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Graphics cards Reviews
15,611 Reviews

PNY GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB

£210 inc VAT

Manufacturer: PNY

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

The PNY isn't going to be a stunner two years from now, but it's cheap enough that you can buy it for the strong framerates on current games. Then a couple of years from now you can buy something more adept at handling Vista and DirectX 10.0 than anything available today.

Having beaten rival ATI to the DirectX 10.0 punch, graphics-card giant nVidia seems keen to push the advantage by releasing as many strains of its technology as possible. Two months ago it released the 640MB 8800 GTS (a stripped-down version of the all-conquering 8800 GTX), and now we have a new version of the 8800 GTS.

This time the memory has been halved to 320MB, and that's about it for changes. Which is potentially pleasing, given the £40 price cut. You still get most of the effect of that searing 8800 architecture: the 320bit memory interface is intact, and the core and memory clock speeds are identical to those of the 640MB version, culminating in a very respectable memory bandwidth of 64GBps.

As with the other 8800s, the PNY replaces traditional vertex and pixel shaders with stream processors capable of operating as either. You get 96 – that's the same as on the 640MB version, and even the fully fledged GTX has only 128 – which rather trumps similarly priced cards from ATI.

There's also the 'promise' of DirectX 10.0 support. Of course, we don't know how useful this will be – until we see a stream of authentic DirectX 10.0 games titles hitting the shops, we can't evaluate the GTS's abilities in this area.

But that, in many ways, is missing the point. This card isn't really one for the future. The cut-down memory doesn't matter in most of today's games, but in a future brimming with intricate code and graphics, the loss of that 320MB will hurt.

Indeed, push the resolution beyond 1,280x1,024 and, even on today's games, the 320MB GTS can't really handle high graphical detail levels. Keep below this level, though, and the difference between this and the 640MB version is minimal.

PNY GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB Expert Verdict »
nVidia GeForce 8800 GTS graphics processor
320MB GDDR3 RAM
core clock 500MHz
memory clock 800MHz (1.6GHz DDR effective)
manufacturing process 0.09-micron
96 stream processors
320bit memory interface
PCI Express interface
DirectX 10.0 support
DVI
video-out
  • Build Quality: We give this item 8 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 7 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

The PNY isn't going to be a stunner two years from now, but it's cheap enough that you can buy it for the strong framerates on current games. Then a couple of years from now you can buy something more adept at handling Vista and DirectX 10.0 than anything available today.

There are currently no price comparisons for this product.
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