Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTX (768MB)  

Posted by BlognThings in

Reviewed by: Rich Brown
Edited by: Matthew Elliott
Reviewed on 11/8/06 Release date: 11/8/06 We've been waiting for the GeForce 8800 GTX since we first got wind that Nvidia's next-generation 3D card would be out before the end of this year. It's everything we'd hoped it would be. For a suggested street price of $599, the GeForce 8800 GTX brings tremendous processing power to current-generation games. It's also the first card to market that will support all of the 3D gaming-related features of Windows Vista and DirectX 10. The initial release of next-gen games is a bit far off. The poster child, the 3D shooter Crysis, is set to debut in March 2007, and even that game might not put all of the next-gen bells and whistles into play. Still, the GeForce 8800 GTX is so powerful, even compared to ATI's fastest dual card combination, that there's no reason to spend roughly $1,000 on a pair of Radeon cards when you can outperform them with a single $600 GeForce 8800 GTX. That and the fact that Nvidia has finally caught up to ATI's image-quality advantages earn Nvidia's newest card our Editors' Choice award for high-end 3D graphics cards.

Because of design changes in the GeForce 8800 GTX chip's new architecture, we need to consider some of this card's specs differently than we have in the past. The basics are the same. The GeForce 8800 GTX has a core clock speed of 575MHz, and it comes with 768MB of DDR3 RAM clocked to 900MHz with a 1,800MHz data rate. That memory rate is a significant uptick compared to the 800MHz RAM in Nvidia's last flagship card, the GeForce 7950 GX2. But one of the main differences in the GeForce 8800 GTX's architecture lies in how we consider its pipelines.

In the past, we've said that a 3D chip has X amount of pixel pipelines and Y pipes for shader calculations. But because of the new specifications of DirectX 10, the GeForce 8800 GTX employs what's called a unified architecture. In other words, no pipe is geared toward a particular task. Instead, the GeForce 8800 GTX comes with 128 stream processors, which can dynamically process whatever info is thrown their way. This means that if your card is processing a shader-intensive scene, it can tap from more of the pipeline pool to process that image, rather than being capped at 24 or 48 pipes because some of the other pipes are set aside for geometry only. This capability should give game designers much more flexibility in how they design games, knowing that if they can balance the workload properly, they can pump a lot of processing power into a given calculation.

Read entire Review from source --> Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTX (768MB)


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