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8800GT 256MB better buy for UT3? II

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    8800GT 256MB better buy for UT3? II

    Since the last version of this thread got closed because of flaming in slightly off topic discussion (let's be nice), I thought I'd give it another shot because there is more evidence that might support the 8800GT 256mb as the better buy in terms of dollar/fps for UT3.

    There is a review at Expreview.com of the 8800GT 256MB which shows test data for UT3 and Bioshock. Note that the 8800GT 512MB shows little--if any--discernible gain over the 8800GT 256MB in terms of FPS in UT3 at 1280x1024, 1680x1050, and 1920x1200. Only in the Bioshock test at 1920x1200 does the 256MB version of the card start to fall behind because of its smaller memory.

    Furthermore, while not a test of the 8800GT, [H]Enthusiast found that additional memory in the different 8800GTS versions and the HD 3850 made only a slight different at 1920x1200 when AA was not enabled in UT3.

    Then there is another test of the EVGA 8800GT 256mb in Bioshock shown to beat out the reference board EVGA version of the 8800GT 512MB, probably due to the higher clock speed of the 8800GT 256mb version (@650mhz).

    So it sounds like the additional memory is not providing much assistance into texture processing until very high resolutions. Given that UT3 appears to be CPU bound in some spots on some maps (see this lengthy thread), if building a new system and monitor res of 1680 or less, the better buy in terms of performance is likely to be the 8800GT 256mb and more money put into CPU to raise lower end FPS than to buy the 512mb version and a lower CPU. And certainly, the dollar/fps value is not there in the 512mb version.That is, unless one is looking for bragging rights: "My GPU is bigger than your GPU"

    Does this sound right?

    Sidenote: this data would also suggest that Gamespot did not make a typo in their hardware review of UT3 regarding the 8600GTS. 512MB over 256MB is likely not offering the performance gains that people are assuming except at very, very high res. It's just a good marketing strategy on ATI and Nvidia's part for selling a more expensive card.

    #2
    While it may be a good buy RIGHT NOW. You may want to think differently on the additional memory. If you look at this:

    http://www.legitreviews.com/article/607/8/

    You'll see that at high graphics settings, crysis makes that 256mb run half as well. Which effectively makes it unplayable.

    Now I'm not saying you'll see the same thing in UT3, because right now you won't. However, if they ever add graphic options or a higher texture package to it, things might change.

    Also, new games are going to come out over the next year and you might end up kicking yourself when they start really needing that extra memory.

    But right now, on UT3, you won't see much of a difference. I'd still go for the 512mb though personally.

    Comment


      #3
      BiscuitWaffle: All true. For me personally, I tend to get bored pretty quickly with scenario based FPS gameplay like Crysis and Bioshock (beat the baddies in one small section of the map in a certain situation, then move on) and always return back to the UT games with its fluid, more dynamic game play across the entire map.

      Then again, with UT3 the low end FPS problems are where I think many players might be interested in performance gains. People are finding that low end FPS in UT3 depends much more greatly on CPU then graphics card (see all the observations in that thread on FPS performance). So for better gameplay, it does seem to me that more priority should be put there despite all of the hype surrounding gains from better graphics cards. Nvidia and ATI seem to do a good job of promoting the idea that people need the best card for maximum performance; with UT3 it's much more a balance of CPU and graphics card choice than has previously been recommended by people (myself included) on these forums. This is sort of what I'm trying to correct with this thread: an incorrect weight of graphics card over CPU.

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        #4
        8800GTS 512MB that just come out is just £10 more and 2fps of the ultra in some cases

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          #5
          tomhardware rates the 8800 GT as the best buy as its not far off perfomance wise from the higher cards but is much cheaper
          http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/12/...ard/page4.html

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            #6
            The PS3 has 256MB of GPU memory so the game was probably optimized with that in mind.

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              #7
              I'd go with the 512MB, it will come in handy for future games (including Crysis). Also, you can overclock the 512MB version so that it will easily beat the 256MB, giving you some more performance at higher resolutions.

              Comment


                #8
                If you're looking for something less expensive than the 8800GT 512MB, I think the Radeon 3870 512MB will be a better bet.

