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Asus EN8800 Nvidia GeForce 8800 Ultra-based graphics card

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Review Nvidia has never been shy about slicing and dicing its product line-up to meet the needs of specific groups of the graphics-card buying public with the result that you can buy its flagship DirectX 10 GeForce 8800 chip in a number of versions.

Nvidia GeForce 8800 Ultra GPU
Nvidia's GeForce 8800 Ultra: GPU view

The bread-and butter version is the 8800 GTS with 640MB of memory and priced at £260, though there's a cheaper, bread-and-dripping variant with a mere 320MB of memory for £215. Move up the scale and you'll find the caviar-on-toast 8800 GTX with 768MB of memory that uses faster clock speeds and a larger complement of Nvidia's unified Stream processors to deliver top-notch performance for a hefty £380. And that, you might think, is that. However you'd be wrong.

Since its launch in November 2006 the GeForce 8800 GTX has been the fastest graphics card on the market, period. That's a considerable achievement when you consider the 8800 GTX is a DirectX 10 part that has been tested exclusively in a DirectX 9 environment for the simple reason that we don't yet have any DirectX 10 games. It's just as well because Nvidia hadn't quite sorted out its Windows Vista drivers when it launched the new chip, but happily that sorry situation is behind us. It's May 2007 now and we still don't have any DirectX 10 games, although Nvidia and Capcom have just made a demo of Lost Planet available for download in versions for both DirectX 9 and 10. You can get it here.

  8800 Ultra 8800 GTX 8800 GTS 8800 GTS
Stream Processors 128 128 96 96
Core Clock (MHz) 612 575 500 500
Shader Clock (MHz) 1500 1350 1200 1200
Memory Clock (MHz) 2160 1800 1600 1600
Memory size (MB) 768 768 640 320
Memory bus width (bits) 384 384 320 320
Memory bandwdith (GBps) 103.7 86.4 64 64
Fill rate (GTMUps) 39.2 36.8 24 24
Price (£) 485 380 260 215

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