Inno3D GeForce 8500 GT and 8600 GT Comparison - Page 2 of 7
Review by Kyle Kerley - June 1, 2007
Overclocking was a mixed bag with these cards. The 8600 GT overclocked amazingly well, finally becoming perfectly stable at speeds of 646MHz/867MHz (core/memory). That was a boost of 106MHz on the core and 167MHz on the RAM bringing it to speeds close to that of the mid-range flagship, the 8600 GTS which clocks in at 675MHz/1000MHz. The 8600 GT overclock lead to some very nice gains across the board as the benchmarks will show. Sadly, GTS speeds simply could not be reached. The card artifacted, Blue Screen'd and crashed to the desktop with speeds faster than 646MHz/867MHz.
With the 8500 GT, things were not so rosy. Overclocking was simply not possible. Even a jump as small as 15MHz on the core lead to artifacting in 3DMark06 and crashing to the desktop in Counter-Strike: Source. There was even a Blue Screen of Death. I was pretty sad given the massive gains the 8600 GT had and even more sad because the drivers found 715MHz/480MHz to be the "optimal clocks." A 265MHz increase in clock speed would have been something to see...
Considering how crippled the 8500 GT and 8600 GT cards are compared to the 8800 family, I was very surprised with the 3DMark06 scores of the 8600 GT. Especially overclocked. Comparing to the scores of the EVGA GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB and MSI NX8800GTS-T2D320E-HD OC from the review of MSI's overclocked 320MB 8800 GTS, the 8600 GT scored 20 points shy of half of the 640MB 8800 GTS's 8450 and about 600 points shy of the factory-overclocked MSI 320MB GTS's 9026. When overclocked, the 8600 GT was over half of what the 320MB 8800 GTS scored after being overclocked further.
Considering the 128-bit memory bus (vs. 320-bit of the 8800 GTS), 32 stream processors (vs. 96 of the 8800 GTS) and slower/less memory of the 8600 GT, its performace in 3DMark06 is quite impressive. The 8500 GT left quite a bit to be desired, being beyond 50% slower than the stock speeds of the 8600 GT and just over 60% slower versus the overclocked 8600 GT.
8500 GT 3DMark06 Score
8600 GT (stock speeds) 3DMark 06 Score
8600 GT (OC speeds) 3DMark 06 Score
The 8500 GT is definitely hampered by its severely diminished number of stream processors, DDR2 and much lower clock speeds but still performed better than I expected.