8800GTS shootout - XFX 8800GTS XXX vs Gainward 8800GTS "Golden Sample"

Gainward Bliss 8800 GTS "Golden Sample" 640mb

Gainward Bliss 8800 GTS "Golden Sample" 640mb

Packaging

As is usual with Gainward there's a CGI female character on the front of the box and the packaging and protection is very good with some details on features and the name clearly printed on the box. The little golden emblem of the "Golden Sample" let's potential buyers that this is Gainward's signature range.

gainward bliss golden sample box gainward bliss golden sample 8800GTS box

Internally the packaging is very robust with compartments for everything and plenty of padding for the precious cargo.

The Card

Both of the cards have been loaded up with the stock 8800GTS cooler that all of the early 8800GTS cards were provided with. This is an excellent, solid and reliable cooler that keeps these hot GPU's fairly cool whilst maintaining relative silence.

Gainward have gone for their signature red on the card and added their unique logo onto it as well:

gainward golden sample 8800gts front gainward bliss golden sample 8800gts rear

The card is certainly very striking with the imposing cooler and the red colour. Also a nice touch is a Gainward logo on the top of the card or those of you with a case window to show off your hardware.

gainward bliss golden sample 8800gts side

Package

In the box you get:

* Gainward Quick Start manual
* Gainward Drivers, Utilities and Manuals disc
* Power DVD Player Software
* CyberLink DVD Solution Software
* 2 x DVI to VGA adaptors
* 1 x S-Video out to Composite and Component
* 1 x Dual molex to 6 Pin PCI-e power adaptor

gainward bliss 8800gts golden sample package

As usual Gainward provide a full package from a software perspective. With PowerDVD and a Gainward branded CyberLink DVD Solution as well as a drivers disc, Gainward have catered for those who want to have everything there for them upon opening the box. I did notice the lack of the usual "Free2Choose" voucher in the pack, which is unusual as this is usually something Gainward include this to fill out the package completely, and the choices are usually rather good.

The hardware package is also pretty decent with almost everything you need in the box. I did notice that an S-Video>S-Video cable was not included but seeing as most enthusiasts will not use this I don't think it's a great tragedy.

Overall a decent package as I have come to expect from Gainward.

Clock Speeds

Gainward have chosen to go for 550/1760 for the clock speeds of the card, along with 1200MHz on the stream processor clock. This should certainly help when pushing those pixels, although it is slightly lower than the XFX "XXX" Edition on the memory and certainly quite a bit lower on the stream processor clock.
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Most Recent Comments

05-03-2007, 13:08:13

FarFarAway
Take 2 hot-to-trot 8800GTS

1 reviewer with an overclocked Core2Duo system

Mix with plenty of benchmarks

Lets see what you get

05-03-2007, 13:15:42

Hyper
Excellent review Kemp.

Definatly made a good read

05-03-2007, 14:06:56

ionicle
looks like a good deal, does that GTS

but i am waiting to get a X1950XTX, when the R600 comes out, the price should plumit!

or so i hope

05-03-2007, 14:25:07

markkleb
Hey Kempez, do you thing a XFX XXX 320Mb version would be better than a regular 640Mb version?

05-03-2007, 14:38:52

FarFarAway
I didn't try the 320mb version I'm afraid mark - but I put it in the conclusion as a consideration

05-03-2007, 16:34:36

ai_01
nice review kemp =P

@ markkleb out of the box, GTX is better, GTS stock is 500 whereas GTX is 550-575. I dont think price/performance wise thou a GTX is worth more to get.

05-03-2007, 16:54:12

darkorb
ai_01, he means XFX XXX 8800gts 320mb vs. the XFX 8800gts 640mb

i think

05-03-2007, 17:14:13

Toxcity
One hell of a review there Kempez!

Really nice read.

Both cards coming out with pretty good results too.

05-03-2007, 17:15:46

ai_01
i look like an idiot :iamwithst

its about 100-90 US more for an extra 320mb of ram. my vote is the XXX, or any GTS w/the lower 320mb, and just overclock it, i like evga and XFX, they both clock well.

05-03-2007, 17:34:51

darkorb
Btw, very nice review Kemp!

05-03-2007, 18:14:37

BigD
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='ai_01'
i look like an idiot :iamwithst

its about 100-90 US more for an extra 320mb of ram. my vote is the XXX, or any GTS w/the lower 320mb, and just overclock it, i like evga and XFX, they both clock well.
i went with the 640mb version because it was only 50 bucks more... and ill still overclock it

great review!

05-03-2007, 18:23:47

markkleb
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='darkorb'
ai_01, he means XFX XXX 8800gts 320mb vs. the XFX 8800gts 640mb

i think
Yep, thanks for explaining better what I was trying to say.

It seems in other reviews of 512Mb cards VS 256 mb cards most said the extra memory didnt to too much.

So it seemed to me the XFX XXX 320Mb GTS may be better "in the real world' than the reg 640Mb GTS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by name='ai_01'
i look like an idiot :iamwithst
I would NEVER say that, thanks for pointing out the need for me to be more specific in my posts.

05-03-2007, 18:28:09

BigD
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='markkleb'

So it seemed to me the XFX XXX 320Mb GTS may be better "in the real world' than the reg 640Mb GTS.
maybe in dx9 but i think the 640mb version will pull ahead in dx10 when it is avail to use

i think the 640mb is more future proof, and games use more than 320mb now anyways

05-03-2007, 20:46:37

FragTek
Good read, review, and comparison. XFX really seems to have hit a homerun with the higher paced stream processors, it looks to make all the difference. Now how to figure out how to do this yourself, muahahaha.

05-03-2007, 22:49:22

ai_01
i was talkin to myself =P

Quote:
Originally Posted by name='markkleb'

I would NEVER say that, thanks for pointing out the need for me to be more specific in my posts.

