Gainward a well-known brand when it comes to the graphic card industry, they’ve recently returned to Malaysian shores and I’ve been given the opportunity to review their products. Today, I have with me the Gainward Bliss 8600GT 512MB, I know it’s an aged GPU unit but what got me interested in this unit is the passive cooling.
Another 8600GT review? Yes, it seems so. The difference being that this is a 512MB DDR2 version, unlike my other reviews where they’re 256MB DDR3 versions.
This card looks impressive, when I first held it I found the heatsink to be damn solid. Really, it is. It’s not the usual thin and almost fragile aluminum fin, the fins are actually solid and cover almost the entire graphic card.
The heatsink is pretty huge, making the card occupying nearly 2 PCI slots but in comparison with other graphic card with the not-so-special heatsink or 3rd party heatsinks, we’re looking about 5mm to 10mm variance in terms of overall thickness.
Not a big issue to me, since it’s no different from running those 8800GTS and 3870X2. While the 8600GT DDR2 version isn’t exactly a performance card by today’s standard, this card should be great for silent operation and decent graphical performance. I’m particularly impressed that memory chips are given heatsink units as well. Neat!
The card comes with DVI, VGA and S-video output.
– S-Video converter to Composite Cable
– Installation guide & driver CD.
Here’s a summarized detail of the card.
|GPU Code Name||G84|
|Memory Clock||400Mhz (800Mhz DDR)|
More details at the official product page
The computer setup used for this review.
|Processor||Intel E2140 Overclocked @ 3.2ghz|
|RAM||2x 2GB OCZ DDR2 PC2-8500 Reaper HPC Edition|
|Cooler||SunbeamTech Core-Contact Freezer|
|Monitor||20″ Dell Ultra-sharp Wide-screen LCD|
|Operating System||Windows XP (SP2)|
|Driver Version||GeForce Release 169.21|
It’s a low end card, the performance gain would be too little to justify the time spent on overclocking.
So here are the benchmarks. I’ll be comparing it with Albatron 8600GT-256 DDR3 with a similar driver (169.09) and the card running at 540 / 700 (1400Mhz DDR).
|Gainward Bliss 8600GT||4142|
Graphic Detail : Maximum
|Gainward Bliss 8600GT||1024 x 768||33|
|Albatron 8600GT||1024 x 768||51|
|Gainward Bliss 8600GT||1680 x 1050||16|
|Albatron 8600GT||1680 x 1050||26|
Decent performance at lower resolutions. Higher resolutions would require some reduction in graphic detail to attain acceptable performance.
Company Of Heroes : Opposing Fronts
Graphic Detail : Custom
|Gainward Bliss 8600GT||1024 x 768||53.2|
|Albatron 8600GT||1024 x 768||51.2|
|Gainward Bliss 8600GT||1680 x 1050||33.1|
|Albatron 8600GT||1680 x 1050||31.2|
I’m surprised actually, could it be that the extra RAM actually helped the performance? It could be, the performance is surely decent.
The card runs at 49°C on idle and 63°C on load. Readings were taken when ambient temperature was around 25°C. It’s actually a good temperature, considering it’s using a fanless heatsink.
The strong point of this card is the heatsink. I love it very much, I’m a fan of silent PCs and this card really makes my PC silent, it’s just the performance is rather low for my taste but it would work fine on 1440×900 resolution or lower and with generally lowered graphical detail.
The card currently retails for less than RM 260 and it comes with a good heatsink that is cooling enough and it is silent. 🙂 I think it’s great, especially for those who don’t mind the lesser performance BUT insist on silence. There’s also the DDR3 version with the same heatsink, it’ll cost more but you’ll get some performance boost along with it.