Monday , 28 July 2014
Latest Reviews
Home » Reviews & Articles » Hardware » XFX Geforce 8800 GTX

XFX Geforce 8800 GTX

Please join me along with the Bjorn3D’s founder Bjorn Endre, and my staff as we present four reviews of the 8800 series of graphics cards. Each review will present many similarities and yet many differences as each product is from a different manufacturer and being prepared by four separate reviewers, each of whom have a unique, and very interesting approach to the product they’ve been assigned. It is now my pleasure to present to you my take on the XFX GeForce® 8800 GTX.

[review_ad]

INTRODUCTION

In preparation for the review that I’m about to present I’ve read everything I could get my hands on about the about the expectations of the NVIDIA® G80 series of GPU and what a future owner might be able to expect from the 8800 GTX & GTS graphics cards that utilize this technology. In the process of doing research I’ve grown a bit nostalgic remembering that it was roughly ten years ago when I was first introduced to PC Gaming. For those of you that aren’t old enough to remember it was 1996 when the true 3D graphics card powered by a Rendition chip hit the market along with the original Quake. These two products set the stage for the craze that millions of Computer Gaming Enthusiasts now enjoy daily. It’s my thought, based on what I have read, that the graphics cards based on the NVIDIA® G80 GPU will be as much or more of an advancement for gaming as the early Rendition chip that started it all. OK! Enough reminiscing! Let’s get down to the matter at hand and see if my prognostication is correct.

Well its now ten years later and the launch of the first graphics card that offer direct support of DirectX10 is at hand. Today’s launch means these jewels are for sale at e-tailers and some retail shops around the world. The only real problem we have with today’s launch is we have no DX10 software to test the card with, so it will be necessary to use the latest revision of DX 9C in our testing. As soon as a stable version of DX10 makes its way to the market along with Microsoft® VISTA™ the results of that you read today may radically, and probably for the better.

This review will be one of a series of four that myself and members of my review team at Bjorn3D have had the pleasure of writing. Due to the fact that were doing an unprecedented four reviews of these products. We decided to simplify matters somewhat and release an Introductory Article that would detail all the features, specifications, an unique properties of the cards we are reviewing today. This allows my reviewers to concentrate more on the “meat” of each individual card without having to publish a lot of repetitive information. Thus each review will be shorter and much more to the point than if we were only reviewing one card.

Please join me along with the Bjorn3D’s founder Bjorn Endre, and my staff as we present four reviews of the 8800 series of graphics cards. Each review will present many similarities and yet many differences as each product is from a different manufacturer and being prepared by four separate reviewers, each of whom have a unique, and very interesting approach to the product they’ve been assigned. It is now my pleasure to present to you my take on the XFX GeForce® 8800 GTX.

XFX: A Brief Overview

XFX®, a company that is very well know not only to the general computer consumer but to the Computer Enthusiast community as well operates on the following corporate philosophy:  “XFX® dares to go where the competition would like to, but can’t. That’s because, at XFX®, we don’t just create great digital video components–we build all-out, mind-blowing, performance crushing, competition-obliterating video cards and motherboards.” “Oh, and not only are they amazing, you don’t have to live on dry noodles and peanut butter to afford them.”

From our rather extensive experience doing XFX® product reviews we’ve seen this corporate philosophy transcend from merely words into a series of excellent, highly polished digital wonders that go a step beyond in not only performance but quality as well. We are highly anticipative that our review sample, the XFX®GeForce™ 8800 GTX will continue to follow this same tradition.

CLOSER LOOK

I received my review sample of the the XFX GeForce® 8800 GTX approximately a week ago. Given the fact that this is not my full-time job and I also have a wife and three very active kids, it didn’t give me long to answer all the questions I wanted to have before I wrote this review. I therefore took advantage of every spare moment that I had available to gain the information I both needed and wanted.

One of the first thoughts every computer product reviewer has when anticipating a new review of a potentially extremely popular product is: “Will it arrive in the same condition as when it left the manufacturer?”. This is in no small part due to the many horror stories that we have experienced over the years from products damaged in transit. Luckily, this was not the case with this product as XFX has always done an excellent job of securely packaging the products it brings to market.


