Performance mainstream gets a worthwhile update.
It’s been just under a year now since nVidia launched its stunning G80 graphics chip and today it’s pre-emptively getting the birthday celebrations started with the official launch of G92, otherwise known as the 8800 GT, over which we have been salivating recently in the office. To put it simply, this is the mainstream card that nVidia should have launched in the space currently occupied by the 8600 GTS.
The differences between G80 and G92 are fairly profound. Foremost is the use of a single-slot cooler, enabled by the shrink from a 90nm to a 65nm manufacturing process. The 8800 GT boasts 112 stream processors, clocked at 1,500MHz while the core clocks at 600MHz and the 512MB of GDDR3 RAM runs at 1,800MHz (effective) on a 256-bit interface.
Specs wise the card fits in the region currently occupied by the 8800 GTS so one would probably expect similar pricing? Not quite. The initial 512MB version (256MB and 1,024MB models are planned for later) will be launching at around the £140 mark, depending where you buy, which places it cheaper than the 8800 GTS in several cases. On paper then you have a card set to bring high-end performance to a mid-range price bracket. Whether it will live up to that mantle you can find out in Ed’s forthcoming review.