OCZ returns to Graphics Card Business with 8800 GTX

Videocards/VGA Reviews by geoffrey @ 2007-03-14

OCZ has been in the review spotlight for their excellent memory modules and high end power supply units, today we get a chance to test their latest product which reintroduces them into the graphics card area with a product based on the popular NVIDIA G80 Core. Our expectations are high, let´s find out if it can deliver.

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Futuremark 3D Mark, Cooling & Noise

Futuremark 3D Marks

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These synthetic systems tests from Futuremark give you a good overall idea of performance between the video cards: you should not solely rely on these results though as the game benchmarks do not always reflect these rankings.

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In the 2005 and 2006 benchmarks we're again faced with the extreme difference between each generation's high end card. While OCZ's 8800GTX almost doubles the 3D Mark score in the those tests, we see that in the 3D Mark 2003 benchmark the gap narrows to only 26%. 3D Mark 2003 has always liked the Geforce 7 family, though with those sky high frame rates the CPU will have quite some influence too.

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At the end of the 3D Mark 2006 benchmark we're given SM2 and SM 3/HDR scores, which are based on the average frame rate in the 4 game tests we ran through. Those game tests are designed to put quite some load on even the latest VGA cards, that way it is useful to see how those SM2 & SM3 scores react on powerful graphics accelerators like the 8800 GTX. In fact, in our above chart we're seeing a perfect reflection of what we've been concluding in all our previous tests: double Geforce 7 performance!


We logged temperatures over a period of time with Rivatuner while running Futuremark 3DMark05 in loop to stress the GPU.

To insure that the heatsink is capable of keeping the 8800GTX at a decent temperature, we tried to measure how it performs inside a case. Unfortunately the only case I had lying around was a small HTPC case which simply was not designed to fit a mid/high end gaming system. So rather than throwing in the towel, I modified a card board box, a plain brown one, to fit a 120mm fan in the same area as it would’ve been in a real case, and tested the setup as seen in the photo below:

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Ghetto style case setup

Here are the results:

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The G80 processor counting more then 600 million transistors combined with high clocked GDDR3 memory performs very well as seen in our previous tests, though the counterpart is that the G80 boards are quite power hungry and with that a huge amount of heat has to be dissipated. A dual slot aluminum heatsink combined with a heat pipe and 7 cm fan are used to prevent the components from overheating. The fan is being auto regulated: whenever extended cooling is needed the NVIDIA driver will increase the fan's rpm. In our case the fan did speed up only a minor 10% under heavy load, which made the card heat up a lot during our tests, though with the GPU at 83°C there is quit some space left and you must keep in mind that the fan is not at full potential yet.


Noise level was recorded with a SmartSensor AR824. The sensor was first placed ~100cm away from the front of the VGA card, and a second time only ~30cm away. We've put the housing over the card as seen in the picture above.

The lowest dBA reading in the test room without any computer running was ~40.1 dBA. The CPU fan was turned off to reduce noise and concentrate on the reading from the VGA cards.

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People with decent airflow inside their case will find OCZ's 8800GTX not too noisy even during long gaming sessions. Without cool air flowing over the G80 core the fan will start to ramp up and become audible; so make sure you got efficient case cooling if you like silent computing.
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