XFX 8800 Ultra "Extreme" Edition

Conclusion

Conclusion

The XFX 8800 Ultra "Extreme" Edition is a very fast card. If you're out to get one of the best performing cards on the market then it's certainly the card to take a look at. With a speedy 650MHz clock speed, fast 1620MHz stream processors and highly clocked 2200MHz memory, it's lightening fast out of the box.

Having said that: there is a price to pay for a card this fast. At £440 the card comes with a rather large pricetag. Considering the excellent XFX 8800 GTS Fatal1ty performs pretty darn well for under half the price, it's hard to recommend the card solely on price.

lomplett retailer

The actual gaming experience from having an Ultra is superb and by having a screamingly fast single card you're avoiding issues with SLI if you choose a solution with two cheaper 8800 GTS, so on that front it's a good choice.

The XFX 8800 Ultra gets a "Recommended" Award for being the fastest card to go through our labs to date...but with a proviso that there are other cards that you might be best spending your money on, as well as considering a certain something that may be coming to the shelves next week...

Recommended Award

The Good

+ Excellent performance
+ Great cooler as standard
+ Overclocked out of the box

The Mediocre

* New cards on the horizon

The Bad

- Very expensive

Thanks to XFX for the review sample

Check the Forums for some chat
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Most Recent Comments

25-10-2007, 07:10:25

FarFarAway
We take a look at one of the fastest cards money can buy.

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...161121521s.jpg

See what you think

25-10-2007, 07:34:56

Mullet
Nice, review Matt.

Would love to have 2 of these in my rig...if only to massage my 3DMark scores in an upward direction.

25-10-2007, 08:35:41

Pat123
Nice review niceeee card.. bit too higher price for me tho...

New cards hitting the shelves next week? is this the 8800GT

25-10-2007, 09:08:48

Ham
Great read as ever kemp.

With these just didn't cost as much

25-10-2007, 09:35:13

Rastalovich
Great read.

Still don`t like 2 slot gfx approach, but also appreciate the existing situation with that generation, and the cooler is proven.

Nice bundle imo, looked like both GRAW and the Lost Planet will give u something to thrash at immediately. Don`t know what else u would want in a bundle aside from tat.

Don`t like the price, especially with the very good alternatives about.

A little bemused with the release timing too tbh, seeing as XFX do have a number of already great 8800 options out there, but maybe this will be their consolidation card moving forward for the older 8800 models. Knowing perhaps that there isn`t a big enough performance gap between the 8800s about to come out and the existing GTX cards, this could be a reason for them to push this Ultra as far as they can.

Don`t think it`s a good option at this time, imo. Nice overall package, be excellent if it were cheaper - c`mon u`ve made u`r monies out of this range by now.

25-10-2007, 10:47:03

Hatman
I dont think the clock speed boost on that ultra over a normal ultra are enough to justify buying it, if it was 100mhz then yeh, but it isnt.

25-10-2007, 11:27:27

FarFarAway
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Rastalovich'
Still don`t like 2 slot gfx approach, but also appreciate the existing situation with that generation, and the cooler is proven.
Personally this never bothers me, but I can see why it would some

Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Rastalovich'
Nice bundle imo, looked like both GRAW and the Lost Planet will give u something to thrash at immediately. Don`t know what else u would want in a bundle aside from tat.
I think only Lost Planet comes with the card, I was just sent a review model with this one that had an older title in it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Rastalovich'
Don`t like the price, especially with the very good alternatives about.
I agree, thus a 5 for pricing

Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Hatman'
I dont think the clock speed boost on that ultra over a normal ultra are enough to justify buying it, if it was 100mhz then yeh, but it isnt.
Hmm, well I suppose it depends if yo want the warranty and want to pay the extra 40 on top of a normal Ultra

Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Rastalovich'
A little bemused with the release timing too tbh, seeing as XFX do have a number of already great 8800 options out there, but maybe this will be their consolidation card moving forward for the older 8800 models. Knowing perhaps that there isn`t a big enough performance gap between the 8800s about to come out and the existing GTX cards, this could be a reason for them to push this Ultra as far as they can.

Don`t think it`s a good option at this time, imo. Nice overall package, be excellent if it were cheaper - c`mon u`ve made u`r monies out of this range by now.
Not a good option right now I agree.

However on the release date: it's been out a little while but XFX took a while to send me it and the first card I got through had been fiddled with by a previous reviewer and was missing screws etc, thus the delay

25-10-2007, 11:33:23

Brooksie
Price is a bit high, but good card. 8800gt is gonna be sweet though..

