ASUS G92 EN8800GTS and EN8800GTS TOP

NVIDIA's revised 8800GTS cards are just around the corner. We take an exclusive look at two models from ASUS today.

@ShawnBakerTW
Published Wed, Dec 5 2007 11:00 PM CST   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 7:04 PM CST
Manufacturer: none

Introduction





Continuing on with more coverage of the new 8800GTS 512MB, we have with us a pair of 8800GTS G92 based cards from ASUS.

The two cards are slightly different from each other; we have a standard 512MB 8800GTS which isn't something too out of the ordinary. The other card is part of the TOP series from ASUS which comes pre-overclocked out of the box. We'll venture closer into the cards over the next two pages.

Let's not delay any longer and move on to the package of the cards before we check the cards out themselves and roll on into the benchmarks.

The Packages




ASUS continue with the big box we have seen them use for a while on their high-end cards. The front of the box for both cards is actually the same, with the only difference being that one mentions TOP which is of course the overclocked model.





We see the normal details on the front of the box such as the model and how much RAM comes with the card.





Turning the box over we have some more specific details of what's on offer from the card. We also see some of the more exclusive features that ASUS offer on their lineup of cards.



Moving inside the box we have a cool CD wallet which we have become quite accustomed to seeing on the high-end ASUS models. We also have a driver CD included along with a user manual on the CD and a hard copy of the speed guide for a quick an easy setup.



Cable wise we have the standard DVI to VGA connector, HDTV-out cable and Molex to PCI-E power connector.

Both cards share the same package and it's disappointing to see the lack of a full version game. High-end AMD offerings have been coming with Black Box and Company of Heroes lately, so to have a new high-end graphics card like the 8800GTS 512M coming without anything is somewhat disappointing.

The Cards




Moving onto the cards they both look exactly the same which is disappointing as we really think the TOP should have differed slightly from the standard clocked model.



Both cards use the same standard dual-slot heatsink that we saw on our other 8800GTS from the mystery company. There isn't much to say about the front of the card as the giant heatsink covers the majority of the card.



If we take a quick spin around the card we can see the 6-pin PCI Express connector at the back of the card which we saw on the 8800GT.





Heading to the top of the card we have a single SLI connector which means that the cards won't support the new TRI SLI technology, at least that's what logic tells us. This is quite disappointing as the 8800GT and GTS represent quite good value for money when compared to the older GTX and Ultra which do carry the necessary dual SLI connectors. This isn't ASUS' fault though, rather a decision by NVIDIA.



Heading over towards the I/O side of things we have the standard Dual DVI connectors which of course support Dual Link connectivity, along with the standard TV-Out port.


Specifications

The standard model comes with standard clocks as you would expect; the core comes in at 650MHz with a 1625MHz shader clock. The 512MB of GDDR3 also comes in carrying the stock speeds of 1940MHz DDR.

The TOP on the other hand gets a bump in both the memory and core clock; the core clocks comes in at 740MHz which is quite a significant increase along with the shader clock moving to 1800MHz. The 512MB of GDDR3 also gets a nice little bump being taken to 2070MHz DDR.

Test System Setup and 3DMark05


Test System Setup

Processor(s): Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 @ 3GHz (333MHz x 9)
Cooling: Corsair Nautilus500 (Supplied by Corsair) with Arctic Cooling MX-2 Thermal Compound (Supplied by Arctic Cooling)
Motherboard(s): ASUS Blitz Extreme (Supplied by ASUS)
Memory: 2 X 1GB Corsair XMS3 DDR-3 1066MHz 7-7-7-21 (Supplied by Corsair)
Hard Disk(s): Hitachi 80GB 7200RPM SATA-2
Operating System: Windows XP Professional SP2, Windows Vista
Drivers: Catalyst 7.10, Forceware 169.01, Forceware 169.06 (8800GTS 512MB)

With a whole ASUS lineup today we have the two GTS cards along with the 8800GT, and of course we mix things up a bit more with the 3870 too. We won't go into too much detail as we have a pretty standard affair as far as benchmarks and cards go.


