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[转]XFX Alpha Dog 8800GS XXX Edition Review  

2008-03-09 00:04:51|  分类: 电脑硬件 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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With the big 2 in the graphics accelerator market concentrated on slugging-it-out lately, it would hardly come as a surprise if moderate-light gamers have been feeling left out. Most of the options available to the average Joe would have been limited to the likes of the HD2600 and the 8600GT, both of which would be considered archaic by now. The refresh of the HD2600 in the guise of the HD3650 is barely doing better than the 8600GTS, the onus thus fell on NVIDIA to deliver a card that bridges the gap between the G84 and the 8800GT. Their answer was simple, cripple the existing G92 based 8800GT, and launch it as the 8800GS. With 32 less stream processors and a 64-bit narrower memory bus, the G92 8800GS does not sound very promising on paper. Indeed, the 8800GS is seen as somewhat of a stop-gap measure whilst production and availability of the 9600GT ramps up. That said, if you have been on a look-out for a piece of the G92 pie but remain unwilling to pay the 8800GT prices, the 8800GS may very well suit your taste buds when the 9600GT prices are still horribly inflated at the moment. Today, we will take a look at a 8800GS offering from XFX, the Alpha Dog XXX Edition no less, which is overclocked right from the factory. Would it prove to be a worthy replacement for the likes of the 8600? Read on to find out.


They prominently declare that the GPU is clocked to 680MHz.


XFX installed a window for inspecting the goods before the purchase!

It is not just 32 less Stream Processors on the 8800GS and this is also an overclocked model, so lets look at the basic specifications before we move on to strip the card naked. XXX pictures anyone?

Feature/ Model
XFX 8800GS/ 384MB
HD3850/ 256MB

NVIDIA 8600GTS/ 256MB

Stream Processors
96 @ 1700MHz
320

32 @ 1450MHz

Texture Units
48
16

16

Render Back-ends
12
16

8

Transistors
754 Million
666 Million

289 million

Fabrication Process
65nm
55nm

80nm

Core Clock
680MHz
670MHz

675MHz

Memory Clock
1.60GHz
1.66GHz

2.0GHz

Memory Type
GDDR3
GDDR3

GDDR3

Memory Interface
192-bit
256-bit

128-bit

System Bus Support
PCIe 2.0 x16
PCIe 2.0 x16

PCIe x16

DirectX Support
10
10.1

10


Let's un-wrap it and get going!


The card features a single-slot cooler and requires a 6-pin PCI-E power supply.

 
2-phase power is utilized and all Solid Polymer caps save for one lonesome fella (top-leftmost).


A matching MOSFET on the rear for each set


The back of the cooler. The finishing isn't very smooth.


The GPU is based on the G92-150.


Qimonda 1.4ns memory is used on the card

 

Benchmark Setup

  • Intel Core 2 Quad Extreme QX6850 (3GHz, 333MHz x 9)
  • ASUS Maximus Extreme - Intel X38 Chipset
  • 2 x 1GB Kingston HyperX KHX-11000D3 (1333Mhz, 7-7-7-20)
  • XFX 8800GS Alpha Dog XXX Edition (680/800)
  • Sapphire Radeon HD3850 256MB (670/830MHz)
  • NVIDIA 8600GTS 256MB (675/1000MHz)
  • Enermax Galaxy 1kW reV2.0
  • Seagate 7200.7 80GB x 2
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
  • Nvidia Forceware 169.32
  • ATI Catalyst 8.2

First up, we bring you three good old 3DMark Benchmarks from FutureMark. No explanation should be required for these all-too-popular benchmarks which are run at default settings.

3DMark 03
In 3DMark 03, the 8800GS XXX outperforms the 8600GTS by a whopping 13,000 points!

3DMark 05
In 3DMark 05, the story repeats with the 8800GS coming in close on the HD3850 again.

3DMark 06
In the latest 3DMark suite, the XFX 8800GS XXX delivers nearly twice the 8600GTS score and ousts the HD3850 from its spot.

Another synthetic benchmark that you would have seen us use of late is Lightsmark 2007. Using Global Realtime Illumination techniques, this benchmark tests the capabilities of graphics accelerators to handle next generation in-game graphics effects.

Lightsmark 2007
We see an incredible lead from the XFX 8800GS XXX in Lightsmark 2007.

We decided to test the DirectX 10 capabilities of the cards with World in Conflict and Unreal Tournament 3; both very popular games that were launched last year. In addition, we used Quake 4 to test the OpenGL performance of the cards. Games were tested at 1280 x 1024 as this is the native resolution of 17" and 19" LCD panels which most 8600GTS users would be using at this point in time.

World in Conflict
In World in Conflict, the 8800GS pulls ahead of the pack and delivers very playable framerates where a 8600GTS would falter.

Unreal Tournament 3
In Unreal Tournament 3, the 8800GS delivers nearly twice the framerate of the 8800GS and edges out the HD3850 by a bit.

Quake 4
NVIDIA GPUs have traditionally shined in OpenGL games but the 8800GS is showing an exceptional lead here in Quake 4.

Overclocking the overclocked

By hacking a few configuration files, we were able to use RivaTuner to overclock the already overworked 8800GS even further. So, does the fewer shaders make for better clocking? We'll let you decide if the result shows it.

XFX 8800GS XXX overclocked screenshot
We squeezed out an additional 20MHz on the GPU, 50MHz on the Shaders and 246MHz on the memory to get 12461 points on 3DMark 06.

8800GS overclocked 3DMark 06 results
The overclocking may seem marginal but it does deliver 1,300 more points in 3DMark06!

Power Consumption 

Better performance almost always means higher power consumption. We tested the 3 cards on the same system (excluding LCD) plugged into our new digital power meter at idle in Windows and also with the GPU loaded with RTHDRIBL to see how the 8800GS fares.

power consumption tests - idle
Things don't look too rosy for the 8800GS at idle. The card draws nearly 20W more than the Radeon HD3850.

power consumption tests - load
The gap widens slightly at load to a 25W difference.

Unless you happen to enjoy watching 3DMark Benchmarks running in loops, the 8800GS will easily give you close to double the performance of the 8600GTS in games. With the 9600GT being in short supply at the moment, the XFX 8800GS XXX should prove to be a worthy upgrade for those who can't wait much longer. Coming in at about 70% the price of the 8800GT, the XFX 8800GS XXX is cheaper than the Radeon HD3850 but performs as well, if not better in most instances. Where the 8600GTS falters in the new DirectX 10 titles from last year, the 8800GS delivers good performance for those still using 17" and 19" LCD panels.

Whilst the GPU didn't overclock much, we should bear in mind that it has already been clocked higher than the reference models. Furthermore, the memory on the card scaled admirably, going to 2092MHz DDR when it's only specified for 1428MHz DDR. That said, the XFX 8800GS XXX comes with a single-slot cooler that doesn't support fan speed control. ie. The fan on the Alpha Dog runs at full-blast all the time and is relatively noisy. If you're considering buying the card, take note of this if you haven't developed selective hearing (most of the time due to incessant nagging).
The XFX Alpha Dog 8800GS XXX scores in delivering a good price-performance ratio but the lack of fan control certainly detracts from it. Overall, it is a decent purchase if you need an upgrade now.

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