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                  #9
                  The 8800GT is hard to get at these days. Bought mine a month ago n still waiting for it, 8800GT Extreme it is though, but a regular GT still isnt very available from NVidia yet

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Memory is the key detail. Even though the GPU rates the same, high rez textures load and high screen resolution come with more memory. 256 is Ok for the here and now, but the savings will not last long from a gaming investment perspective.

                    I just sprung for the EVGA GeForce 8800GTS (G92) 512MB yesterday (should arrive today). Built on the same G92 as the GT is with 128 Stream Processors. Has an 8-15% on the GT now.

                    Unfortunately nVidia is causing quite a bit of market confusion with their naming conventions, model variants, and speed differences. Really - how could there be two GTS variants. One that is slower than that GT and one that is faster.

                    Being that there is a fair amount of price gouging going on, it depends on how much you're willing to get stung. Any way one looks at it, I would suggest a 512MB variant over a 256MB

                    Just to throw something into the mix.
                    I have a 7900GTO 512MB running on an C2D@ 3.4Ghz.
                    The FPS performance differential between it and an 8800GT 512MB on a Quad 3.2GHz rig are minimal.
                    There is high CPU utilization in UT3 and GPUs seem more to eek out performance gains at the highest resolutions.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by richcz3 View Post
                      Memory is the key detail. Even though the GPU rates the same, high rez textures load and high screen resolution come with more memory. 256 is Ok for the here and now, but the savings will not last long from a gaming investment perspective.

                      I just sprung for the EVGA GeForce 8800GTS (G92) 512MB yesterday (should arrive today). Built on the same G92 as the GT is with 128 Stream Processors. Has an 8-15% on the GT now.

                      Unfortunately nVidia is causing quite a bit of market confusion with their naming conventions, model variants, and speed differences. Really - how could there be two GTS variants. One that is slower than that GT and one that is faster.

                      Being that there is a fair amount of price gouging going on, it depends on how much you're willing to get stung. Any way one looks at it, I would suggest a 512MB variant over a 256MB

                      Just to throw something into the mix.
                      I have a 7900GTO 512MB running on an C2D@ 3.4Ghz.
                      The FPS performance differential between it and an 8800GT 512MB on a Quad 3.2GHz rig are minimal.
                      There is high CPU utilization in UT3 and GPUs seem more to eek out performance gains at the highest resolutions.
                      When you get that card please let us know how the cooling system for them is ... I am thinking about upgrading my 8800GTs if they really improved the cooling for the card. That way I can OC without worries since there is no official cooling solution yet for GT cards.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by AnubanUT2 View Post
                        When you get that card please let us know how the cooling system for them is ... I am thinking about upgrading my 8800GTs if they really improved the cooling for the card. That way I can OC without worries since there is no official cooling solution yet for GT cards.
                        Will do - Its actually replacing an EVGA 8800GT. The GTs have gone with the low profile fan that blows heat back into the case. GTS (G92) models have the fan that blows out the back of the case which is a key reason why I picked it up. I want to keep case temps for my Q6600 down.

                        * Also of important note, some GTs (at least EVGA) were released with fans that run at 25%. Needed to get nTune to manually increase for load.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          ^^ Thanks. I just read that under load with a high OC if you turn the fans up 100% the temps stay around 50c ... I don't care about fan noise so that would be cool with me. And it really doesn't cost that much to upgrade.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Rivatuner does a better job than nTune. My inno 3D also tuns at 29% untweaked. Tweaked I can add 20% to all it's clockspeeds. Id does use 300MB in some maps though. The best way to run the fans is with custom low level settings, that increase fan speed according to core temps.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I bought a Asus 8800gt 512meg card two weeks ago, all photos it was shown with a 'company of heros' sticker on it's cover with would looked like same fan as seen on other cards I was pricing.

                              But when I received the card it now has no cover at all on it, no graphic stickers either, instead now it has a 'huge heatsink & a huge fan' I think they have changed the design of the card do to heating issues. And man what a great card it is.....have no problems at all with it.

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