Inspecting the PNY 8800 GTS 512MB
Now that we have set the stage, we will take a closer look at the card itself. A quick look at the card reveals a dual-slot cooling system with a rear-mounted heatsink - nearly identical to NVIDIA's original reference design albeit with PNY's XLR8 logo and graphics stickered on top.
Core speed and memory speeds remain untouched as well, tuned in to a 650MHz clock on the GPU and 970MHz for the memory. We had somewhat expected that having been labeled a "performance edition" card, PNY may have tinkered around a bit and raised speeds like we saw with the Asus and XFX cards from our original review. Instead, keeping speeds at stock values makes PNY 8800 GTS 512 just another "me, too" product.
That's not to say that there isn't anything good going on here. Although based around the same core as the single-slot GeForce 8800 GT, the higher clock speeds and full compliment of stream processors apparently require just a bit more cooling, thus the larger heatsink and extra ventilation. However, unlike the 8800 GT, the fan operates very quietly, even under the stress of benchmarking. Encapsulated in the fan's shroud is a single standard 6-pin power connector, not requiring the dual power lines that cards like the 8800 GTX use. In a similar vein, the 8800 GTS 512 also only comes with one SLI connector, relegating 3-way SLI to GTX and Ultra cards only at this time.
The PNY XLR8 GeForce 8800 GTS 512's collection of literature, media, and cables is just a tad bit mundane. A quick start guide differs from the norm by covering not only installing the card, but some hardware basics, as well as tips on configuring the driver properties in Windows. Accompanying the guide is a driver CD with some bonus demos and other goodies from NVIDIA. S-Video and Component cables provide output options, with a power splitter and two DVI-to-VGA adaptors thrown in for good measure. Overall, not a bad lot to start with, but nothing to get overly excited about.