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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

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

Quake 4 4xAA 1600x1200

Radeon X1950 XTX GeForce 8800GTX

 Prey 4xAA/16xAF 1600x1200

Radeon X1950 XTX GeForce 8800GTX

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
Radeon X1950 XTX GeForce 8800GTX

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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By Staples on 11/3/2006 11:49:53 AM , Rating: 0
This card is blazing fast but too bad PC video games are at their lowest point in 10+ years. They don't seem to be making a comeback any time soon either. I have been in this trend for years where I only look foward to a few games a year. I can't justify buying something this expensive for a few games that are usually ports of console games that I can play for much cheaper.

By clayclws on 11/3/2006 12:36:57 PM , Rating: 5
FEAR, GRAW, Battlefield, Oblivion, Gothic3, NFS:Carbon, W:MoC, Medieval2...great games with great graphics...depending on your tastes. I don't see a lot of them are ports from consoles.

Although I agree that I won't be shelling out RM2000++ (USD 540++) for one of these cards, I don't think PC games are at their lowest point in 10+ years. Take a look at what we have now and what these cards are meant for...Alan Wake, Crysis, C&C3, Supreme Commander, etc. I don't think many people would say that PC games are at their worst.

If you think console games are better, then, I'd say, "To each, his own." I love console games, but my root is still PC games.

By shabby on 11/4/2006 11:22:41 PM , Rating: 1
Carbon? Please...

By clayclws on 11/5/2006 12:05:38 AM , Rating: 2
To each, his own. I don't play racing games, but hell lots of people love em, especially with Carbon here. In reality, Carbon is the type of racing you get in most Asian countries. Familiarity breeds fanaticism...or something like that.

By goku on 11/4/2006 6:48:52 AM , Rating: 2
I would hardly compare fear to oblivion. Oblivion actually had a decent game and story line, Fear not so much. FEAR was overhyped, not Oblivion because nobody saw Oblivion coming. Fear had demos and all this hype prior to release last year in oct. oblivion caught everyone off guard. Oblivion [u]is[/u] a good game with good graphics.

By AzureKevin on 11/3/2006 4:13:18 PM , Rating: 2
Alan Wake. Period.

By AzureKevin on 11/3/2006 4:21:41 PM , Rating: 2
Though, you're totally right. The cost of the video cards doesn't really justify the benefit of being able to play one or two good games. But that won't stop some of us from upgrading, will it? Personally, I've only bought two graphics cards in my life, and I'm ready to upgrade to something that will handle a generation or two of decent games. Of course, I'm waiting for the 8800GT.

By Ringold on 11/4/2006 3:23:18 PM , Rating: 2
Supreme Commander. Exclamation point. Eleven.

I think there is a gem coming out in almost every category over the next 6 months, 12 at the most. The only category not so blessed graphically is 4X space strategy, but SE4/5 and GalCiv2 aren't played for their graphics anyway.

Then there's also current games like Eve that continuously improve themselves graphically as technology allows them to do so.

Not wanting to pay the money is a personal preference when it comes to a video card, but saying there aren't any good games on the horizon or if they are they're merely ports from a console (which for the really goods are is almost never the case; Halo comes to mind, and it was a horrible porting job performance wise) is painting with a slightly too wide of a brush.

"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner
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