eVGA GeForce 8800 Ultra

Overall Score

The next step of testing the GeForce 8800 Ultra is to find it some competition. A friend from work has graciously loaned me his GeForce 8800 GTS to use for comparison, on the condition that I not blow it up. The 8800GTS model used is coincidentally also an eVGA, and is the 320 MB memory version with no factory overclocking. As with the Ultra, I will test this card initially with the entire system at stock, then overclock the CPU to 3.4 GHz, then finally overclock the GPU as well. Due to the condition of the loan of the card, I will limit the GTS overclock to the levels found on factory overclocked units, namely 580 MHz core and 1840 MHz memory.

The 8800GTS is the little brother of the GTX and Ultra models. As can be seen from the picture it’s a little bit smaller than the Ultra but still a large two slot card. The 320 MB memory version is (IMO) the card that lives on the transition level in both price and performance between the upper midrange cards and the high end cards that include the 8800GTS-640, HD2900XT, 8800GTX, and 8800Ultra. As mentioned before, the GTS uses the same G80 core as the Ultra, but with only 96 of the 128 unified stream shaders activated, and with the memory interface bus limited to 320 bits instead of 384 bits.

Basically, the 8800GTS is reasonably competetive with the 8800 Ultra (about a 20~40% performance gain for the Ultra typically) with little or no antialiasing applied, but gets pounded as the AA level increases (with the Ultra holding over 3 times the framerate of the GTS in some of the Oblivion tests).

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