[nextpage title=”Introduction”]

The new GeForce 8800 GTS with 320 MB is now the entry model for the new GeForce 8800 series and MSI launched this model, called NX8800GTS-T2D320E-HD OC, which is factory-overclocked. Let’s see the performance of this new release by MSI and compare it to the standard GeForce 8800 GTS with 320 MB and also with other video cards.

MSI Overclocked GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MBFigure 1: MSI overclocked GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB.

GeForce 8800 family, codenamed G80, has so far two members only, GTS and GTX. GTS was originally launched with 640 MB memory but now it is available with 320 MB, making it a terrific option for those users that want the latest high-end VGA but don’t want to give an arm for the most high-end model. We have already published an article about GeForce 8800 family and you may want to read it to learn more about it.

GeForce 8800 GTS runs officially at 500 MHz with its memory being accessed at 1.6 GHz (800 MHz x 2) and with its 96 shader units running at 1.2 GHz. This overclocked model from MSI runs at 575 MHz with its memory being accessed at 1.7 GHz (850 MHz x 2). So far we don’t have any official explanation on how the shader clock is achieved but we guess that on this overclocked model from MSI this clock is of 1.35 GHz (based on what happens with GeForce 8800 GTX, see below). GeForce 8800 GTS uses a 320-bit memory interface, so it transfer 64 more bits per clock cycle compared to all other high-end video cards, which usually transfer 256 bits per clock cycle.

GeForce 8800 GTX, on the other hand, runs at 575 MHz, accesses its memory at 1.8 GHz (900 MHz x 2), has 128 shader engines running at 1.35 GHz and uses a 384-bit memory interface, transferring 64 more bits per clock cycle than GeForce 8800 GTS and 128 more bits more per clock cycle than other high-end VGAs that usually transfer 256 bits per clock cycle.

For a full comparison between GeForce 8800 GTS and other chips from NVIDIA, please read our tutorial NVIDIA Chips Comparison Table. On ATI Chips Comparison Table you can compare them to competitors from ATI. Keep in mind that so far ATI didn’t release any competitor for the GeForce 8800 family.

Besides being factory-overclocked, you still have D.O.T. (Dynamic Overclocking Technology) if you install the drivers provided by MSI. This feature will overclock your video card even more automatically. In our review we used the latest official drivers provided by NVIDIA so we didn’t install D.O.T.

On Figures 2 and 3 you can see the reviewed card from MSI. As it is normal to happen especially with new high-end models, the card itself is manufactured by NVIDIA (actually by another Asian manufacturer contracted by NVIDIA) and then sold to MSI, which added their sticker, changed the BIOS with their overclocked settings, added their cables and CDs and put everything into their box. So by removing the overclocked settings from this card like we did during our review we should get the same performance level from other standard GeForce 8800 GTS with 320 MB, as the card is exactly the same.

MSI Overclocked GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MBFigure 2: MSI overclocked GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB.

MSI K9N DiamondFigure 3: MSI overclocked GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB, back view.

[nextpage title=”MSI overclocked GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB”]

We removed the cooler used by this video card and you can see it on Figures 4 and 5. As you can see, it uses a copper base with a heat-pipe connecting the base to the heatsink fins. The cooler also touches the memory chips.

MSI Overclocked GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MBFigure 4: Cooler used by GeForce 8800 GTS.

MSI Overclocked GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MBFigure 5: Cooler used by GeForce 8800 GTS. Here you can see the heat-pipe that connects the copper base to the heatsink fins.

In Figure 6 you have an overall look of the GeForce 8800 GTS without its cooler. Two things caught our attention. First the size of the graphics chip, far bigger than chips from previous generations. And the second thing was a place for soldering a connector on the top left corner of the board besides the SLI connector (right now we don’t know the use of this connector, but we will ask NVIDIA).

MSI Overclocked GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MBFigure 6: GeForce 8800 GTS without its cooler.

This video card uses ten GDDR3 256-Mbit 1.1 ns chips from Hynix (HY5RS573225AFP-11) as you can see in Figure 7, making the 320 MB of memory this video card has. These chips can run up to 1.8 GHz (900 MHz x 2). Since on this video card the memories were running at 1.7 GHz, there is room left for overclocking the memories even more inside their specs. Of course you can try pushing them above their specs.

