BFG GeForce 8800 GTX

First we have BFG's GeForce 8800 GTX, which looks just like the reference 8800 GTX. Most of the cards we have for this roundup keep the reference design and look similar apart from the different stickers on the heat sinks.

EVGA e-GeForce 8800 GTX w/ ACS3

The next card we have for this roundup is from EVGA, and they seem to be one of the few companies to already be making some big changes in the design of its 8800. There are two 8800 GTX cards offered by EVGA, a reference card and the one we're looking at today equipped with EVGA's ACS3 (Asymmetric Cooling System) HSF.

As you can see, EVGA decided to put one of their signature black cages around the entire card, giving it an overall dramatic effect. NVIDIA's 8800 GTX is already a huge card, but with EVGA's HSF modifications, the card looks and feels even more like a beast of a part. Aside from making the card look more like it's worthy of its price tag, we'll have to see later on in the review if this design helped the card run cooler or quieter.

MSI GeForce NX8800 GTX

Next we have MSI's NX8800 GTX, which is once again a clone of NVIDIA's reference design, plus an MSI logo.

Index Sparkle
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  • JarredWalton - Monday, November 13, 2006 - link

    It appears Oblivion isn't fully able to use all the SPs at present. The stock 8800 GTX should still have about 17% more potential core performance, although maybe not? If the SPs run at 1.35 GHz, what runs at 575 MHz? Or in the case of the OC'ed GTS, at 654 MHz? It could be they have a similar number of ROPs or some other logic that somehow makes the core clock more important in some cases. Or it could just be that the drivers need more optimizations to make the GTX outperform the GTS in all games. Obviously Oblivion isn't GPU bandwidth limited; beyond that, more testing will need to be done. Reply
  • dcalfine - Monday, November 13, 2006 - link

    What about the Liquid-cooled BFG 8800GTX?
    Any news on that? I'd be interested in seeing how it compared in speed, overclockablility, temperature and power consumption.

    Keep up the good work though!
    Reply
  • shamgar03 - Monday, November 13, 2006 - link

    I ordered one, hopefully it will do well in the over clocking section. I am a bit concerned with the differences in over clocking the cards from different manufacturers. Does anyone know the cause of that? I mean if two cards are the exact same as the reference except for the sticker you have to wonder if there is a bit of a variance in quality of semiconductor production. Maybe favorite distributors get the better cores? Any thoughts on what causes these differences? Reply
  • yyrkoon - Monday, November 13, 2006 - link

    quote:

    If you can't find the EVGA card, then pretty much any of the reference designs will work, and although Sparkle gets extra points for trying something different with its peltier cooler the implementation just didn't work out.


    I assume this text about the sparkle card is in refference to it's in-ability to overclock ? In my opinion, I would rather use this card, or another card that ran equaly (or better), and remained as cool (or cooler). I dont know about you guys, or anyone else, but the though of a Graphics card approaching 90C (@ load, barring the sparkle) scares the crap out of me, and if this is a sign of things to come, then I'm not sure what my future options are. Lets not forget about 300WATTS + under load . . .

    Just as the heat / power consumption is an issue (once again, in my opinion), equally disturbing, is the brass it takes to charge $650 usd, for a first generation, card, that obviously needs alot of work. Yes, it would be nice to own such a card, for pumping out graphics better than anything previous, however, I personally would rather pay $650 for something that ran a lot cooler, and offered just as much performance, or better.

    Now, to the guy talking about Vista RC2 drivers from nVidia . . . Do you really expect someone to keep up on drivers, for a "product" that is basicly doomed to die a quiet death ? "RC2" . . . Release candadite . . . as far as I'm aware, the last I checked, alot of the graphics features (of Vista) in these betas were not even implemented. This means, that quite possibly, the drivers between RC2, and release could be a good bit different. Personally, I'd rather have nVidia work on the finished product drivers, VS. the release candadite drivers any day of the week. Aside from yourself, I hardly think anyone cares if you want to run RC2 until May 2007 (legally).
    Reply
  • Griswold - Thursday, November 23, 2006 - link

    I fail to see your issue with temperatures. These cards were designed to run safely at these temperatures. Just because the figures are higher than you have come used to over the years, doesnt mean its bad. Reply
  • RMSistight - Monday, November 13, 2006 - link

    How come the Quad SLI setup was not included on the tests? Quad SLI owners want to know. Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Monday, November 13, 2006 - link

    quote:

    How come the Quad SLI setup was not included on the tests? Quad SLI owners want to know.


    LOL. You really want to see how bad a $1200 setup will get spanked by a single card that costs half as much? You must be a masochist.
    Reply
  • penga - Monday, November 13, 2006 - link

    Hey, iam always interested in the most exact wattage number a card uses and i find it hard to do the maths from the given total system power consumption and conclude how much only the card eats. So my idea was why not use a mainboard with integrated graphics card and compare the numbers? hope u get the idea. what u think, wouldnt that work? Reply
  • DerekWilson - Monday, November 13, 2006 - link

    The only way to do this would be to place extremely low resistance (but high current) shunt resistors in the power lines AND build a PCIe riser card to measure the power supplied by the motherboard while the system is running at load.

    There isn't a really good way to report the power of just the card any other way -- using an onboard graphics card wouldn't do it because the rest of the system would be using a different ammount of power as well (different cards require the system to do different types of work -- a higher powered graphics card will cause the CPU, memory, and chipset to all work harder and draw more power than a lower performance card).
    Reply
  • yyrkoon - Monday, November 13, 2006 - link

    Derek, I think he was asking: "why not use an integrated graphics motherboard, as a refference system, for power consumption tests".

    However, it should be obvious, that this wouldnt be a good idea from a game benchmark perspective, in that, it's been my experience that integrated graphics mainboards dont normally perform as well, and often use dated technology / components. Although I havent really paid that much attention to detail, I would assume you guys use the "best" motherboard, for gaming benchmarks, and probably use the same mainboard for the rest of your tests.
    Reply

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