8800 GTS 512 vs. 8800 Ultra

The 8800 Ultra was expensive when it was released in May of this year, and honestly not much has changed. The 8800 GTS 512 outclasses the Ultra in just about every category, the exception being raw memory bandwidth. The question we're looking to answer first is whether there's still a need for the 8800 Ultra, or if this sub-$400 card makes 2007's most expensive single GPU obsolete.

Quake Wars shows the two cards performing virtually the same, the Ultra starts to pull away at 2560 x 1600:

Turning on AA gives us a clear difference between the two, at 2560 x 1600 the Ultra has a 47% performance advantage over the 8800 GTS 512:

We see the same story with World in Conflict, there's no performance difference between the two cards until we turn on AA:

Lighter titles such as Half Life 2 and Oblivion (yep, Oblivion is a lighter title now) show the two cards as being equal:

The added pixel pushing power of the 8800 GTS 512 give it the advantage in our Oblivion test, but much of that advantage gets erased when we turn on 4X AA.

Looking at newer titles like Crysis, Call of Duty 4 and Unreal Tournament 3 we see 8800 Ultra levels of performance from the $350 8800 GTS 512. Not bad.

Overall, the 8800 GTS 512 is definitely competitive with the 8800 Ultra, however there are definitely cases where the raw memory bandwidth of the Ultra's 384-bit memory bus just can't be beat. If you've got an 8800 Ultra, feel threatened, but there's no need to worry about replacing your card. And if you're somehow choosing between the two, the GTS 512 comes close enough overall and for cheap enough that you can afford to skip the Ultra...or at least buy two GTS 512s.

The 8800 GT 256MB: Here at Last 8800 GTS 512 vs. 8800 GT


View All Comments

  • Lennie - Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - link

    Gotcha!! AT

    J/K :b

    Test System got DDR2 mentioned as memory but the mobo is P5E3.

    Over and out.
  • Lennie - Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - link

    Man tat was quick. Thank ya. Reply
  • Cygnis - Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - link

    I've been reading these "benchmarks" for a while now. and the hardware is always a Intel w/ Nvidia chipsets etc.
    It's a little biased, in my opinion, to run an ATI card in those chipsets.

    It would only be fair, and more realisitic to run Both Nvidia cards and ATI cards in Two different Boxes, cross-manufacturer, to get a true idea.

    After all, you are trying to be fair in the representation of the data, no?

  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - link

    The chipset is an Intel X38. As this can run Crossfire, I'd imagine it is reasonably friendly to AMD graphics cards. Reply
  • pilotofdoom - Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - link

    What happens when the 3850 512MB is compared to the 8800gt 256MB? Right now the 3850 512MB retails around $200, so about $20 more expensive than the 256MB version, but still $15 cheaper than the 8800GT 256MB card, assuming you find the cards in stock. Reply
  • Viditor - Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - link

    "Right now the 3850 512MB retails around $200"

    Actually, the 3850 is retailing for $169 at NewEgg...
  • kilkennycat - Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - link

    The default fan speed on the 8800GT (512) is 29% and the speed-profile is a joke. The fan speed does not move AT ALL until the GPU reaches ~ 94 degrees C!! This is not long-term-reliability funny at all. Is TSMCs commercial silicon-process rated for military-grade applications ( >70 degrees C )? I don't think so. And the only control the user has on fan-speed without a risky video BIOS sabotage is to use the fixed-fan settings courtesy of nTune. However, these settings are not saved during a system re-boot.

    So since the physical design of the ventilation on the 8800GTS 512 has changed from that of the 8800GT, have nVidia taken any steps to change from the ridiculous fan-speed profile of the 8800GT (512) ?? Or given the user any ability to manually control the speed profile and SAVE THE SETTINGS?
  • AnnonymousCoward - Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - link

    No kidding! The last time I tried nTune it would also go back after every reboot. To OC I started making EXPERTOOL start on startup and then I close it manually to free the memory, and the OC stays. I don't know if Riva lets you do that. Reply
  • jay401 - Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - link

    most owners are using RivaTuner to allow the fan speed to be dynamically adjusted by the temperature or to simply set a higher default, fixed fanspeed. Reply
  • kilkennycat - Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - link

    Does the fan-adjust feature of RivaTuner work properly on WinXP with the latest nV drivers 169.09beta and above (req'd for Crysis etc..)?? If so, please specify the version of Rivatuner and point me in the right direction to manipulate the fan settings. Reply

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