After almost three weeks of hunting down an available example, my PNY 8800 GT arrived today. After a painful long removal of my old ATI drivers, my system was ready for the new card. These cards couldn’t be different though, the ATI X1900 XT is almost as big as two 8800GTs combined and certainly double as heavy as nVidias newest challenger. Even though the 8800GT looks slim and petite, it did not hesitate to make me forget the ATI as the following 3D Mark 06 scores show:
While the card was about 100% quicker in 3D Mark, the results in rFactor and RACE07 are even more impressive. While my ATI was pretty much hindered by just 256 MB of video memory, the 8800GT sprints ahead with double memory and double power. A particular heavy combination for my old card was the PCC997 mod combined with the Nordschleife 2.0. The high-poly Porsche model and the world’s biggest race track put my ATI to the max, they couldn’t scare the Geforce though. A test race with 35 cars (1680×1050 4xAA 4xAF) exceeded all my expectations, frames never dropped below 55 at the very start of the race.
nVidia deserves a special pat on the back for the card’s cooling system. Even though the 8800GT is a single-slot card, it turns out to be remarkable silent. Despite a short revving up during the boot process, the card’s fan can never really be heard even under high-load conditions. There certainly is room for some overclocking, a task I will tackle in the coming days and let you know about the results.
So is the Geforce 8800GT worth all the hype? It certainly is, especially with a regular price around 220€. For that kind of money you get a card that beats nVidias current regular mid-range 8800GTS at ease, combined with a silent and effective single-slot cooling system. For everybody who’s trying to get one, you don’t have to stick to a certain brand as all 8800GTs use the standard nVidia card layout and cooler. And don’t bother spending that extra 40-50€ on an overclocked one as it can easily be done yourself – the hardware’s the same.