XFX 8800 GTS 640MB Extreme Edition Review

ajmatson - 2007-12-12 17:54:57 in Video Cards
Category: Video Cards
Reviewed by: ajmatson   
Reviewed on: December 18, 2007
Price: $410.01

Introduction:

With so many video cards on the market today, how do you choose the right one for you? First, you need to discover what you needs are and what your main use for it will be. Are you a gamer? Do you need it for graphic design? What about watching videos with it? There are so many things that you could want. Once you decide what purpose it will serve, come to us here at OCC and let us do the dirty work benchmarking the hardware so you can make the best decision you can.

With that in mind, let me introduce the XFX 8800 GTS Extreme Edition video card. The XFX 8800 GTS Extreme Edition overclocks the GPU to 580MHz giving you more power to push anything you want to the max. The XFX 8800GTS uses DirectX 10 technology to give you fast and clear graphics for any of today's hardware crunching games. With that being said, lets put the XFX 8800 GTS to the test.

 

Closer Look:

The XFX 8800 GTS Extreme Edition comes packaged with the traditional black and green styling that XFX has on all of its products. XFX has emphasized the simplicity of their advertising. I am not very big on the box being cluttered with too much mind boggling information. Jus give me the down and dirty specs that I want to see. They have done that with many of their products and the XFX 8800 GTS Extreme Edition follows suit. The front has the XFX Mascot and the Nvidia features. You also notice that they included a full copy of Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter. (Which we will take a look at later) The back of the box displays a picture of the card as well as its features and a comparison chart showing its performance compared to other GeForce cards.

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

I swear XFX makes it like Christmas everyday with its packaging style. After opening the box you see the "inside packaging" that XFX has been known to use. This consists of a cardboard box that securely houses your precious components inside. Opening the box, you get a glimpse of what comes in the package. In addition to the thicker box, the 8800 GTS is surrounded in a thick foam enclosure to ensure that it is not damaged in transit.

 

 

Included with the XFX 8800 GTS 640MB Extreme Edition are an S-video cable, HDTV breakout cable, 2x DVI to VGA adapters, manuals, quick install guide, driver/software cd, and fully copy of Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter.

 

Closer Look:

The XFX 8800 GTS comes wrapped in an anti-static bag to protect it from any ESD (Electrostatic Discharge) that might harm the card. Once fully removed from the ESD bag, you get to see the massive size of the cooling solution. The heatsink and fan take up a whole expansion slot, requiring you to have two free slots open to install the 8800 GTS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flipping the 8800 GTS over gives you a better view of its length. The bottom also has the serial numbers and model information for the 8800 GTS if you should need it.

 

The front side of the card has the two DVI connections for single or dual monitor setups and the TV out port for the S-video or HDTV cables. You also can see the exhaust vent for the heatsink and fan which takes the air from the case over the heatsink and expels it out of the rear of the case to keep the warm air from recycling in the case. The back of the card has the 6-pin PCI-e power connector. XFX recommends that you DO NOT use a 4-pin molex to 6-pin PCI-e cable when powering this component.

 

Installation:

To install the XFX 8800 GTS you need to ensure that the computer is powered down and the power cord is removed from the power supply. Open the side panel of your case and carefully remove the old graphics card. Slide the 8800 GTS into the PCI-e expansion slot making sure everything is lined up correctly. Remember, you need a free expansion slot below to install the 8800 GTS because of the exhaust fan. Connect a 6-pin PCI-e power cable into the connector on the 8800 GTS (Remember that XFX advises you to use a minimum 600 watt power supply with a 6-pin cable and not a 4-pin to 6-pin adapter cable). Next replace the side panel on your case, plug in the power cable to the power supply and turn the computer back on. Once everything is on, you can move on to installing the software.

 

  

 

 

 

Configuration:

To configure the XFX 8800 GTS to work in your system, you need to first pop the CD into your drive. Autostart will bring up the XFX installation program so that you can install the software. Click on the logo and it will bring you to the main setup screen. The first option you are presented with is the registration. Clicking on the registration button will give you the option to register online or via fax/mail.

 

 

The next option is the video drivers installation button. Clicking brings you to another menu for drivers installation. The options you have are: install the drivers for Windows, install DirectX 9.0, install TV Capture drivers if card is equipped, and a button to bring up an electronic version of the manual.

 

 

After the drivers, there is a section for bundled software. This lets you install Adobe Acrobat Reader to let you view the manual and an overclock utility to get maximum performance out of the XFX 8800 GTS.

 

 

Moving on in the menu is the option to install a few trial games. These games include: Armored Fist 3, F-16 Multi Role Fighter, and Delta Force Land Warrior.

 

 

Last but not least, there is the option to install the Personal Cinema software. This allows you to install the drivers for the Personal Cinema hardware if your card supports it.

 

Specifications:

Clock rate
580 MHz

Dual Link DVI - Supporting digital output up to 2560x1600

DUAL
Chipset
GeForce™ 8800 GTS
Memory Clock
1.8 GHz
RAMDACs
Dual 400 MHz
Memory
640 MB
Bus Type
PCI-E
Memory Type
DDR3
Memory Bus
320 bit
Highlighted Features

RoHS , HDTV ready , Dual DVI Out , SLI ready , HDCP Ready , TV Out

Graphics Core
500 MHz
Memory Interface
320 bit
Fill Rate
24 billion/sec
Memory Bandwidth
64 GB/sec

 

 

Features:

NVIDIA® unified architecture with GigaThread™ technology
Massively multi-threaded architecture supports thousands of independent, simultaneous threads, providing extreme processing efficiency in advanced, next generation shader programs.

