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Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2010 orks, a business unit of Nuevvo Webware Ltd.
Monday, 12 November 2007 20:44

XFX Alpha Dog 8800 GT XXX Edition is fast

Written by Sanjin Rados
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Review: One pup definitely worth having

 

So far, we tested several Geforce 8800 GT cards based on the new D8P/G92 graphics chip. The results swept us off our feet, and it was about time to see a card with good price/quality ratio.

Geforce 8800 GT definitely earned its reputation; you get a rock solid Nvidia 65nm GPU at a great price. Since 8800 GT runs at 600 MHz core and 900MHz memory, this card will, performance wise, fit in perfectly between 8800 GTX and 8800 GTS cards.

Characteristics of this 65nm chip resulted in overclocked cards being much more common. By shrinking the chip, the working temperature also shrunk so overclocking shouldn’t be a difficult task. Many Nvidia partners walk that road and ultimately, the end users will also benefit from this, because a couple of bucks more buy you a faster card.

XFX 8800 GT graphics card is a typical overclocked 8800 GT card. We say typical because it’s no different from any Nvidia’s reference cards. The same goes for the cards that we’ve tested so far, such as Gainward BLISS 8800 GT and MSI 8800 GT OC; basically, it’s the same cards at different clocks. However, it’s the brand and the speed that will ultimately sell these cards to the buyer. We’ve proven that overclocked 8800 GTs perform well, so faster clocks should yield better results.

XFX Geforce 8800 GT Alpha Dog Edition card is definitely worth taking a look at, because the card runs 70MHz faster than reference design cards. We’ve recently tested a MSI 8800 GT card clocked at 600MHz, which is 60MHz more than reference design, and it firmly held its ground even compared to 8800 GTX. Since XFX is even faster, although not significantly, we should expect an even better result.

670MHz core speed is accompanied by 975MHz for GDDR3 memory. Alpha Dog’s Shaders run at 1675MHz, which is higher than 1500MHz stock speed by 160MHz. It’s clear that XFX really pushed this card, but given their “fast” reputation, it’s nothing new.

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The cooler and card design are unchanged, and we’ve got no complaints about that. Although 8800 GTX and 8800 GTS are dual-slot, this time around Nvidia opted for single slot design. Additional power is provided by one VGA 6-pin connector the specs indicate that TDP shouldn’t exceed 110W.

The cooler stays quiet, even during gaming. The driver lets you control the fan speed, although it’s not loud, not even in AUTO mode. Core temperature can reach up to 80 degrees Celsius, but simple fan speed increase will take care of that. At maximum RPM, the maximum average temperature is about 65 degrees, but in that scenario the small fan gets too loud.


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XFX Geforce 8800 GT is a PCI Express 2.0 card, fully compatible with all 16x PCI-E slots on currently available motherboards. However, if you’re counting on DirectX 10.1 and planning a long term investment, then think again - this card doesn’t support it. Still, due to the fact that most users still use Win XP DX9 platforms for gaming, this might not be that big of a deal. Still, DirectX 10 is slowly but surely becoming a standard and by not including DX 10.1 and Shader Model 4.1 support, Nvidia has missed the innovation train.

Still, all the good stuff that Geforce 8800 brings is here, but this time it’s combined with Nvidia’s new 65nm chip that runs much cooler, has a single-slot, features the new VP2 video engine, 112 ultra fast Shaders and excellent performance in gaming. The only thing missing is the Tri SLI support.

Geforce 8800GT features VP2 (Video Processor 2) within the chip. Up until now, it was exclusive to lower class cards from Nvidia, and wasn’t featured in G80 cards. This means HD Video acceleration with PureVideo HD support, as well as post processing entirely done in hardware, taking some load off the CPU.

Two dual-link DVI outs with HDCP are natively supported, which means there’s no need for a separate display chip – it’s embedded in the silicone. Two dual-link DVI’s support up to 2560x1600 at 60Hz.

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The XFX box emphasizes that the card runs at 670MHz and includes a copy of Company of Heroes. Alpha Dog 8800 GT can really fetch and serve up your games.

Apart from the card, the box contains:

* 2 x DVI to VGA connectors* 1 x S-Video to S-Video connector
* 1 x S-Video to Component connector
* 1 x Dual molex power to PCI-e power connector
* 1 x Instruction manual
* 1 x Quick install guide
* 1 x "I'm Gaming: Do not disturb" Door sign
* 1 x S-Video connector sheet
* 1 x Driver Disc
* 1 x Full Game Company of Heroes with DirectX 10 patch

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Last modified on Tuesday, 13 November 2007 10:34
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