05-03-2007, 23:13:14

BigD
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='FragTek'
Good read, review, and comparison. XFX really seems to have hit a homerun with the higher paced stream processors, it looks to make all the difference. Now how to figure out how to do this yourself, muahahaha.
probly something in the bios.. now im starting to think

06-03-2007, 04:36:34

Mr. Smith
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='BigD'
maybe in dx9 but i think the 640mb version will pull ahead in dx10 when it is avail to use

i think the 640mb is more future proof, and games use more than 320mb now anyways
Deffo - 640 is the better one IMO - already there is proof that the 320mb version has a bottle neck in COH, sure, that is just one game, but what about future, more taxing games? For a little extra cash I'd rather have that extra performance!

Quote:
Originally Posted by name='FragTek'
Good read, review, and comparison. XFX really seems to have hit a homerun with the higher paced stream processors, it looks to make all the difference. Now how to figure out how to do this yourself, muahahaha.
That is what I wanted to know too! So, currently no one knows how?

@ Kempez - damn fine review my man!

Edit: Overclocking stream processors - aparently a feature to overclock this seperately in later Forceware drivers was announced way back in November 06. It seems that nothing has happened but it all has something to do with CUDA which is not too far from C language. So, er - get on it! Write that code!

Also - another source suggested that when you OC the core the stream proccy OC's in a ratio (a ratio that nvidia won't confirm!). Furthermore, drivers seem to play a bit part in controlling the stream proccy speed... Just food for thought

08-03-2007, 04:27:50

FarFarAway
Review Amended with UK pricing and a supplier with available products

21-03-2007, 13:14:26

TJS
Good review, Kemp

As markkleb asked which is 'better', I think a review between the 640 and 320mb versions should be on the shortlist. I personally think the 320mb version should be pretty good even with the memory cut in half, especially if you can cut off roughly $75 (which equates to a excellent HSF of almost another GB or RAM).

I'm in line behind Frag and Herr Smith, would like to know how to overclock all aspects of the 8800GTS. I've taken mine to 600/1010 with no problems, currently run it at 600/924 (stock is 513/792, do a little math, wanted the core at 600 so 924 is where the memory should be). I've been using Riva Tuner since the ol' Coolbits is gone (couldn't figure out that regedit download from Tox), only see the core and mem sliders, where is the stream slider (or some other way we can OC it).

TJS

21-03-2007, 20:00:30

FarFarAway
As far as I am aware you can't do an easy OC on the stream processors, although I haven't had time to fully look into it as I am really busy catching up after a family illness.

There's a few cool reviews to come and a 320mb card is on the offing somewhen, just not right now.

21-03-2007, 20:21:13

BigD
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='TJS'
Good review, Kemp

As markkleb asked which is 'better', I think a review between the 640 and 320mb versions should be on the shortlist. I personally think the 320mb version should be pretty good even with the memory cut in half, especially if you can cut off roughly $75 (which equates to a excellent HSF or almost another GB or RAM).

I'm in line behind Frag and Herr Smith, would like to know how to overclock all aspects of the 8800GTS. I've taken mine to 600/1010 with no problems, currently run it at 600/924 (stock is 513/792, do a little math, wanted the core at 600 so 924 is where the memory should be). I've been using Riva Tuner since the ol' Coolbits is gone (couldn't figure out that regedit download from Tox), only see the core and mem sliders, where is the stream slider (or some other way we can OC it).

TJS
i use ATitool for my oc'ing and you can have it load the oc on startup and it tells the temp... i have mine running at 640/1000

havnt seen the temp go above 70*c yet cuz i got some insain air fed to my card at all times... two 80mm fans and a 120mm all blowing on it

28-04-2007, 04:44:22

xh131t10n
Yeah, thanks to your review, i bought the xxx gts 640, WOW wont need to look at staticice for another18 months!

28-04-2007, 09:17:35

FarFarAway
Aye they do pwn somewhat

28-04-2007, 09:32:19

xh131t10n
9500 on 3dmark06 - *sigh*, yeah. . . . .. they really DO pwn!

28-04-2007, 11:36:54

Gaz
very interesting review

29-04-2007, 04:02:36

Rastalovich
Great review Kemp.

Somewhere along the line I was wishing u`d take a screw-driver to those coolers, the pcbs look almost identical asif these guyz are working extremely close together. Like in the same building

I see many are already posing whether it`s better value to get a base card and do all the clocking uself. Meh.

29-04-2007, 04:10:22

Ham
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Rastalovich'
Great review Kemp.

Somewhere along the line I was wishing u`d take a screw-driver to those coolers, the pcbs look almost identical asif these guyz are working extremely close together. Like in the same building

I see many are already posing whether it`s better value to get a base card and do all the clocking uself. Meh.
They're all the same as the reference boards i expect.

As for the clocking we can oc the core but not the stream processors

29-04-2007, 07:56:48

FarFarAway
Aye they're all reference boards basically so the coolers the same as the reference. I could have taken em apart but not sure how much use it would have been.

I took the 8800GTX apart in that review.

If your particularly interested I could take apart another GTS and post some pics?

And ye you can OC the core clocks/memory clocks but I haven't found a way of doing the stream processors yet

29-04-2007, 08:14:01

Rastalovich
Is the stream process likely to involve some kind of firm upgrade that some guy is probably working on in his pc room as we speak ? lol Now these are out I guess theres a further reference for him to work off.

If I`m the only one looking for hardcore up-cooler shots, I wouldn`t bother, if I do some searching there bound to be something out there

29-04-2007, 09:38:40

PV5150
I have pics of my EN8800 GTS nekkid if you want to have a look at them
Reply
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