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.

Power Consumption
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  • Spacecomber - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    It's hard to tell what you are getting when you compare the results from one article to those of another article. Ideally, you would like to be able to assume that the testing was done in an identical manner, but this isn't typically the case. As was already pointed out, look at the drivers being used. The earlier tests used nvidia's 163.75 drivers while the tests in this article used nvidia's 169.10 drivers.

    Also, not enough was said about how Unreal 3 was being tested to know, but I wonder if they benchmarked the the game in different manners for the different articles. For example, were they using the same map "demo"? Were they using the game's built-in fly-bys or where they using FRAPS? These kind of differences between articles could make direct comparisons between articles difficult.
    Reply
  • spinportal - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    Have you checked the driver versions? Over time drivers do improve performance, perhaps? Reply
  • Parafan - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    Well the 'new' drivers made the GF 8600GTS Perform alot worse. But the higher ranked cards better. I dont know how likely that is Reply
  • Regs - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    To blacken. I am a big AMD fan, but right now it's almost laughable how they're getting stepped and kicked on by the competition.

    AMD's ideas are great for the long run, and their 65nm process was just a mistake since 45nm is right around the corner. They simply do not know how to compete when the heat is on. AMD is still traveling in 1st gear.
    Reply
  • yacoub - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    "NVIDIA Demolishes... NVIDIA? 8800 GT vs. 8600 GTS"

    Well the 8600GTS was a mistake that never should have seen the light of day: over-priced, under-featured from the start. The 8800 GT is the card we were expecting back in the Spring when NVidia launched that 8600 GTS turd instead.
    Reply
  • yacoub - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    First vendor to put a quieter/larger cooling hsf on it gets my $250. Reply
  • gamephile - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    Dih. Toh. Reply
  • CrystalBay - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    Hi Derek, How are the Temps on load? I've seen some results of the GPU pushing 88C degrees plus with that anemic stock cooler. Reply
  • Spacecomber - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    I may be a bit misinformed on this, but I'm getting the impression that Crysis represents the first game that makes major use of DX10 features, and as a consequence, it takes a major bite out of the performance that existing PC hardware can provide. When the 8800GT is used in a heavy DX10 game context does the performance that results fall into a hardware class that we typically would expect from a $200 part? In other words, making use of the Ti-4200 comparison, is the playable performance only acceptable at moderate resolutions and medium settings?

    We've seen something like this before, when DX8 hardware was available and people were still playing DX7 games with this new hardware, the performance was very good. Once games started to show up that were true DX8 games, hardware (like the Ti-4200) that first supported DX8 features struggled to actually run these DX8 features.

    Basically, I'm wondering whether Crysis (and other DX10 games that presumably will follow) places the 8800GT's $200 price point into a larger context that makes sense.
    Reply
  • Zak - Monday, November 05, 2007 - link

    I've run Vista for about a month before switching back to XP due to Quake Wars crashing a lot (no more crashes under XP). I've run bunch of demos during that month including Crysis and Bioshock and I swear I didn't see a lot of visual difference between DX10 on Vista and DX9 on XP. Same for Time Shift (does it use DX10?). And all games run faster on XP. I really see no compelling reason to go back to Vista just because of DX10.

    Zak
    Reply

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