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Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT graphics chip

Nvidia's bang-for-buck winner?

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Review Nvidia’s new 'G92' graphics chip is based on the 'G80' used in the GTS, GTX and Ultra versions of the GeForce 8800, and is a die-shrink that moves from the part from its predecessors' 90nm fabrication process to 65nm.

There are other changes inside the chip, which gains the VP2 video engine and bitstream processor used in the junior members of the GeForce 8000 family. Fans of HD video won’t have to work their CPU quite so hard in future. Nvidia also tells us that the 8800 GT gains an AES128 encryption/decryption engine for HDCP content.

MSI NX8800GT
MSI's NX8800GT: cool runner

Thanks to the extra hardware, G92 contains more transistors than G80, with the count increasing from 681 million to 754 million.

Other new features include a move from PCI Express (PCIe) 1.1 to 2.0, and the adoption of HDCP for content copy-protection over dual-link DVI. If you have a socking great display, the dual-link connection can drive a resolution of 2560 x 1600.

In terms of the core speed, memory speed and Stream processors, the GT is positioned right between the current GTS and GTX models.

Standard Asus MSI
8800 GTS 8800 GTS 8800 GTX 8800 Ultra 8800 GT 8800 GT
Fab Process 90nm 90nm 90nm 90nm 65nm 65nm
Transistor Count 681m 681m 681m 681m 754m 754m
Core Speed 500MHz 500MHz 575MHz 612MHz 600MHz 660MHz
Memory 320MB GDDR 3 640MB GDDR 3 768MB GDDR 3 768MB GDDR 3 512MB GDDR 3 512MB GDDR 3
Memory Speed 1600MHz 1600MHz 1800MHz 2160MHz 1800MHz 1900MHz
Memory Bus 320-bit 320-bit 384-bit 384-bit 256-bit 256-bit
Memory Bandwidth 64GB/s 64GB/s 86.4GB/s 103.7GB/s 57.6GB/s 60.8GB/s
Stream Processors 96 96 128 128 112 112
Shader Speed 1350MHz 1350MHz 1350MHz 1500MHz 1500MHz 1650MHz
Typical Price £195 £259 £349 £459 £188 £176

The new GT core runs at 600MHz, which is faster than both the GTS and GTX. The GDDR 3 memory runs at the same 1800MHz as the GTX and there are 112 stream processors - more than the GTS, less than the GTX - which run at the same 1500MHz as the 8800 Ultra.

Asus EN8800GT
Asus' EN8800GT: a single-slot 8800 at last

The one notable difference with 8800 GT is a change in the memory controller. The GTS has a 320-bit controller for the 320MB or 640MB of GDDR 3 memory, while GTX uses a 384-bit controller for its 768MB of memory, but the GT employs a 256-bit controller for 512MB of memory. Despite the faster memory speed used by the GT the memory bandwidth is narrow than it is on the GTS, significantly slower than the GTX and half that of the Ultra.

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