Power Consumption and Conclusions
The new EVGA e-GeForce 8800 GT KO graphics card performed about how we expected it to: slightly faster than the reference 8800 GT we had tested earlier. In several cases that performance difference was as high as 10-12% on the average frame rate but in other cases the performance gap was something like 5-6%. Results obviously depend on the game title and much of its bottleneck in performance is on the shader units and clock speeds versus the memory system. A game that is bound by both will see the upper section of those performance gains.
As has become the norm with NVIDIA’s GPUs for some time now, vendors like EVGA, XFX and BFG will compete not just on add-ins like game titles or accessories, but on overclocked speeds as well. EVGA has another model on their site called the “SSC Edition” (super super clocked?) that runs faster than this KO model we tested, but the MSRP on it is obviously going to be higher as well. Either way, getting a pre-overclocked GPU like the EVGA model we are showing here today makes sense as long as they are priced at a similar level to the standard cards.
The main feature benefits of the EVGA 8800 GT KO graphics card stem from the G92 GPU at its core. Obviously the 8800 GT cards are going to support Direct X 10 titles as do all of the GeForce 8-series cards. The 8800 GT model might actually be able to run them at PLAYABLE SETTINGS as well, which is something we can’t really say about the 8600 cards, sorry.
The G92 core – not quite as big as G80
New additions in the G92 core from the G80 core include the updated VP2 hardware decode engine and PCI Express 2.0. The new VP2 hardware allows the full HD decode process can be offloaded onto the GPU as I detailed in my initial look at the PureVideo HD technology while the addition of PCIe 2.0 support will double available bandwidth to the GPU but only if you also have a PCI Express 2.0 motherboard.
As an added bonus, this EVGA 8800 GT KO model includes a copy of Quake Wars: Enemy Territory – if you don’t already own it you won’t regret getting it for free.
Pricing and Availability
The NVIDIA 8800 GT cards do have a weakness right now though — actually finding one. A look at our own pricing engine shows that only a couple of them are to be found in stock anywhere and they are priced at $279 and up. Considering that NVIDIA initially told us to expect cards in the $200-250 range that is very disappointing. Taking a look over at our friends at Newegg.com, there was only a single 8800 GT SKU in stock as of this writing — 11 models remained out of stock including the EVGA 8800 GT KO model we are reviewing.
The current listed price on Newegg.com for this card, though out of stock today, is $309; well beyond our estimated pricing from NVIDIA. Hopefully when these finally come back in stock, it will be BEFORE Christmas and at a lower price level.
The EVGA e-GeForce 8800 GT KO is a great graphics card for the budget-conscious gamer that still wants to play the very latest titles available. Nothing seems out of reach for this card at reasonable resolutions, with maybe the exception of Crysis. Pairing up a couple of them in SLI mode would definitely help there and across the board, if you feel so inclined and have passed the budgetary adjustment through any red tape. If I could point you to a place to buy this card today and if it had a little bit lower price, the EVGA card would be an easy suggestion. For now though, we all await the next round of 8800 GT cards to hit the states.
Be sure to use our pricing engine to find the best prices on NVIDIA and AMD graphics cards and anything else you might need: