We can’t make any conclusions about the GeForce 8800 GTX as a gaming card until we’ve finished our gaming tests, but the new architecture from Nvidia boasts an impressive potential, beyond any doubt. This is obvious even from the theoretical tests where the GeForce 8800 GTX is the absolute winner. Moreover, we suspect that our tests cannot fully show the advantages of the new graphics cards from Nvidia over its last-generation opponents.
On one hand, we often see the performance of the GeForce 8800 GTX being limited by the bandwidth of its TMUs or onboard memory, which conceals the huge difference between the GeForce 8800 GTX and the Radeon X1950 XTX in raw computing power. On the other hand, the unified shader architecture is a priori better in synthetic benchmarks because the whole computing power of the GPU is allotted for one task.
Nvidia also took care about the image quality provided by its new flagship: the new FSAA and anisotropic filtering algorithms are indeed an improvement over the previous products. This is most important for the GeForce series that used to lag behind its opponents from the Radeon X1000 series in terms of image quality.
That said, the true potential of the GeForce 8 will only be revealed after the release of Windows Vista and DirectX 10 which promise us a lot of improvements in future games in terms of speed as well as quality.
The triumph came to Nvidia at a price: the 0.09-micron G80 is very large and uneconomical chip with high heat dissipation. Combined with the wider, 384-bit memory bus, this made the PCB of the new card very large and expensive, too. So, there were some problems as a consequence. As you may know, the senior GeForce 8800 model was withdrawn from sales channels not long before the announcement due to technical issues that made the first series of the GeForce 8800 GTX inoperable. Fortunately, that problem doesn’t concern the GeForce 8800 GTS, yet the delay with the shipments of the world’s fastest graphics card is no good for Nvidia. We hope this problem will be solved in near future and the GeForce 8800 GTX will be available for everyone who wants it. Nvidia says that GeForce 8800 GTX, even though in limited quantities, will indeed be available right after its announcement,
We’ll voice our final verdict about the GeForce 8800 GTX and its market perspectives in our upcoming article dedicated to the gaming performance of the new card. It will be published soon on our site.