ASUS GeForce 8800 GT TOP
- Small heat sink, price to performance ratio, factory overclocked
- Card heats up considerably
This GPU is one of the best value-for-money options currently out there, but the additional cost of buying this pre-overclocked version may not be worth the few extra frames and the additional heat.
Price$ 399.00 (AUD)
The GeForce 8800 GT GPU (graphics processor unit) is likely to be a hit this summer, with performance results up, cost down and a far more reasonable, single PCI slot, heat sink. It's no surprise, then, to see overclocked versions, such as the ASUS GeForce 8800 GT TOP, already streaming onto the market.
Sad as it is, NVIDIA seems to be in a race against itself, rather than against its long time rival ATI. ATI greatly improved its DirectX 10 standing with the new HD3000 GPU (see the Sapphire Radeon HD 3870), but NVIDIA's range still tops the performance charts from the mid-range to the enthusiast level.
The ASUS 8800 GT TOP falls smack bang in the middle of these two performance points, offering a 700MHz core clock, which is factory overclocked from the stock speed of 600MHz, and a 2000MHz (effective speed) memory clock, rather than the stock 1800MHz. At these speeds it is running faster than the 8800 GTX and even the Ultra, though the Ultra trumps all other series-8 cards with its memory clock of 2160MHz.
The 8800 GT GPU offers 112 stream processors, which is 16 more than the GTS and 16 less than the GTX and Ultra cards. This gives it an advantage in shader-heavy games like Crysis, since its 512MB of GDDR3 memory should still be plenty to work with. Where the 8800 GT has been cut back is on the memory bus. Its larger GTX and Ultra brothers use a fat 320- and 384-bit memory bus respectively, but the 8800 GT has only a 256-bit memory.
In our benchmarks we saw good results for the price you're paying. In DirectX 9 (DX9) tests it performed very well, and also performed reasonably well in the DirectX 10 (DX10) tests. In Half-Life 2 using the maximum possible quality settings and the native resolution of our Samsung SyncMaster 245B monitor, 1920x1200, it averaged 120.55fps (frames per second). In FEAR it averaged 77fps, again using the maximum quality settings and this time at a resolution of 1600x1200.
In the DX10 tests we saw less impressive but still playable results. Using the DX10 version of Lost Planet: Extreme Condition at the default settings it averaged 75.25fps. Increasing the resolution to the native 1920x1200 and turning all DX10 features on reduced, the frame rate significantly rose to 32.35fps. In Crysis we set the game quality on high and maxed out the resolution to 1920x1200, but left antialiasing off and got an average of 22.2fps. Turning the resolution down to 1280x960 (the native resolution of a 19in monitor) returned a more favourable 39.95fps, an increase that would be reflected across all games. Overall it performed better than the stock speeds of the ASUS Geforce 8800 GT, which we tested recently, achieving a few more frames per second in each benchmark.
One issue we ran into was that the card, overclocked as it is, seemed to lock up during a couple of the benchmarks. It was unbearably hot to touch at this point, which may have caused the computer to crash. This may be due to the considerably smaller heat sink, combined with an overclocked GPU. However, during play tests it ran without a hitch. We ran it through Crysis for 30 minutes (considerably longer than each benchmarks runs) and the card heated up, but didn't crash the system. We tested the card in an open-case system with poor airflow dynamics. Ideally we'd suggest some hefty cooling across and around this card with a closed case for greater stability with this board.
As an additional bonus, this card is bundled with Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts, an excellent real-time-strategy game with DX10 features to try out.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 D-Link Taipan AC3200 Ultra tri-band modem-router review
- 3 Dell XPS 13 (2016) review: Making the very best Ultrabook
- 4 Microsoft Surface Book review: The verdict on Microsoft's first notebook
- 5 Telstra Wi-Fi 4GX Advanced III review: Testing the world's first 600Mbps wireless hotspot
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- Total War: Warhammer DirectX 12 performance preview: Radeon reigns supreme
- Radeon Polaris GPU and Bristol Ridge APU should be featured by AMD at Computex
- Google's Tensor Processing Unit said to advance Moore's Law seven years into the future
- Confirmed by Nvidia: Official GeForce GTX 1070 tech specifications leak
- Rumours are true: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 officially supports only 2-way SLI setups
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTWeb & Mobile Solutions DeveloperNSW
- CCJunior / Mid Level Java Developer - Developing Restful Microservice SolutionsVIC
- CCTechnical System Engineer (Linux/Mobile/SQL)160524/TSE/vmtAsia
- FTSenior Team Leader Applications SupportACT
- CCAWS Developer/LeadNSW
- CCProgram Communications SpecialistVIC
- CCProject Manager / Delivery Manager - TelcoNSW
- CCSolution ArchitectNSW
- CCBI/Information/Data/Solution ArchitectNSW
- CCNetwork Access Specialist - Telecommunications (Apply now)!!NSW
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (JAVA/SQL/Web) 160519/AP/453Asia
- CCBusiness Analyst, AdviceNSW
- CCEnd to End Project Manager - PMO and GovernanceVIC
- CCWeb DeveloperACT
- CCTechnical WriterACT
- CCSystem Engineer - Server Migration experienceNSW
- FTNetwork Engineer | Routing & switching | Design, implementation, L3 supportNSW
- FTSecurity Software EngineerACT
- FTSOE SpecialistACT
- CCLinux AdministratorVIC
- FTGraduate IT Support OfficerNSW
- CCSenior Systems AnalystSA
- FTAzure ConsultantQLD
- CCTechnical Solutions Specialist - Software Developer (Client facing)NSW
- CCIT Assistant (Lotus Notes/LAN/Anti-Virus) 160524/ITA/074Asia