Here we are, a year after the launch of G80, and we are seeing what amounts to the first real "refresh" part. Normally, we see a new or revamped version of hardware about 6 months after its introduction, but this time NVIDIA introduced its latest architecture over a six month period instead. First we saw the high end hardware hit, then the low end parts emerged after resting on previous generation hardware to serve as the low end. We haven't seen a true midrange part come out over the past year, which has disappointed many.

Rather than actually create a midrange part based on G80, NVIDIA opted to tweak the core, shrink to a 65nm process, integrate the display engine, and come out with hardware that performed somewhere between the high end 8800 GTS and GTX (G92). While this, in itself, isn't remarkable, the fact that NVIDIA is pricing this card between $200 and $250 is. Essentially, we've been given a revised high end part at midrange prices. The resulting card, the 8800 GT, essentially cannibalizes a large chunk of NVIDIA's own DX10 class hardware lineup. Needless to say, it also further puts AMD's 2900 XT to shame.



We will certainly provide data to back up all these ridiculous claims (I actually think NVIDIA may have invented the question mark as well), but until then, let's check out what we are working with. We've got a lot to cover, so let's get right to it.

G92: Funky Naming for a G80 Derivative
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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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