Asus EN 8800 GTX - nVidia's G80 Performance Revealed
Author: Matthew Kemp (kempez)
Product Acquired: Asus
There's no doubting that in the 8800 series, nVidia have made themselves a very nice card indeed. The new architecture and implementation of unified shaders have left a lot of people in the technology community surprised and excited. nVidia have "done" unified shaders the right way with a clean and clever implementation.
The high-quality feature implementation when using AA and AF are a huge improvement on the 7 series cards and at last nVidia have sorted out the quality problems they had rendering AF. Not only have nVidia solved these quality issues, but they have done so in such a way as to speed up the rendering of the higher quality features far above that on the previous generation of cards.
For high quality, ultra-high resolution gaming there's no doubt that an 8800GTX should be being built into your Gaming PC right now. It looks like ATI will be late to the party so the 8 series may be sitting in quite a few people's PC's before too long.
DirectX 10 is of course not out yet. This is where I foresee a stumbling block with people opening their wallets. Games like Crytek need to be out to fully utilise DX10 and DX10 cards, but we haven't seen any of them out yet as the API isn't out yet. With Microsoft saying that to play DX10 games you need Vista this makes the upgrade to DX10 that little bit more expensive which puts a bit of a downer on this incredibly fast card.
Coming onto the Asus bundle: it's a very nice bundle that comes with the card with two full games and 3DMark06 as well so full marks to Asus on that one. If you want to pick one up then it's yours for the princely fee of £461.25 @ SpecialTech. Is it worth this money right now: well it all depends if you're cutting edge or not. Personally I think this card is worth every penny, but then I'm in that "must have it now" user bracket.
I'm awarding the nVidia 8800GTX the "Innovation Award" and the Asus 8800GTX the "Gamers Choice Award" as well as an "Editors Choice Award". Quite some feat for one review item!
nVidia 8800 Series GPU's
+ Very fast
+ First card with DX10 support
+ Quiet Cooler
+ Great bundle
+ Excellent Image Quality
+ Innovative implementation of DX10 API
- Awaiting DX10
- CPU bound
Thanks to Asus for providing the review sample
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