Gts ko acs3



Keywords: gts ko acs3
Description: Many readers are well aware that the current situation with gaming graphics cards is quite alarming. We have every reason to believe that competition in this market segment is at risk. We can all

Many readers are well aware that the current situation with gaming graphics cards is quite alarming. We have every reason to believe that competition in this market segment is at risk. We can all see that NVIDIA products dominate on the market, while the second market player ATI is being dislodged from the market after its merger with AMD. AMD launched the new cards anyway. But there are a number of serious problems with drivers, and there is still no flagship to compete with top solutions from NVIDIA: RADEON HD 2900 XT can compete only with the 8800 GTS, and it comes at the same price.

Thus the GeForce 8800 GTX and 8800 Ultra are beyond competition. So their prices will hardly go down - What for? Users don't have choice.

This situation certainly pleases NVIDIA. But it's alarming to users. However, if we take into account the laws of the market and monopolies, it also harms NVIDIA. This company may slow down its progress and driver development - users don't have choice, remember? This boomerang will return to the company sooner or later.

From the point of view of a reviewer, who is working in this market segment since the first graphics cards, it's very hard to watch manufacturer go. It had started with 3dfx in 2000, then S3, then Matrox actually stopped working in this business. Now ATI is living through a deep crisis, which started in 2005, when the RADEON X1xxx family was delayed for almost six months. The company couldn't make up for this slippage. Only the X19xx family was launched in time, but then the time has been lost again. ATI were aware of that. They did what they could. As a result, the RADEON HD 2900 XT is a crude product with lots of bugs. It has to do with a bug in the GPU in the first place, which makes it impossible to process anti-aliasing directly. So it's processed with drivers through a shader. Just think about it: we have immense bandwidth owing to the 512-bit bus. But it's not used to the full extent because of the AA bug. So precious shader units are wasted on AA, although they are not designed for this task. Thus, they are busy with AA instead of addressing their direct responsibilities. It results in a nasty performance drop in the AA+AF mode. This is not the only problem of the new card from AMD.

So what do we have as a result? It's the rise of a monopoly. If AMD fails to keep up with its competitor and discontinues its business with graphics cards, NVIDIA will become the only survivor. With all dire consequences. It's not the fault of the Californian manufacturer, of course. The blame lies fully on ATI/AMD.

The situation is clear. It's common knowledge that the 8800 is the fastest and widest Hi-End family - there are four models from $700 to $300.

The most popular graphics card is the GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB. It has an attractive price, and it's not outperformed much by the model with 640 MB of memory. Today we are going to examine such a card made by EVGA, which works at increased frequencies. Besides, we'll examine the fastest card to date - 8800 Ultra, which also works at increased frequencies.

Both cards are manufactured by NVIDIA's orders. That is EVGA have nothing to do with their manufacturing. But these cards were thoroughly tested by the company to select samples that can operate at the increased frequencies. Besides, the reference cooler has been slightly modified.

EVGA is an American company. It has been working in the North-American region for a long time, and now it decided to expand to Europe and Russia. The company does not have its own plants, all its graphics cards are manufactured at Sparkle plants (and some others). That concerns the Mid- and Low-End segments. What concerns Hi-End, I have already written many times that no company has received rights from NVIDIA to manufacture the 8800 family. All these cards are manufactured somewhere by NVIDIA's orders. We can say that they are manufactured by NVIDIA, but it's not entirely true. The American manufacturer only certifies the cards and sells them to its partners.






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