When NVIDIA launched the GeForce 8600GTS roughly two months ago, we were far from impressed.
Okay, on paper, it ticked all the boxes for hot, new features, with support for DirectX 10, plus the strongest video acceleration of any card and some special allied goodies, notably HDCP over dual-link DVI - something that even its big brother, the 8800, couldn't provide.
Nonetheless, the 8600GTS just couldn't win us over.
DX9 Performance was lacklustre and little better than for its predecessor, the 7600GT. Worse still, it didn't come close to the other graphics cards we pitted it against - the GeForce 7900GS and AMD X1950 Pro. See MSI GeForce 8600GTS - the new mid-range champion?
Making matters worse, it was more expensive than the other cards by a substantial margin.
The card that came out on top was the excellent Inno3D iChiLL 7900GS Arctic Cooling Silencer 6 and it's back today to face off against its newly-launched stable-mate, the Inno3D iChiLL 8600GTS XStriker3.
So can the 8600GTS XStriker3 bring anything to the table to win our plaudits or will it sit as just another offering in a series of Identikit cards?