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Graphics cards Reviews
15,670 Reviews

BFG GeForce 8800 GTS graphics card

£291 inc VAT

Manufacturer: BFG

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

The GTS will appeal to the hardcore gamer without buckets of money to throw at their PC.

The 8800 GTX is nVidia’s crowd-puller, but only the most determined of gamers is going to splash out the best part of £500 on a graphics card.

Fortunately, nVidia has also released a cut-down version of the GTX, the GTS. At a far more reasonable £300 (and it's likely to drop to £200-£250 soon), the GTS will appeal to the hardcore gamer without buckets of money to throw at their PC.

So what are the differences? Well, much of the brilliant architecture has been retained, but nVidia has built its latest creation on a slightly smaller scale. Where the GTX had a massive 768MB of GDDR3 memory, the GTS has just 640MB, while the memory interface falls from 384bit to 320bit – still a significant improvement on the 256bit interfaces touted by non-8800 cards.

Plenty of the features that made the GTX great are present here. So once again we can welcome the decision to do away with the fixed vertex/pixel shader divide and replace them with universal 'stream processors'. The GTS's complement is 96. That's 32 fewer than on the GTX, but still significantly better than competing cards.

Then there's the support for DirectX 10.0. Well, there might be. The 8800 GTX should have the firepower to cope, but we can't yet tell how well DirectX 10.0 games will run on the GTS.

Tested across a wide range of titles (Half-Life 2, Prey, Fear and Quake 4), the GTS regularly outpaced similarly priced rivals at lower resolutions. In fact, for those who want to play games with high detail levels at a resolution of 1,280x1,024, the GTS is perfect.

However, the lead tended to drop past 1,600x1,200, which throws up the question of how well it's going to fare when subjected to the graphical complexities of true DirectX 10.0 games.

BFG GeForce 8800 GTS Expert Verdict »

nVidia GeForce 8800 GTS graphics processor
640MB GDDR3 installed RAM
core clock 500MHz
memory clock 800MHz (1.6GHz DDR effective)
0.09-micron manufacturing process
96 stream processors
320bit memory interface
PCI Express
DirectX 10.0
DVI
video-out
  • Build Quality: We give this item 8 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 8 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 8 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

We don't yet know whether the GTS can cope properly with true DirectX 10.0 titles. Neither do we know what ATI's next-generation cards will be like. In the meantime, this is the fastest, most futuristic card you can buy without spending in excess of £430.

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