The original consensus regarding NVIDIA's new G92 core has been a unanimous thumbs up. That was when reviewers like us finished testing the G92 based GeForce 8800 GT with a broad smirk on our faces. It was fast, it was hot and unfortunately it sold faster than hotcakes. As frustration sets in from the many shortages of the GeForce 8800 GT in retail channels, resulting in higher prices than the initial launch price, our positive feeling for it has slowly been tempered by these supply issues and a nagging suspicion that the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT at its original price was too good to be true after all.
Guess what -- there's a new kid on the block. And although this new kid has the same name as that old one you may have known as the 8800 GTS, this newcomer's bringing a whole new level of firepower to town.
We have two cards to look at today. The fine folks at Asus have provided us with our first look at this new arrival: the overclocked EN8800 GTS 512 MB T.O.P, while our friends at XFX were kind enough to send us a overclocked GeForce 8800GTS 512 XXX Alpha Dog Edition for inspection.
ASUS is a company which has been catering to the enthusiast computer component market for longer than most of us can remember but at the same time they have a presence in nearly every other area of the computer market as well. From laptops to monitors and from barebones units to high-performance motherboards, they have it all and from our experience, every one of their products sticks to the same ideals of quality and performance. While in the past we have reviewed mundane (a DVD drive) and innovative (their ASUS Xonar D2 sound card) gear from them, today we will be looking at a product which is aimed squarely at the high-performance gamer: the ASUS 8800GT 512MB TOP Edition with the optional Glaciator cooler.
First came the 8800GTS, along comes the 8800GT, and then... the 8800GTS? Welcome to NVIDIA's latest naming scheme. With the original 8800GTS 320MB and 640MB is the 90nm G80 core; the latest wave of 8800 series cards include the 65nm G92 8800GT and 8800GTS -- typically distinguished by its nominal memory configuration of 512MB on board. The NVIDIA GeForce 8800GT was quite a margin faster than the original G80 based 8800GTS -- the Asus factory overclocked 8800GT TOP at 700/1000 is even faster. How about the G92 based 8800GTS, commonly known as the 8800GTS 512MB perform? Or, better yet, how will the Asus 8800GTS TOP, aggressively clocked and pretty much the fastest graphics card in its family at 740/1035, pull out on our benchmark graphs today? Besides that, we'll examine the noise factor as well as power consumption today. Let's jump right into the Asus EN8800GTS TOP 512MB review right now.