It shouldn't come as any real surprise that the new G92 based 8800GTS is quite the performer. This really opens up a whole lot of questions though, and how exactly NVIDIA attack the market with this card will be interesting as well.
NVIDIA always takes pride in having stock when the NDA is lifted, and it doesn't look like this is going to be any different. A few suppliers have told us that they have ordered their stock and come December 11th they will be shipping their cards off to the local retailers.
This is all good and well, but the 8800GT had stock for about five minutes. Will we see the same issue with the new 8800GTS 512MB? Well, for starters the card is going to cost about $50 - $100 USD more than the RRP of the 8800GT. The problem is that the 8800GT is in such short supply that the card's price has been jacked up $50 - $75 USD meaning that the card could almost come in at the same price.
This is what I personally think will happen all over again; the 8800GT 512MB will be gone. NVIDIA have released it and caused a big drama by getting everyone excited and taking the attention away from the 3870.
The 256MB version of the 8800GT will come out and of course it won't be as good as the 512MB version, though it should run off the already well established name. The GTS will come in on December 11th and be fairly well priced at around $299 - $349 USD.
We all know that the majority of graphics card purchases are going to happen between now and probably up until around the 20th of December. After that, retailers are going to hit a dry spell for the simple fact that if you could hold off from purchasing a graphics card just before Christmas you can hold off until we see the new NVIDIA based DX10 cards come in January.
I could be wrong though, maybe the 8800GTS 512MB will come out on December 11th and we will see a bucket load of 8800GT 512MB stock pop up at the same time, but with local Australian distributors' back orders sitting in the 100s and stock coming in the 10s I can't see how that's going to change in the next week or two.
With all that said though, what are our thoughts on the 8800GTS 512MB? Well, quite frankly we love it. It's a good step up from the 8800GT if you're venturing into 1920 x 1200 territory, and the card also manages to do better with less noise and heat which is always great.
The 3870 and 8800GT will continue to battle it out, but even with a decent driver update it's probably safe to say that 3870 performance isn't going to catch up to the 8800GTS 512MB. That's ok though, as the card is not only cheaper than the 8800GTS but also the 8800GT. What's more, stock availability is much healthier.
We thought we would do a quick little overclock of the card before we wrapped things up. With a core speed of 720MHz and 2104MHz DDR on the 512MB of GDDR3 we managed to climb up and over 14,500 in 3DMark06. It will be interesting to see what the likes of BFG and ASUS do with their OC2 and TOP models respectively.
8800GTX stock has pretty much dried up and is overpriced now. The Ultra is just an absolute sick waste of money and the 3870 really has nothing on the new G92 based variant of the 8800GTS. This means that if you're looking for a top video card this Christmas the 8800GTS 512MB is probably going to be the card you're looking at.
When the NDA lifts early next month we will begin to look at some brands and see what they've managed to do with the new 8800GTS 512MB. Of course we have to thank the mystery company who sent us the card; you know who you are!
Update: We've just run benchmark tests of the 8800GTS in Crysis under Windows XP with DirectX 9.
Also worth noting is that we've carried over our Crysis test results from when we had both an 8800GTX and Ultra in our lab. You will find these results on page 18.