While Nvidia remains quite dominant in the high-end segment, a much larger battle has taken place to offer the best mainstream graphics product. Currently the two leading mainstream cards are the Nvidia GeForce 8600 GTS and the ATI Radeon HD 2600XT, both of which are priced well under $200.
Today we will be comparing these two mid-range graphics cards head to head using a 512MB VisionTek Radeon HD 2600XT and a 256MB ASUS GeForce 8600 GTS. While neither product features overclocking out of the box, the Radeon has an obvious advantage in that it sports twice as much video memory. And while this may appear to be unfair, we have found that the average 512MB Radeon HD 2600XT graphics card retails for just $140, while the average price of a GeForce 8600 GTS sporting 256MB of memory is $160.