We’ve been fans of NVIDIA’s 8800 GT since launch, and Palit helps us remember why. Though utilizing reference clocks, the Super+1GB doubles the competitions memory, but as we found out, it’s difficult to see a difference. Overclocking yields far better results, and luckily, this card delivers there as well.
In testing power consumption for our graphic cards, the system components are kept consistent to help keep accurate results. To capture wattage, a Kill-a-Watt is used. It is plugged straight into the wall and the PSU is plugged in directly to it. After the computer is booted into Windows and is left idle for five minutes, the idle wattage is captured.
To capture the average, a run of 3DMark 2006 is run while keeping an eye on the voltage for the first two minutes. I record the value that the Kill-a-Watt reported the majority of the time. Sometimes the wattage might go higher, but scale right back down, and vice versa.
What strikes me odd is that the Palit 8800 GT is slower overall, but results in higher wattages. This could be due to a few things, but is most likely due to luck. Palit’s card might also use slightly higher memory/GPU voltages, which would also result in higher wattages.
As I mentioned in the intro, I recommend most any 8800 GT due to the performance and price. However, there are many out there, and they all fluctuate heavily in price, so you need to be careful. In the case of Palit’s Super+1GB model, the extra memory really puts a premium on the price, costing an extra $50 over their standard model. That is not a small premium considering we saw no real benefit throughout all of our game testing. It goes without saying, a standard 8800 GT would suit you better.
At $230 on average, Palit’s stock card is priced right alongside the rest, although a select few get even cheaper. So as it stands, the standard version of their 8800 GT is worthy of a purchase, no question. As an added bonus, all three of their 8800 GT models include Tomb Raider: Anniversary, if that game piques your interest.
As far as overclocking goes, this card managed a maximum overclock of 745MHz on the core and a small overclock on the memory, at about 20MHz. The ASUS EN8800GT TOP by comparison, didn’t go above 720MHz on the core but did manage a much higher memory overclock. In the end though, if 3DMark 06 is the judge of anything, both cards scored almost identical scores, despite their varying overclocks. It all worked out in the end.
So, the particular card we took a look at is not entirely recommended unless you have a specific need for the 1GB of on-board memory, and their standard version should suit you fine since it follows NVIDIA’s reference design closely and still includes the free game and DVI-to-HDMI adapter.
Palit is a massive company, so I’d expect to see a lot more of them this coming year. Can they prove a real threat to the already-established companies in the US? It will be tough, but given their stature elsewhere in the world, if there is one company to do it, it will likely be Palit.
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