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8600 GTS-SLI  vs 8600 GTS vs 8800 GTS review and benchmark
Posted:2007-05-30 By Zaarco
Number of View:81096

8600 GTS-SLI VS 8600 GTS VS 8800


By :Zaarco


xtreview is your : Video card - cpu - memory - Hard drive - power supply unit source

8600 GTS-SLI  vs 8600 GTS vs 8800 GTS review and benchmark

Not so long ago we reviewed a new middle range leader from NVIDIA - video card GeForce 8600GTS. Today we will take two same video cards and we will check up,  can SLI contend with a single 8800GTS 640 Mb. We have chosen 8800GTS with a 640 Mb memory size, instead of 320 Mb because, according to current retail prices, cost of two 8600GTS is approximately equal to one 8800GTS 640 Mb.

Besides, this comparison will allow us to clear an important point - video memory volume influence. In fact it is known, that in SLI mode, the video memory volume of  two cards is not summarized, and used by every GPU independently, within the limits of initial single card video memory volume.


For testing two video cards 8600GTS in SLI mode we used this system configuration:

CPU : Intel Core2 Extreme Quad-Core QX6700 2,93 GHz

MB : Foxconn N68S7AA-8EKRS2H

Memory : Corsair XMS Xpert DDRII-800 4x512Mb

OS : WinXP + SP2 + DirectX 9.0c

PSU : Hiper HPU-4M730 730 Watt

GPU 1 : GeForce 8800GTS 640Mb

GPU 2 : 2x GeForce 8600GTS in SLI mode


Tests were made under ForceWare 158.22 drivers.


We begin with Foxconn motherboard on chipset NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI. Secondly,  Intel Core2 Extreme Quad-Core QX6700 @2,93 GHz. Regularly this processor works on 2,66 GHz frequency, but we\'ve got a chip with a free multiplier. We set CPU multiplier on "11", instead of initial "10".

We choose 2 8600GTS video cards from MSI and Foxconn. The first one working at  700/2100 MHz for GPU/Memory. The second from Foxconn, don\'t differs from any another reference video card, with GPU/Memory Frequencies at 675/2000 MHz, as well as recommended by NVIDIA company.



Despite of their frequencies difference, 8600GTS video cards were easy assembled in SLI mode. But for test accuracy, we set to them identical frequencies. Using RivaTuner 2.01 utility, MSI 8600GTS frequencies were dropped to 675/2000 MHz (default values). And competitor Foxconn 8800GTS 640 Mb was also working on standard for 8800GTS frequencies - 500/1600 MHz.


You are already familiar with our system configuration. On diagrams below orange color results of testing single 8600GTS video card. Yellow color corresponds to SLI-8600GTS results, and by bright green color 8800GTS results, on diagrams we also have 8800GTS results, received with Intel Core 2 Duo X6800 2,93 GHz (dark green color).




As you can see, there is a remarkable productivity gain with SLI-8600GTS in comparison with a single 8600GTS. But it can\'t beat single 8800GTS. The difference between 8800GTS results in different systems ( X6800 and QX6700) in 3DMark 06 is explained by the use of multi-threading technology in QX6700 processor, quad core advantage makes results about 10 %better.

8600GTS vs SLI 8600GTS : obilivion 1600x1200

8600GTS vs SLI 8600GTS : obilivion 1280*1024

8600GTS vs SLI 8600GTS : obilivion 1024*768

In gaming, (in our case Oblivion) the SLI-8600GTS still not in a status to compete with single 8800GTS.


8600GTS vs SLI 8600GTS : NFS carbon 1

8600GTS vs SLI 8600GTS : NFS carbon 2

8600GTS vs SLI 8600GTS : NFS carbon 3

In Need for Speed Carbon we were really disappointed. There is no advantage of SLI mode at all. In fact two SLI video cards work more slowly, than single 8600GTS. As it has appeared, in158.22 drivers for this game, there is no SLI profile. It is sad, but true.

8600GTS vs SLI 8600GTS : Serious Sam 1

8600GTS vs SLI 8600GTS : Serious Sam 2

8600GTS vs SLI 8600GTS : Serious Sam 3

In Serious Sam 2, single 8800GTS remains inaccessible for 8600GTS-SLI, and big difference is visible. At the same time, 8800GTS results with different processors are practically identical.

8600GTS vs SLI 8600GTS : Quake 1

8600GTS vs SLI 8600GTS : Quake 2

8600GTS vs SLI 8600GTS : Quake 3

In Quake 4 SLI-8600GTS results are near to 8800GTS, but steal not in a status to surpass it.

8600GTS vs SLI 8600GTS :Prey 1

8600GTS vs SLI 8600GTS :Prey 2

8600GTS vs SLI 8600GTS :Prey 3

In Prey demo, we have the same picture. Till now we used tests in which video memory loading did not exceed 256 Mb, that is the video memory volume established on 8600GTS. And what will be, if it is required much more video memory?

8600GTS vs SLI 8600GTS :FEAR 1

8600GTS vs SLI 8600GTS :FEAR 2

8600GTS vs SLI 8600GTS :FEAR 3

As you can see, in this test insufficiency in video memory of 8600GTS dramatically affects the results, and still far away from 8800GTS. Difference between the processors don\'t reach limits of 1 %.

8600GTS vs SLI 8600GTS :Call of juarez 1

8600GTS vs SLI 8600GTS :Call of juarez 2

8600GTS vs SLI 8600GTS :Call of juarez 3

In game Call of Juarez the SLI-8600GTS- will rehabilitate itself. But we do not forget, that "demo" used in the test does not require more than 256 Mb video memory. 8800GTS comparison results with different processors are much more interesting. Difference suddenly increased Intel QX6700@2,93 GHz take the lead, The break is about 10 % up to 15 %, and it is more visible than in 3DMark 06. As processors frequencies are identical, such results divergence is possibly explained by multi-threading optimization under actually games, and difference on core number between Intel QX6700 and Intel X6800. Yes, it is necessary to say, that we tested in DirectX 9 version Call of Juarez. We hope, that in DirectX 10 version Call of Juarez multi-threading support remains. But it is already a subject for other conversation.

8600GTS vs SLI 8600GTS :Global chart

click to enlarge

On the final values diagram we can see single 8800GTS productivity gain behind SLI-8600GTS.




In general, this testing results speak for themselves. 8600GTS in SLI mode could not bypass on productivity single 8800GTS in any test. At the same cost, the obtained results cannot be considered as comprehensible (without taking into account motherboard cost with SLI support which can cost a little bit more expensive than analogues). Absence of gaming optimisation with SLI-structure.


Concerning processors comparison, there is no need of an urgent transition on quad core processors in present conditions. However it is necessary to notice steps in this direction. If Call of Juarez is already capable to show a productivity gain with transition on quad core platform, it is necessary to hope, that the future games also will go on a similar way.


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8600 GTS-SLI  vs 8600 GTS vs 8800 GTS review and benchmark

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8600 GTS-SLI vs 8600 GTS vs 8800 GTS review and benchmark

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