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
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  • wordsworm - Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - link

    I recall someone mentioning that 32 bit OS can only handle 4GB of memory. This can be allocated to the video card memory and motherboard memory. Seems to me that since AT is running 4GB of memory on the MB and 256, 512, and 768MB on the VC, I can't help but think this would somehow skewer the results. Am I missing something?
  • Le Québécois - Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - link

    How about some tests to see how well those cards do in MultiGPU Scaling? The 8800GT 512 did pretty good but was somewhat limited by memory at higher resolution. Since the 8800GTS 512 has the same amount of memory, could we expect the same king of scaling? What about the 8800GT 256?
  • EateryOfPiza - Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - link

  • Le Québécois - Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - link

    On page 3 many of the graphs show 8800 GTX Ultra in the legend.

    At the bottom of page 4 "The 8800 GTS Ultra looks to be an average of 10% faster than the 8800 GT, is it worth the $50+ premium it'll command? Not really, the 512MB 8800 GT is still the sweet spot. Moving on..."

    Should be The 8800 GTS 512.
  • sabrewulf - Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - link

    I'm sure you have your reasons, and I know the results would be largely similar, but I would really have preferred to see GTS512 vs GTX, as I'm sure there are far more GTX owners than Ultra owners (relatively speaking)
  • Super Nade - Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - link

    Guys, how about posting a few scores with the cards overclocked? After all that is why we buy these cards, right ; to extract every ounce of performance? :)

    Best wishes,

    Super Nade,
  • shabby - Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - link

    From the original $200-249 the 8800gt shot up to almost $300, while the gts will be reaching for the $400 mark with the overclocked models, even the 256meg gt is priced over $200.
    Why are all these cards so far off from the msrp? It was never like this before with the gtx/ultra cards.
  • homerdog - Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - link

    The cheapest model on Newegg right now is a stock eVGA one for $359.99, which is just outside the upper end of the MSRP. That is still a good price when viewed from the "it's almost as fast as an Ultra and faster than a GTX" perspective.
  • jay401 - Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - link

    Actually Anandtech's being revisionist with their pricing history.
    The original 8800GT 512MB article last month stated MSRP was $200-250. That was, to paraphrase, based on the logical inference of the article, "closer to $200 for reference clocked 512MB models and closer to $250 for high-end models".

    The 256MB model wasn't even in the shipping channels at that time and had no bearing on the pricing mentioned in the article, which was very specifically regarding the 512MB model, as that was what the review was about - the 8800GT 512MB.

    And in the first two weeks we saw them priced as low as $209 for reference models and $229 for overclocked models, further supporting the reality of that MSRP price range.

    The only reason they're as expensive as you see them today is limited supply & high demand.

    But now Anandtech wants to satisfy NVidia and help them justify maintaining the current pricing even after supply exceeds demand, which would be absurd.

    Just thought you should know the truth.

    And just so you don't think I'm some biased ATI/AMD owner, I picked up my 8800GT for $250 and am very happy with it. But I feel sorry for folks paying $300 (or more!) for a $200-250 card.
  • tshen83 - Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - link

    actually, you don't understand the fundamentals of supply and demand. The 8800GT 512MB is selling at 30 dollars over MSRP because it is just that good and worth that much. Nvidia priced it too low. The Radeon HD3850 is priced at 179 and not selling over MSRP because there is less demand due to poorer performance, especially with AA+AF.

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