ATI Radeon HD 2600XT vs Nvidia GeForce 8600 GTS

Looking for the best mainstream videocard...
While Nvidia remains quite dominant in the high-end segment, a much larger battle has taken place to offer the best mainstream graphics product. Currently the two leading mainstream cards are the Nvidia GeForce 8600 GTS and the ATI Radeon HD 2600XT, both of which are priced well under $200.

Today we will be comparing these two mid-range graphics cards head to head using a 512MB VisionTek Radeon HD 2600XT and a 256MB ASUS GeForce 8600 GTS. While neither product features overclocking out of the box, the Radeon has an obvious advantage in that it sports twice as much video memory. And while this may appear to be unfair, we have found that the average 512MB Radeon HD 2600XT graphics card retails for just $140, while the average price of a GeForce 8600 GTS sporting 256MB of memory is $160.

View: ATI Radeon HD 2600XT vs Nvidia GeForce 8600 GTS @ TechSpot

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Microsoft: Vista's 'Black Screen of Death' Is a Hoax

Next Story

Soulseek 157 Test 10

9 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

I'm not planning on getting Vista until after SP1, so no DX10 for me. An x1950 or 7900 GS is probably the best choice to hold over until this whole Vista-DX10 mess is sorted out.

Recently built a new comp with Vista and was going to go with a 2600XT but ended up going with a 1950XT as it was only a little more and it can heavily outperform it aside from DX10 which as you say is a lil messed atm. Was especialy pleased I diddnt go with this card seeings as the revised DX10.1 versions will be out early next year.

Sky_Omega said,
. Was especialy pleased I diddnt go with this card seeings as the revised DX10.1 versions will be out early next year.

the .1 is software upgradable so buying the card now can't be bad..

Lebsoljah said,

the .1 is software upgradable so buying the card now can't be bad..

I havent researched it much but thought it was hardware based, in that case as you say isnt that bad, however im still pleased with my 1950XT

I'm usually a midrange gamer and I have to say this round of mainstream cards are not up to snuff. Usually (going back to the 6600GT and 7600GT) the mainstream card of the current generation meets or beats the second from the top last gen high end card. This is NOT the case for this generation. I had a 6800GT on my old rig and moved to a 7600GT for my new rig and got better performance out of my 7600GT. This set of mainstream cards is a small leap and I'm waiting again for a next refresh of next gen mainstream cards or something. I'm dying to give nvidia or ati my money but can't get find a product worth it.

These are not gaming cards right? Or are they? The number designations/names of these cards have always confused the crap out of me.

solardog said,
These are not gaming cards right? Or are they? The number designations/names of these cards have always confused the crap out of me.

I'd say they're gaming cards.

I recently did an upgrade to a newer system. Was on a budget and built the following:

C2D E4400 | Gigabyte 965G-DS3 | Gigabyte 8600GTS Silent Pipe III | 2Gb Kingston Value Ram DDR2 667

Board, chip, ram, video card and case for all under $AUD1000.

I am getting decent frame rates from most games, definitely more than playable. BioShock was playable @ 1440x900 with most detail on.

Supreme Commander at the same resolution was definitely playable. Having said that, I didn't get into huge battles with massive amounts of units on screen. C&C3 seemed to run ok too.

I am not the biggest of gamers on PC, so this definitely suits my needs, and I like the fact that it's quiet, and needed no extra power connector.