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DailyTech spends more quality time with NVIDIA's upcoming GeForce 8800GTX

NVIDIA is set to launch its upcoming G80 GeForce 8800GTX and 8800GTS graphics cards next week, however, DailyTech snagged a GeForce 8800GTX board to run a couple quick benchmarks on. The GeForce 8800GTX used for testing is equipped with 768MB of GDDR3 video memory on a 384-bit memory bus as previously reported. Core and memory clocks are set at 575 MHz and 900 MHz respectively. Other GeForce 8800 series features include 128-bit HDR with 16x anti-aliasing and NVIDIA’s Quantum Physics Engine.

Previous NVIDIA graphics cards in single card configurations were limited to lower levels of anti-aliasing. With the GeForce 8800 series, users can experience 16x anti-aliasing with only a single card. DailyTech has verified the option is available in the NVIDIA control panel.

The physical card itself is quite large and approximately an inch and a half longer than an AMD ATI Radeon X1950 XTX based card. It requires two PCI Express power connectors and occupies two expansion slots. An interesting tidbit of the GeForce 8800GTX are the two SLI bridge connectors towards the edge of the card. This is a first for a GeForce product as SLI compatible graphics cards typically have one SLI bridge connector.

Having two SLI bridge connectors onboard may possibly allow users to equip systems with three G80 GeForce 8800 series graphics cards. With two SLI bridge connectors, three cards can be connected without any troubles.  NVIDIA is expected to announce its nForce 680i SLI and 650i SLI chipsets with the GeForce 8800 series. NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI and 650i SLI based motherboards are expected to have three PCI Express x16 slots.

Moving onto the performance DailyTech has selected Half Life 2: Lost Coast, Quake 4, Prey and 3DMark06 for benchmarking. These games and applications were selected as other games use the same game engine. In addition to performance tests, DailyTech was also able to measure power consumption.

The test system configuration is as follows:
  • Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700
  • NVIDIA nForce 650i SLI based motherboard
  • 2x1GB PC2-6400
  • NVIDIA GeForce 8800GTX
  • PowerColor ATI Radeon X1950 XTX
  • Western Digital Raptor 150





Futuremark 3DMark06

Radeon X1950 XTX GeForce 8800GTX
Score
7026
  11200

Kicking off the benchmarking festivities is 3DMark06. NVIDIA’s GeForce 8800GTX scores 59% higher than ATI’s current flagship. This isn’t too surprising as the GeForce 8800GTX has plenty of power.

Half Life 2 4xAA/16xAF 1600x1200

Radeon X1950 XTX GeForce 8800GTX
FPS
60.74
116.93

Quake 4 4xAA 1600x1200

Radeon X1950 XTX GeForce 8800GTX
FPS
34.23
65.93

 Prey 4xAA/16xAF 1600x1200

Radeon X1950 XTX GeForce 8800GTX
FPS
55.53
88.87

Half Life 2: Lost Coast loves the GeForce 8800GTX. Here the GeForce 8800GTX is able to show significant performance gains over AMD’s ATI Radeon X1950 XTX—approximately 92%.

Quake 4 shows similar gains as Half Life 2: Lost Coast  too, an approximate 92% improvement.

Prey is based on the same game engine as Quake 4. However, Prey shows smaller performance differences between the GeForce 8800GTX and ATI Radeon X1950 XTX, albeit its still 60%.

Power Consumption
Watts
Radeon X1950 XTX GeForce 8800GTX
Idle
184
229
Load
308
321

Power consumption was measured using a Kill-A-Watt power meter that measures a power supply’s power draw directly from the wall outlet. The power supply used in the test system is a Thermaltake Toughpower that carries an efficiency rating up to 85%.

DailyTech previously reported NVIDIA recommends a 450-watt power supply for a single GeForce 8800GTX graphics card. This isn’t too farfetched of a recommendation. Power consumption of NVIDIA’s GeForce 8800GTX isn’t as bad as expected. When compared to AMD’s current flagship ATI Radeon X1950 XTX, the GeForce 8800GTX only consumes 24% more power at idle. The power consumption differences under load decreases to around 4%. Considering the performance differences, the GeForce 8800GTX is no worse than AMD’s ATI Radeon X1950 XTX in terms of performance-per-watt.

Expect NVIDIA’s GeForce 8800GTX and 8800GTS graphics cards to be available next week. As NVIDIA has had plenty of time to ramp up production and ship out cards, this will be a hard launch with immediate availability.


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Power in Idle
By iwod on 11/3/2006 8:07:23 AM , Rating: 2
Are there currently any tech in GFx card that lowers there power during idle mode?

The way i look at it is that these gfx monster sucks too much power even when we are only using normal windows applications.




RE: Power in Idle
By Donegrim on 11/3/2006 8:36:34 AM , Rating: 2
I would have expected it to at least use the 2 different "2D" and "3D" profiles like my 6800 used. You could set the clock speed for 2D operation to be quite low then whack it up on the 3D one. I also would have expected more advanced tech like shutting down some of those shaders when they're not needed. Maybe this was just an engineering sample.


RE: Power in Idle
By saratoga on 11/3/2006 10:46:36 AM , Rating: 2
I'm hoping the high power consumption is just a driver issue that will be fixed at launch. Otherwise that would kind of suck to have that kind of PSU load all the time, even when the computer wasn't doing anything.


RE: Power in Idle
By hadifa on 11/3/2006 6:28:55 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe it is designed with vista's 3D interface in mind.

Many people buy this for DX10 which comes with vista.


"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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