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Leadtek WinFast PX8800 GT ZL 512MB

Leadtek have mixed it up adding the new Zalman cooler to the 8800GT. Continue forth to see what we think!
@ShawnBakerTW
Published Mon, Feb 25 2008 11:00 PM CST   |   Updated Fri, Sep 18 2020 10:50 PM CDT
Rating: 80%Manufacturer: Leadtek

Introduction





Leadtek are such a massive company that you forget about just how many different products they do. Not only do they do an assortment of NVIDIA based graphics cards and motherboards but also everything from tuner cards to video surveillance products.

The 9600GT is taking much of the spot light at the moment, but the 8800GT continues to be faster than the 9600GT and only slightly more expensive. It's one of the best valued cards on the market at the moment, and you can see why stock was constantly sold out during the launch period.

Leadtek have mixed it up a bit with the release of their 8800GT 512MB, and today we're getting around to checking it out. The particular model uses an aftermarket cooler by Zalman, but before we get into that let's check out what Leadtek have done with the package.

The Package




The Leadtek package is a pretty standard affair with the brand sitting across the top and some logos sitting to the other side. We also have some of the main technical features of the card.



Towards the middle of the card we have the model number along with a picture of the card. Moving right down to the bottom we have a list of more features which include the amount of RAM, DirectX 10 support, HDCP along with the mention of a free game.



Turning the box over we have a picture of the card again along with some more specific details of what the card has to offer. We also have a list of what's included in the package, the specifications and some more details of what the card offers.



Moving inside the box we have nothing too special in the cable department. Included is a molex to PCI-E connector, S-Video to Component and DVI to VGA connector.



Paperwork wise there's a single quick installation guide and in the CD department we have a driver CD along with a full version copy of Neverwinter Nights 2.

The package isn't too bad with the inclusion of NWN2, though that's all that really stands out. We've become so accustom to things like DVI to HDMI adapters and other little goodies, so not seeing them included here makes the bundle a little lackluster.

The Card




With the package out the way it's time to move onto the card, and clearly the stand out point is the heatsink/fan used. It's from Zalman and has that general high quality feel that Zalman products are renowned for.



The cooler isn't all that much to look at, though it should perform like most Zalman products which is generally pretty good. We can see two copper pipes coming out the bottom that moves up to the fins.



The only real problem that we have with the card is its lack of memory cooling. With that said though, it doesn't seem all that important these days and the fan is going to blow air directly over the modules anyway.





Doing the general sweep of the card it's got the usual PCI Express connector at the back of the card and a single SLI connector at the top.



The I/O side of things is also very standard; we have our single TV-Out port along with two Dual Link DVI connectors.


Specifications

Leadtek have bumped up the core from the stock 600MHz to 650MHz. However, they've unfortunately decided to leave the memory alone with it staying at the stock 1800MHz DDR. We wonder if they had chosen to include some memory sinks they may have moved it up a little, as we've seen models with stock coolers come out pre-overclocked at 1950MHz+ DDR.

Test System Setup and 3DMark06


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): GIGABYTE X48-DQ6 (Supplied by GIGABYTE)
Memory: 2 X 1GB Kingston PC6400 DDR-2 3-3-3-10 (KHX6400D2ULK2/2G) (Supplied by Kingston)
Hard Disk(s): Seagate 250GB 7200RPM SATA-2 7200.10 (Supplied by Seagate)
Operating System: Windows XP Professional SP2, Windows Vista
Drivers: Catalyst 8.1, Forceware 174.11 (9600GT Win XP), Forceware 171.16 (9600GT Win Vista)

Up against the HD 3870 from ASUS, we will see just how the 8800GT is going along these days. Continuing on with our upgraded test bed and line-up of games, we'll get stuck straight into it and see how the card fairs.


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.




At the lower resolutions we can see the 8800GT from Leadtek come out in front. Moving to 1920 x 1200 though, we can see that the HD 3870 is actually able to sneak out ahead by a few points.

