Prey Performance

This OpenGL game represents the Doom 3 engine and is heavy on the texture and z/stencil operations. There are quite a few factors that could cause this game to run poorly on the G84 (clearly G80 has no real issues here). The reduced memory bandwidth or fewer ROPs (which means fewer z/stencil ops/clock) are likely culprits, but without more information it would be hard to nail down the reason we see such poor performance.

The 8600 GTS is able to keep up with its competition from AMD, but lags quite a bit behind the 7950 GT. The 8600 GT isn't able to hold its own against current $150 offerings, but it does at least stay ahead of the 7600 GT which held the $150 line for quite a while.

Prey Performance

Both the 8600 cards fall further than other hardware when AA is enabled. Neither of our early generation DX9 games paints an attractive picture of the 8600 hardware. Let's take a look at our final test to round things out.

Prey Performance

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Performance Rainbow Six: Vegas Performance


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  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, April 17, 2007 - link

    It's not surprising that G84 has some enhancements relative to G80. I mean, G80 was done six months ago. I'd expect VP2 is one of the areas they worked on improving a lot after comments post-8800 launch. Now, should they kill the current G80 and make a new G80 v1.1 with VP2? That's up for debate, but you can't whine that older hardware doesn't have newer features. "Why doesn't my Core 2 Duo support SSE4?" It's almost the same thing. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see a new high-end card from NVIDIA in the future with VP2, but when that will be... dunno. Reply
  • harshw - Tuesday, April 17, 2007 - link


    It is important to emphasize the fact that HDCP is supported over dual-link DVI, allowing 8600 and 8500 hardware to play HDCP protected content at its full resolution on any monitor capable of displaying 1920x1080

    So ... to confirm, the card *does* let you watch HDCP content on a Dell 3007WFP at 2560x1600 ? Of course, the card would probably scale the stream to the panel resolution ...
  • DerekWilson - Tuesday, April 17, 2007 - link

    The card will let you watch HDCP protected content at the content's native resolution -- 1920x1080 progressive at max ...

    Currently if you want to watch HDCP protected content on a Dell 30", you need to drop your screen resolution to 1280x800 and watch at that res -- the video is downscaled from 1920x1080. Higher resolutions on the panel require dual-link DVI, and now HDCP protected content over a dual-link connection is here.
  • AnnonymousCoward - Tuesday, April 17, 2007 - link

    Maybe I'm in the minority, but I don't care about this HDCP business. The players are still ultra expensive, and the resolution benefit doesn't really change how much I enjoy a movie. Also, a 30" screen is pretty small to be able to notice a difference between HD and DVD, if you're sitting at any typical movie-watching distance from the screen. Well, I would guess so at least. Reply
  • Spoelie - Wednesday, April 18, 2007 - link

    We're talking about 30" lcd monitors with humongous resolutions, not old 30" lcd tvs with 1386x768 something.

    Or do your really don't see any difference between"> and">
    or"> and">
  • Myrandex - Tuesday, April 17, 2007 - link

    I loved it how the two 8600 cards listed 256MB memoy only however the 8500 card showed 256MB / 512MB. Gotta love marketing in attempting to grab the masses attention by throwing more ram into a situation where it doesn't really help...
  • KhoiFather - Tuesday, April 17, 2007 - link

    Horrible, horrible performance. I'm so disappointed its not even funny! I'm so waiting for ATI to release their mid-range cards and blow Nvidia out the water to space. Reply
  • jay401 - Tuesday, April 17, 2007 - link


    We haven't done any Windows Vista testing this time around, as we still care about maximum performance and testing in the environment most people will be using their hardware. This is not to say that we are ignoring Vista: we will be looking into DX10 benchmarks in the very near future. Right now, there is just no reason to move our testing to a new platform.

    Very true, and not only because the vast majority of gamers are still running XP, but also because no games out to this point gain anything from DX10/Vista (aside from one or two that add a few graphical tweaks here and there in DX10).

    When there are enough popular, well-reviewed DX10/Vista focused games available that demonstrate appreciable performance improvement when running in that environment, such that you can create a test suite around those games, then it would be time to transition to that sort of test setup for GPUs.
  • Griswold - Tuesday, April 17, 2007 - link

    The real reason would that nobody wants to go through the nightmare of dealing with nvidia drivers under vista. ;) Reply
  • jay401 - Tuesday, April 17, 2007 - link

    Derek you should add the specs of the 8800GTS 320MB to the spec chart on page 2, unless of course NVidia forbids you to do that because it would make it too obvious how they've cut too many stream processors and too much bus size from these new cards.

    Now what they'll do is end the production of the 7950GTs to ensure folks can't continue to pick them up cheaper and will be forced to move to the 8600GTS that doesn't yet offer superior performance.

    gg neutering these cards so much that they lose to your own previous generation hardware, NVidia.

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