3DMark05

Version and / or Patch Used: Build 130
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmark05/
Buy It Here




3DMark05 is now the second latest version in the popular 3DMark "Gamers Benchmark" series. It includes a complete set of DX9 benchmarks which tests Shader Model 2.0 and above.

For more information on the 3DMark05 benchmark, we recommend you read our preview here.




We can see that the TOP model gives us a little boost in performance, nothing too exciting though. We can see that the gains when compared to the 8800GT are also quite small. 3DMark05 isn't the most intensive of applications these days so let's move on.

Benchmarks - 3DMark06


3DMark06

Version and / or Patch Used: Build 110
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmark06/
Buy It Here




3DMark06 is the very latest version of the "Gamers Benchmark" from FutureMark. The newest version of 3DMark expands on the tests in 3DMark05 by adding graphical effects using Shader Model 3.0 and HDR (High Dynamic Range lighting) which will push even the best DX9 graphics cards to the extremes.

3DMark06 also focuses on not just the GPU but the CPU using the AGEIA PhysX software physics library to effectively test single and Dual Core processors.




We can see the gains are a bit larger here when compared to the 8800GT; the standard model is about 10% faster while the TOP model at the highest resolution is about 20%.

Benchmarks - Half Life 2 (Episode One HDR)


Half Life 2 (Episode One HDR)

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest from Steam
Timedemo or Level Used: Custom Timedemo
Developer Homepage: http://www.valvesoftware.com
Product Homepage: http://www.half-life2.com
Buy It Here




By taking the suspense, challenge and visceral charge of the original, and adding startling new realism, responsiveness and new HDR technology, Half-Life 2 Episode One opens the door to a world where the player's presence affects everything around him, from the physical environment to the behaviors even the emotions of both friends and enemies.

We benchmark Half Life 2 Episode One with our own custom timedemos as to avoid possible driver optimizations using the "record demo_name" command and loading the timedemo with the "timedemo demo_name" command - For a full list of the commands, click here.




We continue to see some decent gains at the higher resolutions. You can see at the lower resolution though there isn't too much difference.

Benchmarks - Prey


Prey

Version and / or Patch Used: Unpatched
Timedemo or Level Used: HardwareOC Custom Benchmark
Developer Homepage: http://www.humanhead.com
Product Homepage: http://www.prey.com
Buy It Here




Prey is one of the newest games to be added to our benchmark line-up. It is based off the Doom 3 engine and offers stunning graphics passing what we've seen in Quake 4 and does put quite a lot of strain on our test systems.




Prey seems to enjoy the extra power on offer from the 8800GTS as you can see some decent gains when compared to the 8800GT. The 3870 sits back but this isn't really a surprise with the OpenGL based Prey. We continue to see though that the best gains are seen at the higher resolutions like 1920 x 1200.

Benchmarks - F.E.A.R.


F.E.A.R.

Version and / or Patch Used: Unpatched
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.vugames.com
Product Homepage: http://www.whatisfear.com/us/
Buy It Here




F.E.A.R. (First Encounter Assault Recon) is an intense combat experience with rich atmosphere and a deeply intense paranormal storyline presented entirely in first person. Be the hero in your own spine-tingling epic of action, tension, and terror...and discover the true meaning of F.E.A.R.





F.E.A.R. minimums are quite similar across the G92 offerings; the only time we can see any difference is in the average FPS, this is because of the higher maximum frame rate on offer from the higher end cards.

Benchmarks - Company of Heroes


Company of Heroes

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.7
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.relic.com
Product Homepage: http://www.companyofheroesgame.com
Buy It Here




Company of Heroes, or COH as we're calling it, is one of the latest World War II games to be released and also one of the newest in our lineup of benchmarks. It is a super realistic real-time strategy (RTS) with plenty of cinematic detail and great effects. Because of its detail, it will help stress out even the most impressive computer systems with the best graphics cards - especially when you turn up all the detail. We use the built-in test to measure the frame rates.






