Saturday, May 26, 2007

MSI NX 8800 GTS - T2D320E-HD

Not wanting to leave any enthusiasts out, those looking for the power of the GeForce 8800 family of cards on a budget have had their prayers answered in the form of the GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB card. With prices below $300, the power of the best NVIDIA has to offer is now available for everyone. With the only difference between the two GTS models being the amount of GDDR3 RAM (640MB vs. 320MB) the sub-$300 price is attractive and reasonable.

MSI took the reference design and upped the ante by increasing the core and memory clock speeds in their NX8800GTS-T2D320E-HD OC offering. The increase in raw speed on the card served as a good reminder that the marketing hype of "more memory = faster" is definitely not always the case as was discovered when put the through the paces against its bigger, but slower, 640MB brother.

As the chart below shows, the NX8800GTS-T2D320E-HD OC is identical to the 640MB version except in the amount of RAM and the core and memory speeds. Both feature nice boosts in speed that lend to impressively increased performance throughout a number of benchmarks and tests.
Apart from a few ultra-high resolution instances, MSI's NX8800GTS-T2D320E-HD OC proved that, with a little extra oomph from end-user overclocking, raw speed still can and does have a major impact on gaming performance; while more memory certainly can't hurt, it isn't the be-all cure to ensure faster performance.

If considering a GeForce 8800 GTS, don't let the lesser amount of RAM fool you: these factory overclocked 320MB GTS cards are packing all the same heat and can perform almost as good and sometimes even better than their bigger-but-slower brother.