MSI Overclocked GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MBFigure 7: Hynix GDDR3 256-Mbit 1.1 ns chip.

In Figure 8, you can see the GeForce 8800 GTS chip (codenamed G80).

MSI Overclocked GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MBFigure 8: GeForce 8800 GTS chip (G80).

The model we reviewed came with one full game, Company of Heroes, and with two DVI-to-VGA adapters, one S-Video cable, one Component Video adapter and one power adapter to be used if your power supply doesn’t have an auxiliary PCI Express power connector.

MSI Overclocked GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MBFigure 9: Cables and adapters that comes with this video card.

[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]

  • Graphics chip: GeForce 8800 GTS running at 575 MHz.
  • Memory: 320 MB GDDR3 memory (1.1 ns, 320-bit interface) from Hynix (HY5RS573225AFP-11), running at 1.7 GHz (850 MHz DDR).
  • Bus type: PCI Express x16.
  • Connectors: Two DVI and one mini-DIN for S-Video output and Component Video output.
  • Video Capture (VIVO): No.
  • Number of CDs/DVDs that come with this board: Three.
  • Games that come with this board: Company of Heroes.
  • Programs that come with this board: None.
  • More information: https://www.msicomputer.com
  • Average price in the US*: USD 337.50

* Researched at Shopping.com on the day we published this review.

[nextpage title=”How We Tested”]

During our benchmarking sessions, we used the configuration listed below. Between our benchmarking sessions the only different device was the video card being tested.

Hardware Configuration

  • Motherboard: ASUS P5B (Intel P965, 0904 BIOS)
  • CPU: Core 2 Extreme X6800 (dual-core, 2.93 GHz)
  • CPU Cooler: Gigabyte Neon 775-BL
  • Memory: 2 GB PC-1066/PC2-8500 (Corsair TWIN2X2048-8500C5 kit), configured at 1,066 MHz with 5-5-5-15 timings.
  • Hard Drive: Samsung HD080HJ (80 GB, SATA-300, 8 MB buffer, 7,200 rpm)
  • Power Supply: Zalman ZM-600HP
  • Video Monitor: Samsung SyncMaster 1100MB
  • Screen resolution: 1280x1024x32@85 Hz

Software Configuration

  • Windows XP Professional installed using NTFS
  • Service Pack 2
  • Direct X 9.0c
  • Intel inf driver version: 8.0.1.1002
  • ATI video driver version: Catalyst 7.2
  • NVIDIA video driver version: 93.71
  • NVIDIA video driver version: 97.92 (GeForce 8800 GTS)

Used Software

We adopted a 3% error margin; thus, differences below 3% cannot be considered relevant. In other words, products with a performance difference below 3% should be considered as having similar performance.

[nextpage title=”3DMark03″]

3DMark03 simulates DirectX 8 and 9 games. Even though this program may be considered “old”, we ran it to see how the tested video cards perform on older games. Since we are comparing high-end cards, we ran this program in higher resolutions, as performance difference between high-end video cards is more expressive on such resolutions. We chose three resolutions, 1600×1200, 1920×1440 and 2048×1536. At each resolution we simulated two scenarios, first with no image quality enhancements enabled (this scenario we called “low”) and then with anti-aliasing set at 4x and anisotropic filtering set at 16x (this scenario we called “high”). The results you check below. All video cards listed below were running with the default clock rates defined by the chip manufacturer, except MSI GeForce 8800 GTS “OC”, which is the reviewed model with its default overclocked settings.

