Gainward Bliss 8800GTS 320MB GS
Package and Accessories
We don’t often review products from this brand, but we’ve managed to get Gainward’s version of GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB for this test. The Bliss 8800GTS 320MB is parceled into a standard-size box that is embellished with a picture of a girl with streaming hair against a background of ancient ruins.
The meaning of the picture is obscure, yet it looks appealing due to the use of mild color tones. The Golden Sample sticker informs the potential buyer that this is not an ordinary, but pre-overclocked version of Bliss 8800GTS 320MB. Besides the graphics card, the box contains the following:
- 2 x Molex → 6-pin PCI Express power converter;
- Two DVI-I → D-Sub converters;
- Universal YPbPr/Composite splitter;
- Brief installation guide;
- CD disk with drivers and full user manual version;
- CD disk CyberLink PowerDVD 6;
- CD disk with DVD Solution software suite (Power2Go 5.5, PowerProducer 3.2, PowerBack 2.0, MediaShow 3.0).
Not much stuff here, although this is a Golden Sample. There is everything you want to have to use the graphics card normally, but without any special “freebies”. The included software for DVD editing will only be useful for people who work a lot with video content editing and make their own DVDs.
It’s all right with the documentation. While many graphics card vendors put just a brief installation guide into the box, Gainward (and ASUS, too) includes a full version of the user manual, in electronic format. Anyway, the accessories of the Gainward BLISS 8800GTS 320MB are just average, although sufficient for people who don’t care about bonus items. The package design is good, too, yet might be more interesting, just like with the Foxconn card.
PCB Design and Cooling System
This graphics card uses a PCB with a green solder mask and a reference cooler developed by Nvidia.
The card differs visually from others of its kind with the bright red sticker on the cooler casing. Nvidia’s logo is on the fan motor – Gainward decided one sticker would be quite enough.
The card carries Hynix HY5RS573225AFP-11 memory. Being a Golden Sample product, the Bliss 8800GTS clocks its memory at a frequency of 880 (1760) MHz, higher than the reference clock rate. This is not as high as the memory frequency of the Foxconn and EVGA cards, yet ensures a considerable increase in memory bandwidth, from 64GB/s to 70.4GB/s. This should have a positive effect on the card’s performance in some situations.
The GPU is configured in the standard way: 96 shader processors, 24 TMUs, and 20 ROPs. The GPU frequency is officially declared to be 550MHz, but this number is not divisible by 9, 18 or 27, so the real frequency of the GPU’s main domain is 540MHz, i.e. lower than that of the EVGA and Foxconn cards. The shader domain frequency is 1188MHz, which equals the frequency of the reference GeForce 8800 GTS. So, the Gainward BLISS 8800GTS 320MB GS is going to be noticeably slower than the EVGA e-GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB KO ACS3 and a little slower than the Foxconn FV-N88SMCD2-ONOC, but is going to be faster than the cards with standard GPU frequencies, especially in applications for which fast processing of textures is important.
The Gainward card has ordinary connector layout: two universal dual-link DVI-I connectors, a 7-pin mini-DIN that allows plugging an S-Video cable directly in, and a MIO interface connector.