nVidia GeForce 8600GT vs ATI Radeon HD2600XT

nVidia GeForce 8600GT vs ATI Radeon HD2600XT

In this article, I will be pitting nVidia’s GeForce 8600GT vs ATI’s Radeon HD 2600XT. This article covers strictly gaming performance on Windows XP, tested on various games of 2007 and a few other benchmarks from a year or 2 ago.

The cards I’m using for this comparison are

  • Galaxy Geforce 8600GT OC Edition 256MB DDR3, down-clocked to 540mhz for Core and 700mhz for Memory (1400Mhz DDR speed)
  • XpertVision HD2600XT Sonic 256MB DDR3, 800mhz for Core and 800mhz for Memory (1600Mhz DDR speed)


  • ForceWare Release 169 (BETA) – Version : 169.09 for the nVidia card.
  • Catalyst 7.10 (Version: 8.421.0.0) for the ATi card.

Benchmarks Used

  • 3DMark06
  • F.E.A.R.
  • Lost Planet : Extreme Condition
  • Company of Heroes : Opposing Fronts
  • World in Conflict

Test System Specification

Processor : Intel E2140 Overclocked @ 3.2ghz
RAM : 2GB DDR2 667
Monitor : 20รขโ‚ฌยณ Dell Ultra-sharp Wide-screen LCD
Operating System : Windows XP

Test Results

Alright, with all the above cleared we shall now move on to the test results.


Default setting.

Card Score
8600GT 5077
HD2600XT 5038


Graphics were set to maximum details, resolutions 1024 x 768 and 1680 x 1050.

Card Resolution Lowest Average Highest
8600GT 1024 x 768 25 50 101
HD2600XT 1024 x 768 21 34 66
8600GT 1680 x 1050 14 25 47
HD2600XT 1680 x 1050 9 18 46

Lost Planet : Extreme Condition

Graphics were set to default details, resolutions 1024 x 640 and 1680 x 946.

Card Resolution Snow (Average) Cave (Average)
8600GT 1024 x 640 31.3 44.6
HD2600XT 1024 x 640 28.1 37.4
8600GT 1680 x 946 14.0 20.7
HD2600XT 1680 x 946 13.6 18.7

Company Of Heroes : Opposing Fronts

Graphics were set to the following details
nVidia GeForce 8600GT vs ATI Radeon HD2600XT

Resolutions at 1024 x 768 and 1680 x 1050.

Card Resolution Lowest Average Highest
8600GT 1024 x 768 7.8 51.6 60.2
HD2600XT 1024 x 768 10.8 58.9 63
8600GT 1680 x 1050 5.9 30.6 53.9
HD2600XT 1680 x 1050 4.8 45.5 60.5

World In Conflict

World In Conflict refused to work well with all my 8600GT cards. Medium detail was selected BUT with Full Object Geometry, Extra Object Details, Destruction FX and Post Effects turned off to avoid it hanging the system. Both cards were tested with the same setting.

Graphics were set to medium details, resolutions 1024 x 768 and 1680 x 1050.

Card Resolution Lowest Average Highest
8600GT 1024 x 768 25 46 88
HD2600XT 1024 x 768 21 53 123
8600GT 1680 x 1050 16 30 54
HD2600XT 1680 x 1050 9 33 76

*Info : The HD2600XT worked flawlessly on Medium settings though, so much for being nVidia game. ๐Ÿ˜›


For the past months, I’ve been gaming on these 2 cards and I found the HD2600XT to be the slower one. With the latest tests, it seems that AMD / ATI’s latest drivers have boosted the performance of the HD2600XT – same applies to nVidia’s drivers. If you check the graphic card reviews that I did for both the cards used in this article, you’ll see that their 3DMark06 scores have improved – clearly some enhancement was done on the drivers.

For gaming purpose (without overclocking) – which one should you go for? I’d say any of these cards will do.

If you are comfortable with overclocking the graphic card – which one should you go for? I’d say 8600GT. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve tested the HD2600XT and so far the attempts were miserable while the 8600GT cards I’ve tested so far could be pushed to 600 / 800 and beyond, with ease!

goldfries rated this product :


  1. Hey there,

    That’s a cool comparison! I also suggested my best friend’s rig that either one of these are suitable for budget gaming. The 8600GT tends to be a little bit faster, but the 2600XT is a little bit cheaper. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Well, my friend’s complaining that the 2600XT hates widescreen resolution, is it true? His one is a Colorful 2600XT DDR3 and it’s giving him VPU recovers…

  2. Author

    Shouldn’t be. I’m using wide-screen for on HD2600XT for ages.

  3. HI HI,

    Nice compare.. but i thought 8600GT always faster than 2600xt.

