* Prices may differ from that shown
=== Purpose of purchase ===
Graphics cards have become an essential part of PCs, especially where an on-board card isn't available. I had to buy a new graphics card, when my previous one had trouble coping with the high definition output. I decided that I needed a cheap graphics card, which could support HDMI and would last at least a few years.
I considered a number of purchase options, looked at a few different graphics cards, and browsed very sellers pages online, as well as visiting a few shops. I wanted to make sure when I buy the card, I won't be wasting money at an expensive store, whether online or a high street shop.
=== nVidia GeForce 8600 GT overview ===
The graphics card has three ports: one is HDMI (in the middle), the others are VGA (left) and DVI (right). The specifications include 512MB DDR3 graphics memory, which is sufficient for anything I throw at it. It slots into a PCI-E x16 (PCI express card slot), and screws into place.
=== Purchase, Installation & Procedure ===
I purchased the graphics card from ebay at a reasonable price for the time. The delivery took several weeks, and I wasn't sure if the card was going to arrive. I contacted the seller, and after two or three days he replied to confirm that he had sent it this time. The seller told me that he had prepared the item for shipping a few weeks before, but forgot to take it to the Post Office. He apologised for the delay, and said I should receive it in a day or two. I got the card cheap, brand new, with free delivery, so nothing to complain about. I've purchased many components from the same seller after that, and everything arrived within a few days. That delay was a one off.
The graphics card arrived with the standard warrantee, which you'd expect with any new purchase.
The installation was quick and simple, and involved inserting and securing the graphics card after removing its fan, which was too big to fit in the available gap. I replaced the fan with an alternative with a better exhaust mechanism.
nVidia offers an automatic graphics card check, which ensures you download the correct drivers. The drivers work well on Windows and Linux. The Linux installation requires root privileges, and is done through a very short shell script. The script is "sh ./filename", without the quotation marks.
The driver installation takes approximately two minutes, and requires the computer to restart on Windows and Linux. The installation on Linux leaves two options for enabling the driver; when switching between them, the computer must be restarted for changes to take effect. One option of the driver offers 3D capabilities, which isn't good for ordinary video playback. The standard display option is good for everything, except 3D video playback.
The Windows nVidia Control Panel offers the same controls to those on the Linux version, which allows you to adjust the display colours, resolution, brightness, contrast and connected displays.
=== Features ===
The nVidia GeForce 8600 GT has a 128 bit memory, which enables it to handle data in large chunks. The 128 bits is the word length for each instruction or piece of data sent via the graphics memory channel. This is a high speed volatile memory specifically with the purpose of handling graphic data and instruction, which are sent to the graphics processor.
The 512MB memory with a 700MHz memory clock speed help with speeding up standard memory and graphics memory tasks, by organising the processor hungry graphical tasks to be handled by the graphics processor. This frees up RAM for other use, up to the amount available in the graphics memory.
At an impressive 22GB/s graphical data transfer rate, this graphics card has the ability to handle and output high definition multimedia through a HDMI connection. The card can be used in a multiple GPU system.
=== Comparison to other graphics cards ===
The previous two cards were bought at a similar price, but with much lower specifications. Those cards are PNY GeForce 8400 GS PCI-E 256MB and nVidia GeForce 5500 FX 256MB, both of which have a slightly slower memory, which is half the amount of the 8600 GT. The next card purchased was the nVidia GeForce 9500 GT, which has better memory but I haven't noticed any significant improvement in performance.
Of these cards, I've only used the nVidia GeForce 8600 GT on multiple operating systems. I've used them all on Windows XP, and have also used the 8600 and 9500 on Windows Vista and 7. The computer which had the older cards didn't support anything beyond Windows XP, so I didn't get a chance to test those out.
An advantage of nVidia GeForce 8600 GT over the 9500 GT is the value for money, because the performance isn't a great deal better. While there are many advantages of the 8600 GT over the older cards I've tried. The old cards have a DDR memory, while the 8600 is DDR3.
