S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Performance

NVIDIA has been pushing this game since the GeForce FX days, and now it is finally here. We have to use FRAPS to benchmark it even though a demo_play feature is included. Apparently the demo_record facility had to be removed at the last minute.


Interestingly, at 1024x768, both the 8600 GTS and 8600 GT perform well compared to their competitors. The 8600 GTS manages to beat the X1900 XT 256MB while the 8600 GT keeps up with the X1950 Pro. Unfortunately, the new hardware can't keep its lead beyond 1024x768, as moving up to 1280x1024 gives us a much sharper drop on G84 than on other hardware.

With the added texture address capability per shader and drastically reduced memory bandwidth compared to other 8 series hardware, the problems we are seeing could be related to memory pressure. This would also help to explain the poorer than expected performance in older games that rely more heavily on lots of textures rather than shader speed. We would need to do many more synthetic tests to really get to the bottom of this issue though.

At 1280x1024, a resolution many midrange gamers run, the new 8600 series just isn't able to handle S.T.A.L.K.E.R. with all the settings turned up except grass shadows. Some settings will need to be lowered a bit to achieve better performance at higher than 1024x768.

F.E.A.R. Performance Supreme Commander Performance


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  • xpose - Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - link

    How does H.264 video decoding work? Do I need to use a special powerdvd with special nvidia drivers for this to work? Or can I simply just get the latest nvidia drivers and use whatever media player I want to take advantage of this? Reply
  • RamIt - Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - link

    Why no benchmarks for source based games?
  • Yongsta - Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - link

    There should be a 8700 series to bridge the gap, since the 8600 is a dissappointment. Gone are the days when you could get a $150 card and get the performance of a $300+ card. Ti4200 (overclock to Ti4600) or Radeon 9500 (softmod to 9700), etc! Reply
  • ssidbroadcast - Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - link

    Does anyone else think that us enthusiasts are expecting too much out of nVidia? The 8600 line clearly beats out it's 7600 counterpart, I think it might be expecting too much for the g84 to handily outdo a 7900 or an X1950. These are the BEST of last year, ppl! The best their engineers could do and only a year ago, or less! Why should we expect a MID-RANGE card too wallop the HIGH-RANGE of last year?

    Just a thought.
  • Live - Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - link

    Because they have done so for the last years?


    Traditionally, successful performance-mainstream parts at $199 price-points offered performance level similar to former flagship offerings released a year or a little more before. This was the case with the GeForce 6600 GT, which could easily outperform the Radeon 9800 XT; the same was true for the GeForce 7600 GT, which could offer performance of the GeForce 7800 GT at much lower price-point; the Radeon X1950 Pro outperformed even the Radeon X1800 XT in certain cases, while the GeForce 7900 GS provided same level of speed in games as the GeForce 7800 GTX. When it comes to the GeForce 8600 GTS, we cannot see it leaving the GeForce 7950 GT behind, not talking about more powerful GeForce 7900 GTX.
  • Spoelie - Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - link


    For namesake alone they should have called the 8600GTS the 8600GT,
    and the 8600GT the 8600GS

    which would indicate there performance a bit more out of a history perspective. Dunno if the 8600GTS provides the jumps expected from the last generation
  • shabby - Tuesday, April 24, 2007 - link

    Its been available on newegg since the other 8600 cards came out last week. If nvidia's partners shipped those cards to stores why couldnt they ship one to you guys? Reply
  • mongo lloyd - Tuesday, April 24, 2007 - link


    At the same time, we wouldn't recommend against the 8600 series, as it does provide best in class video decode performance that will enable more computer owners to experience HD content without dropping frames.

    Have you actually tested this? Seeing as it was bloody madness to get it to work half-assedly on 6xxx and 7xxx cards (not even including the fact that nvidia screwed up support for it in every other driver release, and not disclosing that fact, or even acknowledging that they had broken it), it seems not so smart to just take it at face value.

    I swear the quality of Anandtech articles has been declining...
  • Hippiekiller - Tuesday, April 24, 2007 - link

    Heres to hoping they make an 8700 series, or AMD can fill in the performance gap between these cards and the 320 8800.

    I am not willing to pay 300+ anymore.
  • ochentay4 - Tuesday, April 24, 2007 - link

    please explain me why do i need h.264 100% decoding on hardware when there are free decoders that already do that (and nvidias charges you for this cards like if you where buying a rocket) and the most important thing is that it is supposed that you will be using these cards when relatively new pcs that can already play h.264 without a single frame drop... see, dx10 is for vista, and h.264 is for hd video, so its likely that the user has a really good pc.

    my 2 cents!

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