Leadtek WinFast PX 8600 GT THD Review
Reviewed by: Mussicho
Reviewed on: December 9, 2007
Well it's hard to believe the holiday season is already upon us. The big day is quickly approaching and loved ones begin asking the inevitable question; "what do you want for Christmas?" Of course they get the usual unhelpful response, "surprise me." Sound familiar? Well this year you should try something different and tell that person you would like a new video card so you can enjoy all the big games being released now and in the future. So now that you've decided a new video card is in order for the big day, what do you choose? What do you need? What games will you play? These will be some of the questions asked. Obviously, gaming is the primary reason for a new video card, right? With the help of the internet, research and homework makes this task a little easier. One of the options available is the Leadtek WinFast PX8600GT TDH. It features 256MB of GDDR3 memory, 540MHz GPU, 1400MHz memory speeds, and SLI capability. Leadtek Research Inc., is a Taiwanese company, founded in 1986, which focuses on research and development that specializes in the design and manufacture of graphics cards. Products in Leadtek's Computer Group include the WinFast Series 3D graphics accelerators, motherboards, and multimedia cards. So, let’s carry on and see if this is something that you want under the Christmas tree this year.
The Leadtek WinFast PX8600GT TDH comes packaged in a mainly white box. On the front, there is a woman warrior in battle dress holding two swords, one in each hand. In addition, the main features of this video card are displayed. On the back, the specs and feaures are more detailed. Nothing fancy about this box.
The PX8600GT was packaged insecurely beneath the guides inside an anti-static bag. The space was larger than the video card allowing it to flop back and forth; however, once inspected and installed it was determined to be fine.
The accessories included in the box are the product manual, quick installation guide, DVI-to-D-Sub adapter, an S-video-to-Component dongle, driver disc, and the JTF Joint Task Force DVD Rom game with CD Key.
That's all there is to the packaging and contents; it's time to take an even closer look at the Leadtek WinFast PX8600GT TDH.
Once the card has been removed from the packaging, it reveals a small compact video card. Nothing extravagent, but it is okay looking. The unit is solid and gives an overall impression of being well built. The PX8600GT is SLI ready and it does not require an external power source.
The PX8600GT has two DVI outputs and a single S-video out port. It can support two Dual-Link DVI's with 2560x1600 resolution. Of course, it also has SLI capabilities that can deliver up to 2x the performance of a single GPU configuration by allowing two graphics cards to run in parallel.
Alright, so now let's install the PX8600GT into a computer
As with any graphics card installation, no special tools are required. Depending on your case, the only tool you may need is a Phillips screw driver. If your case utilizes tool-less technology, then obviously you won't need any tools. Shut down the computer, unplug all the cables and electrical cords, and remove the cover from the computer chassis. Locate the PCI Express expansion slot on your motherboard and remove the old card by loosening the mounting bracket and pulling the card off the slot. Position the new card over the PCI Express slot. Insert the bus connector in the slot and gently press the bus connector down. There is no power connector on this card so do not worry about connecting external power. Fasten the mounting bracket to the chassis and put the cover back on. Plug the cord into the matched connector of the graphics card according to what kind of monitor you have.
So now that the PX8600GT is firmly in place, it's time to install the software.
For the purposes of this review, the quick driver installation method will be employed. Place the CD into the CD tray, close it, and it should run automatically. The screen shot you see below is what pops up.
Select "Drivers." Then simply follow the instructions as they appear on the screen. A dialog box tells you it is ready to install the driver. Click on "Next." Windows is now installing the driver. A dialog box then appears showing the progress of the installation. If a warning message appears advising that the software you are installing has not passed the Windows Logo testing, click "Continue Anyway." When it is finished, a dialog box will ask you if you want to restart your computer. Choose "Yes" and click "Finish." Installing this driver is even simple for a rookie. Of course, for the latest drivers, do not forget to visit Leadtek's website.
Now, after you have installed the driver, there is a utility on that same CD called WinFox. It is a display tool created by Leadtek that gathers information related to your display and provides setting options and a variety of tools with which you will be able to make the best of your display. It also allows you to overclock under Advanced Tools; however, since the video card in this review is a loaner, overclocking will not be done. Here are a few screen shots.
NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT
Memory data rate
Dual Dual-link DVI-I, HDTV
Data bandwidth (GB/sec.)
