Gainward Bliss 8800 Ultra

Test Setup and Notes

Test Setup

CPU: Intel Core2Duo E6700 @ 3.33Ghz
Motherboard: XFX 650i Ultra
RAM: 2gb Mushkin XP2-6400 4-4-4-12
Sound: Creative Labs X-Fi fatal1ty FPS
HDD: OS - 160gb Hitachi Deskstar SATA II
HDD: Gaming - 2 x 40gb Hitachi Deskstars in RAID 0
Power: Silverstone Zeus 560w
Case: Silverstone TJ09
Cooling: Scythe Infinity

I will also add the figures from my previous review on the Sapphire HD 2900 XT, for comparison.

Games Tested:

Call of Duty 2
F.E.A.R.
Oblivion
Quake 4
Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars

I am using a manual run-through of the games listed, exactly the same as in previous reviews, but doing it slightly differently to get some consistant numbers. Notice that for all games I ran through with 4 x AA and 8 x AF @ 1920 x 1200. For all of the 3Dmark benchmarks I did two runs. One run was with the stock settings that the free version of the benchmark comes with and one was with 4 x AA @ 1920 x 1200.

For installation I have installed the card as usual with the normal PCI-E power dongle and checked that the card is seated correctly and powered on.

I am using a clean install of Windows XP Professional SP2 with all the latest patches.

Both nVidia cards are using the nVidia 152.24 Forceware drivers.

The ATI card was installed with the Catalyst Control Center 7.6's.

Sapphire HD 2900 XT. Core Speed 740. memory speed 1650 (825). Stream processor clock 320MHz.

MSI 8800 GTX. Clock Speed: 575. Memory Speed 1800 (900). Stream processor clock 1350MHz

Gainward 8800 Ultra. Core Speed: 612. Memory Speed 2100 (1050). Stream processor clock 1500MHz

Overclocking on the nVidia cards was performed using RivaTuner .

Overclocking on the ATI card was performed using AMD GPU Overclocking Tool.
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Most Recent Comments

18-07-2007, 07:08:13

FarFarAway
We take the nVidia's top-end Ultra and give it a thorough "thrashing"

How did it do?

Don't be lazy, read for yourself

18-07-2007, 07:17:22

mVp24
Typo?

The fan on the 8800 Ultra is of a similar ilk page 2, last paragraph.

18-07-2007, 07:20:05

FarFarAway
No that's not a typo

look it up

18-07-2007, 07:20:23

Mr. Smith
Nice write up.

I thought the Ultra's had a tonne of OC headroom... Evidently not.

Not free game with a 400 card? C'mon.

Looking at the OC results, budget or not, get a GTX and OC it - nothing that hasn't been said before. With the money saved get a better CPU or more RAM.

I want a GTX...

Edit: LOL - I think ilk is a very English word

18-07-2007, 07:21:12

FarFarAway
I found the Ultra got better scores than the GTX across the board - mainly due to those stream processors mefinks

18-07-2007, 07:22:43

mVp24
Well sorry Kemp :P

It's almost 4:30 AM here, gonna read it later.

Gnite!

<3

18-07-2007, 07:25:58

Mr. Smith
I was wondering, can you not just get that bios tool nbitor (can't remember), make a copy of the ultra's bios, then flash the GTX with the Ultra's bios and have the stream proccy clocked?

You can do the core/shader clocks/mem yourself.

Just a thought. Surely stream processors are oc'd at bios level...

18-07-2007, 07:33:23

FarFarAway
I dunno mate tbh

It's going back tomorrow and I don't do hard/BIOS mods in reviews for obvious reasons

18-07-2007, 07:48:20

Rastalovich
Great review, throw in a class game and the 402 would be easier to spend.

Other than that, whether the peformance over it`s rival is worth that 70 or so extra is up for debate. Seemed to give a nice increase when clocked tho, so u know there`s an further increase to be had.

If u bought this - would u immediately strip the cooler and apply u`r own thermal goo ? That stuff looks as hap-hazard an application as the trend seems to be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Mr. Smith'
I was wondering, can you not just get that bios tool nbitor (can't remember), make a copy of the ultra's bios, then flash the GTX with the Ultra's bios and have the stream proccy clocked?

You can do the core/shader clocks/mem yourself.

Just a thought. Surely stream processors are oc'd at bios level...
Keep an eye out tbh, cos some1 somewhere would have looked into it.

18-07-2007, 09:11:43

Mr. Smith
Kempez, can you do me a favour? Make a copy of the Ultra's bios while you have it and email it to me?

Now all I need is a GTX... Or find someone with a GTX thats willing. If I sell my GTS...

Rast - keep your eyes peeled my man! I'm-a startin' googlin' now!

18-07-2007, 09:16:21

FarFarAway
lol I would do but it's in reception being picked up

18-07-2007, 09:21:29

Mr. Smith
Damit. I think it would work. Ultra for the price of GTX

Sorry for the thread jacking.