=== My Conclusion ===
The nVidia GeForce 8600 GT is an affordable graphics card, offering high quality output, powerful processing and sufficient amount of memory for the ordinary computer user. It's worth buying if you want to save some money and get a good quality graphics card.
This card isn't suitable for extreme gamers, because the graphics memory is quite limited when compared to the minimum requirements of some new games.
[Team Dooyoolympians relay entry]
I got this for my desktop PC because the integrated graphics card was absolutely terrible, so after little looking around i found the Nvidia GeForce 8600 GT it was quite cheap and had very good specifications. It was really easy to install on to my motherboard because i thought it might be harder than it actually was. So after I installed it to the motherboard I had to install the drivers for it, which was so easy it literally only took a few clicks. After about twenty minutes of staring everything it was ready to go, so I decided to play some half life 2, I was stuck for words and I was astonished at how a little piece of hardware could change the something by such a lot. Overall I definitely recommend buying the Nvidia GeForce 8600 GT because it makes such a big difference to how you will play games and watch videos on your computer.
Graphics cards work together with central processing units, sticks of RAM and other components in computers to run programs in the best possible fashion. Without each of these vital pieces to the puzzle, a computer wouldn't function and would probably enter into some kind of 'safe mode' or simply not start at all. If you are interested in playing video games, as I often am, then a decent graphics card is perhaps the most crucial element to consider.
When I bought my home PC not too long ago, I knew right from the 'add to basket' button that I would be in need of a replacement graphics card due to the poor performance spec of the one that came with it . After some internet research I finally found the 'Nvidia GeForce 8600 GT' which came out as top choice for price and quality considering price - baring in mind I had a rather tight budget.
The box the device comes in is extremely exciting to recieve, it's not just a plain white box with instructions and health warnings, its littered with 'computer graphics artwork', or high quality images of in-game shots to show the power of the card. Not only this, but the card also comes with a game to keep you occupied, though this wasn't exactly a great specticle - some racing game of which I've forgotten the name.
After I'd de-boxed, the device was easy to equip, placing directly into one of two graphics card slots on my motherboard (another component I thought about replacing), and once the PC was booted it recognised the item instantly - you can always tell by the small line of text which appears on the loading screen.
It's a very odd thing trying to sense a feeling of change when a new compenent is fitted to a computer, but I knew the best and only way I could try out my 8600 GT was by playing a game. At the time I'd been playing a lot of World Of Warcraft, and I had memorised my previous settings and how the game performed graphically before I installed the new hardware, so it was easy to compare.
With the old card, which had about half the 8600 GT's memory and power, the game had been set to low graphics and it still ran slowly from time to time - but with this new entity, I could play WoW on FULL graphics and it ran smoothly every time. Similarly, playing more 'graphically advanced' games such as Day of Defeat and Team Fortruss 2 which run on different 'engines', the computer performed well (though often levels couldn't be put to full).
I have had no connection or collaboration issues between components and Microsoft Vista managed the system very well, for once. At around £80.00 I believe I recieved a fair deal and would encourage people to look at the product and consider it also, though due to the quick advancement in technology I'm sure there are much, much better alternatives out there for the consumer.
Two months ago now, I bought a Nvidia GeForce 8600 GT Graphics Card replacement for my computer with the original (Nvidia MX440 64 Mb). My Nvidia Graphics card, in my ten year old computer finally died on me. Honestly, If I would have knew that the image quality and gaming performance would have been over ten times better than my original Graphics card, I would have swapped the original Graphics card a long time ago!
The Nvidia GeForce GT is a 128 bit, 256 Mb GDDR3 Graphics Card (which has a lot of potential)! When I finished updating the Nvidia drivers, I could not get over how the image quality had drastically improved on my 1680x1050 monitor! Now, I can see every detail of the RAW pictures that I take with my DSLR! It's almost unbelievable. I never would have believed or thought that changing the Graphics card on my computer would have changed the image quality and the sharpness of my computer.