Fill Rate(billion texels/sec)
- Revolutionary new unified architecture with GigaThread™ technology
- GPU/Memory data rate at 540/1400 MHz
- 256MB, 128-bit memory interface for Hi-Res /AA/AF gaming
- Support two Dual-Link DVI with awe-inspiring 2560x1600 resolution
- Direct X 10.1 / Shader Model 4.1 / OpenGL 2.0
- World's first DirectX® 10 GPU delivers unparalleled levels of graphics realism and film-quality effects
- NVIDIA® PureVideo™ HD technology provides unsurpassed Blu-ray and HD DVD movie picture quality (The HDCP function is available on PX8600 GT w/ HDCP configurations
- Ultra-smoothly playback H.264, VC-1, WMV and MPEG-2 HD and SD movies
- Integrated HDTV encoder
- Intel Core 2 Duo Processor E6600 CPU
- Asus P5B motherboard
- 2 x 1GB Mushkin XP2-9200 ram
- Leadtek PX8600GT THD (nVidia)
- PNY 8500GT (nVidia)
- Sapphire HD2400XT (ATi)
- Sapphire HD2600XT (ATi)
- Foxconn 8600GTS (nVidia)
- NZXT Precise 1200w PSU
- Samsung SyncMaster 245BW Monitor
- Windows XP Pro SP2
- DirectX 9.0c
- All Video Drivers are the most up to date at time of benchmarks
- Far Cry: Hardware OC (Ubisoft Volcano)
- F.E.A.R. (Performance test)
- BioShock (FRAPS)
- Call of Duty 2: Stalingrad (FRAPS)
- Quake 4: Hardware OC
- Need For Speed Most Wanted (FRAPS)
- 3DMark 06
Benchmark: Far Cry:
Far Cry is a first-person shooter computer game developed by Crytek Studios from Germany and was published by Ubisoft on March 23, 2004 for Windows. Far Cry sold 730,000 units within four months of release.
- Maximum quality option, Direct3D renderer
- Level: Volcano, demo: Volcano.tmd
- Pixel shader: model 2.0b
- Anti-aliasing: 4×
- Anisotropic filtering: 8×
- HDR: disabled
- Geometry Instancing: disabled
- Normal-maps compression: disabled
The PX8600GT does remarkably well against the others in Far Cry.
F.E.A.R. First Encounter Assault Recon is a first-person shooter developed by Monolith Productions and published by Vivendi. It was released on October 18, 2005, for Windows.
- FSAA: 4x
- Anisotropic: 16x
- Effects: Max
- Computer: High
- Soft Shadow: Off
The PX8600GT performs as well as can be expected in F.E.A.R.
Benchmark: Call of Duty 2:
Call of Duty 2 is a first-person shooter and is the sequel to the critically acclaimed game, Call of Duty, also developed by Infinity Ward. Call of Duty 2 was released by Activision on October 25, 2005, for Windows.
- Anti-aliasing: 4x
- Texture Filter: Trilinear
Benchmark: Quake 4:
Quake 4 is the fourth title in the series of Quake FPS computer games. It was developed by Raven Software and distributed by Activision. Quake 4 was released October 18, 2005, for the PC.
- Demo: Hardware OC
- Quality: High
- Aspect Ratio: [4:3]
- Anti-aliasing: 4x
- Anisotropic filtering: 4x
- Symmetric MultiProcessing (SMP) enabled
Benchmark: NFS Most Wanted:
Need for Speed Most Wanted is a multi-platform racing game, developed by EA Black Box and first released by Electronic Arts in the U.S.A. on November 15, 2005.
- Track: Diamond and Union
- All basic video settings set to ¾ on scroll bar
- All geometric features: High
- Vsync: Off
Benchmark: 3DMark 06:
For the time being, default settings will be used while benchmarking 3DMark 06 Professional.
- SM2.0 Graphics Tests: GT1- Return to Proxycon, GT2- Firefly Forest
- CPU Tests: CPU1- Red Valley, CPU2- Red Valley
- HDR/SM3.0 Graphics Tests: HDR1- Canyon Flight, HDR2- Deep Freeze
The Leadtek WinFast PX8600GT THD is by no means a high end video card. That being said, it is a quality mid-range graphics card and for around $124.99 or less, depending on where you look, it is quite affordable. And, for just a little more, the extreme version of this card can be had. The only fault was the somewhat loud fan. However, it wasn't so loud that it was bothersome, but it could definitely be heard. When compared against the other video cards in this review, it did pretty good by all standards and is DirectX 10 compatible. So, for those looking for a new video card this Christmas without spending a ton of money, but want some performance, the Leadtek WinFast PX8600GT THD is worth looking at.
- DirectX 10 support
- Low power consumption
- Fan is a little noisy