Final Words

It's really not often that we have the pleasure to review a product so impressively positioned. The 8800 GT is a terrific part, and it is hitting the street at a terrific price (provided NVIDIA's history of properly projecting street prices continues). The performance advantage and price utterly destroyed our perception of the GPU landscape. We liked the value of the 8800 GTS 320, and we were impressed when NVIDIA decided to go that route, providing such a high performance card for so little money. Upping the ante even more this time around really caught us off guard.

This launch really has the potential to introduce a card that could leave the same lasting impression on the computer industry that the Ti4200 left all those years ago. This kind of inflection point doesn't come along every year, or even every generation. But when architecture, process enhancements, and design decisions line up just right, the potential for a revolutionary product is high. Maybe our expectations were lowered due to the lack luster performance of the 8600 and 2600 series of cards, as well as the lack of true midrange cards priced between $200 and $250. Even without the sad state of the low end and lack of a midrange part, the 8800 GT is a great option.

What we expect going forward is for NVIDIA to fill in their now mostly devastated product line (we only count the 8400, 8500, 8800 GT, and 8800 GTX/Ultra as viable offerings from NVIDIA) with a new range of 65nm parts. As soon as their process is up to speed and validated by a strong run of G92 hardware, it will only be logical to move all (or most) other GPUs over. The production of smaller die sizes directly translates to monetary savings. There is a cost associated with moving a design over to a new process, but the 8800 GT could have been built with this in mind. It could be that 8800 GT is simply a way to ramp up 65nm production for the rest of the lineup. They could have hidden some extra transistors up there to enable them to simply turn on a higher end part when yields get high enough. Alternately, perhaps we could see another line of low end cards make their way out based on the 65nm process (because smaller die size adds up to reduced manufacturing cost).

Whatever the reason for the 8800 GT, we are glad of its existence. This truly is the part to beat in terms of value.

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  • AggressorPrime - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    I made a typo. Let us hope they are not on the same level. Reply
  • ninjit - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    This page has my very confused:
    http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3140...">http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3140...

    The text of the article goes on as if the GT doesn't really compare to the GTX, except on price/performance:

    quote:

    We would be out of our minds to expect the 8800 GT to even remotely compete with the GTX, but the real question is - how much more performance do you get from the extra money you spent on the GTX over the GT?


    quote:

    But back to the real story, in spite of the fact that the 8800 GT doesn't touch the GTX, two of them will certainly beat it for either equal or less money.



    Yet all the graphs show the GT performing pretty much on par with the GTX, with at most a 5-10fps difference at the highest resolution.

    I didn't understand that last sentence I quoted above at all.
    Reply
  • archcommus - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    This is obviously an amazing card and I hope it sets a new trend for getting good gaming performance in the latest titles for around $200 like it used to be, unlike the recent trend of having to spend $350+ for high end (not even ultra high end). However, I don't get why a GT part is higher performing than a GTS, isn't that going against their normal naming scheme a bit? I thought it was typically: Ultra -> GTX -> GTS -> GT -> GS, or something like that. Reply
  • mac2j - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    I've been hearing rumors about an Nvidia 9800 card being released in the coming months .... is that the same card with an outdated/incorrect naming convention or a new architecture beyond G92?

    I guess if Nvidia had a next-gen architecture coming it would explain why they dont mind wiping some of their old products off the board with the 8800 GT which seems as though it will be a dominant part for the remaining lifetime of this generation of parts.
    Reply
  • MFK - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    After lurking on Anandtech for two layout/design revisions, I have finally decided to post a comment. :D
    First of all hi all!

    Second of all, is it okay that nVidia decided not to introduce a proper next gen part in favour of this mid range offering? Okay so its good and what not, but what I'm wondering is, something that the article does not talk about, is what the future value of this card is. Can I expect this to play some upcoming games (Alan Wake?) on 1600 x 1200? I know its hard to predict, but industry analysts like you guys should have some idea. Also how long can I expect this card to continue playing games at acceptable framerates? Any idea, any one?
    Thanks.
    Reply
  • DerekWilson - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    that's a tough call ....

    but really, it's up to the developers.

    UT3 looks great in DX9, and Bioshock looks great in DX10. Crysis looks amazing, but its a demo, not final code and it does run very slow.

    The bottom line is that developers need to balance the amazing effects they show off with playability -- it's up to them. They know what hardware you've got and they chose to push the envelope or not.

    I konw that's not an answer, sorry :-( ... it is just nearly impossible to say what will happen.
    Reply
  • crimson117 - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    How much ram was on the 8800 GT used in testing? Was is 256 or 512? Reply
  • NoBull6 - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    From context, I'm thinking 512. Since 512MB are the only cards available in the channel, and Derek was hypothesizing about the pricing of a 256MB version, I think you can be confident this was a 512MB test card. Reply
  • DerekWilson - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    correct.

    256MB cards do not exist outside NVIDIA at this point.
    Reply
  • ninjit - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    I was just wondering about that too.

    I thought I missed it in the article, but I didn't see it in another run through.

    I see I'm not the only one who was curious
    Reply

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