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

    Test Reply
  • EateryOfPiza - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    What kind of G92 variants can we expect by Christmas 07?

    Or Summer 08?
    Reply
  • mpc7488 - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    ardOCP is reporting that nVidia is increasing the 8800GTS stream processors to 112. Reply
  • Spacecomber - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    Testing ;-) Reply
  • Spacecomber - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    It appears that it was the bracketed h that was hiding all subsequent text. It needed a bracketed /h to close that "feature". Reply
  • mpc7488 - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    Haha - thanks. I guess if anyone wants the explanation of the stream processors they can highlight the 'hidden message'. Reply
  • mpc7488 - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    I'm not sure why the first post lost my text unless it was the bracket I used around the H - but HardOCP is reporting that nVidia is changing the 8800GTS 640 MB to have 112 stream processors. Reply
  • mpc7488 - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    Great article Derek - I think you can tell you're mildly excited about this product :)

    Is there a reason that you didn't do any tests with anti-aliasing? I would assume that this would show more deviation between the 8800GTX and the 8800GT?
    Reply
  • chizow - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    Nice job as usual Derek!

    Just wondering though, if you were able to test the cards at the same clock speeds. The GT by default has @100MHz advantage on the core over the GTS, which is a common reason the GTS falls so far behind in head to head testing. I expect the GT to have more OC'ing headroom than the GTS anyways, but it would be nice to see an apples to apples comparison to reveal the impact of some of the architecture changes from G80 to G92. Of note, the GT has fewer ROPs and a smaller memory bus but gains 1:1 address/filter units and 16 more stream processors.

    Also, I saw an early review that showed massive performance gains when the shader processor was overclocked on the GT; much bigger gains than significant increases to the core/memory clocks. Similar testing with the GTS/GTX don't yield anywhere near that much performance gain when the shader core clock is bumped up.

    Lastly, any idea when the G92 8800GTS refresh is going to be released? With a 640MB GTS this seems more of a lateral move to an 8800GT, although a refreshed GTS with 128SP and all the other enhancements of the G92 should undoubtedly be faster than the GTX...and maybe even the Ultra once overclocked.
    Reply
  • Hulk - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    I'm looking to build a HTPC and this would be a great card if it does video decoding? Reply

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