The good gains over the 8800GT are seen at the higher resolution, but as we move back to the lower ones the gains aren't really that impressive. The 3870 really continues to lag behind and shows it needs a new driver sooner rather than later.

Benchmarks - World in Conflict


World in Conflict (DX9)

Version and / or Patch Used: Demo
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.massive.se
Product Homepage: http://www.worldinconflict.com




World in Conflict is a real-time strategy video game by Massive Entertainment and to be published by Sierra Entertainment for Windows (DX9 and DX10) and the Xbox 360.

The game is set in 1989 where economic troubles cripple the Soviet Union and threaten to dissolve it. However, the title pursues a "what if" scenario where, in this case, the Soviet Union does not collapse and instead pursues a course of war to remain in power. It is an intensive new game is sure to put plenty of stress on even the latest graphics cards and we use the built-in benchmarking for our testing.





World in Conflict performance is pretty similar across the board at the lower resolutions. At the higher resolution though we do see the GTS offering move out ahead and separate itself from the 8800GT.

High Quality AA and AF




Our high quality tests let us separate the men from the boys and the ladies from the girls. If the cards weren't struggling before they will start to now.


3DMark06



The TOP performance shows a decent gain over all the cards and we can see as usual the 3870 really lags behind when we turn on AA and AF.


Half Life 2 (Episode One HDR)



The 8800GTS again shows some decent jumps when it comes to being put under pressure.


Prey



The OpenGL based Prey continues to show strong presence for the 8800 series of cards.

Benchmarks - 3DMark06 - Vista


3DMark06

Version and / or Patch Used: Build 110
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmark06/
Buy It Here




3DMark06 is the very latest version of the "Gamers Benchmark" from FutureMark. The newest version of 3DMark expands on the tests in 3DMark05 by adding graphical effects using Shader Model 3.0 and HDR (High Dynamic Range lighting) which will push even the best DX9 graphics cards to the extremes.

3DMark06 also focuses on not just the GPU but the CPU using the AGEIA PhysX software physics library to effectively test single and Dual Core processors.




Like our non Vista tests we can see that the 8800GTS shows some decent gains across the board.

Benchmarks - Call of Juarez (DX10) - Vista


Call of Juarez (DX10)

Version and / or Patch Used: DX10 Benchmark Demo
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.techland.pl/en/
Product Homepage: http://www.coj-game.com

Buy It Here



Call of Juarez is a Western-themed FPS from Techland. The North America release was one of the first games to utilize DX10.

Call of Juarez is loosely based on a number of Western movie hits from the last four decades, particularly the Spaghetti Westerns that became popular in the sixties and early seventies. The game features two different characters: Billy "Candle", a young fugitive accused of murder and the Reverend Ray, an ex-outlaw who turned to religion, believing that God himself has chosen Ray to be the instrument of His wrath.





We can see the TOP gets a bump at the highest resolution and manages to take out the 3870 which is generally a fan favorite for AMD cards.

Benchmarks - Lost Planet (DX10) - Vista


Lost Planet: Extreme Condition

Version and / or Patch Used: Demo
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.capcom.com
Product Homepage: http://www.nzone.com/object/nzone_lostplanet_home.html




Driven to the brink of extinction on ice-covered wastelands, humankind fights to survive. From extreme conditions and insurgent Snow Pirates to hostile gargantuan alien Akrid, all that you can trust are your instincts.

Combining a gripping single player campaign and intense multiplayer modes with support for up to 16 players online, Lost Planet is an epic gaming masterpiece. Enormous world maps unfold as players' battle across vast snow fields and deserted cities either on foot or in armed, robotic Vital Suits.



Lost Planet sees good gains across the board over the standard 8800GT, this seems to be quite common in Lost Planet where good gains are seen from just slightly more speed.

