The XFX GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB XXX Alpha Dog Edition left a positive impression overall, but that would be true for any other sample of GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB because there is virtually no difference between XFX’ product and Nvidia’s reference card except for the sticker on the cooler and the increased clock rates.
The pre-overclocked frequencies do not lead to a serious performance growth because the memory frequency is not overclocked much above the reference card’s. The performance gain varies from 5 to 8% and brings no practical benefits. On the other hand, the XFX card is indeed the leader in most of our tests, outperforming or at least matching the GeForce 8800 GTX. The ex-flagship is still strong in those applications that require a large amount of graphics memory and/or high memory bandwidth. These are mostly DirectX 10 applications such as Call of Juarez, Crysis, Lost Planet, Hellgate: London and World in Conflict but they are too heavy for the GeForce 8800 GTX to provide tangible benefits in them.
The XFX GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB XXX Alpha Dog Edition is unlikely to be found selling for Nvidia’s recommended price of $349 or lower because it belongs to the premium XXX series. Anyway, a new Radeon HD 3870 X2 will cost you considerably more money but will not deliver maximum performance in every game due to its dual-chip architecture. The new GeForce 9800 GTX cannot be much better, either, because its memory frequency is a mere 200MHz higher and its GPU frequencies are the same as those of the XFX card.
So if you are looking for a graphics card capable of delivering the performance of a GeForce 8800 GTX, you can choose the described product from XFX. It won’t disappoint you. But if you’ve already got a GeForce 8800 GTX, you shouldn’t worry at all: the pre-overclocked GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB may be faster in some cases, but not faster in general. As for the ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2, it cannot yet provide its maximum performance in all games.
- Excellent performance in games;
- Outperforms Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTX in some cases;
- Wide range of supported FSAA modes;
- Excellent quality of anisotropic filtering;
- Hardware HD video decoding and post-processing support;
- PCI Express 2.0 support;
- No compatibility problems;
- Low noise;
- Highly efficient cooling system;
- Bundled with Lost Planet: Extreme Condition game.
- No power adapter included;
- Price may be high.