Our Summary and Conclusion
It is little difficult to summarize the new GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB card’s performance. In games or benchmarks where fillrate and shader performance are the limiting factors, these new cards are excellent performers and can outpace even a GeForce 8800 GTX. But in situations where memory bandwidth and frame buffer size are more important, like say at high resolutions with anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering enabled, the GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB can’t quite keep up with the more expensive GTX due to its narrower memory bus and smaller frame buffer. Generally speaking though, the GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB’s performance is better than the original 640MB GTS and the relatively new 8800 GT and on-par with the GeForce 8800 GTX at lower resolutions. Crank up the resolutions, however, and the GTX (or Ultra) is still the king of the hill.
When the GeForce 8800 GTX and original 8800 GTS cards launched late last year, the 3D performance landscape was crystal clear – the G80 based GTX and GTS were the best performers and there was a distinct difference between the two cards. With the launch of the GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB, however, the performance landscape is somewhat muddled, even if for just a short time. This can make choosing the right video card somewhat difficult, especially now with all of the options available to consumers. Hopefully we can help.
Although NVIDIA has set the MSRP of the GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB at $299 to $349, the pre-overclocked Asus EN8800GTS TOP and XFX GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB Alpha Dog Edition cards we’ve shown you here will be selling for about $379. Factor in the recent supply problems of G92-based cards and that number will likely increase for a short time. Even so, at that price, the GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB represents an excellent value to gamers looking for top-notch performance at mid- to somewhat higher resolutions. If you’re looking for the best card to push a giant flat panel with a 2560x1600 resolution, the GeForce 8800 GTX and Ultra are still the best choices in terms of overall performance. But for smaller screens with resolutions of 1920x1200 or below, the GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB is a great choice.
We are impressed with the GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB and are looking forward to what NVIDIA will bring in the new year. It’s clear to us that the G92 GPU still has a lot of untapped potential and we know that NVIDIA’s going to have new ultra high-end cards coming in the not too distant future. If the GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB represents the new performance mainstream segment, we’re eager to see what NVIDIA’s next flagship will bring. We should know more after CES in a few weeks.