XFX GeForce® 8800 GTX:  Package

My first impression of this card is that it’s huge! Like most of the newer, high-end graphics cards it occupies two slots in your computer; the PCI-E slot that it attaches to and whatever slot that’s immediately adjacent to it is generally covered and unusable. In the case of this card it was not only wide, but very long, 10.5 inches to be exact. While the card’s length is no problem for my Lian Li full-tower case, it might cramp things a bit for some of you that own the smaller mid tower cases.


XFX GeForce® 8800 GTX:  Front View

XFX GeForce® 8800 GTX:  Rear View

XFX GeForce® 8800 GTX:  Side View

XFX GeForce® 8800 GTX:  Angled View

XFX GeForce® 8800 GTX:  Mounting/Output Bracket

While a graphics card is somewhat hidden in your computer you’d think that looks really wouldn’t matter, and a few years ago that would have been the case. Today’s windowed computer cases with all the lighting inside are totally different and designed for one purpose to showcase every component inside your system. With this in mind, XFX certainly came through with a very nice looking color scheme that should complement almost any design you have added to your system.


XFX GeForce® 8800 GTX

Accessories

In your retail package, you should expect the following to be included:

  • Driver CD
  • Manual
  • DVI-VGA Adapter (1 per DVI output)
  • HDTV Dongle
  • S-Video Cable

XFX GeForce® 8800 GTX:  Accessories

Cooling Performance

As you might expect out of a card that is this loaded with features it’s going to get kind of toasty when it’s really working hard. My card idles around 54° – 56° Celsius and at load I could never get it above 80° Celsius. From what I can tell from reading the reviews done by my review team this is one of the cooler 8800 GTX out of the lot we reviewed. I feel XFX has done an excellent job with the cooling solution it has chosen on this card. Even though it follows what appears to be the reference standard it appears to perform better than most. I was also quite surprised at how quiet it is again in no small part to the cooling solution it has.


XFX GeForce® 8800 GTX:  Accessories

The RECALL

Most of you by now have read about the recall of a small number of NVIDIA® 8800 GTX cards due to the installation by the assemblers of an incorrect resistor. I actually received one of the defective cards myself. XFX immediately took care of the problem with an overnight shipment. My new card is perfect in every way and it’s the same consumer version that you’ll be getting when you purchase it. Ryan Dumas, Technical Marketing Manager XFX and my contact with XFX has made the following public statement:

“NVIDIA recently reported a BOM change for the GeForce 8800 GTX and thankfully we had enough advance notice that our consumer board shipments will not be impacted.” “The only effected boards were those very early samples sent out to the press.” “I have verified with my factory that every board shipped out for consumer purchase will have the change in place and this small hiccup will not affect the hard launch schedule.”

I want you to understand that I have been dealing with XFX and Ryan Dumas for a long period of time. I have always found both XFX and Ryan Dumas to be 100% true to their word and if they say they have corrected the problem, trust me it’s been corrected! Now with that out of the way let’s get down with the performance information that you’ve been waiting for.

TESTING

Test System

  • ASUS P5N32-SLI Premium motherboard
  • Intel E6700 Core 2 Duo (Conroe) Processor at (3.0 GHz)
  • Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro
  • 2GB of Corsair DDR2 6400C4
  • Test Card 1:   XFX GeForce® 8800 GTX running ForceWare 96.97
  • Test Card 2:   XFX GeForce® 7950 GX2 running ForceWare 91.47
  • 4 – Seagate 7200.10 320GB in RAID 5
  • PC Power and Cooling 1K QUAD SLI Power Supply
  • LiteOn Dual Layer DVD-RW with Light Scribe
  • LiteOn 16X DVD-R
  • Lian-LI V2000 Case fully customized by Crazy PC
  • Logitech Gaming Keyboard/MX 518 Mouse
  • Klipsch ProMedia 5.1
  • Dell 2407FP 24″ LCD
  • Windows XP Pro SP2

Benchmarks

  • 3DMark05
  • 3DMark06
  • Call of Heroes v. 1.02
  • Counter Strike Source: Video Stress Test
  • Quake 4
  • F.E.A.R. v. 1.08

Testing Methodology

what I am going to do today is put the card up against the fastest single card solution on the market the XFX 7950GX2 XXX. As many of you know this gets a little odd since the 7950GX2 is really a dual card solution bolted together to give you one card running SLI. The performance of the 7950GX2 is around the speed of 2 7900GT’s in SLI. Our synthetic benchmarks 3DMark06 and 3DMark05 will be run in default mode with both set at a resolution of 1280 x 1024. All other gaming tests will be run at either 1600 x 1200 or 1920 x 1200 resolutions with Anti-Aliasing set to 4X and Anisotropic Filtering set to 8X. F.E.A.R. benchmarks were also run with soft shadows disabled.


