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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  • defter - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    Yes it has VP2 processor for video decoding. But why would you need a fast gaming card for HTPC? Wouldn't 8400/8600 be a cheaper/cooler solution? Reply
  • Hulk - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    Thanks for the reply.
    This card looks to be pretty cool running and when not running 3D intensive apps I'm sure power consumption and noise is really low.
    So it might be nice to be able to play a little on a 52"LCD!
    Reply
  • DerekWilson - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    also, if you go with a less powerful card for HD HTPC you'll want at minimum the 8600 GTS -- which is not a good card. The 8800 GT does offer a lot more bang for the buck, and Sparkle is offering a silent version. Reply
  • spittledip - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    Nothing like cherry picking the games... I don't understand why games like Stalker and Prey weren't tested as the 2900XT has superior performance on those titles, as well as other titles. Seems like a biased test. Reply
  • AssBall - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    They didn't test The Sims2 or DeerHunter either... Reply
  • DerekWilson - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    lol ... stalker and prey?

    we tested quake wars, which is effectively updated prey (id's engine).

    and stalker runs better on nvidia hardware -- when tested properly (many people use demo flybys that point up at the sky way too much rather than fraps run throughs).
    Reply
  • abe88 - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    Hmmm I thought ATI's RV630 and RV610 chips both support PCI-E 2.0? Reply
  • Wirmish - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    Yeah but it's not worth mentioning because theses GPU are not from nVidia. Reply
  • defter - Monday, October 29, 2007 - link

    quote:

    The G92 is fabbed on a 65nm process, and even though it has fewer SPs, less texturing power


    G92 has the same amount of SPs and MORE texturing power (twice as many addressing units) than G80. However, 8800GT card has some SPs and texture units disabled.

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

    well, first, if G92 has those units disabled, then it can't claim them.

    second, NVIDIA would not confirm that the G92 as incarnate on 8800 GT has units disabled, but it is fair to speculate that this configuration was chosen to work out yields on their first 65nm part.
    Reply

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