Nvidia GeForce 8800GT - The Battle for the Budget

Article Index
Nvidia GeForce 8800GT - The Battle for the Budget
EVGA 8600GT 256MB Specifications
GeForce 8800 GT 512MB Specifications
Testing Page 1 (Synthetic Tests)
Testing Page 2 (Gaming Tests)
Final Conclusion

Product(s): EVGA e-GeForce 8600GTS 256MB Video Card
Provided By:
 Memory Express
Price: ~$159.95 CDN (MemoryExpress.com)

Product(s): Nvidia GeForce 8800GT 512MB Video Card
Provided By:
 Memory Express
Price: ~$289.95 (MemoryExpress.com) or ~$279.99 (MemoryExpress.com)

 

memex

 

Introduction:

I've dubbed this review the "Battle of the Budget", because that's what I'm aiming to find out, which of these cards suits a gamer on a budget. Before we even start we are pretty sure that the Nvidia Ge-Force 8800GT is going to come out on top, but the real question that I set out to answer is how much better the 8800GT is than a card like the 8600GTS.

The Nvidia GeForce 8600GTS is a great option for someone who doesn't play a ton of games on a regular basis, but still wants that option if they want to try out the latest and greatest games, its aimed at the casual gamer and carries a ~$160 dollar price tag.

The Nvidia GeForce 8800GT is aimed at the casual/mid-range gamer who likes to play the new games, but still doesn't want to dish out big bucks for an 8800GTX which is about double the price of the 8800GT. This is a pretty big group of people, and a huge market that is currently dominated by the 8800GTS, which is eventually going to be phased out with the release of the 8800GT.

But enough of the cards, let's move onto the testing and see how this new offering from Nvidia stacks up....

 

First Impressions: 

As you will be able to see from the pictures the 8800GT is a single slot card, and the sample we reviewed is a reference model and contains a reference cooler, once companies such as EVGA, XFX, BFG and others start releasing their models the biggest difference you are going to see is with the coolers they come with, each company will most likely modify the cooler to their specifications and colors.

 

The 8800GT 
8800GT - Side View
 Dual, Dual-Link DVI
8800GT - Outputs

 

6-pin PCIe Power 
8800GT - 6-pin Power Connection
Top Profile 
8800GT - Top View

 

 Back of 8800GT
8800GT - Back View
  Back - Closeup
8800GT - Closeup Back View

So that's what the 8800GT looks like, let's move onto the differences in specifications.

Right off the bat you're going to notice that there are a few major differences between these cards that we are going to be comparing each other against, so here is the short version of what's different:

 

  GeForce 8800GT GeForce 8600GTS
Memory 512MB GDDR3 256MB GDDR3
Memory Bandwidth 57.6 GB/s 32 GB/s
Stream Processors 112 32
Shader Clock Speed 1500 MHz 1450 MHz
Memory Interface 256-bit 128-bit

 

So before we even start, we can see that the 8800GT holds an advantage and should easily outperform the 8600GTS, and this is also expected due to the 8800GT being a more expensive card. The real question now is how much more performance do you gain going with the 8800GT and is that extra money worth the extra performance? Biggest thing that is going to impact performance is the stream processors, where the 8800GT has over three times more, and therefore the memory bandwidth is also going to be more, so it's going to be safe to assume that at higher resolutions and higher detail the 8800GT is going to take a good lead, the interesting thing will be to see how much of a lead.