This card comes already overclocked above the reference 8600 GT clocks. This should give a slight bump in results. Seeing that these cards can be found for roughly the same price, we will see if the additional clock speeds will provide any benefit.
People buy the 8600 GT for gaming, and that is how we will test it. If you are not looking at gaming, you should be looking at a cheaper card. We will test the reference clocks, the stock clocks for this card. We will get to see how well this card does in games and benchmarks, and the difference in the overclocked speeds compared next to the reference clock speeds. The test computer is comprised of the following.
Intel Pentium 2140 (3.2 GHz)
2 GB OCZ Gold GX XTC
MSI 8600 GT OC
OCZ PowerStream 520 watt
Windows Vista 32-bit
This is the benchmark of benchmarks. Everyone will benchmark different games, but you will always see this benchmark run.
We gained 300 points here. This is what I expected. This is a synthetic benchmark. Any change with the graphic renderings will be quickly noticed here, but may not affect the actual gaming performance. If it does it probably won't be to the same magnitude as synthetic benchmarks. The rest of the tests are actual games; the results may differ from this test.
Half-Life 2: Lost Coast
Half-Life 2 was a great game, and this was a little present people got that showed us what they were able to do with Half-Life 2. The Lost Coast offers hi-res textures and also use of High Dynamic Range Lighting.
Our first game shows a slight edge to the overclocked results. Two FPS probably won't even be noticed. At over 100 FPS the difference doesn't matter. Lost Coast is what I like to think of as a preview to what we could see in the next installments of the Half-Life series.
A lot can be said about this game. I have played through it twice and it still scares me every time I play it. From a computer perspective, this is a very intense game. The game has great physics and the best lighting I have seen in a game. This game put down a crunch on my previous computer.
On average we saw a 4 FPS increase with the overclocked card. This could help out at higher resolutions and would make the overclocked version worth getting as opposed to the reference version. I was actually surprised that this much of a difference would be made by the slightly higher clock speeds.
Call of Juarez
This game probably isn't as well-known as the other games. So why would I consider this game? It has the next generation programming in it. It runs on DX10 so our 8600 GT should do a lot better the non-DX10 cards, and this game also uses Shader Model 4.0. This will be the future of gaming; it gives the game stunning graphics. It is a very demanding game for all computers so this test should really show where this card stacks up against the rest.
This game is not for the budget computers. These tests were run at the lowest settings that the benchmark allowed. The 8600 GT is a mid-range card, and struggles to keep up with this game. The difference between the reference clocks and the overclock yields an extra 2 FPS. While this isn't a lot, and the game is still on the non-playable level, if you were to overclock this card some more I feel confident that it could make some serious difference in FPS. Do I think it could handle the game full out? Not a chance. Could it handle it at the benchmarked settings? Possibly.
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