XFX GeForce 8800 GT 256MB Graphics Card Review
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The 256MB 8800 GT Shakes the Lineup
The GeForce 8800 GT graphics card was received with probably the most wide-ranging acceptance of any GPU in a several years offering both performance and value. Of course, it hasn't panned out quite as well as we'd have hoped it would since the prices of the 8800 GT 512MB cards have been significantly higher than NVIDIA promised during the pre-launch period. We have news now that NVIDIA is looking to fix that issue, but it's been long enough that in our mind stock should have been worked out and orders for second and third waves SHOULD have dropped prices.
NVIDIA did come up with another answer though: a lower priced model in the form of the GeForce 8800 GT 256MB.
The 8800 GT 256MB
As you might be able to guess, the main difference between this new GPU and the previous one is the move to 256MB of memory instead of 512MB.
Previous 8800 GT 512MB Reference Specs
New 8800 GT 256MB Reference Specs
There is another change that came with the new 256MB 8800 GT card: a new cooler. It's still a single-slot cooler and looks nearly the same, but the card has a bigger fan and a new speed-up table in the BIOS that affects when the fan actually turns on to higher speeds. We'll look at that more on the next page, as it is pretty interesting to see what kind of performance changes that offers in terms of temperatures.
NVIDIA's 8800 GT 256MB card was released and pushed as the competition to AMD's Radeon HD 3850 graphics card, a new 55nm part that got a lot of attention for being a great option for a sub-$200 GPU. NVIDIA was hoping to see the prices of the 8800 GT 256MB cards to be at $199 or so, but let's see how it panned out:
- NVIDIA 8800 GT 512MB -
starting at $250
- NVIDIA 8800 GT 256MB -
starting at $215
- AMD HD 3850 256MB -
starting at $175
- AMD HD 3870 512MB - starting at $240
Even though NVIDIA might have wanted to see the prices closer than this, the AMD HD 3850 still has a distinct pricing advantage over the 256MB version of the 8800 GT. We'll have to see how the performance comparison looks as well before we make any more judgments though.