The Inno3D GeForce 8800 GT OC is an impressive product all-around and you certainly couldn't go wrong grabbing one or even two of these cards as long as you can find them in retail, though we know it'll just be a matter of a week or two until that self-corrects.
The only shortcoming we saw with this product is its cooling solution which was designed by Nvidia. Although the single slot design is nice and compact, it did run hot enough that we were begining to worry it would melt away the plastic fan shroud. Now, while the graphics card never showed any signs of stability problems, it did operate consistently above 90°C, which can become problematic for those with inadequate case cooling. Not to mention removing all this heat creates a great deal of added noise and the Inno3D 8800 GT creates enough on its own.
Therefore we really hope that sooner rather than later Inno3D decides to include the GeForce 8800 GT in their elite i-Chill line-up, as this product could really benefit from an upgraded cooling solution. The good news is the performance delivered by this overclocked Inno3D 8800 GT graphics card is remarkable! In most cases we found it matching the much more expensive GTX in terms of performance, and in some cases even beat it.
While the final retail value of this product remains to be seen, we have reason to believe that it will go on sale for ~$260, and at this price it’s a steal. You may argue this is basically a Nvidia reference card carrying an Inno3D label with a little factory overclocking, but even then it's quite an impressive product. In terms of power consumption the GeForce 8800 GT is very good, using less power than a GeForce 8800 GTS at idle and around the same amount when under load.
Putting things in perspective, this is a very efficient graphics card delivering performance similar to the GTX while using significantly less power.
In essence the 8800 GT is the ultimate graphics card, but for how long? Perhaps the only other gripe we can have with this new product is that we had to put up with the pathetic GeForce 8600 to get to it! It is hard to believe that just 6 months ago we were faced with the GeForce 8600 GTS with a similar price tag.
Should we also thank ATI for pushing Nvidia buttons? Next week marks the official release of the Radeon HD 3800 series, we will back then to bring you a direct comparison between these products.