The Contenders

This will be only the first phase of testing for the PX8800 GTX and the other three cards being presented by my review team. We’ve each tried to be as diverse as possible in our testing regimen but are limited by the fact that DirectX 10 has yet to be released. It is our full intention to repeat the benchmark phases of each of these reviews at our first opportunity after DX10 becomes available to get a true and accurate picture of the differences you can expect.

TEST RESULTS

CONCLUSION

When it comes to this portion of any review that I write, I’m a man of few words. The product is either great, it sucks, or it’s centered somewhere in between the two. Saying the XFX GeForce® 8800 GTX would be a huge understatement it’s the finest graphics card I’ve used. It gives you one of the most vibrant and enriching gaming experiences that I’ve ever seen. It even takes away the crown that I given for many years to Radeon for 2D imagery. In short it’s the best of the best given the existing technolgy.

A couple of things to be aware of before you purchase this card. As I mentioned earlier it’s long (10.5 inches) which may present cramping issues in smaller cases. Second, you need a decent high-powered PSU to run this baby. Yeah I know they say 450 Watts but I believe that would be a bare minimum if it were 100% effective and we all know you’re not going to find that. The price may scare a few of you away as this card sells for around $549 USD, but it shouldn’t. Given the quality of the images rendered and the ability to use as much “eye-candy” as you see fit, I think the price is a bargain.

I’ve been in the video gaming market for quite a few years now, let’s just say it’s been greater than ten. I’ve done many reviews where I was pretty stoked about a new product, but never as much so as I am right now. This is the best of all worlds when it comes to graphical rendering, both 2D and 3D. This card writes a totally new standard for their competition, it should be quite interesting to see how thing shake out.

This will be only the first phase of testing for the PX8800 GTX and the other three cards being presented by the Bjorn3D review team. We’ve each tried to be as diverse as possible in our testing regimen but are limited by the fact that DirectX 10 has yet to be released. It is our full intention to redo the benchmark phases of each of these reviews at our first opportunity after DX10 becomes available to get a true and accurate picture of the differences you can expect.

Pros:

+  Most vibrant image rendering from any graphics card I’ve ever experienced , both 2D & 3D
+  Supports DirectX 10
+  Highly feature laden
+  High Dynamic Range Rendering (HDR) compliant
+  SLI certified
+  Shader 4.0 compliant
+  Literally rewrites the book on both speed and “eye candy”
+  Extremely quiet and cools better than most

Cons:

-  The card’s length of 10.5 inches may prove to be a problem for those with smaller midtower cases
-  A little pricey for the average computer consumer

Final Score: 9.5 out of 10 and the Bjorn3D Golden Bear Award.

Our NVIDIA® 8800 Series Graphics Card Coverage

NVIDIA 8000 GPU/VPU: An Introduction

When planning for this mammoth task we decided the best approach would be to prepare one additional introductory article expressing what NVIDIA® brings to the table from a technology, Physics, and general usage standpoint for each of the products we’ll being presenting.

Leadtek Winfast PX8800 GTX

In conclusion other than the subtle nuances captioned above, this is by far the finest card, I’ve ever had the pleasure to test.

Sparkle GeForce 8800GTX

The Sparkle GeForce 8800GTX delivers breathtaking performance, DX10 support and impressive image quality at a good price.

FOXCONN GeForce 8800 GTS

Honestly, there is just no possible way for me to find dissappointment in this product.  The FOXCONN GeForce 8800 GTS is by no means another addition to the market, it is clearly in a class all of its own.

 

Optimization WordPress Plugins & Solutions by W3 EDGE