Benchmarks - PT Boats: Knights of the Sea


PT Boats: Knights of the Sea

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo
Developer Homepage: http://en.akella.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.pt-boats.net/





PT Boats: Knights of the Sea is a naval action simulator that places gamers in charge of a mosquito fleet of the Allied Forces, Russia or Germany during the height of World War II.

Using the latest Direct X 10 technology PT Boards - Knights of the Sea manages to apply a lot of stress to the components of today which in turn gives us quite an intensive benchmark.






Moving to something a little newer and more intensive we can see that the 8800GT from Leadtek is able to give us a nice little lead over the HD 3870.

Benchmarks - CINEBENCH R10


CINEBENCH R10

Version and / or Patch Used: Release 10
Developer Homepage: http://www.maxon.net/
Product Homepage: http://www.maxon.net




CINEBENCH is a real-world test suite that assesses your computer's performace capabilities. MAXON CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's award-winning animation software, CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Spider-Man, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more.

MAXON CINEBENCH runs several tests on your computer to measure the performance of the main processor and the graphics card under real world circumstances. The benchmark application makes use of up to 16 CPUs or CPU cores and is available for Windows (32-bit and 64-Bit) and Macintosh (PPC and Intel-based).




OpenGL performance under CINEBENCH favors the NVIDIA based 8800GT considerably.

Benchmarks - Half Life 2 (Episode Two HDR)


Half Life 2 (Episode Two 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 Two 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 Two 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.




At the lower resolutions we can see the Leadtek card gets some good gains. As we move up though, it becomes closer. The 8800GT manages to still just hold the lead though.

Benchmarks - World in Conflict


World in Conflict

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.0.5
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.






We continue to see little gains for the Leadtek 8800GT over the HD 3870.

Benchmarks - Enemy Territory: Quake Wars


Enemy Territory: Quake Wars

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Version
Timedemo or Level Used: Custom time demo
Developer Homepage: http://www.splashdamage.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.enemyterritory.com/





Enemy Territory: Quake Wars is the latest Quake incarnation to make it out of the iD labs and carries with it a fast paced experience that manages to place a good amount of strain on your graphics card.

We use a custom made time demo which shows a bit of everything and manages to give us a good solid benchmark for the graphics cards that we test.




Moving to the OpenGL based ETQW we can see the Leadtek 8800GT is about 10% faster across the board.

Benchmarks - Crysis


Crysis

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1
Timedemo or Level Used: Custom time demo
Developer Homepage: http://www.crytek.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.ea.com/crysis/
Buy It Here





From the makers of Far Cry, Crysis offers FPS fans the best-looking, most highly-evolving gameplay, requiring the player to use adaptive tactics and total customization of weapons and armor to survive in dynamic, hostile environments including Zero-G.

Real time editing, bump mapping, dynamic lights, network system, integrated physics system, shaders, shadows and a dynamic music system are just some of the state of-the-art features the CryENGINE 2 offers. The CryENGINE 2 comes complete with all of its internal tools and also includes the CryENGINE 2 Sandbox world editing system.




Crysis tend to favor the NVIDIA offerings, and here is really no different.

Benchmarks - Unreal Tournament 3


Unreal Tournament 3

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1
Timedemo or Level Used:
Developer Homepage: http://www.epicgames.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.unrealtournament3.com/
Buy It Here





Following the formulae that made Unreal Tournament so great the third installment to the series has hit us recently with better than ever graphics. The games uses the latest Unreal Engine which like most modern day games when maxed out puts the pressure on our lineup of graphics cards.




We again see the Leadtek trounce the HD 3870 at the lower resolutions, though when we climb to 1920 x 1200 it becomes a lot closer with the HD 3870 actually just sneaking ahead.

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



As usual, you turn on AA and AF and the HD 3870 begins to struggle, this giving the 8800GT a good lead.


