Yesterday, NVIDIA announced the third addition to its highly-regarded GeForce 8800 product line with a cheaper version of the GeForce 8800 GTS. Back in December when we first looked at the GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB, we felt that BFGTech’s implementation hit the right price point and was fantastic at delivering great gaming experiences all the way up to 1920x1200. Resolutions up to 2560x1600 are left to one or two GeForce 8800 GTXs, or you might just get away with a pair of 8800 GTSs in some games.
The GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB is exactly what it says on the tin – it’s the same card as its bigger brother, with half of the memory footprint. NVIDIA says that it is designed to deliver great gaming experiences at what the company refers to as mainstream resolutions with great image quality and an even more affordable price tag.
GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB slots in at around £200 including VAT in the UK, and about $300-330 in the US. This is a decent amount less than the current pricing on BFGTech’s GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB sitting at less than £270 including VAT for the OC version (we will have a full review on that card soon).
A familiar sight - the GeForce 8800 GTS pipeline
You’re probably familiar with the GeForce 8800 GTS block diagram by now, so there’s no need for us to go over it again. If it’s completely new to you though, and have been shut away for the last few months, we recommend reading through our GeForce 8800 GTX review, which covers the G80 architecture in great depth and then have a look through our GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB review. The two articles together will help you to understand where GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB fits into the picture.
The GTS 320MB has the same pipeline layout and clock speeds as the GTS 640MB, meaning you’ll get 96 stream processors, 24 texture address units, 48 texture filtering units, 20 ROPs and a 320-bit memory interface. The stream processors are clocked at 1200MHz by default, while the ‘core’ clock is set to 500MHz. The memory operates at 800/1600MHz and – coupled with the 320-bit memory interface – it delivers 64GB/sec of memory bandwidth to the GPU.
Although there is the imminent arrival of 80 nanometre GPUs from NVIDIA, this particular product is still based on the now four month old 90 nanometre G80 graphics chip with the same 681 million transistors that every other G80 chip has. Without further ado, let’s have a look at the GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB products from BFGTech, EVGA and MSI.