Gigabyte GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB Review
By Vince Freeman :
August 22, 2007
Lost Planet DirectX 9/10 Widescreen Performance
Since we are evaluating a DirectX 10 video card, the use of Windows Vista is a definite requirement, but we also need some updated DirectX 10 game benchmarks as well. One of the best is the Lost Planet performance test, which comes in both DirectX 9 and 10 flavors, which allow across-the-board comparisons against last-generation graphics cards. The benchmark is also extremely tough on the hardware, and the resultant scores can be quite hard on the mainstream graphics cards, showing unplayable framerates in many cases. Since this is a high-end DirectX 9/10 game benchmark, we've utilized widescreen resolutions from the start, choosing 1600x1000 and 1920x1200.
To say that Lost Planet is a demanding game benchmark would be the understatement of the year, as you can almost hear the system grinding as it completes the testing. Our first test is the Cave demo, and once again, the Gigabyte GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB posted higher scores in the DirectX 9 environment. It does extremely well here, blowing by the GeForce 7900 GS, and outpacing both the GeForce 7900 GT and Radeon X1950 Pro 256MB cards. These are excellent results, and don't worry about the higher scores in DirectX 9 compared to DirectX 10, as it is the same story with higher-end GeForce 8800-based cards as well.
The Cave portion of the Lost Planet benchmark is even tougher on our video cards, and drops the framerates even lower. The ATI cards put in a better relative showing, but the Gigabyte GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB is very impressive, posting scores on par with, or even better than, the GeForce 7950 GT 512MB.
Lost Planet DirectX 9/10 AA and AF Widescreen Performance
Upgrading the already tough benchmark to 4X anti-aliasing and 16X anisotropic filtering results in a brutal gaming environment, and it's no surprise the Gigabyte GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB has a performance drop-off. It still manages to post higher scores than the GeForce 7900 GS and GT at both resolutions, and even the Radeon X1950 Pro at 1600x1000, but can't match the GeForce 7950 GT 512MB.
The Snow portion of the Lost Planet benchmark is quite a bit tougher demo, and now the Gigabyte GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB starts to fall back, while still posting respectable scores. We feel that this extreme gaming environment simply overloads the 128-bit memory interface of the GeForce 8600 GTS.