Half Life 2 (Episode Two HDR)



Source based games tend to favor AMD cards quite heavily, but with the AA disadvantage that you get from the HD 3870 it's only able to get a measly 2 FPS on the 8800GT which equates to roughly 3%.


World In Conflict





Again the HD 3870 lags way behind when we turn on AA and AF.

Benchmarks - 3DMark06 - XP


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.




With Vista out the way it's time to move to XP, and the Leadtek 8800GT comes out ahead at all resolutions.

Benchmarks - CINEBENCH R10 - XP


CINEBENCH R10

Version and / or Patch Used: Release 10
Developer Homepage: http://www.maxon.net/
Product Homepage: http://www.maxon.net




CINEBENCH is a real-world test suite that assesses your computer's performace capabilities. MAXON CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's award-winning animation software, CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Spider-Man, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more.

MAXON CINEBENCH runs several tests on your computer to measure the performance of the main processor and the graphics card under real world circumstances. The benchmark application makes use of up to 16 CPUs or CPU cores and is available for Windows (32-bit and 64-Bit) and Macintosh (PPC and Intel-based).




Moving to CINEBENCH under XP we can see the cards score extremely close together with only a few points separating them. Yes, the graph makes it look like a lot more, but that's because our software likes to do some weird things sometimes.

Benchmarks - World in Conflict - XP


World in Conflict

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.0.5
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.





We continue to see the HD 3870 lag behind the 8800GT from Leadtek across all resolutions.

Benchmarks - Unreal Tournament 3 - XP


Unreal Tournament 3

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1
Timedemo or Level Used:
Developer Homepage: http://www.epicgames.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.unrealtournament3.com/
Buy It Here





Following the formulae that made Unreal Tournament so great the third installment to the series has hit us recently with better than ever graphics. The games uses the latest Unreal Engine which like most modern day games when maxed out puts the pressure on our lineup of graphics cards.




UT3 shows what we have seen a few times before. The 8800GT manages to really come out ahead at the lower resolution, though as we climb to 1920 x 1200 it performs a lot closer to the HD 3870. In this case it's able to just stay ahead of the HD 3870.

Benchmarks - Half Life 2 (Episode Two HDR) - XP


Half Life 2 (Episode Two 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 Two 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 Two 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 finish our gaming benchmarks with Episode Two under XP, we see a similar pattern to what we get in UT3. We have a big lead at the lower resolution while at the higher one it only manages to just be ahead.

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.




Leadtek manage to do a good job cooling the 8800GT, it outperforms the HD 3870 almost every time and comes in 15c cooler to boot.


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).




The cooler is slightly louder, but nothing that stands out. The HD 3870 is actually pretty good in noise levels compared to the previous generation HD 2900s.

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 load power usage is about the same as the HD 3870 while the idle usage is actually quite a fair jump ahead of the HD 3870.

Final Thoughts




The 8800GT is an impressive card and Leadtek haven't done a bad job with this Zalman edition that we have here today. The problem with the card however is that it just isn't all that exciting versus the mass of other 8800GTs floating around. The cooler isn't the best thing to look at, and while it does do a good job it's disappointing to see that Leadtek haven't chosen to cool the memory separately and give us a MHz bump in that department.

The inclusion of Neverwinter Nights 2 isn't too bad as it's a more recent title and certainly game fans of the genre could get into it. Apart from that though there isn't much else to the package.

Performance is good, that's no surprise. It's an 8800GT after all. If you wanted a bit more power you could look down the 512MB 8800GTS route, but there is no doubt that the 8800GT is going to be able to offer a lot of people out there the kind of power they want.

The Leadtek 8800GT ZL is a good card. It's great in the performance department, but on an all round scale it's just "good". It doesn't really stand out massively from other 8800GTs we've looked at which come with bigger clocks and/or fancier heatsink/fan combinations.

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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.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.
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