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Apart from Crysis, our game tests remain the same with Call of Duty 2, Counter-Strike: Source and Enemy Territory: Quake Wars offering a variety of new and old games. All of them are tested using custom time demos run with a variety of resolution and anti-aliasing settings and with all in-game settings set to their maximum. Each test is repeated three times and the average taken to obtain a consistent and accurate result.
Since we last ran Crysis we've updated to the latest patch which improves performance across the board and adds in support for CrossFire amongst other things. Again a custom time demo is used and the average of three runs is taken for each tested setting. However, because it's still very demanding, we've kept all in-game graphics settings to high rather than very high.
We generally find that any single card configuration struggles to cope at the resolutions demanded by a 30in monitor so we've stuck to testing at 1,920 x 1,200 and 1,600 x 1,200 (or 1,680 x 1,050), and 1,280 x 1,024 for these tests. We will, however, come back to test SLI and CrossFire configurations very soon so we will take a look at performance at 2,560 x 1,600 then.
As predicted, the 8800GTS 512's performance falls somewhere between the old 8800 GTS 640 and the 8800 GTX with the latter's higher memory bandwidth and pixel fillrate pulling it ahead when resolution and AA are really cranked up. At lower resolutions, though, the 8800 GTS 512's shader power enables it to keep up with the rest of the field. Essentially, if you own a monitor with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,200 or below, we'd recommend the 8800 GTS 512. Whereas, if you're playing games at 2,560 x 1,600 the 8800 GTX or 8800 Ultra would still get our nod.
The nVidia 8800 GTS 512 looks like it will be another huge success for nVidia, delivering performance similar to the 8800 GTX but for a lower price and using less power in the process. Add to this the improved video playback functionality and there's little more you could ask for.