Now we’ve officially exited ‘dangerous upgrade time’ we can safely announce that nVidia has launched its new 8 Series graphics cards.
As you will no doubt have already read from Spode’s comprehensive review - printed the second the 7PM global NDA was lifted yesterday - the 8800 GTX is an absolute barnstormer and we’ll soon be able to fill you in on the 8800 GTS too.
I’ll not drop too heavily into the technology behind the industry’s first DX10 enabled cards since Spode has already covered this (and trumps my generalist knowledge with his specialist) but at 11 inches in length the GTX is a monster. It backs up this bulk with a 575MHz core, 768MB of 900MHz (1,800MHz effective) GDDR3 memory and a 384bit memory bus capable of a whopping 86GBps of memory bandwidth. The much talked about 128 unified shaders run at 1.35GHz and generate an incredible 38.4bn pixels per second theoretical fill rate.
As for the GTS edition we’ll see slightly toned down specs with a 500MHz core, 640MB of GDDR3 memory, a 320bit memory bus creating 64GBps of memory bandwidth and 96 shaders speeding along at 1.2GHz. Physically, the card will also be smaller at a less intimidating nine inches. All 8 Series cards will be HDCP compliant and SLI ready as we’re into Vista territory now.
The usual slew of third party re-boxers are out in force and we’ve already received announcements from *deep breath* Point of View, Gainward, Albatron, MSI and Leadtek (8800 GTX and GTS branded), Foxconn (rebranded to FV-N88XMAD2-OD and FV-N88SMBD2-OD), Biostar (rebranded to Sigma Gate VP8803GT73 and VP8803GS63), Asus (rebranded to EN8800GTX and EN8800GT) and Sparkle (rebranded to Calibre P880+ and P880). Doubtless there will be more to follow, but my patience has now snapped and the dorr is closed.
Here is a selection of images we’re received from this motley trio. Since the cards themselves are all virtually identical to the reference GTX and GS specifications I suggest you make your choice by closing your eyes, spinning the mouse wheel and touching the screen.