Review: Good, but expensive
The XFX 8800 GS 680M 3845MB XXX Alpha Dog Edition is a fearless beast. While the reference cards run at 550MHz core, 1357MHz shader and 800MHz memory speed, the XFX card is significantly overclocked, and it definitely reflects on the performance. Well, you don’t name a card "Alpha Dog" just for kicks. 680M, as seen in the name, stands for 680MHz core speed, while 384MB means 384MB of GDDR3 memory running at 800MHz. Apart from the serious core overclock, the Shaders also got a boost and now run at 1700MHz.
Technically speaking, Geforce 8800 GS is not that much different from 8800 GT or 8800 GTS, as they share one heart – the 65 nanometer G92. The actual difference is the memory interface; 8800 GS has a crippled 192bit version, while 8800 GT and GTS have a 256-bit interface. Due to this, the memory numbers are somewhat odd and you’ll see them in 384 and 768MB versions. There are 96 Shader processors, which means that 8800 GS has 6 out of 8 Shader clusters enabled and 12 ROP’s, while 8800 GT has 16 ROP’s and 7 clusters.
Like the rest of Nvidia’s G92 pack, the Geforce 8800 GS is a DX10 card with Shader Model 4.0 and PCI Express 2.0. It has a 6-pin power connector and the fan is a bit wider than the one on 8800 GT cards, but it’s still single slot. Driver version 169.23 that came with the CD couldn’t make the fan RPM auto adjustable, and it was quite loud. Still, as loud as it was it definitely got the job done – it cooled the card to dazzling 72 degrees Celsius. Nvidia promised a WHQL certified driver for Monday, and it will probably take care of this excessive noise.
XFX uses an Evercool two-ball bearing fan, model EC 5015TH 12B-B, that blows cool air onto the copper fins. The entire cooler base is made out of copper and the fan is placed on the cooler base.
The memory modules are in direct contact with the cooler, and there are six modules in total.
These Qimonda HYB28H512321BF-14 memory modules each packing 64MB of GDDR3 memory are overclocked from 700MHz (1,4ns) to 800MHz.
The card has two dual-link DVI outs with HDCP, but before we move on to the results you can check out the famous XFX packaging design.