Greetings and salutations earthlings, welcome to yet another new
NVIDIA product review. It's been discussed widely ever since... hmm
what was it, February? Today NVIDIA is launching its GeForce 8800
Ultra. Now, NVIDIA tried to keep this product as secret as can be, why?
Two reasons. First to prevent technical specifications leaking onto the
web. Secondly, obviously to change specs at the last minute. See ATI is
releasing their R600 graphics card soon and the Ultra is the product
that NVIDIA prepared to counteract it in the market, an allergic
reaction to the R600 so to speak.
It's fair to say that the leaked R600 info you have seen has some
validaty (yes, we'll have an article soon) in it and yes, obviously
NVIDIA corporate is scratching their heads right now asking what the
heck happened with R600?
Anyways welcome to the review. We're not going extremely in-depth
today as despite the rumors of a GX2 based 8800 (which where false) the
8800 Ultra is a respin product. This means it's technically similar to
the original GeForce 8800 GTX. So then no 196 Shader cores or whatever
the Inquirer figured it would be. No my friends we have exactly the
same stuff, yet a respin means its core is clocked faster, has faster
memory and the 128 shaders processors are clocked faster.
Pricing. Initially NVIDIA set this product at a 999 USD price point,
which well honestly I think my pants dropped when I heard that the
first time. In the latest presentation the Ultra was priced 829 USD.
And here me now good citizens I'm changing the price myself and will
say it'll be finalized at 699 USD/EUR. Which is still a truckload of
money and way too much money to just play games but hey; this is the
high-end game. Which means completely insane prices yet quite a number
of you guys will buy it anyway. And hey you know what? I can't blame
you for being a hardcore gamer.
So what can we expect from the GeForce 8800 Ultra? I stated it
already, higher core, memory and shader frequencies (I really prefer to
call them shady frequencies) thus an accumulated amount of additional
performance and good thermals, man look at that new cooler! And all
that at 175 Watts maximum as in this silicon revision NVIDIA claims to
have some architectural advantages that got wattage down. So in my
opinion that would a slightly lower core voltage(s) or a better cooled
product. Yes my guru's a better cooled product equals less power
Over the next few pages we'll quickly go through the technical
specs, we'll skip the in-depth DX10 part as honestly please read it in
our reference reviews. We'll look at heat, power consumption, give the
card a good run for the money with a plethora of up-to-date games and
then we'll try and torch the bugger in a tweaking session where we'll
overclock the shiznit (Ed: I'm banning you from ever using that word again, Hilbert) out of it...
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