Just like in the previous article devoted to different GeForce 8800 GTX models called The Invincibles: GeForce 8800 GTX Roundup, our primary goal is to single out all highs and lows of the solutions participating in our today’s GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB roundup. We will sum up everything we have discussed today from different prospective and draw our conclusions in such aspects as performance, overclocking, originality and accessories bundle.
The indisputable leader in this category is EVGA e-GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB KO ACS3, because this graphics card works at the highest nominal frequencies of all our today’s testing participants. Depending on the game, its performance advantage may vary between 0 and 14-16%, however, in none of those cases this advantage is high enough to allow us to shift to higher screen resolution than what the other versions of GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB provide. Although we have to admit that there are cases when it outperforms GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB.
The same is true for Foxconn FV-N88SMCD2-ONOC and XFX GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB DDR3 XXX Edition, that boast smaller performance advantage. Gainward Bliss 8800GTS that overclocked least of all the other testing participants this time hardly differs from the solutions running at reference GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB frequencies. And as for the performance of Asustek Computer EN8800GTS/HTDP/320M and Gigabyte Technology GV-NX88S320H-B-RH, they run exactly as fast as the reference Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB would.
So, if you have to get all the performance possible, then the best choice for you would be the EVGA solution. However, in general, all of the solutions tested today offer more or less equal level of performance.
Overclocking is mostly determined by combination of random factors, and in case of GeForce 8800 it is becoming even more complicated because the GPU has two domains with different frequencies. Moreover, the ratio between these frequencies may also be different depending on the graphics adapter model offered by the selected manufacturer.
If we take a complex approach to evaluating the results of our overclocking experiments, then the winner’s laurels will go to Asustek Computer EN8800GTS/HTDP/320M. If we take each parameter and consider it independently, then EVGA e-GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB KO ACS3 will be the leader in shader processor frequency, while Foxconn and XFX solutions will boast higher memory speeds. At the same time, the latter two solutions will have the slowest shader processors, while the results demonstrated by the EVGA card are determined by the higher nominal frequencies.
So, if you are going to get down to overclocking experiments on your own, we would recommend you to go for one of the GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB solutions running at reference speeds or for EVGA e-GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB KO ACS3 graphics card. It is quite possible that you can achieve good results even with those graphics cards that feature only the main domain pre-overclocked by the manufacturer, but it may require BIOS modifications and reflashing – something you need to be comfortable with.
You shouldn’t expect the graphics memory of GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB to break any records. All models that we have tested in our lab come equipped with Hynix HY5RS573225AFP-11 chips with 900MHz (1800MHz) nominal working frequency. The final result will most likely be close to 1000MHz (2000MHz), but hardly any higher than that, unless you are lucky to find a card equipped with faster memory chips.
This time we had a highly original solution among our testing participants. Of course, I am talking about EVGA e-GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB KO ACS3. However, the unusual rectangular casing hides the very well-familiar GeForce 8800 GTS cooling system, which is very efficient and hence doesn’t need to be replaced with anything else. The main peculiarity of the EVGA solution is the additional heatsink that should cool down the reverse side of the PCB, which is often left unattended even though it heats up quite tangibly.
Other five models of GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB based graphics cards are none other but reference designs manufactured for Nvidia by their contractors and then shipped to their partners as ready solutions. They only differ from one another by the brand name stickers on the coolers. I doubt that this factor may affect the choice of a particular model, especially since the card cooler will be facing down when installed into your system anyway, so you won’t be able to see the sticker even through a transparent side panel of your case.