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ASUS EN8800GT 1GB Graphics Card

ASUS has doubled the amount of RAM on the 8800GT, bringing it to a total of 1GB. Shane sees if this makes a difference.
@ShawnBakerTW
Published Thu, Apr 17 2008 11:00 PM CDT   |   Updated Fri, Sep 18 2020 10:50 PM CDT
Rating: 88%Manufacturer: ASUS

Introduction





You did your research and you've discovered that the 8800GT continues to be one of the best value for money cards when it comes to good mid-range performance. The thing is, you wouldn't mind kicking it up a notch in the memory department if you had the choice.

Well, we might have found the card for you here today. ASUS has recently released an 8800GT that is packing 1GB of GDDR3 memory. However, it's not uncommon for a bump in memory to do nothing more than make you feel a bit better about your system.

Really, there's only one way to find out if the extra memory does anything for your gaming experience, and that is to run it through a multitude of tests. That's exactly what we've done here today, but before we get into it let's see what ASUS has done with the package and card.

The Package




The box with us today is something that we've seen a bit lately when looking at some of the ASUS mid-range offerings. Across the bottom we can clearly see the model along with the fact that it comes with 1GB of memory, while the top give us the ASUS logo.



We've got some more logos above the model number with another mention of 1GB GDDR3 memory being included. Above that we have a spot that ASUS generally leaves for one of the main features on the product; in this case it's the extra memory included on the card.



Turning the box over and we're greeted with some of the features that the 8800GT 1GB offers along with some information of some of the exclusive innovations included with the card.



Included in the package we have a SpeedSetup guide along with the driver CD and the Multi-Language manual CD.



The cable department is very light with a single DVI to VGA connector, molex to PCI Express connector and component out cable.



ASUS has also chosen to include a CD Wallet that we see in some of the higher end models.

The Card




ASUS has opted to use the exclusive Glaciator heatsink/fan combination which looks good. We also see towards the back of the card another heatsink that helps keep some of the other warmer components as cool as possible.



While we don't have any memory sinks, with the fin design on the cooler the air is pushed directly out of the heatsink and over the memory modules.





As far as card features go we see nothing more than what's found on a standard 8800GT or any other mid-range NVIDIA card. We have a single PCI Express connector located towards the back of the card, while if you peak over the cooler you find a single SLI connector.



We then of course also have our two DVI connectors and single TV Out connector.


Specifications

As you can see below, the 8800GT 1GB from ASUS comes with nothing more than the stock clocks.



A 600MHz core, 1500MHz shader clock and 1800MHz DDR memory clock.

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 SP1
Drivers: Catalyst 8.3, Forceware 174.53 (9 Series), Forceware 169.25 (8 Series)


Along with the stock 9600GT and overclocked 9600GT we've also included the 512MB Foxconn 8800GT which comes with a slight overclock. Let's see if the slight overclock continues to give the smaller 512MB card the edge.


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 that the extra boost in memory doesn't help here with the 512MB overclocked offering from Foxconn coming out ahead.

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.






PT Boats shows the minimum higher than the overclocked 512MB offering from Foxconn at the higher resolution.

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).




CINEBENCH R10 seems to prefer the extra speed more so than the extra memory.

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.




The overclock continues to offer a small increase over the 1GB 8800GT from ASUS.

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.






WIC sees more benefit with the overclock than the extra memory.

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.




We continue to see that games are benefiting more from the extra core and memory speed than the double up in memory.

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; an extremely intensive game shows the 1GB offering and the overclocked one performing extremely close together.

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.




This is the first time we've seen the extra memory come out ahead. There's nothing too impressive though.

Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF


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



Turning on AA and AF puts the card right behind the overclocked spec.


Half Life 2 (Episode Two HDR)



Moving to Episode Two and we see that the two 8800GT offerings continue to perform extremely close to each other.


World In Conflict





WIC under these intensive settings prefer the extra speed over the extra memory.

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.




Firing up Windows XP and we can see that the two setups perform very close to each other.

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).




Unlike Vista, under XP we see all four cards perform very close to each other.

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.





Back under WIC we can see that the game prefers the speed increase that Foxconn offers over the extra memory that ASUS offer.

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.




While the 8800GT OC comes out ahead, again it's not by a huge margin.

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.



Finally we leave with Episode Two and the OC 8800GT of Foxconn's outperforming the 1GB stock clocked offering from ASUS.

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 better cooler from ASUS helps keep temps down by a good 10% over the reference cooler used on the Foxconn card.


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 noise level on the ASUS card is a bit higher, but it's not too overwhelming.

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 extra 1GB of memory manages to take up an extra bit of power, but it's nothing too serious.

Final Thoughts




An OC 8800GT and a 1GB 8800GT sit at around the same price level. The one to buy is really going to come down to personal preference. I'm not a huge fan of large amounts of memory on cards that aren't at the very top of the high-end scale. Really, what the extra memory gives you is a bit of bragging rights, but most of the time if you're talking to somebody who knows their tech they will know that you're simply paying more for no real benefit.

What the ASUS 8800GT 1GB does offer over the overclocked card here today is an extra 12 months warranty, an aftermarket cooler that does a better job of keeping the core cool along with a funky little CD Wallet.

Performance on the card is of course good, it performs like an 8800GT should, but it doesn't offer the increase that you might think it will.

Fortunately, with the other bits and pieces that ASUS has strapped on to the card make the justification for buying the 1GB 8800GT from them not too difficult. You're getting a better quality cooler, and there's no denying that more memory isn't going to hurt you. Of course, you could then fire up something like Rivatuner and start messing around with the clock speeds.

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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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