Palit GeForce 8800 GT Review
Reviewed by: Admin
Reviewed on: January 2, 2008
Price: $299.99 USD
When someone talks about a Palit, we automatically think of a square structure composed of wood that normally is used to keep items off the floor of a warehouse and aid in the ease of transport of those items by forklift to a trailer for delivery. The Palit I’m referring to is none of the above. Palit is actually a PC motherboard and video card manufacturer. Although they are little known in North America, they have been popular overseas for quite some time. Palit is now bringing their expertise in manufacturing both ATI and nVidia based solutions to the North American market. While we were at the launch of the new AMD Spider Platform, we (Raven and Ccokeman) met two of Palits representatives who had some of their ATI based products for display. In the future we will be reviewing some ATI based products from Palit, but today we will be focusing on an nVidia based video card.
The Palit GeForce 8800 GT is one of the newest Nvidia based graphics solutions available. This 8800 GT is unlike the others that I have seen. The heatsink on the Palit 8800 GT is not just a stock nVidia heatsink with the Palit logo on it. Palit ships its 8800GT with a unique heatsink and fan that almost reminds me of the Thermaltake ORB.
The Palit GeForce 8800GT comes packed in what I would consider a seriously eye catching metallic green box with their mascot (a Frog) on the face of the box. I don’t do much retail shopping and most packages that I receive are usually shipped in a plain box, so when I finally get to open it and see the actual product inside my initial reaction to the package sparks my interest even more about what is inside. This shiny box with its bright colors, enhanced my anticipation.
Well that’s a tease, yet another box inside of a box.
The Palit 8800 GT is a PCI-e 2.0 interface has a two slot cooling solution and a unique heatsink.
There are two DVI outputs and one S-Video.
Included in the package is a DVI to D-Sub dongle, composite cables and a full version of Tomb Raider Anniversary Edition.
A multi-language, tabbed manual is included as part of the repertoire.
Configuration is as easy as placing the installation CD into your CD/DVD ROM drive and following the on screen instructions.
Other than the splash screen, there is no difference when installing the drivers for the Palit 8800 GT, but Palit does offer muveeNow 2.1 so you may burn, transfer music and pictures as well as set up slide shows.
Even though I didn't ask it to, for some reason it installed some DirectX 9 features.
From there on, a typical nVidia video driver installation took place.
Once you reboot your computer, you will notice a small icon in the start up area of your task bar. It is called VDO Tool and from there you can adjust your display check DirectX settings and even control the fan on your heatsink.
- Bus interface: PCI Express 2.0 * Memory: 512MB
- Memory Interface: 256 bits
- Core Clock: 600 MHz
- Memory Clock: 1800 MHz (900 x 2)
- RAMDACs: 400 MHz * NVIDIA® unified architecture with GigaThread™ technology
- Full Microsoft® DirectX® 10 Shader Model 4.0 support * PCI Express 2.0 Support
- 16x full-screen anti-aliasing
- True 128-bit floating point high dynamic-range (HDR) lighting
- NVIDIA® Quantum Effects™ physics processing technology
- Two dual-link DVI outputs support two 2560x1600 resolution displays
- NVIDIA® PureVideo™ HD technology
- OpenGL® 2.0 support
- NVIDIA ForceWare® Unified Driver Architecture (UDA)
- Built for Microsoft® Windows Vista™
- NVIDIA® Lumenex™ Engine
- NVIDIA® nView® Multi-Display Technology
- Dual 400MHz RAMDACs
- Discrete, Programmable Video Processor
- Hardware Decode Acceleration
- Spatial-Temporal De-Interlacing
- High-Quality Scaling
- Inverse Telecine (3:2 & 2:2 Pulldown Correction)
- Bad Edit Correction
- Video Color Correction
- Integrated SD and HD TV Output
- Noise Reduction
- Edge Enhancement
- HDMI function through DVI-HDMI dongle and SPDIF cable (only for Palit's own design 8800GT Series)
OverclockersClub will be running the Palit GeForce 8800 GT through our benchmarking suite to see how the video card performs. The OverclockersClub series of gaming benchmarks is used to verify the performance of each product. If you would like to see how other video cards performed in an XP platform, please check our Video Card Section under reviews. We will show comparisons to other video cards using the Vista Platform, which can be found below. All video card settings were left at setup defaults to eliminate any variables.
The Palit GeForce 8800GT will be tested on two systems for this review, in the benchmarks you will see the 8800GT listed twice first for the AMD System and next on an Intel System. What many of you may have heard is true... there is a processor bottleneck in some games when using an nVidia card on a Phenom system utilizing the Spider Platform. Hopefully as the platform matures as well as the Phenom processors we will be able to achieve increased framerates in some benchmarks. If you would like to see how the ATI cards benchmarked on an Intel based System please see these other reviews, ATI 3870, ATI 3850.
- Processor: AMD Phenom 9600 200 x 11.5
- Motherboard: MSI K9A2 Platinum (Bios V1.21)
- Memory: 4 x 1GB Mushkin DDR2 XP2 8500 at 800 5-5-5-15 2t
- Video Card(s): Palit GeForce 8800 GT 512 MB, ATI HD 3870 512MB, ATI HD 3850, Sapphire HD3870 Atomic Edition
- Power Supply: Mushkin 650watt Modular Power Supply
- Hard Drive: Seagate 320GB SATA
- Opticals: LG DVD-ROM
- O/S: Windows Vista Ultimate Edition 32 bit
Intel Test Setup 8800 GT only:
- Processor: Intel Q6600 Core 2 Quad 266x9
- Motherboard: Asus Maximus Formula SE
- Memory: 2 x 2GB Kingston PC 6400 2 x 2GB 5-5-5-15
- Video Card(s): Palit 8800 GT 512MB
- Power Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower 1000 watt Modular power supply
- Hard Drive: 1 x Seagate 320GB SATA
- Opticals: LG DVD-ROM
- O/S : Windows Vista Ultimate Edition 32 Bit
- Knights of the Sea
- Call of Duty 4
- World in Conflict
- Call of Jaurez
- 3DMark 06 Professional
Crysis is a new addition to the gaming benchmark suite used at OverclockersClub.com. This game is one of the most anticipated and system intensive games to be released to the gaming community. The Crysis single player demo includes both a CPU and GPU benchmark to test the performance of the processor and video card installed in the system.
