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Thread: nVidia 8800GTX: My Review

  1. #1
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    nVidia 8800GTX: My Review

    Since you guys talk so much about consoles.......here it is, the 8800GTX, nVidia's latest entry to the market.

    The 8800GTX ranges from $549 to $799, depending on which model you get. The original launch price was $649, but the prices have gotten knocked down a bit since. The air-cooled (with the reference cooler) version from different vendors costs $549 to $639, while the watercooled version from BFG costs $799, which is very overpriced considering the watercooled version only comes with only a waterblock but not a full watercooling unit, unlike Asus's TOP edition which comes with a Thermaltake Tide Water watercooling unit and a custom heatspreader. Also, some vendors are releasing pre-overclocked versions of this card, such as eVGA's ACS³ edition and XFX's XXX edition, yet they're unnecessary due to the fact that these cards are all great overclockers already.

    Sounds expensive? Not if you're looking for high-end gaming power. Multiple tests proved that a single 8800GTX outperforms any non-8800 dual card setups, including X1950XTX CrossFire and 7950GX2 Quad-SLI which are much more expensive than a single 8800GTX. Not only that, the 8800-series also has full support for DirectX 10 and Shader Model 4.0, making it the only card on the market that can play games on DirectX 10 when Windows Vista comes along at the end of this month.

    This is what I used: eVGA 8800GTX


    It's pretty huge. It measured 10.5 inches on my ruler, making it longer than the motherboard's width by about 2cm. Instead of the traditional single PCI-E rail to draw power from the power supply, it uses two, and then you'd need 2 SLI bridges if you want to go SLI.

    With a new card there are always new things. In Attachment #1, you can see that nVidia has now integrated the option of 16x AA (antialiasing, for smoothening jagged edges around objects) for a single card, although it isn't needed because when playing games at the maximum supported resolution of your monitor where the card renders every pixel, 8x (see Attachment #2) and 16x (see Attachment #3) look exactly the same to the human eye. Just like most ATi cards, the 8800-series can do HDR (high-dynamic range) and AA at the same time while any previous nVidia cards can only do either one. Video memory also received a boost, hence the 8800-series cards all have 12 chips instead of the tranditional 8. The 8800GTS gets 640Mb (512+128) while the 8800GTX gets 768Mb (512+256).

    Since I don't have any tools to measure framerates nor am I gonna bother getting Fraps or whatever to measure, I'm just gonna sum it up with words. Either way, this card is bottlenecked by my 3Ghz Opteron, so resolutions up to 1680x1050 or similar would perform about the same as my current 1280x1024. I've been playing Oblivion on maximum settings, with 8x multisampling AA and 16x AF (Anisotropic Filtering) and it was perfectly smooth even with the high-resolution texture mods (see Attachment #4), and of course it plays any games I throw at it with the same AA and AF settings, except for Flight Simulator X which appears to be extremely buggy even when I tried with a 7900GT.

    As I mentioned earlier, it's a great overclocker. Attachment #5 shows my 8800GTX @ 660/2430 (575/1800 stock), an overclocking record for the memory, and 11915 3DMark06 for a single card!!

    My conclusion: *jaws on ground, drooling*
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  2. #2
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    Beautiful. It's about time I see some PC gamers around. I'm tired of all the console talk.

    I presume it's a fine piece of technology. I'm still stuck with AGP and if money permitted I would definitely buy this card. I'm especially anxious to see how it will perform with DX10 games.
    "To control 800 horsepower relying just on arm muscles and foot sensitivity can turn out to be a dangerous exercise."
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    Video cards. Making penises bigger since '92.
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    oblivion <3

  5. #5
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    ha ..... "hiding" the screen resolution used in 3dMark An old trick

    sure it was just an oversight !!!!!
    "A woman without curves is like a road without bends, you might get to your destination quicker but the ride is boring as hell'

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matra et Alpine
    ha ..... "hiding" the screen resolution used in 3dMark An old trick

    sure it was just an oversight !!!!!
    Lol the score screen always pop up hiding the resolution, it was on the standard benchmark resolution of 1024x768.
    The Ace of All Aces.

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by NuclearCrap
    Lol the score screen always pop up hiding the resolution, it was on the standard benchmark resolution of 1024x768.
    Suspected so from teh highish numbers ..... with '06 the deafult resolution was taken up to 1280x1024 as being mroe representative of the resolution most are using and the higher quality textures do better on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Futuremark white paper on 3dMark06 Jan 2006
    The default settings in 3DMark06 are as follows:
    • 1280 x 1024 resolution (except the CPU tests which are locked at 640 x 480)
    • 32-bit colour depth (8-bit RGBA channels).
    • 24-bit z-buffer with an 8-bit stencil.
    • DXT1 and 3 compressed texture formats and DXT5 for normal map compression.
    • No anti-aliasing.
    • Optimal texture filtering.
    • Highest supported shader model available.
    • Partial precision is used where allowed in the shaders.
    • Hardware shadow mapping enabled if supported by the hardware.
    • Post-processing enabled.
    • Hardware accelerated vertex shaders (dependent on hardware support).
    • Mipmaps not colored.
    • Hardware FP16 filtering (dependent on hardware support).
    • Single test run benchmarking.
    • Time-based benchmarking mode (except the CPU tests which are locked as frame-based).
    Last edited by Matra et Alpine; 01-05-2007 at 05:55 PM.
    "A woman without curves is like a road without bends, you might get to your destination quicker but the ride is boring as hell'