Benchmarks - Company of Heroes (DX10) - Vista


Company of Heroes

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.7
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.relic.com
Product Homepage: http://www.companyofheroesgame.com
Buy It Here




Company of Heroes, or COH as we're calling it, is one of the latest World War II games to be released and also one of the newest in our lineup of benchmarks. It is a super realistic real-time strategy (RTS) with plenty of cinematic detail and great effects. Because of its detail, it will help stress out even the most impressive computer systems with the best graphics cards - especially when you turn up all the detail. We use the built-in test to measure the frame rates.




Company of Heroes while able to see some gains doesn't have anything too spectacular to show. Although at the higher resolution the move to the GTS does equate to roughly a 10% performance increase.

Temperature and Sound Tests


Temperature Tests



With the TES 1326 Infrared Thermometer literally in hand we found ourselves getting real-world temperatures from the products we test at load (3D clock speeds).

There are two places we pull temperature from - the back of the card directly behind the core and if the card is dual slot and has an exhaust point we also pull a temperate from there, as seen in the picture.




The 8800GTS is a warm card and the overclocked offering brings it up to about the same level as the 8800GT with its slower speeds and smaller fan.


Sound Tests



Pulling out the TES 1350A Sound Level Meter we find ourselves quickly yelling into the top of it to see how loud we can be.

After five minutes of that we get a bit more serious and place the device two CM away from the fan on the card to find the maximum noise level of the card when idle (2D mode) and in load (3D mode).




This is where the larger fan comes in handy, it really manages to keep noise down and sit at a decent level. You can see just how big a jump the 8800GT is in the load department.

Power Consumption Tests






Using our new PROVA Power Analyzer WM-01 or "Power Thingy" as it has become quickly known as to our readers, we are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated graphics cards installed. Keep in mind; it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into AC wall socket).

There are a few important notes to remember though; while our maximum power is taken in 3DMark06 at the same exact point, we have seen in particular tests the power being drawn as much as 10% more. We test at the exact same stage every time; therefore tests should be very consistent and accurate.

The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum - only a 7,200RPM SATA-II single hard drive is used without CD ROM or many cooling fans.

So while the system might draw 400 watts in our test system, placing it into your own PC with a number of other items, the draw is going to be higher.




The biggest gripe with the 8800GTS seems to be the power it uses; the smaller nanometer should bring power right down but we see figures similar to the last generation of AMD cards where the HD 2900 XT put out some disturbingly high numbers.

Final Thoughts




ASUS generally seems to have done a very good job with the 8800GTS TOP. The standard model is...well....just that, a standard model. There isn't much you can say about it. The package is pretty standard with the exception of a CD Wallet. The problem is the same can be said for the TOP package, we have become used to getting some more recent games included in our ASUS graphics cards and it's disappointing to see that the 8800GTS missed out on such an added bonus.

The performance increase is certainly there over the standard 8800GT, and if you're not willing to overclock or just plain don't want to you can see why you would go for this card; especially if you're the owner of a 24" LCD that is outputting 1920 x 1200. However, as we witnessed recently, if you're willing to do a bit of overclocking the 8800GT represents some excellent value for money.

The real question is what will the price be like and how is stock going to go? Well, we still won't know for probably another week but hopefully it isn't too bad and fingers crossed there's plenty of stock.

ASUS continue to make a decent graphics card but there is no denying that we would have liked to have seen the TOP model stand out a little bit more over the standard, even if it was just a sticker on the card. Ultimately though, the biggest thing for these graphics cards are performance and the TOP manages to give you a nice little boost at the higher resolutions which could probably justify the slight price premium.

The 8800GTS G92 based card is a good graphics card, but not great. NVIDIA really seemed to have dug themselves a hole by putting the 8800GT out; it represents excellent performance and a nice price tag to boot, when companies aren't taking advantage of the limited stock that is.


ASUS EN8800GTS

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ASUS EN8800GTS TOP

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Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

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