MSI Overclocked GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB Review

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Introduction

The new GeForce 8800 GTS with 320 MB is now the entry model for the new GeForce 8800 series and MSI launched this model, called NX8800GTS-T2D320E-HD OC, which is factory-overclocked. Let’s see the performance of this new release by MSI and compare it to the standard GeForce 8800 GTS with 320 MB and also with other video cards.

MSI Overclocked GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MBFigure 1: MSI overclocked GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB.

GeForce 8800 family, codenamed G80, has so far two members only, GTS and GTX. GTS was originally launched with 640 MB memory but now it is available with 320 MB, making it a terrific option for those users that want the latest high-end VGA but don’t want to give an arm for the most high-end model. We have already published an article about GeForce 8800 family and you may want to read it to learn more about it.

GeForce 8800 GTS runs officially at 500 MHz with its memory being accessed at 1.6 GHz (800 MHz x 2) and with its 96 shader units running at 1.2 GHz. This overclocked model from MSI runs at 575 MHz with its memory being accessed at 1.7 GHz (850 MHz x 2). So far we don’t have any official explanation on how the shader clock is achieved but we guess that on this overclocked model from MSI this clock is of 1.35 GHz (based on what happens with GeForce 8800 GTX, see below). GeForce 8800 GTS uses a 320-bit memory interface, so it transfer 64 more bits per clock cycle compared to all other high-end video cards, which usually transfer 256 bits per clock cycle.

GeForce 8800 GTX, on the other hand, runs at 575 MHz, accesses its memory at 1.8 GHz (900 MHz x 2), has 128 shader engines running at 1.35 GHz and uses a 384-bit memory interface, transferring 64 more bits per clock cycle than GeForce 8800 GTS and 128 more bits more per clock cycle than other high-end VGAs that usually transfer 256 bits per clock cycle.

For a full comparison between GeForce 8800 GTS and other chips from NVIDIA, please read our tutorial NVIDIA Chips Comparison Table. On ATI Chips Comparison Table you can compare them to competitors from ATI. Keep in mind that so far ATI didn’t release any competitor for the GeForce 8800 family.

Besides being factory-overclocked, you still have D.O.T. (Dynamic Overclocking Technology) if you install the drivers provided by MSI. This feature will overclock your video card even more automatically. In our review we used the latest official drivers provided by NVIDIA so we didn’t install D.O.T.

On Figures 2 and 3 you can see the reviewed card from MSI. As it is normal to happen especially with new high-end models, the card itself is manufactured by NVIDIA (actually by another Asian manufacturer contracted by NVIDIA) and then sold to MSI, which added their sticker, changed the BIOS with their overclocked settings, added their cables and CDs and put everything into their box. So by removing the overclocked settings from this card like we did during our review we should get the same performance level from other standard GeForce 8800 GTS with 320 MB, as the card is exactly the same.

MSI Overclocked GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MBFigure 2: MSI overclocked GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB.

MSI K9N DiamondFigure 3: MSI overclocked GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB, back view.

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Author: Gabriel Torres

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.

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