Back on topic

18-07-2007, 09:46:11

Toxcity
As usual a bloody good review!

But is it really worth the extra dosh? It isn't that much quicker than the GTX.. :eh:

Thanks for the read!

18-07-2007, 10:01:35

FarFarAway
It is noticably smoother in games tbh

18-07-2007, 11:15:27

SuB
i didn't realise the gainward goop was so bad! i'll have to strip my gts and AS5 the core me thinks! (until i get a nice shiny waterblock for it anyway)

kemp what are the chances of getting some of the original sized pics, full resolution ones so we can see a close up for the cards?

perhaps in a zip file at the end of the review as a choice for members or something?

watermarked obviously just full size?

18-07-2007, 11:26:25

Mr. Smith
SuB, not sure how large you are after but if you use Firefox to browse you can install the image zoom tool and zoom right in there, although pixelation occurs if its a low quality image to begin with...

18-07-2007, 11:37:40

FarFarAway
Aye it was resized from a 10MP DSLR to 1024 x 768 then uploaded and resized again.

Umm...I can do mate, though not sure how many people would want that

Failing that tell me what ya wanna look like and I'll upload it and link to it here

18-07-2007, 18:40:36

Allsorts
Those are some amazing fps for 1920 x 1200 with AA&AF. A good read as usual, although with a price tag of 402 I wouldn't have scored it as highly as 7/10 for 'Price'.

18-07-2007, 18:47:42

FarFarAway
Well it's all relative isn't it? OK it's not in the section with the GTS (say 8 or 9), but it's still very fast and 402 is a lot less than it was released for

EDIT: SuB which pic you after?

19-07-2007, 02:18:35

SuB
all really i like to have a nice maaaaassive pic of things everynow and again, just that black plastic thing on the cooler looks a bit.. well.. 'cheap' but i dno

also a decent one of the pcb back and front thats about it really just so its possible to really get a good look at the layout

19-07-2007, 04:21:00

FarFarAway
OK mate give me till tonight and I'll upload the full 5.5mb pics

19-07-2007, 04:44:10

PP Mguire
Hey Kemp a quick question. Why did you turn off the shadows on Oblivion? And can you still not use AA and HDR together with the G80 cards?

19-07-2007, 08:33:14

SuB
sweetness cheers kemp

(i'd also like to know if the 8 series can do HDR + AA i tried farcry in vista but i couldn't get it to work the mouse wasn't detecting properly so i gave up without trying and haven't tried on xp yet lol)

19-07-2007, 08:47:44

FarFarAway
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='PP Mguire'
Hey Kemp a quick question. Why did you turn off the shadows on Oblivion? And can you still not use AA and HDR together with the G80 cards?
The shadows don't add anything to the game and some of them actually look appalling (self shadows). I set them to that for one review and want to make sure the rest of the cards get the same treatment

Quote:
Originally Posted by name='SuB'
sweetness cheers kemp

(i'd also like to know if the 8 series can do HDR + AA i tried farcry in vista but i couldn't get it to work the mouse wasn't detecting properly so i gave up without trying and haven't tried on xp yet lol)
Ye course they can, that's why I test em at 4 x AA + HDR

19-07-2007, 15:23:14

PP Mguire
Ok, well actualy shadows on the greenery actualy bogs the card down alot more making it more stressful of a bench. Also, if you test them at 4x+HDR then why not in this review?? Just a thought.

19-07-2007, 16:06:48

FarFarAway
I did test them at 4 x + HDR in this review

I am aware that shadows on the greenary affect performance, but I had to do a standard test for all the cards for comparison purposes so I chose no shadows.

19-07-2007, 16:15:59

PP Mguire
According to this

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/articles/2007/07/08184537656l.jpg

AA is turned off. Thats why i asked.

19-07-2007, 16:18:23

FarFarAway
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='"review"'
I enforced 4 x AA onto the game (via drivers) on all cards, leaving HDR on as an option in-game.

19-07-2007, 17:18:09

PP Mguire
Ahaha, totaly missed that. What an idiot of me lol sorry.

19-07-2007, 17:29:29

FarFarAway
lol Sok mate, twas an easy mistake

Oblivion won't let you enforce AA and HDR in-game so I use the drivers to do it

19-07-2007, 17:31:58

PP Mguire
Thats what i do, but thats because i have a 7950 card. I thought the G80 and X1900 cards where supposed to allow AA and HDR at the same time? Or is it just Oblivion being a pain?

19-07-2007, 17:43:17

FarFarAway
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='PP Mguire'
Thats what i do, but thats because i have a 7950 card. I thought the G80 and X1900 cards where supposed to allow AA and HDR at the same time? Or is it just Oblivion being a pain?
afaik the 7000 series can't do HDR + AA in Oblivion at all

And for the ATI cards you have to apply it in the drivers too

19-07-2007, 17:49:33

PP Mguire
Ah mk. Thanks alot.
Reply
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