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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  • vijay333 - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    just activated the step-up on my current 8800GTS 320MB -- after shipping costs and discounting the MIR from back then, I actually get the 8800GT 512MB for -$12 :) Reply
  • bespoke - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    Lucky bastard! :) Reply
  • vijay333 - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    hehe...great timing too. only had 5 days remaining before the 90day limit for the step-up program expired :) Reply
  • clockerspiel - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    Genrally, Anandtech does an excellent job with it's reviews and uses robust benchmarking methodology. Any ideas why the Tech Report's results are so different?

    http://www.techreport.com/articles.x/13479">http://www.techreport.com/articles.x/13479


    Reply
  • Frumious1 - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    Simply put? TechReport is doing some funny stuff (like HardOCP often does) with their benchmarking on this one. I have a great idea: let's find the WORST CASE SCENARIO for the 8800 GT vs. the 8800 GTS 640 and then ONLY show those resolutions! 2560x1600 4xAA/16xAF? Ignoring the fact that 16xAF isn't noticeably different from 8xAF - and that 4xAA is hardly necessary at 2560x1600 there are just too many questions left by the TR review. They generally come to the same conclusion that this is a great card, but it's almost like they're struggling to find ANY situation where the 8800 GT might not be as good as the 8800 GTS 640.

    For a different, more comprehensive look at the 8800 GT, why not try http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/nvidia_geforce...">the FiringSquad review? They test at a variety of resolutions with a decent selection of GPUs and games. Out of all of their results, the only situation where the 8800 GTS 640 comes out ahead of the 8800 GT is in Crysis at 2xAA/8xAF at 1920x1200. Granted, they don't have 2560x1600 resolutions in their results, but how many midrange people use 30" LCDs? For that matter, how many highend gamers use 30" LCDs? I'm sure they're nice, but for $1300+ I have a lot of other stuff I'd be interested in purchasing!

    There are a lot of things that we don't know about testing methodology with all of the reviews. What exact detail settings are used, for example, and more importantly how realistic are those settings? Remember Doom 3's High Quality and Ultra Quality? Running everything with uncompressed textures to artificially help 512MB cards appear better than 256MB cards is stupid. Side by side screenshots showed virtually no difference. I don't know what the texture settings are in the Crysis demo, but I wouldn't be surprised if a bunch of people are maxing everything out and then crying about performance. Being a next gen title, I bet Crysis has the ability to stress the 1GB cards - whether or not it really results in an improved visual experience.

    Maybe we can get some image quality comparisons when the game actually launches, though - because admittedly I could be totally wrong and the Crysis settings might be reasonable.
    Reply
  • Frumious1 - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    Simply put? TechReport is doing some funny stuff (like HardOCP often does) with their benchmarking on this one. I have a great idea: let's find the WORST CASE SCENARIO for the 8800 GT vs. the 8800 GTS 640 and then ONLY show those resolutions! 2560x1600 4xAA/16xAF? Ignoring the fact that 16xAF isn't noticeably different from 8xAF - and that 4xAA is hardly necessary at 2560x1600 there are just too many questions left by the TR review. They generally come to the same conclusion that this is a great card, but it's almost like they're struggling to find ANY situation where the 8800 GT might not be as good as the 8800 GTS 640.

    For a different, more comprehensive look at the 8800 GT, why not try
    Reply
  • Parafan - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    I just dont like being fed by the same site to tell 2 totally different things when picking my new GPU card. Reply
  • Parafan - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    Ive been following anandtech testresults very carefully since the UT3 demo was released. What i can find comparing these results to the others in UT3 just doesnt make any sense ;

    1.st

    Looking at : http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3140...">http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3140...
    shows the new 8800GT card beating 2900XT by, almost 120fps vs 105fps or so, in 1280*1024 @ UT3.

    2.nd
    Looking at the first & second GPU test : http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3128...">http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3128...
    Shows the 2900XT being on top with about 108,5fps, vs 8800 ULTRA, GTX and GTS, with 104,2 98,3 and 97.2 @ 1280 * 1024.
    Prett close nr.s you see.

    3.rd
    Looking at the new test again, 8800GT VS 8800GTS : http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3140...">http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3140...
    Shows the 8800GT beating 8800GTS. @ 1280 * 1024 = close to 120fps vs 105fps. The GTS still over 100, when being below a 100 on the previous test.
    But the huge difference is @ 1600 * 1200. 8800GT right above 100fps, when the GTS around 90? On the previous test GTS showed results as low as 77fps, cmon something smells wierd.

    See where im going?

    http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3140...">http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3140...
    just showed the 8600GTS performing alot worse in this new test compared to the old one, @ all resolutions.

    and again

    http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3140...">http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3140...
    8800GT and 8800GTX performing about the same, at the highest almost 120fps. compared to the previous test thats like 20 fps better than the GTX performed last time. Why dont these tests corresponde at all to the one just made?

    Seems like all the 8800GT, GTX, ULTRA cards just got awhole freaking lot better, and making the 2900xt looking worse. WHICH I FIND DOUBLTY.. Someone bring the facts to the table.

    dont tell me 2extra gb of ram made the nvidia cards play alot better, and the ati card alot worse!

    Reply
  • DerekWilson - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    We used a different driver version this time -- in fact, we've gone through two driver revisions from NVIDIA here.

    The AMD card didn't slip significatnly in performance at all (differences were all within 3%).

    We did rerun the numbers, and we really think its a driver issue -- the new NV driver improved performance.
    Reply
  • Parafan - Wednesday, November 07, 2007 - link

    Well clearly a graphics issue this must be. But I read nvidia 169.xx drivers were made for optimizing the performance, but lowering the quality of the graphics.
    This was prooved when the water was less nicer in crysis etc with 169.04 and 169.01, than with their previous 163.xx drivers.
    Reply

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