25-10-2007, 12:48:56

Hatman
Thats the thing, at the rate things are going 2x 8800gt's are going to cost less then a single ultra while 1 GT performs nearly as well as an ultra.

8800gt SLI ftw.

25-10-2007, 13:18:00

FarFarAway
SLI ftl tbh mate

One single fast card ftw

25-10-2007, 13:39:38

!TIMMY!
Good review Kemp, i agree this is a bit pricy as you highlighted. im sure it will come down in price as the 8800gt is released.

25-10-2007, 19:00:34

Hatman
In the case of a 8800gt, where a card that is 1/2 the price of the GTX yet is within 20% of its performance.

I'm afraid you're wrong on this one mate, dead wrong

8800gt SLI FTW!

25-10-2007, 19:14:44

FarFarAway
SLI is a total waste of time mate. I've tested a LOT of cards in SLI and non SLI configuration (and crossfire), and SLI is 100% a waste of money

25-10-2007, 20:27:08

darkorb
SLI is a waste?

i can buy a 2nd 8800GTS for $120, would that be worth it?

26-10-2007, 04:12:34

nrage
Good question.

What you want to do is measure frames per sec against pounds spent.

If you look at reviews and benchmarks and take the figures for a particular game, with a particular card and compare that to the SLI of the same card in the same game you can calculate how many extra frames that 2nd card gives you.

From what I have seen you get anywhere between a 20% to 80% increase depending on the card, the game and the rest of the system (which has to be powerful enough to make use of the extra card).

Note that you never get a 100% increase, which means the 2nd card (which may have cost the same as the first card) never adds the same number of frames as the 1st card produced by itself.

So, if you measure frames per pound for each card you will always end up spending more per frame for the 2nd card.

Also remember that the performance increase varies depending on the game, the cards, drivers, ... it's not a constant.

26-10-2007, 05:18:47

FarFarAway
Exactly, all of which reasons as to why I say SLI is a waste of time and money

26-10-2007, 05:56:02

nrage
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Kempez'
Exactly, all of which reasons as to why I say SLI is a waste of time and money
Given that you're spending the same amount on the 2nd card and getting less for it you could say you have "wasted" some money there, especially when there is usually a single card which gives the same performance for less.

However, I think the argument changes when you're talking about performance above and beyond existing single card setups.

In that case there is no single card that can give the performance of SLI, so the SLI setup can be thought of as roughly the same as a single card which fits in at the top of the price curve.

If you graph the power/price curve of single cards adding the SLI options which give more performance than the top single card I suspect you'll find that SLI fits in about the right place in the curve.

Of course, when each next gen card comes out (I suspect) it usually gives more performance for less money than that SLI option. Once that happens the original argument of waste suddenly applies again.

26-10-2007, 07:50:01

Hatman
Wait wait, so, 8800gt for about 140, 2 of them for 280, comaped to 300 for a 8800gtx. Where a single 8800gt is within 20% of the performance of a 8800gtx.

So, lets say we add 40% boost for SLI. its going to beat the 8800gtx isnt it, by theoretically 20% with that boost. For 20 less. And let's face it games like crysis UT3 bioshock none of them are going to give just a 40% boost from SLI once the drivers are all sorted. SLI shows better under rmoe strain too so when you're in the 20 - 40fps area theres usually a better % boost then when your in the 60 - 70fps area, Ill see if I can find the review I saw of that.

But with the price of this new 8800gt and its performance theres no reason to not go SLI, 2x 8800GT's and you can kiss the 8800GTX goodbye..

-----

Imo SLI isnt a waste aslong as you use it right, its great for smoothing out those min framerates when playing a game even if the max doesnt go up by tons.

The whole 20% to 80% thing is true yes, but not for the newer games, all games starting to come out now after nvidia gets their drivers in gear have shown great boosts in SLI, its just mainly older games that dont like it that much.

-----

Aside from all taht its good for upgrading, say one high end card rom next gen is 2x one high end card from this gen, well you can buy thsi gen's high end card, tehn when next one comes out, simply purchase another one of your cards to get simular performance. Rather hten buying a new 300 high end then it costs like 150.

26-10-2007, 14:29:37

FarFarAway
Trouble is, every time I've upgraded from the fastest card to the new fastest card, I've paid MAX 40. Sold my old and bought the new. And when I did that I got a raft of new features and a card that flies. Nuff said

Agreed SLI is good is you want the fastest setup ever, but for VFM you may as well stick with single mid-high range cards. I'm not going to argue any more: I've experienced the speed SLI gives...and the issues it gives also. I just don't think it's the way anyone should go as an upgrade path
Reply
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