Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB graphics adapter launched officially on February 12 2007 turned out the first discrete DirectX 10 solution priced around $299. The only difference between the newcomer and the GeForce 8800 GTS selling for $449 announced together with the flagship product of the new Nvidia family – GeForce 8800 GTX – was the amount of onboard graphics memory reduced to half the size. No wonder that the combination of relatively inexpensive price and GeForce 8800 GTS features made the newcomer pretty popular among computer enthusiasts who do not have sufficient financial means to go for the top-of-the-line GeForce 8 solutions.
According to our detailed study described in the article called Fast and Faster: MSI GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB vs. GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB, GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB often outperforms the previous-generation favorites – AMD Radeon X1950 XTX and Nvidia GeForce 7950 GX2. However, this graphics cards features some peculiarities in its behavior that are typical of the entire GeForce 8800 family as well as of the GTS 320MB model in particular. If you are reading our articles regularly, you should be already familiar with the former that result from ForceWare driver imperfection. However, the latter are typical solely of GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB and are connected with the video memory distribution algorithms. While the lag behind regular GeForce 8800 GTS in high resolutions with enabled anti-aliasing is quite logical and not at all surprising, then we cannot say the same is true for such games as Gothic 3, Neverwinver Nights 2 or F.E.A.R.: Extraction Point, where GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB loses to its elder brother right from the start. However, since the comparative testing of two GeForce 7950 GT solutions equipped with 256MB and 512MB of memory that has been discussed in detail in our article called GeForce 7950 GT: 256MB or 512MB? Foxconn and Gigabyte Graphics Cards Review, hasn’t revealed any performance differences like that, we dare conclude that this situation isn’t directly connected with the amount of onboard graphics memory.
Despite the above mentioned drawbacks, GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB remains the highest performing discrete graphics solution in the Performance-Mainstream category that is so popular among gaming fans who are not eager to spend $500-$600 on a graphics card, but are still willing to enjoy all the latest gaming titles.
Just like in case of more expensive graphics cards, all GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB are manufactured by large contractors, such as Foxconn and Flextronics and are shipped to Nvidia partners. Therefore, there are not that many real differences between the solutions from different vendors.
Today we are going to introduce to you six GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB based graphics cards offered by the following manufacturers:
- Asustek Computer EN8800GTS/HTDP/320M
- EVGA e-GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB KO ACS3
- Foxconn FV-N88SMCD2-ONOC
- Gainward Bliss 8800GTS 320MB GS
- Gigabyte Technology GV-NX88S320H-B-RH
- XFX GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB DDR3 XXX Edition
For the reasons mentioned above it doesn’t make much sense to dwell on their PCB layout and design peculiarities in great detail, because it has already been done in GeForce 8800 GTX review called Directly Unified: Nvidia GeForce 8800 Architecture Review and GeForce 8800 GTS review called Fast and Faster: MSI GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB vs. GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB.
Since our article is devoted to six GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB models, we are going to tell you about the peculiarities of each individual product in comparison with the others, such as clock frequencies, type of memory chips, PCB color, cooling system design, differences from the reference design, etc. We will also try to find out what advantages and drawbacks each of these products have and will evaluate their originality and attractiveness for the potential buyer.
Let’s start in alphabetical order.