NVIDIA® Lumenex™ Engine
Delivers stunning image quality and floating point accuracy at ultra-fast frame rates.

Full Microsoft® DirectX® 10 Support
World’s first DirectX 10 GPU with full Shader Model 4.0 support delivers unparalleled levels of graphics realism and film-quality effects.

Dual 400MHz RAMDACs
Blazing-fast RAMDACs support dual QXGA displays with ultra-high, ergonomic refresh rates--up to 2048x1536@85Hz.

Dual Link DVI
Capable of supporting digital output for high resolution monitors (up to 2560x1600).

NVIDIA® SLI™ Technology
Delivers up to 2x the performance of a single GPU configuration for unparalleled gaming experiences by allowing two graphics cards to run in parallel. The must-have feature for performance PCI Express graphics, SLI dramatically scales performance on over 60 top PC games.

PCI Express™ Support
Designed to run perfectly with the next-generation PCI Express bus architecture. This new bus doubles the bandwidth of AGP 8X delivering over 4 GB/sec. in both upstream and downstream data transfers.

16x Anti-aliasing
Lightning fast, high-quality anti-aliasing at up to 16x sample rates obliterates jagged edges.

NVIDIA® PureVideo™ Technology
The combination of high-definition video processors and NVIDIA DVD decoder software delivers unprecedented picture clarity, smooth video, accurate color, and precise image scaling for all video content to turn your PC into a high-end home theater. (Feature requires supported video software.)

OpenGL™ 2.0 Optimizations and Support
Ensures top-notch compatibility and performance for all OpenGL applications. NVIDIA® nView® Multi-display Advanced technology provides the ultimate in viewing flexibility and control for multiple monitors.

NVIDIA® nView® Multi-Display Technology
Advanced technology provides the ultimate in viewing flexibility and control for multiple monitors.  

 

All specifications and features information was taken from the XFX Website at: http://www.xfxforce.com/web/product/listConfigurationDetails.jspa?series=GeForce%26trade%3B+8800&productConfigurationId=879503

Testing:

Here at OverclockersClub.com we use a series of benchmarks to push the components we review to their limits. These include some time tested benchmarks as well as never ones that strain a system with the latest technology. Using these tests, I am going to compare the XFX 8800 GTS 640MB Extreme Edition against other well knows video cards so that you can see the performance that it offers. All tests are run at stock speeds on the CPU, memory and GPU to keep any variables from interfering with the scores. All updates to the operating system and drivers have been applied before testing.

 

Testing Setup:

Cards Tested:

Gaming Benchmarks:

 

Benchmark: F.E.A.R.

F.E.A.R. is an older benchmark that still lives true to its name. It strikes fear into your computer bringing it to its knees. F.E.A.R. uses a new AI that emulates independent squad based movement that counteracts the moves of the player instead of following a predetermined path.

 

The settings we will use are below:

 

 

Testing:

Benchmark: Bioshock

Bioshock is a newer game that will bring most hardware to its demise. This game allows for any number of possibilities in the game play, so it will constantly stress your hardware to get the job done.

 

Settings:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It looks like in this benchmark, ATI has hit the winning run.

Testing:

Benchmark: Call of Duty 2

Call of Duty 2 is a tried and true benchmark that has been around for some time. Since it still has a large following, it remains a strong benchmark for gamers. This test will consist of a timed run on the Stalingrad multi-player map, measured by average FPS (frames per second).

 

The settings used are listed below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Testing:

Benchmark: Quake 4

Next up is Quake 4. We will be using the Hardware OC Quake 4 Benchmark Utility version 1.5 to complete the testing with this game. You will need to update to the most current version for the latest time demo and bug fixes. Average FPS (frames per second) will be the measure used.

 

The settings we will use are listed below:

 

 

 

Testing:

Benchmark: Need for Speed: Most Wanted

Need For Speed: Most Wanted is next. For this test, we will time each race and record the average FPS (frames per second) achieved.

 

The settings we will use are listed below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Testing:

Benchmark: Crysis

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 on the market right now. The Crysis single player demo includes a GPU benchmark to test the performance of the video card installed in the system. I will use this benchmark to test the performance of the XFX 8800 GTS 640MB Extreme Edition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Testing:

Benchmark: 3d Mark 06

3DMark06 is the benchmark of choice for gamers because the results give you the right to brag about your system. 3DMark06 puts enough stress on the components that it will put even top of the line hardware to the test.

 

Settings:

 

 

 

 

Conclusion:

Well I must say WOW. The XFX 8800 GTS 640MB Extreme Edition card outperformed the other cards in the majority of the benchmarks, especially at higher resolutions. Looking at the 3DMark06 scores, the XFX 8800 GTS scored almost 1,000 points more at 1024x768 and about 400 points more at 1680x1050 resolution. Beating out the competition by over fifty percent is pretty extreme.

I am amazed at the performance that this Extreme Edition delivered. Especially since its so close to the standard 8800 GTS 640MB. That makes picking up this card a no brainer. I would recommend the XFX 8800 GTS to anyone one looking for a great DirectX 10 card that offers amazing DirectX 9 performance. Even if you haven't switched over to Vista yet, picking up this card would be a smart choice. If you'd like to see how a 640MB 8800GTS performs in a DirectX 10 environment, check out the benchmarks in our review the Asus P5K3 Premium Black Pearl Edition.

 

 

Pros:

 

Cons: