Gigabyte GeForce 8800 GT NX88T512HP v1.0 Review

Makaveli - 2008-02-16 00:56:14 in Video Cards
Category: Video Cards
Reviewed by: Makaveli   
Reviewed on: February 27, 2008
Price: $239.99

Introduction:

With all of the new, demanding games that have flooded the market recently, gamers have been forced to upgrade their hardware in order to play these games comfortably. What does it take to play some games such as Crysis, BioShock, Call of Duty 4, and Call of Juarez? How about the Gigabyte GeForce 8800GT video card?

The Gigabyte 8800GT sports Gigabyte's exclusive Ultra Durable 2 technology. This technology means that the card uses lower RDS(on) MOSFETs, ferrite core chokes, and lower ESR solid capacitors, which basically means that the temperature will be lower on this card and it'll last longer. This card is pre-overclocked and has a 700MHz core clock (600MHz is the standard 8800GT core clock) and a 920MHz memory clock (900MHz is the standard 8800GT's memory clock) with a Zalman fan on the card as well. Is this the answer to the latest games on the scene? Let's dig in and test every aspect of the Gigabyte GeForce 8800GT graphics card so that we can see for ourselves how well this card stacks up against some of the best video cards on the market today.

 

Closer Look:

The Gigabyte 8800GT comes packaged in a good-sized box that features a character from the game "Neverwinter Nights 2" on the front of the box. On the backside of the box you'll find the card's features listed in multiple languages.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you first open the box, you'll be presented with the accessories resting on top of the video card. The Gigabyte 8800GT is packaged in the industry-standard anti-static bag.

 

 

Now let's take the card out of the box and examine it more closely.

Closer Look:

The Gigabyte 8800GT is the standard size of most other video cards but what makes this card stand out visually is the big Zalman-like fan on the GPU. Also, this card has caps on each the DVI outputs, the S-Video output, and the SLi connector. I've never seen this before but I think it's an excellent idea. The DVI-Output number one is colored light blue, which is helpful for users who may not know which DVI port to plug their monitor into.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This video card is powered by a single 6-pin PCI-Express power cable which plugs into the rear end of the card.

 

The memory on this 8800GT is capable of a 1000MHz clock speed which is pretty significant.

 

Included with the Gigabyte 8800GT is the instruction manual, "Neverwinter Nights 2" manual and game, driver CD, two DVI to VGA converters, two 4-pin Molex to 6-pin PCI-Express converters, and an HDTV output cable.

 

 

Now let's get the drivers installed and take a look at Gigabyte's overclocking utility.

Configuration:

To correctly install the drivers and the nVidia Control Panel, insert the included driver CD. Be sure to check on nVidia's website to make sure you have the latest drivers. The most recent drivers for the 8800GT is 169.25 as of 2/25/08.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once you have the display drivers installed, you can configure your settings in the nVidia Control Panel. You can also overclock in the nVidia Control Panel, but instead I used Gigabyte's Gamer H.U.D. overclocking utility. It was extremely easy to use but you can't overclock the voltage too much. I was only able to go from 1.10v to 1.20v with this software. But most overclocking utilities do not allow you to change the voltage of the GPU.

 

 

Read on to see how far I was able to overclock this 8800GT from Gigabyte.

Specifications:

 

Chipset
NVIDIA GeForce 8800GT
Memory
512MB
Memory Bus
256 bit
Memory Type
GDDR3
Card Dimension
ATX
Bus Type
PCI-E 2.0
Bus Speed
16
D-SUB
Y (By Adapter)
TV-OUT
Y
DVI Port
Y (DVI-I)
VIVO
N
Multi-View
Y

 

Features:

-All information sourced from Gigabyte's website: http://www.gigabyte.us/Products/VGA/Products_Overview.aspx?ClassValue=VGA&ProductID=2621&ProductName=GV-NX88T512HP

Testing:

Here at OverclockersClub.com, we run an extremely rigorous gaming benchmark suite that can make or break a video card. Today we'll be comparing the Gigabyte 8800GT to a Sapphire 3870, ASUS 8800GT, Diamond Multimedia 3850, and an ASUS 8800GTS (G92). The cards and the test system were tested at their defaults so that no unfair advantages would occur. Our test bed is listed below. You can also find the overclocked settings near the bottom of the page.

