GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB Roundup
Looking for a cheaper, more cost effective alternative to the GeForce 9800 GTX and GeForce 9800 GX2? If so, the GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB and GeForce 8800 GT 512MB are pretty tough to beat.
Both of these GPUs are based on the same G92 GPU used in the 9800 GTX and 9800 GX2, only they run at different clock speeds. In the case of the GeForce 8800 GT, it runs at the same core and shader speeds as the GeForce 9800 GX2 – 600MHz core/1500MHz stream processors – while the memory on the 9800 GX2 is just 30MHz faster than the 8800 GTS 512MB. In fact, the GeForce 9800 GX2 is so similar to the 8800 GTS 512MB, one FiringSquad reader, Labotomizer, ran into an issue where a 9800 GX2 system he was building for a customer ID’ed the GX2 board as a pair of GeForce 8800 GTS 512MBs!
On the single GPU front, the GeForce 9800 GTX runs just 25MHz higher than the GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB, while the GTX’s memory is 130MHz faster. In fact, the stock 9800 GTX actually runs slower
than some factory overclocked GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB cards! This has actually prompted some board manufacturers to stop producing factory OC’ed GTS 512MB cards entirely: some 8800 GTS 512MB cards are so fast it’s actually confusing to some consumers because these OC’ed GTS cards are faster than the newer, supposedly faster, 9800 GTX.
Between the GeForce 8800 GT and 8800 GTS 512MB, the GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB is the card we recommend the most for hardware enthusiasts on a budget, simply because it runs at higher clocks than the 8800 GT, and more importantly, it boasts 128 stream processors (compared to the 8800 GT which sports just 112), yet it often sells for just $20-$40 more than the GeForce 8800 GT. Don’t get us wrong, the GeForce 8800 GT is a great card, particularly if you’re on a strict $200 budget, but if you can afford to splurge $20 or so, the 8800 GTS 512MB is the board to get amongst the two.
With this in mind we’ve rounded up seven of the hottest GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB cards on the market right now. All of the boards included in today’s roundup run at different cock speeds and ship with different software bundles, but with the exception of the Palit card, all the boards included in today’s roundup are based on NVIDIA’s reference board design for the GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB.
We know that you’re probably disappointed by this, but unfortunately this is the reality you often have to deal with at the higher end of the graphics market. NVIDIA wants to ensure a consistent level of quality regardless of the board manufacturer, and the board partners themselves are often content to play along to keep their own R&D costs down.
Let’s check out the contenders!