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matra et Alpine
    Suspected so from teh highish numbers ..... with '06 the deafult resolution was taken up to 1280x1024 as being mroe representative of the resolution most are using and the higher quality textures do better on.
    Default and standard are two different words with different meanings. By standard I mean in general, not just 3DMark06, but in many other apps and games. I don't even understand why you have to criticize such a small point, and by the way, due to the bottleneck, running in 1280x1024 would drop the score by only about 100.

    Just like I mentioned in another thread before, people on UCP tend to take a word from one's post and then practically make that person a jackass outta it. It's quite annoying.
    Last edited by NuclearCrap; 01-05-2007 at 11:00 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NuclearCrap
    Just like I mentioned in another thread before, people on UCP tend to take a word from one's post and then practically make that person a jackass outta it. It's quite annoying.
    Over-reacting?

    Matra's just pointing out default settings in '06.. it's not like he's calling you a douchebag for not posting the resolution.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockefella
    Over-reacting?

    Matra's just pointing out default settings in '06.. it's not like he's calling you a douchebag for not posting the resolution.
    Maybe if I didn't add the 8-letter word "standard", he wouldn't have posted about it.

    Anyway, adding to the original post: nVidia has promised to release shader overclocking in future drivers. As we know, shader clock goes up simultaneously when the core clock goes up, but the first one to reach the limit would also limit the other one, so nVidia decided to separate the core and shader clock speeds for us to really push the cards. 8800 will not be the only one receiving this feature, so for example Matra can expect his 7900GTO to be receiving a free boost too, although I doubt it would work for much older cards like 5-series or low-end 6-series.

    With that in mind, I expect to break 12k mark in 3DMark06. Sweetness. *drools*

    And coming to UCP next weekend: loads of screenshots on various games on 1680x1050!! (Once I receive the Samsung 225BW 22")
    The Ace of All Aces.

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  11. #11
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    no offence, but you know full well what resolution to run benchies at!

    And he might not get a boost - the core might be the limit, not the shader, you cant overclock the shader, just change it's "devider" - if you really wanted to do this you can do it with NiBiTor messing in the BIOS

    You know that when you mess with settings, Benchies go from being a useful comparison, to a "ZOMG MY E-PENIS IS TEH SEX"

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jakg
    "ZOMG MY E-PENIS IS TEH SEX"
    Everyone who brags about their machine has a 12+ inch penis.
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    I has teh megahurtz lolz!
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by NuclearCrap
    With that in mind, I expect to break 12k mark in 3DMark06. Sweetness. *drools*
    and you confirm the points made by others.

    The "size" of your results don't matter if you aren't running them at the accepted "norm" for comparison. I can get 12K if I set the resolution to 640x480

    FutureMark made it clear when they announced '06 and by default it starts with 1280x1024.

    Running it at anything else and comapring or publishing numbers are pointless.

    It's like saying my honda can do 0-60 in 1.5s -- unless you knew I was Jenson Button and talkign about my F1 car it woudl seem imopressive compared to a Civic

    Benchmarks must be run consistently and best to publish all settings -- as AA etc will slow things down.
    "A woman without curves is like a road without bends, you might get to your destination quicker but the ride is boring as hell'

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matra et Alpine
    and you confirm the points made by others.

    The "size" of your results don't matter if you aren't running them at the accepted "norm" for comparison. I can get 12K if I set the resolution to 640x480

    FutureMark made it clear when they announced '06 and by default it starts with 1280x1024.

    Running it at anything else and comapring or publishing numbers are pointless.

    It's like saying my honda can do 0-60 in 1.5s -- unless you knew I was Jenson Button and talkign about my F1 car it woudl seem imopressive compared to a Civic

    Benchmarks must be run consistently and best to publish all settings -- as AA etc will slow things down.
    Let me add to that: I'm expecting to break 12k on 1024x768

    I always get some "essaying" from you when I leave out or put in so little in my posts. Get over it, stick to the topic, and quit criticizing, you know what I meant. I did say 1024x768 on the first bench I posted here, and just because I said I'm expecting to break 12k, you then walk up and started criticizing when I left out what resolution I was gonna run it at. Cheeses.
    Last edited by NuclearCrap; 01-06-2007 at 04:38 PM.
    The Ace of All Aces.

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