The Test

For this test, we are using a high end CPU configured with 4GB of DDR2 in an NVIDIA 680i motherboard. While we are unable to make full use of the 4GB of RAM due to the fact that we're running 32-bit Vista, we will be switching to 64-bit within the next few months for graphics. Before we do so we'll have a final article on how performance stacks up between the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Vista, as well as a final look at Windows XP performance.

Our test platform for this article is as follows:

Test Setup
CPU Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800
Motherboard NVIDIA 680i SLI
Video Cards AMD Radeon HD 2900 XT
AMD Radeon X1950 XTX
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT
NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GTS
NVIDIA GeForce 7950 GT
Video Drivers AMD: Catalyst 7.10
NVIDIA: 169.01
Hard Drive Seagate 7200.9 300GB 8MB 7200RPM
RAM 4x1GB Corsair XMS2 PC2-6400 4-4-4-12
Operating System Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit


We've made use of a good handful of the latest games, but our format for this article is more focused on breaking out specific comparisons than the usual GPU review. We will be individually pitting the 8800 GT against the 8800 GTX, the 8800 GTS, the 8600 GTS, and the 2900 XT. We'll also take a second to look at how the 8800 GT compares against previous generation hardware. First up is our comparison with the 8800 GTS.

$199 or $249? Line Substitution: 8800 GT vs. 8800 GTS
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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 5, 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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