Not only did the image quality and sharpness improve, so did the gaming performance! I thought 256 Mb of memory would be quite low for gaming. Turns out, 265 Mb is more than enough for playing games (even World of WarCraft)! If you are a heavy gaming user, the Nvidia drivers allow you to adjust the image quality/ performance ratio to get the best image quality without having to compromise on performance and refresh rates. You can also change settings such as the amount of frames previewed and the clock speed if you wish.
Even though the Nvidia GeForce 8600 GT does not have HDMI out, I was able to get a DVI to HDMI cable to run to my TV and have a VGA cable running to my computer monitor. Both my T.V. and Monitor can display my computer screen at the same time (simultaneously) Flawlessly! The Installation of the card was a breeze! Simply unscrew and pull the old Graphics card out and slip the new card in and fasten it with a screw!
I highly recommend the Nvidia GeForce 8600 GT to any one wanting to upgrade their "outdated" video card. While you are updating your video card, why not get better image quality and performance? The NVidia GeForce 8600 GT will do just the thing!
-Little bit of history-
Well according to the analysis done 6 years ago or so, the performance of graphics cards ... years ago revealed that the NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT was actually the best card you could buy in terms of the price and performance of this card, 3DMark which by then was not so mediocre, was ahead even of that old card ATI Radeon HD 3850 that also was one of the best, LOL ok this is Obsolete and I know that makes no sense to do a review of a Video Card so old!, but unfortunately I hadn´t had a chance to upgrade my video card as well which I mainly like to buy the best today as the Nvidia GTX 480, OF COURSE! and spend about £300 at the moment, leave me alone... :P
Good, please keep reading as you´ll understand my point here.
Talking about this old test specifically focused on the 3DMark06 score, a benchmark rate that was performed at YouGamers and served to make a ranking with graphics cards and processors even more interesting for the potential buyer, of course all this back in that time.
The tests made at the time were in standard environment with a resolution of 1280 x 1024, without Antialiasing and no AA filter, and back then, there were compared with the prices that were published in CNET, an online technology website, with great prestigious and currently still so.
The list is updated twice a day, do not know if it still does, and it turned out an interesting way to assess the performance of these solutions according to the price and performance, although it is clear that consider a single test is not total assurance; conclusions are not absolute, you also need to pay attention to all the reviews you can get so you can really know for sure what you're going to buy, has a long life and good performance.
With everything and that, at that time back, the assessment was very interesting, the NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT card which I got... (and will continue to, don´t know for how long? LOL) ... was the most valuable card in the market, ahead of the ATI Radeon HD 3850 and GeForce 8800 GT, GeForce 8600 GS and Radeon HD 3870, following on that old list, and that was why I decided to buy it.
Now ... as my PC is not as up to date, I have a P4 3.0GHZ processor at that time was also an ultra powerful processor, and today with these multi-core processor is impossible for this to continue running the games that coming out now ... The last game I could run decently and with the lowest settings was the COD4 and Crysis that are still being for sure amazing games with incredible graphics! But unfortunately today and the new games need new processors with at least 2 CORES and my P4 unfortunately does not work, also because its architecture is old too, but to do essential jobs it does the work ... I mean, surfing, watching movies and listening to music ... for design is fine, I use it with very good performance to run programs like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, but that´s about it.
-My Point of View
The card is now a bit outdated I'm not going to recommend you buy it and if you find it used yet you can afford for 50 pounds or less depending.
I think the card had enough potential and lasted more or less about 5 years of good use, knowing this if you currently want to buy the latest most powerful video card for sure will last a little over 5 years.
Well, no more saying, the point of this review, it was to mention how good it was back then but also made it to give you an Idea when choosing Video Cards... so I recommend that if you want a good video card, pick the Nvidia cards, for its superb performance and durability, and I hope this little outdated review will serve not to buy this card but, when purchasing next GFX cards you´ll find it making these studies I did at that time, also if you need a simple PC with a decent card for ultra cheap cost this Video card Still exists and is available! LOL.
SCORE 4.5/5 (Back in that time)..... now is easily a 3/5 (BTW Im playing Civilization V and STARCRAFT 2 with this CARD!) the card is fine!,,, problem really is my CPU anyway...
Hope you enjoy my review
Greetings and thanks