It does seem odd that just months before Nvidia is set to unleash their true next generation chips we have these newer GeForce 8 cards popping up. The reason for this could be that Nvidia had nothing new to flog consumers with this Christmas, but more realistically they also felt some pressure in anticipation of what AMD had to offer in the form of the Radeon HD 3800 series.
The GeForce 8800 GT was the first card released using the G92 core revision and as we found out weeks ago it features superior performance that nears the grand daddy GTX at less than $300. Unfortunately this outstanding product has been crippled somewhat by its poor availability which also translated in retail prices that surpassed its intended range. Even after two months of its initial launch the situation has not self-corrected.
The new and upcoming GeForce 8800 GTS 512 on the other hand is said to be shipping in large quantities already, and when released in less than a week should be available at the manufacturer's suggested retail price. We are hopeful this will be the case but for now we will simply focus on the performance and features of the new 8800 GTS 512.
But first let’s look at some spec numbers to put this product into perspective. Based on the G92 core, the 8800 GTS 512 features a 65nm design featuring 128 SPUs clocked at 1625 MHz, 64 TAUs (Texture Address Units), along with 24 ROPs (Rasterization Operator Units). These specifications on paper look more impressive than even the 8800 Ultra, all while offering a higher core clock frequency compared to that same card.
The 8800 GTS 512 core comes clocked at an impressive 650 MHz and the GDDR3 memory works at 1940 MHz allowing for a theoretical memory bandwidth of 62.7GB/s, which is surprisingly low. It is not the amount of onboard memory that lets the 8800 GTS 512 down but rather the 256-bit wide bus that it uses. The GeForce 8800 Ultra features a peak memory bandwidth capacity of 103.7GB/s while the GTX has a throughput of 86.4GB/s as both products utilize a 384-bit wide memory bus. But it is not all bad news as the GeForce 8800 GT also uses a 256-bit bus and it performs rather well, so we still have high hopes for the new 8800 GTS 512...