More 8800GTS 512MB details
Geforce 8 series are the latest generation NVIDIA high-end and performance mainstream video cards. The success story began in November 2006 with the introduction of the G80 GPU on 8800GTS and GTS video card. The cards were praised because of their good performance/price ratio, the madness is yet continuing with the introduction of the G92 GPU, a 65nm version of the G80.
The G92 GPU is just like the G80 GPU a 3D video rendering processor based upon unified shader architecture. This GPU design introduces a large amount of parallel rendering processors, called stream processors, who are programmable in what they're intended to do. They can be programmed to either do vertex, pixel or geometry instancing, which makes this kind of GPU's excellent in load balancing. The Geforce 8800GTX came with 128 stream processor, divided over 8 blocks each containing 16 stream processors. Each block also contained 8 texture filtering units, which comes down to 64 texturing units for the 8800GTX. The GTS from past year was based on the same G80 GPU, but came with 2 shader clusters disabled, resulting in 96 stream processors and 48 texture filtering units.
The new G92 based version of the GTS comes, just like the GTX and Ultra, with 8 shader clusters enabled, thus meaning that it has 128 stream processors and 64 texture filtering units. The GPU core is clocked at 650MHz while the shader processors are clocked at 1625MHz, keeping in mind the 612MHz core clock and 1500MHz shader clock of the 8800 Ultra we see that the new GTS has theoretical more processing power then any of today's available NVIDIA video card! As proof, just look at the texture fill rate results provided in the above table, the 512MB GTS tops out with a nearly 6% higher texture fill rate compared to NVIDIA's current flagship, the 8800 Ultra.
Unfortunately, this does not mean that we have a new performance king on our hands. NVIDIA equipped the new GTS with 'only' 512MB DDR3 memory, but the worst performance hit will be due to the 256-bit bus width which is actually quit narrow when looking at other card of the GeForce 8800 family. Even though the GDDR3 chips are clocked at roughly 2GHz, total memory bandwidth of the G92 GTS does not improve compared to the elder G80 GTS, and to make things look worse: the 512MB GTS has more then 60% less memory bandwidth compared to the 8800 Ultra.
In the end, in high resolutions the new GTS will never mean a threat for the 8800 Ultra, but with resolutions common for today's mainstream LCD's the new GTS might proof to be very challenging for any current available video card. In fact, if you look closely, the new GTS is an improved version of the recently released 8800GT. If the price is kept reasonable, high-end video card sales might be in trouble somehow.
|NVIDIA G92-400-A2 GPU, a 65nm version of the G80 GPU build on the 90nm production node.||Qimonda HYB18H512321BF-10 DDR3 random access memory chips for graphic cards. You'll have a hard time finding memory chips who perform better then those found on the new GTS.|
|SLI is a common feature for current mainstream and high-end NVIDIA video cards. The 8800GTS 512 comes with one connector, you'll need another 8800GTS 512MB to build a working SLI setup, but you won't be able to use the newly introduced 3-way SLI interface (it requires 2 SLI interfaces).||The new GTS needs, just like any other Geforce 8800, a 6-pin PCIe power connector to feed the card with enough current. Just next to it you'll spot a strange 2-pin connector named 'J8'. This one is used to add digital audio to your video card and is available at the dual link DVI-I connector. You will still need a DVI-to-HDMI dongle to make use of the audio signals.|
The GPU core power is converted from 12V into ~1,2V via a 3 way Pulse Width Modulation circuit. You can spot the BL121 inductors which are nearly the same as those found on the elder G80 video cards. Surprisingly, this circuit is has only 3 PWM phases, where the 8800GTX and Ultra had 4 PWM phases. The big polarised capacitors on the right are used to filter and stabilize the incoming 12V power line, the GPU core voltage filtering caps are found on the backside of the card and are of much smaller size. This does not particularly mean it has weak transient filtering, because of the high frequency the power mosfet are switching 12V, the need for big capacitors is being lowered, and you should not worry for any damage happening on your video card in long term usage.
Let's get it on with the new GTS, benchmarking awaits ->