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There's nothing like a dramatic drop in prices to push adoption of new technologies and that seems to be the case in the discrete graphics scene when it comes to DirectX 10 compatible cards. While the absolute prices have not fallen that much, the performance you get for the amount you paid has increased tremendously recently, thanks to the introduction of the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT , which was followed almost immediately by ATI's Radeon HD 3800 series. Both are new refreshes of existing GPUs from the chipmakers and correct some of the flaws in the originals.
Of course, the biggest attraction for consumers is the fact that prices for these cards are all well below the US$300 mark, opening them to a larger group of enthusiasts and gamers that couldn't have afforded them previously. Coupled with the growing list of highly rated DirectX 10 PC games that have been launched recently, and the usual year-end shopping mood generated by the upcoming holidays (and expectations of year-end bonuses), there is a palpable buzz surrounding these new products. Even news of limited supply has not dampened the enthusiasm (and perhaps even fueling the desirability of these cards), so today, we are playing our part in stoking this buying spirit by featuring 10 GeForce 8800 GT cards. Some are overclocked, some are loaded with extras but all desire your hard earned dollars. Which is the right card for you? Find out in the next few pages.
ASUS EN8800GT TOP
As usual, starting us off on our ten course feast of GeForce 8800 GT offerings in alphabetical order, we have the TOP edition from ASUS. Most of you should be familiar with ASUS' overclocked TOP edition, which typically boasts one of the highest clocks found for its SKU. This is the case for this ASUS GeForce 8800 GT, with a core clocked at 700MHz and a memory frequency of 2000MHz DDR, making it joint fastest in our roundup. With its standard cooler however, it looks no different from its competitors, distinguished only by a Company of Heroes: Opposing Front decal.
This new expansion to one of the most well received games in recent times looks like another certain blockbuster and consumers will find it bundled together with the TOP. During our testing, we were slightly concerned with the relatively high temperatures on this card, a direct consequence of its higher clocks. ASUS has already readied a new version of the TOP equipped with another cooler known as the Glaciator and hopefully that will help ease your concerns. Currently however, the first batch on sale now is the one we received and pictured below:
Here's what you get in the package:-
- Driver CD
- Installation guide
- User manual (on CD)
- Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts (full game)
- Leather CD wallet
- DVI-to-VGA adaptor
- 6-pin Molex power connector
- 7-pin mini-DIN to Component dongle
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