    How much now the price for “XpertVision HD2600XT Sonic 256MB DDR3”?

  4. anyone,

    XpertVision HD2600XT Sonic 256MB DDR3 RM 300 can get ?

    Mr. Goldfrieds,

    will 8600GT OC faster?

    best regards,

  5. Author

    I think RM 300 is worth the price.

    The 8600GT OC is DEFINITELY the faster card.

  6. Aye, nice review, mate.

    I am using a Gigabyte nvidia 8600GT 256MB DDR3 RAM myself.
    Did not over-clock it though, is it safe to OC it?


  7. Author

    Yes it’s safe.

    I’ve personally OCed 2x 8600GTs and i have a 3rd one that hasn’t gone through the test. ๐Ÿ˜›

  8. Hi there,

    I had the 8600 GT on a Q6600 processor with 2Gig RAM with 250Gb HDD. There was enough cooling etc. All the games that I attempted to play crashed at various stages. It took me 3 weeks to admit defeat and changed to the 2600XT. Since then, NO MORE crashes!! Anyone out there with similar results?


  9. Author

    wow david, that’s bad!

    i have no problem with all the 8600GT that I used. Come to think if it, none of my 8 series card could run World In Conflict properly, despite it being meant to be played with nVidia thing. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Very bad indeed!!!

    Games I played is Battlefield 2, Sniper Elite, Battlestations Midway, Commandos Strike Force, Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2, Crysis. As I said, ALL CRASHED.
    I am still playing all of above and all is running as smooth as intended.


  11. Author

    That’s bad. I didn’t have problesm with BF2142 and GRAW2 though. ๐Ÿ™‚ what card are you using now?

  12. The MSI RX2600XT. Bought Rainbow 6 Vegas and Splinter Cell Double Agent and they run very good as well, so I’m happy!!

  13. Hi folks, I got a new PC system running. Geforce 8600GT is included, but I just can’t make her display the native resolution of my LG L203WT (1680×1050). The test here makes me feel this works somehow ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I tried to replace the driver that came with Vista with ForceWare Release 169, but that made it even worse.

    I hope you got an idea?

    Thanks, Jan

  14. Author

    Alright, did you know that IF the resolution doesn’t appear, you can add it through the nVidia Control Panel?

    Yup, there’s a feature there. It’s under the DISPLAY section, called MANAGE CUSTOM RESOLUTIONS.

  15. First of all, thank you very much for this advise. Good to see that someone cares ๐Ÿ˜‰

    But it doesn’t help me … When I start the nVidia Control Panel, there is the section called “Anzeige” (German, display in english). I got four subpages I can go to:
    “change resolution”
    “change desktop color”
    “rotate display”
    “multiple displays”
    The first one might be the one that counts, but on this page there only three things that I can modify: “change resolution” (a bar, that offers me the options I already have, but not the one I need), “color quality” (16bit, 32bit) and frequency (60hz an more). There is absolutely nothing else called “manage custom resolution”.

    What might be an explanation for this? I’m running Vista Home Premium, driver version Still any idea?

    A big thank you from Berlin,

  16. Author

    my NV Cpanel is version 1.5.2000.01
    it’s using ForceWare 174.74 / Driver 6.14
    Window XP version

    Try using ADVANCED VIEW. on my ADVANCED VIEW i see
    + 3D Settings
    + Display <==-- the resolution part is in here. + Video & Television

  17. I have a gigabyte geforce 8600GT 256MB DDR3 silent pipe II edition, when i played NFS most wanted with max settings at 1024 x 768, it used to lag a bit while driving but after i installed the latest driver, it seemed better but still flickers a little. any ideas how to tweak the card?

  18. perhaps you want to OC the card? i bet uncle google has a lot of answers ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. lol i’m a bit worried about OCing anything.. afraid i don’t have a good enough cooling system. let’s say i only have 4 casing fans, can OC a lot meh?

  20. To be safe, open up your casing and use another BIG fan blowing your card

  21. dont OC 1st.. test few drivers 1st… for my case.. driver 169.25 seems is the best for my 8600GT while the newer 17x.xx is slower…

  22. I also do find the latest driver cant oc far compare to 169.xx driver..
    I think if u oc a bit will help..

  23. oh looks like gt better than ati there…
    but not big different…

  24. ^ probably back then. now we have the 4000 series. ๐Ÿ˜€

  25. me stay with geforce,btw hybrid sli only work on vista aite??it seems like i’ve being cheated all the way into buying abit an78gs!!! ๐Ÿ˜›

  26. nwo im using catalyst 8.6 on my 2600xt. it improve alot compare to 1 years ago (catalyst 7.8 =P)

  27. You might want to add the 2600XT to your PC buying customizer?

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