The elusive video cards NVIDIA has been touting for some time have quietly made their way onto the market, the Australian market anyway, where one fortunate PC enthusiast bought it and posted some preliminary benchmarking results on a forum post.
The card is made by Albatron, and has a 675MHz core clock, 256MB of GDDR3 memory on a 128-bit memory interface and a 2000MHz memory frequency. That gives the video card a 32GB/s data bandwidth, and of course, after the overclocking record set at VR-Zone.com for a similar video card, the Aussie tried a little set of tests of his own, working on his personal computer. Though drivers for this model are generally available, the drivers supplied on the CD were enough to help him, and us for that instance, get a better view of the little monster's abilities.
The platform that was used for the tests included an Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 processor, kept at factory settings, a 250GB hard drive with 16MB of buffer memory and a Serial ATA 3Gbps interface, 2GB of DDR2-800 GSkill RAM memory (unaware if in single channel or dual channel mode as of yet), and of course the Albatron 8600GTS. The software platform used is Windows, XP, I presume, and the scores are as follows: 3DMark06 5542 3DMarks; SM 2.0 - 2284 Marks; SM 3.0 - 2036 Marks; CPU - 2605 Marks; Return to Proxycon 17.534 FPS; Firefly Forest 20.532 FPS; CPU1 - Red Valley 0.834 FPS; CPU2 - Red Valley 1.302 FPS; Canyon Flight (SM 3.0) 18.063 FPS; Deep Freeze (SM 3.0) 22.653 FPS.
And it seems that the video card, which is expected to be launched on the 17th of April, is already posted on another Australian online shop which showcases a $170.50 price tag for the NVIDIA 8500GT, $257.40 for NVIDIA 8600GT and $349 for NVIDIA 8600GTS. Another German website takes a round of tests on a Club3D 8600GTS, so it seems that there is some sort of a virus going around, it's transmitted over the Internet, and everybody is getting it; maybe NVIDIA is worried about R600 and that's why some video cards "slipped" from their grasp and ended up on our screens as a delightful enchantment.