We have tested four GeForce 8800 GTX models offered by Nvidia’s partners. To make your shopping choice easier, we want to analyze which graphics card is better from different aspects such as performance, overclockability, originality, and accessories.
It’s all clear in this category. Unlike the other three versions, the XFX GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB DDR3 XXX Edition is pre-overclocked by the manufacturer (its main GPU domain and memory frequencies are higher than those of the reference card). This ensures a certain performance gain, from a few percent to 14-16% depending on the particular application and display mode. The gain is 8-10% on average.
We can’t say this is a critical advantage because it does not make a higher resolution playable in any of the tested games. On the other hand, having even this rather modest performance gain can’t be bad.
The products from ASUS, Foxconn and OCZ deliver identical performance as they are all clocked at the frequencies of the reference card. They are indistinguishable from this aspect.
If you have ever tried to overclock anything, you should be aware that your overclocking success is largely determined by a combination of random factors.
It is hard to make any recommendations in this area, but the XFX stands out among the others from this standpoint due to its non-standard frequencies again. It is quite possible that some samples of this graphics card will be able to work at a main domain frequency higher than 648MHz, but the shader processors will anyway overclock worse due to the smaller frequency delta than with the version that begins to overclock with the standard 576/1350MHz. We guess there will be few users, even among overclockers, who will attempt to correct the frequency delta and re-flash the card’s BIOS. That is why the XFX GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB DDR3 XXX Edition is not a good choice for an overclocker.
We had expected better overclockability from graphics cards with Samsung’s K4J52324QE-BJ1A memory, but were disappointed. It was the ASUS EN8800GTX with K4J52324QC-BJ11 chips that had the highest memory frequency while the two cards with QE series chips could hardly overcome the 1000 (2000) MHz mark. On the other hand, the Foxconn card, which has the same memory as the EN8800GTX, reached only 1000 (2000) MHz, so the memory type cannot be a guiding factor here.
Thus, if you want to overclock, you should consider the ASUS EN8800GTX. If you don’t care about overclocking, just choose any GeForce 8800 GTX you like. Overclocking the XFX GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB DDR3 XXX Edition involves some difficulties, and this card won’t suit you if you want to overclock, but do not want to update the card’s BIOS.
These graphics cards have nothing original about them because they are just ordinary GeForce 8800 GTX manufactured at Foxconn’s or Flextronics’ facilities for Nvidia and then shipped to Nvidia’s partners. Some personalization is achieved by the graphics card vendors through putting their own stickers, but this depends on your personal taste. The XFX card differs with the green color of its PCB, but other companies’ GeForce 8800 GTX may be green, too (we guess it depends on what contract manufacturer the particular card was made by). The four described graphics cards all have a reference cooler from Nvidia and identical noise characteristics, so we just can’t prefer any one of them to the others in this respect, either.
What puts one top-end graphics card apart from another is accessories. Every graphics card vendor wants to make its product special by offering some exciting accessory.
The OCZ Technology GeForce 8800GTX and XFX GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB DDR3 XXX Edition both have a scanty set of accessories, and the latter even lacks 2xMolex → 6-pin PCI Express power adapters. So, it is the Asus EN8800GTX/HDTP/768M and the Foxconn FV-N88XMAD2-ON that compete here.
The ASUS comes with a better software bundle which includes two full games, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter and GTI Racing, as well as a Pro version of the Futuremark 3DMark06 benchmarking suite. This is a strong argument in favor of the ASUS card for those who are interested in those two games.
The accessories to the Foxconn FV-N88XMAD2-ON may seem more interesting for some users, though. Besides two useful programs, the box contains a high-quality gamepad that makes a nice companion to the graphics card. This is a more pragmatic approach, by the way. Some people may just not like the included free games whereas the programs for managing disc images and for system recovery are going to be useful for every gamer. And the included gamepad will surely be appreciated by everyone who plays third-person shooters and fighting games. We like Foxconn’s approach better than ASUS’, but it’s you who makes the final decision.
Now we can choose the best buy in each of the mentioned categories.
- Best performance: XFX GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB DDR3 XXX Edition
- Best overclockability: ASUS Computer EN8800GTX/HTDP/768M and OCZ Technology GeForce 8800GTX
- Originality: not awarded
- Best accessories: Foxconn FV-N88XMAD2-ON and ASUS Computer EN8800GTX/HTDP/768M
Speaking in general, each of the discussed versions of Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTX will make a good buy. They do not differ much from each other and can ensure excellent performance in modern games, even making the colossal resolution of 2560x1600 pixels playable in some cases.