MSI Overclocked GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB Review

3DMark03 Professional Edition 3.6.0 – 1600×1200 Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 22565 32.56%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) – OC 17022
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 15392 10.59%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 14387 18.32%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 12020 41.61%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 11744 44.94%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 11243 51.40%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 10278 65.62%

MSI GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB Overclocked

3DMark03 Professional Edition 3.6.0 – 1920×1440 Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 18351 37.86%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) – OC 13311
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 12081 10.18%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 11287 17.93%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 9437 41.05%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 9245 43.98%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 8731 52.46%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 8018 66.01%

MSI GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB Overclocked

3DMark03 Professional Edition 3.6.0 – 2048×1536 Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 16953 35.68%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) – OC 12495
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 11327 10.31%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 10348 20.75%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 8386 49.00%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 7656 63.21%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 7272 71.82%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 7066 76.83%

MSI GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB Overclocked

3DMark03 Professional Edition 3.6.0 – 1600×1200 AAx4, AFx16 Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 13181 39.99%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) – OC 9416
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 8637 9.02%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 7903 19.14%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 6634 41.94%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 6422 46.62%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 6236 50.99%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 5553 69.57%

MSI Overclocked GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB

3DMark03 Professional Edition 3.6.0 – 1920×1440 AAx4, AFx16 Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 10231 37.66%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) – OC 7432
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 6535 13.73%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 6037 23.11%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 4765 55.97%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 4637 60.28%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 4467 66.38%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 3850 93.04%

MSI GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB Overclocked

3DMark03 Professional Edition 3.6.0 – 2048×1536 AAx4, AFx16 Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 9235 53.94%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) – OC 5999
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 5494 9.19%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 5409 10.91%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 4187 43.28%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 4091 46.64%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 4030 48.86%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 3470 72.88%

[nextpage title=”3DMark06″]

3DMark06 simulates DirectX 9.0c (Shader 3.0) games and it also puts HDR (High Dynamic Range) into the equation to calculate its final score. So it simulates the most high-end games available today. Since we were comparing high-end cards, we ran this program in higher resolutions, as performance difference between high-end video cards is more expressive on such resolutions. We chose three resolutions, 1600×1200, 1920×1440 and 2048×1536. The results you check below. All video cards listed below were running with the default clock rates defined by the chip manufacturer, except MSI GeForce 8800 GTS “OC”, which is the reviewed model with its default overclocked settings.

MSI GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB Overclocked

3DMark06 Professional Edition 1.10 – 1600×1200 Score Difference
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) – OC 8199
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 7504 9.26%
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 7208 13.75%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 4679 75.23%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 4504 82.04%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 3937 108.26%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 3861 112.35%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 3311 147.63%

MSI GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB Overclocked

3DMark06 Professional Edition 1.10 – 1920×1440 Score Difference
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) – OC 7026
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 6414 9.54%
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 6074 15.67%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 3876 81.27%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 3744 87.66%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 3187 120.46%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 3117 125.41%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 2657 164.43%

MSI GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB Overclocked

3DMark06 Professional Edition 1.10 – 2048×1536 Score Difference
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) – OC 6626
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 6035 9.79%
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 5686 16.53%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 3603 83.90%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 3427 93.35%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 2949 124.69%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 2882 129.91%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 2450 170.45%

[nextpage title=”Quake 4″]

Quake 4 uses the same game engine as Doom 3 and, since we are comparing high-end cards, we ran this program in higher resolutions, as performance difference between high-end video cards is more expressive on such resolutions. We chose two resolutions, 1600×1200 and 2048×1536, first with image quality set at “low” and then with image quality set at “high”. We upgraded this game to version 1.3 and run the id_demo001 net demo that comes with this version. Click here for more details on how to use Quake 4 to benchmark a system. The results you check below and are given in frames per second. All video cards listed below were running with the default clock rates defined by the chip manufacturer, except MSI GeForce 8800 GTS “OC”, which is the reviewed model with its default overclocked settings.

MSI GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB Overclocked

Quake 4 1.3 – 1600×1200 – Low Score Difference
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) – OC 125.44
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 123.46 1.60%
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 116.70 7.49%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 99.87 25.60%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 84.35 48.71%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 83.15 50.86%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 73.48 70.71%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 68.01 84.44%

MSI GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB Overclocked

Quake 4 1.3 – 2048×1536 – Low Score Difference
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) – OC 109.17
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 106.07 2.92%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 99.90 9.28%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 70.20 55.51%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 58.32 87.19%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 57.29 90.56%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 50.27 117.17%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 41.14 165.36%

MSI GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB Overclocked

Quake 4 1.3 – 1600×1200- High Score Difference
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) – OC 122.71
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 119.54 2.65%
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 113.26 8.34%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 96.33 27.39%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 81.33 50.88%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 80.17 53.06%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 70.91 73.05%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 63.37 93.64%

MSI GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB Overclocked

Quake 4 1.3 – 2048×1536 – High Score Difference
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) – OC 105.48
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 102.71 2.70%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 96.08 9.78%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 67.80 55.58%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 56.44 86.89%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 55.44 90.26%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 48.51 117.44%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 39.57 166.57%

[nextpage title=”F.E.A.R.”]

