Gigabyte Technology GV-NX88S320H-B-RH
Package and Accessories
The package of the Gigabyte card differs from the boxes of the other products in this review, yet it is traditional for the company. This rather large and vertically oriented box has a glossy surface that shimmers in various colors. The design looks restrained thanks to mild violet colors and an eye-pleasing picture:
There is a white cardboard box insider the colorful wrapping. It has compartments for the graphics card and its accessories. The card is wrapped in an antistatic bag and is firmly fixed in its tray. Here are the accessories to the GV-NX88S320H:
- 2 x Molex → 6-pin PCI Express power converter;
- Two DVI-I → D-Sub converters;
- Universal YPbPr/Composite splitter;
- User’s manual;
- CD disk with drivers;
- DVD disk with Warhammer 40.000 Dawn of War: Dark Crusade game.
Unlike with the other models of GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB in this review, the YPbPr splitter of the Gigabyte product is designed like a square I/O unit. You can fasten this unit on your system case with dual-sided scotch to make it easier to connect your TV-set.
The company included a full version of a top gaming title into the box. Its engine being limited to DirectX 8, Dawn of War: Dark Crusade is not a technically advanced application, yet it is a very popular fantastic RPG and can be counted among the classics of the genre even. It may not be the best game to showcase the advantages of the GeForce 8 architecture, but instead it offers an interesting plot and an exciting gameplay. The game just must be played by everyone who’s into video games.
The user manual is blameless. It offers all the information an inexperienced user may want.
The packaging and accessories of the Gigabyte GV-NX88S320H get high marks from us, but the set of accessories is somewhat inferior to those of the ASUS and Foxconn cards and is on the same level with the EVGA product.
PCB Design and Cooling System
Like the other products in this review, the GV-NX88S320H-B-RH uses a PCB with a green solder mask.
The card carries a reference cooler, so the only external difference from the reference card is in the Gigabyte stickers on the cooler casing and the fan motor. In fact, you shouldn’t expect anything unique in the design of a GeForce 8800 because all such cards are made for Nvidia by contract manufacturers and the developer doesn’t even have to make sure its partners stick to the reference design – they get ready-made graphics cards anyway. Nvidia’s cooler has superb noise and thermal characteristics, so it is rarely modified, let alone replaced with a non-standard cooler.
Like the other graphics cards in this review, this one is equipped with Hynix HY5RS573225AFP-11 memory that boasts good overclockability in theory. This is especially true since the Gigabyte card is not pre-overclocked and its memory works at the reference frequency of 800 (1600) MHz. Considering its access time of 1.1 nanoseconds, we can expect the memory chips to be able to overclock to 900 (1800) MHz or even higher.
The GV-NX88S320H-B-RH has a standard GPU configuration with 96 shader processors, 24 TMUs, and 20 ROPs. Its frequencies are standard as well, i.e. 513MHz for the main domain and 1188MHz for the shader processor domain. The GPU frequency delta is ~2.3 for this card, which theoretically allows achieving a higher shader processor frequency at overclocking.
The Gigabyte GV-NX88S320H has two universal dual-link DVI-I connectors, a 7-pin mini-DIN you can directly plug an S-Video cable into, and a MIO interface connector.
Like all other GeForce 8800, this one requires external power. As opposed to the GeForce 8800 GTX, both versions of the GeForce 8800 GTS are equipped with only one 6-pin PCI Express power connector. Any modern high-quality ATX 2.0 power supply with 400W or higher wattage should suffice to power the card. Nvidia recommends using PSUs capable of providing a combined current of 26A and higher on the +12V power rail.