Nvidia’s top-end cards can be quite confusing, particularly as several models occupy the same performance space. The 8800 GT came after the GTX, and, as such, it made the move to the more efficient 65nm fabrication process. But despite its supposedly lower-spec suffix, the improvements in architecture mean it competes pretty well.
It has 754 million transistors, a core clock of 600MHz and a memory clock of 900MHz – all superior to the GTX. Where it compromises is with its 512MB of GDDR3 memory (the GTX has 768MB) and its trimmed-down 112 stream processors, 16 fewer than its old rival. Both support DirectX 10, but the GT is a PCI Express 2.0 card.
With fairly similar specifications to the GTX, it’s no surprise that performance is also on a par, up to a point. At medium resolutions and quality settings, we found barely a frame of difference: Call of Duty 4 at 1280 x 1024 and Medium settings gave us 118fps, to the 122fps of the GTX, while our High test produced 61fps and 62fps respectively.
In Crysis, the difference was a little wider, with the 51fps from the GT slightly behind the 62fps of the GTX. At higher resolutions, like 1920 x 1200, the gap grew because the GTX’s larger memory capabilities allow more headroom.
So it isn’t far behind a GTX in terms of performance, but we haven’t touched upon the GT’s main selling point: that it manages this for just $235 – about half the price of the GTX. The GT’s closest price rival from ATi is the HD 3870, which costs around $30 more.
In Crysis, it performed better than the GT, while Call of Duty 4 showed the opposite result. The slightly slower 8800 GS is probably closer to the HD 3870 in performance, making the 8800 GT a great way to get those extra frame rates for little extra outlay.
For just $235, the 8800 GT will have you smoothly playing the latest intensive games at decent resolutions.However, if a few frames per second here and there aren’t vital to you, the launch of the 9600 GT for $40 less may reduce the 8800 GT’s appeal.
This Review appeared in the June, 2008 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine
Source: Copyright © PC Pro, Dennis Publishing