F.E.A.R. is a heavy game and we used its internal benchmarking module. We upgraded it to version 1.08 and since we are comparing high-end cards, we ran this program in higher resolutions, as performance difference between high-end video cards is more expressive on such resolutions. We chose three resolutions, 1600×1200, 1920×1440 and 2048×1536. We set “computer settings” to “maximum” and then ran each resolution in two scenarios, first with “graphics card” set at “low” and then with this item set at “maximum”. Let’s take a look at the results, given in frames per second. All video cards listed below were running with the default clock rates defined by the chip manufacturer, except MSI GeForce 8800 GTS “OC”, which is the reviewed model with its default overclocked settings.

MSI GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB Overclocked

F.E.A.R. 1.08 – 1600×1200 – Low Quality Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 284 7.17%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) – OC 265
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 237 11.81%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 191 38.74%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 168 57.74%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 140 89.29%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 135 96.30%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 109 143.12%

MSI GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB Overclocked

F.E.A.R. 1.08 – 1920×1440 – Low Quality Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 215 10.82%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) – OC 194
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 175 10.86%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 139 39.57%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 124 56.45%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 102 90.20%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 98 97.96%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 80 142.50%

MSI GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB Overclocked

F.E.A.R. 1.08 – 2048×1536 – Low Quality Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 192 7.87%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) – OC 178
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 158 12.66%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 122 45.90%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 111 60.36%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 91 95.60%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 87 104.60%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 70 154.29%

MSI GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB Overclocked

F.E.A.R. 1.08 – 1600×1200 – Maximum Quality Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 65 32.65%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) – OC 49
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 45 8.89%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 42 16.67%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 37 32.43%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 36 36.11%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 34 44.12%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 30 63.33%

MSI GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB Overclocked

F.E.A.R. 1.08 – 1920×1440 – Maximum Quality Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 48 45.45%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) – OC 33
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 31 6.45%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 31 6.45%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 28 17.86%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 25 32.00%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 24 37.50%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 21 57.14%

MSI Overclocked GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB Review

F.E.A.R. 1.08 – 2048×1536 – Maximum Quality Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 42 44.83%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) – OC 29
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 28 3.57%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 27 7.41%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 23 26.09%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 22 31.82%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 22 31.82%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 17 70.59%

[nextpage title=”Far Cry”]

Far Cry is a heavy game based on the Shader 3.0 (DirectX 9.0c) programming model. We’ve updated the game to version 1.4. To measure the performance we run four times the demo created by German magazine PC Games Hardware (PCGH) and the results presented below are an arithmetic average of the collected data. We used the HardwareOC Far Cry Benchmark 1.7 utility to help us collecting data.

Since we are comparing high-end cards, we ran this game in higher resolutions, as performance difference between high-end video cards is more expressive on such resolutions. We chose three resolutions, 1600×1200, 1920×1440 and 2048×1536. At each resolution we simulated two scenarios, first with no image quality enhancements enabled and graphics details set to “maximum” (this scenario we called “low”) and then with anti-aliasing set at 8x, anisotropic filtering set at 16x and graphics details set to “ultra” (this scenario we called “high”). On all scenarios we set the rendering engine to Shader 3.0. The results, given in frames per second, you check below. All video cards listed below were running with the default clock rates defined by the chip manufacturer, except MSI GeForce 8800 GTS “OC”, which is the reviewed model with its default overclocked settings.

