GeForce 8800 core: The G80 GPU inside the GeForce 8800 is a technological tour de force. The shader core of the GeForce 8800 GPUs is comprised of 96 stream processors all working in parallel to deliver unmatched gaming performance. Each of the stream processors can handle pixel, vertex, or geometry shading, as well as physics. Oh, and don’t forget that G80 is the world’s first GPU that’s 100% DirectX 10-compliant, with support for shader model 4.0.
The GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB also supports NVIDIA’s Lumenex Engine, delivering 16xCSAA for even better image quality.
Superclocked clock speeds: As its name implies, EVGA overclocks their e-GeForce 8800 GTS Superclocked board from the factory for added performance. Not only are the graphics core and memory overclocked, the stream processors are as well. EVGA clocks them at 1.35GHz, the same speed as the GeForce 8800 GTX, while the graphics core runs at 575MHz, which is also the same speed as the GTX. Meanwhile, the board’s memory runs at 850MHz, this is 50MHz higher than the stock GeForce 8800 GTS.
Because of these changes, EVGA’s e-GeForce 8800 GTS Superclocked outperforms the stock GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB, despite having half the onboard memory.
EVGA warranty/support: EVGA backs their card’s up with one of the best warranties in the business. As you probably know, EVGA’s cards are backed by a lifetime warranty, this means you’re covered if something happens to your card 1 year from now, or 5 years from now. Say for instance a fan fails, with EVGA’s lifetime warranty, you’re covered.
The warranty is quite extensive as well, covering everything except physical damage to the card. This means you can’t void your card’s warranty by overclocking or by mounting a third-party cooler on the card (provided the board or GPU isn’t physically damaged in the process). EVGA also has a history of providing great support to their end users, they actively monitor their forums, and provide a toll-free 24/7 tech support line if you run into problems.
EVGA’s Step-up program allows EVGA customers to trade-in their existing EVGA graphics card for the latest and greatest model available, as long as the upgrade occurs within 90 days of the initial card purchase. EVGA customers simply pay the difference between the two cards to complete the transaction.
This allows prospective EVGA owners to purchase a faster graphics card if the original doesn’t meet their needs (say for instance, your bonus at work comes in and you decide to Step-Up to an EVGA 8800 GTX), or upgrade if NVIDIA introduces newer technology. The only downside to Step-Up is that you can only use it once, so you should use it wisely.
The future: While the GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB put up good performance with today’s games, the jury is still out on how well the card will perform with the first wave of DX10 games, which we’re assuming will be more demanding on the graphics card. Unfortunately we won’t be able to answer this question for many more months.