First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
The model name mightn't be catchy, but as far as performance is concerned, the XFX PV-T80F-SHF9 packs a punch. Indeed, it's a fast card that's only let down by a high price tag and poor bundling.
- Fast performance in current DirectX 9-based games
- Doesn't come with PCI Express power adapter cables, Doesn't come with any games
The XFX PV-T80F-SHF9 is a great performer in current DirectX 9-based games and should go just as well when DirectX 10-based games are released. A high price and a poor bundle are the only downsides.
Price$ 875.00 (AUD)
It's based on the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX GPU (graphics processing unit), which is paired with 768MB GDDR3 RAM. The clock speed of the GPU is 576MHz, which is exactly what the standard speed of the 8800 GTX should be, but its memory runs at 1.4GHz, which is about 50MHz faster than the standard speed that's usually used with 8800 GTX GPUs.
Testing with 3DMark06 returned a score of 11242, which is only about 100 points less than what an 8800 Ultra-equipped graphics card can achieve. The Ultra has a clock speed of 612MHz for the GPU and 2.16GHz for the RAM, so it can obviously process more pixels per second.
In F.E.A.R., with 16x anisotropic filtering (AF) and 4x anitaliasing (AA), the XFX scored 79 frames per second at a resolution of 1600x1200 and 113 frames per second at a resolution of 1280x960. These frame rates are more than enough for super-smooth game play and, while F.E.A.R. is a DirectX 9-based game, we imagine that this card will be able to produce a similar result for the upcoming DirectX 10-based games.
The GeForce 8800 GTX GPU has 128 unified stream processors (which are used to process the pixel, geometry and vertex data in games). This is the same as the 8800 Ultra GPU, so the primary differences between the GPUs are the clock speeds. A quick comparison to an 8800 Ultra-based card (the ASUS GeForce 8800 Ultra) reveals that the XFX is only 11 frames per second slower at 1600x1200 and 13 frames slower at 1280x960. This is not that far behind NVIDIA's top-of-the-line GPU.
Compared to an ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT-based card (Sapphire's Radeon HD2900XT), the XFX scored only 50 points more in 3DMark06 and it also pipped it to the post in F.E.A.R. It scored 16 more frames per second than the Radeon card at 1600x1200 and 25 more frames than the Radeon at 1280x960. The XFX does cost a fair bit more than the Radeon card (over $200 more), so it's a steep price to pay for only a few more frames in performance. (It's also a little expensive when compared to other GeForce 8800 GTX-based cards on the market.) However, the XFX does have a lot more memory than an ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT-based card (768 compared to 512MB), which will hold it in good stead if future games are designed to take advantage of more than 512MB of texture memory.
As for its build quality, the XFX is a standard NVIDIA-designed card with a double-width heat sink and fan assembly that will render the adjacent expansion card slot in a motherboard unusable. It requires two 6-pin PCI Express power leads to be plugged into it. Power supplies that don't have these types of leads built in will require adapters (these require up to four free Molex hard drive power connectors), but the XFX doesn't ship this card with any adapters. This is a shame considering its high price and it means an extra $10-$15 will need to be outlaid if they're required. The card is 26.5cm in length, so it requires a roomy PC enclosure. As for noise, it wasn't overly loud during full processing loads, and was barely audible when it was idle.
The card is only bundled with two DVI-VGA adapters, an S-Video cable and a breakout cable that allows for a Component video connection to be used.
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