Even in an industry known for truncated product life cycles, NVIDIA's GeForce 8800 GS has probably taken one of the shortest paths towards the product graveyard. Released early this year as a stopgap solution before the GeForce 9600 GT, the GeForce 8800 GS lasted around a month before it was supplanted by the new arrival. Given its transitory nature, it was not surprising that not many board vendors have prepared this product. So far, we have only seen XFX, eVGA, Palit and ASUS offering this chipset and with the introduction of the GeForce 9600 GT, these numbers are set to fall further.
For those who are understandably unaware of what the GeForce 8800 GS is all about, it is essentially a stripped down version of the G92 core found on the GeForce 8800 GT. The 112 stream processors of the GT have been reduced to 96 on the GS while memory bandwidth also took a cut to 192-bit from the initial 256-bit path, with a memory size of 384MB instead of 512MB. Clock speeds have also been reduced throughout, along with a lower price tag that was supposed to compete against the Radeon HD 3000 series.
|Model||NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GS 384MB||NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT 512MB||NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 512MB||ATI Radeon HD 3870 512MB||ATI Radeon HD 3850 256MB|
|Transistor Count||754 million||505 million||754 million||666 million||666 million|
|Manufacturing Process (microns)||0.065||0.065||0.065||0.055||0.055|
|Stream Processors||96 Stream Processors||64 Stream Processors||112 Stream Processors||64 Shader units consisting of 320 Stream Processors||64 Shader units consisting of 320 Stream Processors|
|Stream Processor Clock||1375MHz||1625MHz||1500MHz||775MHz||670MHz|
|Texture Mapping Units (TMU) or Texture Filtering (TF) units||48||32||56||16||16|
|Raster Operator units (ROP)||16||16||16||16||16|
|Memory Clock||1600MHz GDDR3||1800MHz GDDR3||1800MHz GDDR3||2250MHz GDDR4||1660MHz GDDR3|
|DDR Memory Bus||192-bit||256-bit||256-bit||256-bit||256-bit|
|Ring Bus Memory Controller||NIL||NIL||NIL||512-bit||512-bit|
|PCI Express Interface||PCIe ver 2.0 x16||PCIe ver 2.0 x16||PCIe ver 2.0 x16||PCIe ver 2.0 x16||PCIe ver 2.0 x16|
|Molex Power Connectors||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Multi GPU Technology||Yes (SLI)||Yes (SLI)||Yes (SLI)||Yes (CrossFire)||Yes (CrossFire)|
|DVI Output Support||2 x Dual-Link||2 x Dual-Link||2 x Dual-Link||2 x Dual-Link||2 x Dual-Link|
|HDCP Output Cable?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Street Price||US$149 - 169||US$170 - 199||~US$219 - 259||~US$189 - 229||~US$149 - 169|
We were finally able to get our hands on a review unit of the GeForce 8800 GS today, courtesy of ASUS. Although the heir apparent of the NVIDIA mid-range, the GeForce 9600 GT is already available, we were interested to see how the GeForce 8800 GS performs against its competitors. Especially with ASUS offering an overclocked, TOP edition of this chipset, could it instigate a positive uproar? Find out more over the next few page as we dissect it performance proposition.