Mainstream GPU Performance

For gamers out there who play on a 1280x1024 panel, there is hardware to be had that doesn't cost a lot of money but will provide good performance at this very common resolution. The 2600 XT and 8600 GTS are the parts that we can really start getting interested in. Of course, making the jump up from this price point to the next leaves much to be desired: currently the $200 - $300 price segment is a bit lacking.

Again we've included older hardware for reference and we are also leaving the 8600 GT and the 2600 Pro. These parts really span the gap between the low end and mainstream price points. It's a shame we have so many offerings between $50 and $150 and so little up until we hit $300. But let's get to the benchmarks.

Unreal Tournament 3 Performance

The 2600 XT, while less expensive than the 8600 GTS, manages to lead the pack here. Another win for AMD shows promise for their architecture in anticipation of the next gen titles looming in the distance. Does R6xx have some fight left in it? Will newer titles continue this trend, or is this a one time fluke that can be attributed to beta code? We really will have to wait and see on this one.

The X1950 Pro, HD 2600 XT, and 8600 GTS perform very similarly across most resolutions tested. The exception is 800x600 where the NVIDIA part leads the way. Of course, the card to pick is the 2600 XT, as it's cheaper than the 8600 GTS.

Low End GPU Performance Bringing it all Together
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  • TSIMonster - Thursday, October 18, 2007 - link

    Looks like UT3 is going to scale well with lower end hardware. Can't wait to see some tests with AA and AF.
  • blckgrffn - Thursday, October 18, 2007 - link

    GDDR3 or 4?

  • Makaveli - Thursday, October 18, 2007 - link

    "The thing that most suprises me is the 2600XT beating 1950pro"

    The 2600XT wins by 1 fps at 1280

    Then X1950pro wins by 1 fps at 1600

    I hardly call that a beating more like a tie. Generally the 1950pro is faster from most other games and benchmarks i've seen.

    I want to see how the numbers shape up once the final game is out
  • ChronoReverse - Thursday, October 18, 2007 - link

    Honestly that's the way it SHOULD be. A midrange card of this generation ought to at LEAST tie a high-mid card from the previous generation.
  • xsilver - Friday, October 19, 2007 - link

    Whats odd to note is how the older gen cards are finally starting to struggle compared to mid range new gen cards.

    What wasnt shown on the recent HL ep2 tests is that the 7900gtx is no longer holding down the 8600gts and 2600xt. In older games - it would be certain that the older gen card would beat the newer mid range card.

    It will be interesting to see what the range mid spec'd cards coming out this christmas can do to the 8800gts and 2900pro
  • poohbear - Thursday, October 18, 2007 - link

    great to see my x1900xt is still kicking as$ and chewing bubble gum. it`d be great to see a DX9 and DX10 comparison in the final release if possible. cheers.
  • ratbert1 - Thursday, October 18, 2007 - link


    Looking at this graph, the AMD performance advantages are certainly clear.

    The only price/performance advantage I see is the hd2600xt. With the maturation of ATI's drivers, especially for Crossfire, you can get two of these for less than 2 bills. Of course, then you need a Crossfire board, and then its 16x/4x unless you go Asus and you can get 8x/8x.
  • DerekWilson - Thursday, October 18, 2007 - link

    you can get crossfire boards with 2x x16 slots.
  • Regs - Thursday, October 18, 2007 - link

    High Quality = 8x AF and no AA support?
  • DerekWilson - Thursday, October 18, 2007 - link

    high quality = the highest quality available in the beta demo... so you're kind of right. it's also high world geometry. And we used the -compatscale=5 command line option to make sure everything was run with the same options and highest graphical quality.

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