to run two of these for improved performance. This card will need an external power connector as well.
Packaging of the card looks to be pretty standard for Foxconn as well. I do miss their artistic packaging so I’m hoping that makes a comeback later on down the road. Included with the card are two DVI to VGA adapters, a video connector dongle, a Molex power cable convertor, two utilities, and driver software. If you’ve read my other Foxconn card reviews you know the two utilities RestoreIT and Virtual Drive Pro are also standard offerings from Foxconn. What’s missing here though is the nice USB gamepad but that’s not that big of a deal and probably reduces the costs a tiny bit as well with it’s omission.
With the card running, it was almost silent. I’ve been pretty happy with the past few NVIDIA card releases in terms of noise and this card doesn’t disappoint. I hope that the Foxconn production cooler produces the same result as well as this card would be a nice card to stick into an HTPC if you want some good video performance as well as being extremely quiet.
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