- 2x Anti-Aliasing
- Advanced settings to medium
Benchmark: Knights of the Sea
PT Boats: Knights of the Sea is a new DX10 title that features its own proprietary graphics engine currently in development. The game is a combination of real time strategy and simulation. You have the ability to control the entire crew or just a single member. Play as the German, Russian or Allied navies and prove your mettle on the open seas.
The settings we will use are below:
- AA: x0
- Image Quality: High
- Direct X Version: 10
- All resolutions 60Hz
BioShock is one of the newest games on the market. It is a demanding game that will make your hardware scream for mercy. This first-person shooter allows for an infinite number of weapons and modifications to provide a unique experience each time it is played.
- All settings to Maximum
- V-Sync off
Benchmark: Call of Duty 4
Call of Duty 4 : Modern Warfare is the successor to the Call of Duty crown. This iteration of the game is fought in many of the world's hot spots, with modern armaments and firepower. You can play as either a U.S. Marine or British S.A.S. trooper. Since this game does not feature an in-game test, I will run through a section of the game and measure average FPS using Fraps 2.9.3.
The settings used are listed below:
- Anti-aliasing: x4
- Anistropic Filtering : Max
- Texture Quality: Extra
- All settings Max
Benchmark: World in Conflict
World In Conflict is a newly released DX10 real time strategy game that simulated the all out war that the world hopes never comes. The difference in this RTS game is that it is not your typical generate-wealth-and-build type of game. You advance by conquering your foe.
The settings we will use are listed below:
- 0X AA
- 16X AF
- Graphic Detail :Very High
Benchmark: Call of Jaurez
Call of Juarez is a DirectX10 first person shooter set in the Wild West of the late 1800's. The game is inspired in part by the movies of the Wild West genre of the seventies and eighties. The game can be played as both single player and multiplayer. The game focuses on realistic graphics and gameplay designed to take advantage of the latest video cards on the market.
The settings we will use are listed below.
- Details: High
- Shadowmap size 2048x2048
- Shadow Quality: Normal
- Anti Aliasing: MSAA 4X
Benchmark: 3DMark 06
With 3DMark 06, you run a few tests on your computer and it will give you a score. This score is what fuels the computer enthusiast community with more and more people attaining scores they can brag about. Do you want to get a better score? Maybe the Palit 8800 GT can help in that department.
- SM2.0 Graphics Tests: GT1- Return to Proxycon, GT2- Firefly Forest
- CPU Tests: Cpu1- Red Valley, CPU2- Red Valley
- HDR/SM3.0 Graphics Tests: HDR1- Canyon Flight, HDR2- Deep Freeze
The Palit GeForce 8800GT comes with muveeNow Software, which is something new to me, however I am familiar with Cyberlinks Power DVD and CD burning software suites. Since I have never used muveeNow before... below are some configuration pictures and what type of interface you will encounter if you choose to use it.
If you do not have QuickTime installed on your computer, you will need to install it prior to using the software.
Once you get through answering all the required information and choose the directory you would like the program to be installed, installation takes about sixty seconds depending on the speed of your computer.
After rebooting your computer, click the icon on your desktop to start the program. Then there is a short flash introduction (which can be skipped) then you can choose what task you would like to complete from the sidebar.
I’m not quite sure what to think at this time, the Palit GeForce 8800 GT does perform well, but much better on an Intel system. I wish one day we would be able to put any card in any system and get the same benchmarks for that card across the board, no matter what platform you choose. I truly feel bad for those of you who choose to run an AMD system at this time, the lack of L2 cache seems to be causing problems when running games that utilize both the CPU and GPU.
Now lets look at it from another perspective, would you agree that ninety to ninety five percent of the games available are optimized to run with nVidia? So why do we have such a bottleneck when running an nVidia video card on an AMD system. You think these game manufacturers would work with nVidia to sort out the problems to get around bottlenecks related to CPUs. On the other end we have Intel. Three years ago, practicaly no one I knew ran an Intel system... but now the tides have changed and most enthusiasts are running an Intel based sytem. Back then we all complained that gaming bottlenecks were present with Intel systems.
So what will be your choice? If you prefer AMD, you will get less performance. If you prefer Intel, the performance achieved will be better in most cases. Either way, on both platforms, any of today’s games can be played at acceptable frame rates. After conducting a poll in our forums, the most popular resolution to game at is 1280x1024, which is a big shock to me since I had figured it would've been 1680x1050.
So what about the Palit and its 8800GT? The heatsink is incredible in my opinion; it is quiet and doesn’t weigh the card down. There was a nine degree difference at load compared to the usual heatsinks we have grown accustomed to seeing on nVidia based cards. (Palit 8800GT/ 83C, XFX 8800 GTS 92C at 22C room temp) Not to mention that the card performs better than the ATI 3870 in most games.
This is OverclockersClub first review of a Palit product and in order to get you a review on it before CES, I opted to forgo overclocking the card. So there will be an update in the future.
- Aluminum Heatsink
- Very Light
- Performs well on Intel Systems
- AMD Phenom/Spider CPU Bottleneck problem