Inno3D GF 8800GTS (I-8800GTS-J5ITC5)
- The supplied driver (version 96.89) worked fine, but the latest release (version 97.92) from the NVIDIA Web site did not provide good picture quality
This is a high-end card with a competitive price tag. It will let you play the latest games in all their glory at high resolutions.
Price$ 699.00 (AUD)
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As one of the most inexpensive high-end cards on the market, the Inno3D GeForce 8800 GTS is an attractive proposition. There's nothing fancy about it. Its circuit board and cooling solution is based on the standard NVIDIA reference design and the speeds for its NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS graphics processing unit (GPU) and memory are standard: 500Mhz for the CPU and 1600MHz for the memory.
In our tests, the card performed speedily, as expected. In Quake 4, at a resolution of 1280 x 1024 and without anti aliasing (AA) enabled, it scored a whopping 163 frames per second (fps). With 4x AA enabled, it still managed to crack 100fps, scoring 106fps. At a resolution of 1600 x 1200, the card scored 136fps without AA and 77fps with 4x AA.
We noticed a quirk when we ran the FEAR benchmark, however. On our 22in test monitor, which has a native resolution of 1680 x 1050, we weren't able to run this game at 1280 x 960. This is something that we have noticed with other NVIDIA-based cards and appears to be a driver issue. We had to use the lower resolution of 1024 x 768 for our tests. At this resolution the card scored 109fps without AA enabled and 74fps with 4x AA. The card was able to run FEAR at 1600 x 1200. At this resolution it scored 52fps without AA enabled and 54fps with 4x AA enabled. These results indicate that there is negligible performance loss when running this card at high resolutions with high in-game graphics details enabled. In fact, this card excels in this area.
During our testing, we noticed that NVIDIA's latest release downloadable drivers, version 97.92, did not perform up to scratch. The picture quality with these drivers was very muddy at the native resolution of the monitor (1680 x 1050). The drivers that Inno3D supplies in the box, version 96.89, worked much better than the downloaded drivers and displayed the native resolution of our monitor perfectly.
While it may be an inexpensive high-end card, the box contents are adequate. Inno3D supplies two DVI to VGA adapters, a composite video-out cable, as well as a component video-out cable. Inno3D also includes a game called Commandoes Strike Force.
Physically, the card is long and it requires one 6-pin PCI Express supplemental power connector to be plugged in. It contains a standard NVIDIA cooler, which is large and occupies the adjacent expansion bracket on the PC case. This cooler is comprised of a copper and aluminium heat sink, which sits atop the GPU and all the memory chips. A fan blows air through the fins of the heat sink and out of the rear of the PC. An SLI connector at the top of the board means that you can pair this card up with another GeForce 8800 GTS to boost your 3-D rendering power.
The inexpensive price of this latest-generation card makes it a good one to go for if you're after a current high-end gaming experience. It will give you good performance when running games with highly detailed graphics at high resolutions.
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