Meet Mr. Akimbo
More Power, Scotty
The dictionary would have us believe akimbo is a reference to a human body position. Wikipedia suggests that the word, more recently evolved, refers to dual-wielding two weapons.
However EVGA settled on the nomenclature, there’s no denying this 8800 GT is bigger and badder than any other we’ve seen.
Architecturally, everything about the e-GeForce 8800 GT Akimbo is identical to what you’ve already seen. It sports a G92 GPU on the 65nm process. That GPU supports PCI Express 2.0, wields 112 stream processors, and communicates with GDDR3 memory over a 256-bit bus. The factory specs for an 8800 GT include a 600 MHz core clock, 1500 MHz shader clock, and 900 MHz memory clock.
An aluminum block on the back of the card helps dissipate heat--but it also takes up quite a bit of room
PCI Express 2.0 compatibility is now par for the course
Of course, everyone knows there is headroom built-in there. And everyone seems to want to milk a little extra performance from those factory specs.
EVGA’s e-GeForce 8800 GT Akimbo ratchets the NVIDIA recommend numbers up to 720 MHz on the core clock and 1000 MHz on the memory clock. Quite the substantial increase. In fact, we’ve even got an EVGA e-GeForce 8800 GT Superclocked Edition on hand for comparison. The good ol’ Superclocked card itself bumps those standard frequencies up to 650 MHz and 950 MHz, respectively.
But whereas the 8800 GT Superclocked maintains the ordinary NVIDIA cooling configuration—that is, a single-slot aluminum heatsink with a copper base—EVGA’s Akimbo card incorporates a chunky dual-slot cooler. A thicker array of aluminum fins and another copper base help draw more heat away from the quicker core and tweaked memory modules. A blower-type fan pulls air in and keeps it moving across the cooling surface. And instead of a bare back-end, EVGA straps a heatpipe-equipped aluminum block to cut back on hot spots that’d potentially limit overclocking headroom.
Keep an eye on where you’re going to be installing the 8800 GT Akimbo, though. On our ASUS Striker II Formula, the extra metal protruding off the back sticks out just far enough to keep the board’s included audio card from fitting in its slot. Unfortunately, it isn’t recognized in the only other available PCIe slot (since the dual-slot Akimbo covers up ASUS’s second x1 connector). Be aware that you’re going to eat up as many as three slots with this card, depending on what you have installed.
Unlike some of NVIDIA’s higher-end boards, the 8800 GT requires only a single six-pin auxiliary power connector. This Akimbo card is no exception, despite its accelerated clocks. Purportedly the board tops out at 105W, well under the upper ceiling of what the slot and external connector are able to deliver.
A single 6-pin auxiliary connector is all you need to drive the board
EVGA's Akimbo card installed in the Striker II Formula's third graphics slot, due to space issues with the SupremeFX II audio card
In addition to providing better cooling to the G92 GPU, EVGA’s non-standard heatsink/blower combination also seems to help keep noise to a minimum. We manually adjusted the speed of a single-slot 8800 GT and this dual (triple?)-slot card up and down the spectrum. When the single-slot board is blowing at full blast, it creates quite the din. Not so much on the e-GeForce 8800 GT Akimbo, though.
The 8800 GT Akimbo’s rear I/O panel sports two dual-link DVI outputs and one video out. Plug either the bundled component or S-video cable into that connector if you’re gaming on an analog television.