We have spent a bit of time lately looking at retail GeForce 8800 hardware, and while the GTX is quite a powerful part, the GTS 320MB is the most important card in NVIDIA's lineup right now. It is finally time for us to take a look at what the market has to offer in terms of the currently most affordable 8 Series hardware. As we saw in our initial review, the 8800 GTS 320MB provides excellent performance in all but the most memory intensive situations for people with the most popular panel sizes.

Our exploration of retail 8800 GTS 320MB hardware will look at a few different factory overclocked models alongside one stock speed card to get an idea of what kind of value these options offer. This is a parallel to our recent factory overclocked 8800 roundup, and we hope to learn if the same trends we saw in GTX and 640MB GTS hardware still hold true for the 320MB variety.

The major metric for judging the value of these cards will be in understanding how much performance gain an overclocked card offers relative to its price premium. In other words, we want to see if we can expect more or less performance per dollar when looking at any given card. It certainly is true that some people will want the fastest card they can afford and won't care if they're paying a premium, but price is more important for this class of card than for the ultra high end hardware; anyone looking for the fastest cards possible without regards to price is already going to be looking at 8800 GTX cards.

ASUS GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB


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  • leousb - Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - link

    Having read the article, I must say that I much rather get a stock card than pay 20+ (minimum) just to get 15 or 20 FPS at the most! all of this owning a 19" LCD wich BTW is what most people have and not 1920x1200 stated here, and at these resolutions you won´t see a difference in real life situations. Reply
  • Sunrise089 - Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - link

    There is info at 1280x1024 provided, but there is a much more important point to be made. No doubt 1280x1024 is the most common res around, but WHY WOULD YOU BUY A $325 GPU WHEN YOU HAVE A $250 DISPLAY? Also, at that res a X1900 card will play any game just fine. Reply
  • Carfax - Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - link

    N/T Reply
  • DerekWilson - Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - link

    yes Reply
  • Visual - Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - link

    Say now, why do you still keep a 7900 GT, at a higher price, in the Anand's Picks section instead of this beauty? Reply
  • yyrkoon - Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - link

    Honestly, and personally, I really do not think there is really an option to buy anything other than eVGA these days. The reason for me, are simple:

    XFX, their cards have had mixed reviews on multiple fronts, ranging from plain user reviews on newegg, to other well known sites. I have read multiple times also, their customer support still needs a lot of work, and more than once I have also read their rebate plans, are not always honored ( Of course, we AL need to take this with a grain of salt, but it seems to be mentioned enough, that I tend to 'listen' )

    Asus, what can I say, I will probably never buy one of their motherboards again, why would I want one of their cards, especialy one that that does not see mto be reviewed well . . .

    Sparkle, costly / cutting edge technology, that does not seem to be embraced by anyone else but them, and has no proven track record.

    MSI, well this is one of the tougher ones. MSI undoubtedly makes some very good motherboards, but has proven to me many times in the past, that anything other than motheboards purchased from them is a gamble, which really is a shame in my opinion. I wont name the part, , but as recent as about a year and a half ago, I purchased one of their non motherboard items, and was thouroughly disgusted with it after a few months, when it died a very painfull death, and whats more, I still feel the reverberations of this to this day, because it was a DVD burner ( Yeah, yeah, I know, not a video card, but still . . .), and the data DVDs I burnt with it, will not read on any player I have purchased to date. Again, I would really like to trust their non motherboard type products, but this recent incident, and a few others in the past, have ruined the reputation with me, although, not quite as badly as Asus has.

    In contrast, I have not even have had the option to replace any of my eVGA parts, ever. However, from what I have read, in many reviews, all over the web, it would probably be about as pleasant as RMAing an item could be. Not to mention the fact that every item I have purchased from them, seems to function very well, seems very overclockable ( even though, after loads of testing, I really dont even see the point of overclocking any video card period ). I know that every company makes their dogs, and eVGA is probably no exception, but I have yet to purchase a part from them that has let me down, and let us hope that day never comes. I suppose you could say I am a fan of the company, but seriously, if any other company left me with the impression that eVGA has, I would feel the same way about them as well ( actually Leadtek has left a very good impression on me also, but their cards typically seem to cost more by comparison ).

    ANyhow, that is how I feel about the situation.
  • drebo - Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - link

    I've been using eVGA almost exclusively in my system builds for nearly a year (that's well over 250 builts) and I have yet to have to RMA a single one, with the exception of the 7900GT KO I purchased for myself.

    At the time I purchased it, there was a bad batch of Samsung memory installed into many of them. It was a widespread problem, and eVGA took care of it. When I submitted my RMA, I was informed that they were going to be receiving a new batch of the cards with an updated SKU and new memory, and that they were going to wait until they had that before they sent me the new card. They then told me that many users had success in underclocking to keep their system stable. I did this, and everything worked fine. About a week and a half later, I received an email saying my new card shipped. They overnighted me a new card with a pre-paid return shipping label. The new card has given me exactly 0 problems and I've been running it at about a 10% overclock since.

    The only exception is low-profile cards. I sell a lot of low-profile book-end PCs and eVGA doesn't really make them. So, I use XFX, which is nice because XFX sells a low-profile bracket kit which makes everything extremely easy.

    I believe I will continue to use eVGA for a long time coming. They are, perhaps, the best reference card manufacturer and their support is second-to-none.
  • yyrkoon - Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - link

    Sounds very simular to my one time bad stick of Crucial memory. ALthough, they did not send me a pair back in advance, because I did not purchase dirrectly form them. That being said, a week after Isent my memory off to them, they sent me back a better pair, and I havent had a single problem since.

    It is a shame that companies like these are the exception in the 'business' and not the rule. Even my motherboard manufacter of choise, does not offer this level of customer support, albiet, most of the time, their 'support' is not needed.
  • drebo - Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - link

    Eh. Crucial. I'm feeling kind of bitter about them. We've given them probably hundreds of thousands of dollars in business over the last three years, but their sales person being a complete dick can change that pretty much instantly. I had an order for about 10 systems for which I needed 2gb DDR2-667 kits. What do they send me? Laptop memory. The SKUs aren't even close to the same, so there's no way my purchaser screwed it up. Yet, my sales rep refused to give me an advanced RMA and actually try to fix the issue. My order was two days late in fulfillment.

    Needless to say, on the 40 systems I've built this month, there's been no Crucial, and I don't really have any plans to use it again. They gave us fairly good pricing, but I did not have good luck with their Ballistix performance memory. Kingston I can get from my regular supplier, it's closer, and ordering is much more flexible. It's a win-win for me, really.
  • yyrkoon - Thursday, March 29, 2007 - link

    Well, to get advanced replacement, you have to buy directly from them. However, I would contact Crucial, and notify them what this sales reps name is, and what he did to 'piss' you off. Crucial is VERY customer oriented, and one of the few computer companies inside the USofA (Idaho).

    We also build systems here, and I have yet to experience this sort of meltdown with them. That being said, we usually order from the cheapest etailer out there, because buying directly from Crucial can be pretty expencive (like a 33%-50% mark up it seems). Which is wierd, becasue Micron OWNS Crucial, and Crucial usually uses their own chips . . .

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