Test System:

Comparison Video Cards:

 

Overclocking:

Overclocked settings:

I used Gigabyte's HUD program to overclock this 8800GT. After hours and hours of changing settings, I finally found the best clock. I reached 760MHz core clock, which is a 60MHz increase over the stock 700MHz core clock. The memory clock was harder to push and the highest I could get it was 960MHz (1920) from the stock 920MHz (1840) memory clock. The shader clock was stock at 1700MHz and I raised that to 1818MHz. I was almost disappointed but then I remembered that this card is pre-overclocked so for this card to be able to squeeze out this much more is impressive. The temperatures never rose above 60C, even when I raised the GPU voltage from 1.10v to 1.20v.

Benchmarks:

  1. Crysis
  2. Knights of the Sea
  3. Bioshock
  4. Call of Duty 4
  5. World in Conflict
  6. Call of Jaurez
  7. 3DMark 06 Professional

 

Testing:

Crysis is one of the newest games added to OverclockersClub.com's gaming suite. This new game features extremely intense graphics that can be rough on a video card.

 

Settings:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Gigabyte 8800GT was comparable to everything else; it was a pretty close race.

Testing:

PT Boats: Knights of the Sea is a new game that allows users to fight in the open seas. This game features DirectX 10 support as well as it's own graphics engine in development.

 

The settings we will use are below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Gigabyte 8800GT did slightly better than most of the competition in this game.

Testing:

BioShock is also a new DirectX 10 game to hit the gaming scene. This Sci-Fi first person shooter definitely takes a toll on video cards.

 

Settings:

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

The Gigabyte 8800GT shined in the final resolution of 1920x1200.

Testing:

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is the latest chapter in the Call of Duty line of games. This game sports unbelievable graphics that are guaranteed to deal a blow to video cards.

 

The settings used are listed below:

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Again, the Gigabyte 8800GT does the best in the highest resolution, just edging out the G92.

Testing:

World In Conflict is a newly released game that simulates a World War III scenario. This DirectX 10 title can be very difficult for a video card.

 

The settings we will use are listed below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Gigabyte 8800GT actually didn't do so well in this game.

Testing:

Call of Juarez is a new first person shooter that reminds me of the movie "Wild Wild West" in some ways.

 

The settings we will use are listed below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Gigabyte 8800GT claimed first place in three of the four resolutions. I was especially impressed with the 1920x1200 scores.

Testing:

Company of Heroes (Opposing Fronts) most recent installment of the Company of Heroes series. You can play as either the British or as the Germans in this graphically-intense game.

 

Settings:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wow! The Asus 8800GTS G92 blew away every card in this benchmark. The Gigabyte 8800GT took second place in the latter resolutions, but really only when overclocked.

Testing:

3DMark06 is by far the number one program brought up when bragging about your computer. The higher the score, the better.

 

Settings:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Gigabyte 8800GT got beat out most of the time by the 8800GTS G92 except when overclocked.

Conclusion:

This Gigabyte 8800GT did much better than I anticipated. I was expecting the other video cards to destroy this card but that didn't happen. This graphics card kept up and often overtook a Sapphire 3870, a Diamond 3850 and an ASUS 8800GT - all of which are some of the best cards available. When we tested the higher resolutions, the Gigabyte 8800GT consistently did well and surpassed a majority of the competition. The Gigabyte 8800GT beat out the ASUS 8800GT in eighteen of the thirty-two games and tied with it in a few more. That's impressive considering that the cards are almost the same price. Gigabyte made overclocking this card a breeze with its Gamer H.U.D. overclocking utility. This is one of the first overclocking utilities that allows the user to modify the voltages to the video card. I was able to push the stock clock speed of 700MHz all the way up to 760MHz and the memory clock from 920MHz to 960MHz! Don't forget, this card is pre-overclocked! In my book, being able to squeeze that much more out of an already overclocked video card is great. The Zalman-like fan that is on the card makes the video card quiet - even when the card is under heavy load. I would highly recommend this Gigabyte 8800GT to anyone looking to play some of today's hottest games with enjoyable frame rates at high resolutions. Don't pass up this Gigabyte 8800GT.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: