Graphics Cards Guide

ASUS EN8800GS TOP 384MB review

ASUS EN8800GS TOP 384MB (GeForce 8800 GS)

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Even in an industry known for truncated product life cycles, NVIDIA's GeForce 8800 GS has probably taken one of the shortest paths towards the product graveyard. Released early this year as a stopgap solution before the GeForce 9600 GT, the GeForce 8800 GS lasted around a month before it was supplanted by the new arrival. Given its transitory nature, it was not surprising that not many board vendors have prepared this product. So far, we have only seen XFX, eVGA, Palit and ASUS offering this chipset and with the introduction of the GeForce 9600 GT, these numbers are set to fall further.

For those who are understandably unaware of what the GeForce 8800 GS is all about, it is essentially a stripped down version of the G92 core found on the GeForce 8800 GT. The 112 stream processors of the GT have been reduced to 96 on the GS while memory bandwidth also took a cut to 192-bit from the initial 256-bit path, with a memory size of 384MB instead of 512MB. Clock speeds have also been reduced throughout, along with a lower price tag that was supposed to compete against the Radeon HD 3000 series.

Comparing the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GS
Model NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GS 384MB NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT 512MB NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 512MB ATI Radeon HD 3870 512MB ATI Radeon HD 3850 256MB
Core Code G92-150 G94 G92 RV670 RV670
Transistor Count 754 million 505 million 754 million 666 million 666 million
Manufacturing Process (microns) 0.065 0.065 0.065 0.055 0.055
Core Clock 550MHz 650MHz 600MHz 775MHz 670MHz
Stream Processors 96 Stream Processors 64 Stream Processors 112 Stream Processors 64 Shader units consisting of 320 Stream Processors 64 Shader units consisting of 320 Stream Processors
Stream Processor Clock 1375MHz 1625MHz 1500MHz 775MHz 670MHz
Texture Mapping Units (TMU) or Texture Filtering (TF) units 48 32 56 16 16
Raster Operator units (ROP) 16 16 16 16 16
Memory Clock 1600MHz GDDR3 1800MHz GDDR3 1800MHz GDDR3 2250MHz GDDR4 1660MHz GDDR3
DDR Memory Bus 192-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit
Memory Bandwidth 38.4GB/s 57.6GB/s 57.6GB/s 72.0GB/s 53.1GB/s
Ring Bus Memory Controller NIL NIL NIL 512-bit 512-bit
PCI Express Interface PCIe ver 2.0 x16 PCIe ver 2.0 x16 PCIe ver 2.0 x16 PCIe ver 2.0 x16 PCIe ver 2.0 x16
Molex Power Connectors Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Multi GPU Technology Yes (SLI) Yes (SLI) Yes (SLI) Yes (CrossFire) Yes (CrossFire)
DVI Output Support 2 x Dual-Link 2 x Dual-Link 2 x Dual-Link 2 x Dual-Link 2 x Dual-Link
HDCP Output Cable? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Street Price US$149 - 169 US$170 - 199 ~US$219 - 259 ~US$189 - 229 ~US$149 - 169

We were finally able to get our hands on a review unit of the GeForce 8800 GS today, courtesy of ASUS. Although the heir apparent of the NVIDIA mid-range, the GeForce 9600 GT is already available, we were interested to see how the GeForce 8800 GS performs against its competitors. Especially with ASUS offering an overclocked, TOP edition of this chipset, could it instigate a positive uproar? Find out more over the next few page as we dissect it performance proposition.