Gainward BLISS 8800GTS Golden Sample

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Gainward BLISS 8800GTS Golden Sample
  • Gainward BLISS 8800GTS Golden Sample
  • Gainward BLISS 8800GTS Golden Sample
  • Gainward BLISS 8800GTS Golden Sample

Pros

  • Excellent overall performance

Cons

  • Nothing notable

Bottom Line

The Golden Sample offers excellent performance at a competitive price, making it ideal for users who require high-end gaming.

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The Golden Sample distinction on Gainward's graphics cards is an indicator that the card has faster than normal specifications. In the case of the BLISS 8800GTS Golden Sample, which uses NVIDIA's DirectX 10-ready GeForce 8800 GTS chipset, the speeds of the memory and the graphics processor are a good deal faster than the speeds offered by the standard version of this chipset. A standard GeForce 8800 GTS chip has a speed of 500MHz for the core processor and a speed of 1200MHz for the memory. In Gainward's Golden Sample, the 8800 GTS chip has speeds of 550MHz for the graphics processor and 1760MHz for the memory.

These speeds translated into faster frame rates at high quality settings in our tests. In particular, running 3DMark2006 at a resolution of 1650 x 1050 with 16x anisotropic filtering (AF) and 8x antialiasing (AA), garnered a result of 4942. This is far more than the result achieved by a card with a standard 8800 GTS chip: 4620. Faster frame rates were also achieved in FEAR. Running at a resolution of 1280 x 960 and with 16x AF and 4x AA, the Golden Sample card managed to score an average of 84 frames per second (fps) compared to the standard 8800 GTS score of 81fps.

The Golden Sample has 640MB of DDR3 memory to hold textures from the latest games and its GeForce 8800 GTS chip has 96 stream processors with which to process vertex, pixel and geometry data. The GeForce 8800 GTX is NVIDIA's top of the range chip and this has slightly better specifications than the GTS - using 768MB of DDR3 memory and 128 stream processors - but it costs more and requires more power to run. The memory interface of the 8800 GTS is also different to that found in the 8800 GTX. It has a 320-bit wide interface, while the GTX has a 384-bit wide interface. Nevertheless, the 8800 GTS can still move around 64GB of data per second to and from its onboard memory.

Due to the increased memory bandwidth and improved pixel processing architecture (via the 96 stream processors), this card has the ability to render high dynamic range (HDR) scenes with AA enabled, which is going to be an important requirement as more games are released that support true HDR. Physically, the card is 23cm long and it will take up two slots in your PC due to its large cooler, but it is not as large and won't consume as much power as a card based on the 8800 GTX.

The bottom line is, if you're a gamer looking for top-end performance at ultra high detail levels with all the benefits of DirectX 10, the Golden Sample is an excellent proposition.

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