Page 17 - Conclusion
So it ends here my friends ... Well, the article that is. I must say that I'm quite thrilled with this release. It brings back that good feeling when the GeForce 6800 GT was launched. Man, did I love that product (at that time). This is NVIDIA at it's best.
The sheer amount of shader cores, clocks and memory configurations versus the pricing is making me go "woohoo". With a sidenote though. I feel that current graphics adapters have a really hard time with the new DX10 titles. The 512MB GeForce 8800 GT with this kind of horsepower at the advertised price is a very nice step in the proper direction, again thanks to it's pricing level. I must include a little something about power consumption aka performance per Watt, as for whatever reason this card is pretty progressive on saving power opposed to the previous GTS/GTX/Ultra for example. It's consuming 105 Watts at maximum, and that's pretty amazing compared to what raw power it pushes out.
With that being said, there's hardly anything I could think of that would get this product in a bad lighting, so that forces me to say; yes, this is a really good product. The one thing I did not like is the thermal solution, although the GPU can sustain it, temperatures will get close to 90 degrees C which I think is too high. So although the cooler looks sexy and slim, it certainly is performing less than the dual-slot cooler we have seen on for example the GTS. It's more noisy as well. All things considered, this is the only disapproving feature I can think of.
If you don't have the money for the 512MB version, yet can spare 199 USD, then forget about the 8600 series, and be on the lookout for a 8800 GT 256MB, although NVIDIA did not mention them on the last briefing they will become available. The performance increase over that 8600 series will be bloody brilliant thanks to the increased horsepower under the hood. This is the real shizznit. In fact it will be interesting to see what people's choices will be opposed to say the GeForce 8800 GTS and GTX.
Gaming, especially DX9 titles, will be a feast for the eyes. You have plenty of framebuffer to play around with and the raw horsepower available for some exceptional gaming, that includes all resolutions with a nice wide variety of image quality settings available. For DX 10 gaming this card will be sufficient with all the new titles, I however am afraid that you'll need to forfeit on resolution or IQ settings here and there though, as only the next generation DX10 cards will probably be powerful enough to play DX10 games the way it's really meant to be played. We like using 10% of what DX10 can really achieve.
SLI was working mediocre for us, we had a couple of titles not willing to work in SLI, the somewhat more known titles all worked in SLI yet we experienced a good number of crashes. After inspecting we noticed that the BFG card has a broken resistor (I found it literally in the wrapping bag). So whether the crashes where related to that or driver instability is not something I can say at this point. Check some other reviews. SLI performance in general however is just really good. I'd prefer two cards for 400-500 USD in total rather than one GTX or Ultra for that matter.
With the 8800 GT also comes the integration of the new PureVideo HD engine VP2. In a recent article we have shown you that NVIDIA manages to achieve really fine results with he new VP2 core logic embedded. So that's just fine and dandy. No other comment here other than a note to NVIDIA. In the series 7 products Image Sharpening was enabled. This (brilliant) function was removed from the series 8 products. It would be great to see it back in upcoming products as it's the definitive feature when you setup and tweak that LCD or plasma screen.
For the true gamers that can't or won't spend heaps of money on a graphics card the 512MB 8800 GT is your choice of armor when it comes to gaming. If you spend a couple of bucks more than you can purchase a pre-overclocked version as shown today from BFG, the 8800 GT OC. A really fine product. And although that OC is a tad on the low side, it's covered by a life-time warranty and that's golden for sure. Expect to see a lot of manufacturers with pre-overclocked products though.
Gaming has become a very expensive hobby, yet with cards like these you are bound to purchase something valuable as performance is somewhere between the lines of the 640 GTS and 768MB GTX version. You just can not lose on this deal, this is bang for your bucks, this is the stuff that matters. As a gamer, this is the stuff that makes it really worth it.
Other than the reference cards tested today the first board-partner boards already have arrived, expect more GT reviews from Guru3D.com at a very short term. The BFG GeForce 8800 GT OC version will receive our Guru3D Gaming Essential award. Thanks to NVIDIA and BFG for making this article happen and considering we wrote this article in less than 20 hours INCLUDING jetlag ... it didn't turn out to be that bad at all, eh? We have a lot more stacked though, in near future articles expect deeper tests in the form of PureVideo HD yet obviously also some nice testing with Crysis.
Expect the board partners to release lots and lots of them in several configurations, these cards are going to be very popular; guys, the 8800 GT is da bomb.