It’s a kind of a tradition in the world of consumer 3D graphics hardware that one year since the release of a flagship product there appears a new card capable of delivering similar performance for only half the money. A striking example of this is the recently announced GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB. This graphics card, based on the G92 core in its full configuration with 128 streamed processors and 32 TMUs, proved to be competitive against the GeForce 8800 GTX whose performance level had seemed unattainable. The new card came out at a recommended price of $299-349 whereas the GeForce 8800 GTX was available for $549-649.
There are no traditions without exceptions, though. As you know from our reports, the Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTX carries 768 megabytes of graphics memory accessed across a 384-bit memory bus. The GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB has only 512 megabytes of memory with 256-bit access. As a consequence, the new card is often slower than the older one in the most resource-consuming modes (1920x1200 with 4x FSAA) and in games that have high memory requirements (e.g. Hellgate: London) due to lower memory bandwidth.
Can this gap be closed by increasing the GPU and memory clock rates of the GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB so that it would be the fastest card in every application? Factory overclocking is a widespread practice and we often review pre-overclocked graphics cards, usually from ASUS, Leadtek or Gainward. XFX is also known to have a passion for overclocking. We can recall the XFX GeForce 8800 Ultra Extreme as an example.
Of course, the company couldn’t pass by the GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB. So, here it is, the XFX GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB XXX Alpha Dog Edition.