MSI GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB Overclocked

Far Cry 1.4 – 1600×1200 – Low Score Difference
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) – OC 148.63
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 144.75 2.68%
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 143.59 3.51%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 127.31 16.75%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 112.27 32.39%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 108.81 36.60%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 107.90 37.75%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 91.98 61.59%

MSI GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB Overclocked

Far Cry 1.4 – 1920×1440 – Low Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 138.05 4.95%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) – OC 131.54
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 120.16 9.47%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 99.27 32.51%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 86.91 51.35%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 82.73 59.00%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 80.62 63.16%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 69.26 89.92%

MSI GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB Overclocked

Far Cry 1.4 – 2048×1536 – Low Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 132.31 10.07%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) – OC 120.21
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 108.58 10.71%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 89.44 34.40%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 74.99 60.30%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 74.45 61.46%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 72.60 65.58%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 62.17 93.36%

MSI GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB Overclocked

Far Cry 1.4 – 1600×1200 – High Score
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 133.22 94.31%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 96.58 40.87%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 81.60 19.02%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 78.61 14.66%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 75.58 10.24%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) – OC 68.56
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 67.41 1.71%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 62.85 9.09%

MSI GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB Overclocked

Far Cry 1.4 – 1920×1440 – High Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 109.73 164.60%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 72.53 74.90%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 60.91 46.88%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 58.93 42.10%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 57.07 37.62%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 50.04 20.67%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) – OC 41.47
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 38.58 7.49%

MSI GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB Overclocked

Far Cry 1.4 – 2048×1536 – High Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 100.70 223.90%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 65.46 110.55%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 54.82 76.33%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 52.86 70.02%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 49.77 60.08%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 44.99 44.71%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) – OC 31.09
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 29.25 6.29%

[nextpage title=”Battlefield 2142″]

Battlefield 2142 is the latest member of the Battlefield franchise. We updated this game to version 1.01. We created our own demo based on Sidi Power Plant map (click here to download the demo we created for this test), which provided a very consistent number of frames per second. We ran it and measured performance with FRAPS. Click here to read in details how we benchmarked using Battlefield 2142.

Since we are comparing high-end cards, we ran this game in higher resolutions, as performance difference between high-end video cards is more expressive on such resolutions. We chose three resolutions, 1600×1200, 1920×1440 and 2048×1536. First we ran our demo with image quality set at “low” (with texture manually set at its minimum level) and then with image quality set at “high” (with anti-aliasing manually set at 4x). Below you can see the results, given in frames per second. All video cards listed below were running with the default clock rates defined by the chip manufacturer, except MSI GeForce 8800 GTS “OC”, which is the reviewed model with its default overclocked settings.

MSI GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB Overclocked

Battlefield 2142 1.01 – 1600×1200 – Low Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 400.27 13.71%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) – OC 352.00
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 317.54 10.85%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 233.98 50.44%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 195.97 79.62%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 191.74 83.58%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 184.70 90.58%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 166.70 111.16%

MSI GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB Overclocked

Battlefield 2142 1.01 – 1920×1440 – Low Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 300.40 13.92%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) – OC 263.69
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 238.76 10.44%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 175.23 50.48%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 146.36 80.17%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 142.60 84.92%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 140.91 87.13%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 123.03 114.33%

MSI GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB Overclocked

Battlefield 2142 1.01 – 2048×1536 – Low Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 271.20 16.52%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) – OC 232.74
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 214.35 8.58%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 157.38 47.88%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 132.57 75.56%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 131.24 77.34%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 121.72 91.21%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 108.96 113.60%

MSI GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB Overclocked

Battlefield 2142 1.01 – 1600×1200 – High Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 104.83 38.12%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 81.33 7.15%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) – OC 75.90
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 62.04 22.34%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 52.00 45.96%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 50.53 50.21%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 48.17 57.57%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 42.01 80.67%

MSI GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB Overclocked

Battlefield 2142 1.01 – 1920×1440 – High Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 77.80 38.43%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) – OC 56.20
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 52.51 7.03%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 45.92 22.39%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 40.76 37.88%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 36.88 52.39%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 35.05 60.34%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 29.85 88.27%

MSI GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB Overclocked

Battlefield 2142 1.01 – 2048×1536 – High Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 69.94 41.46%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) – OC 49.44
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 46.16 7.11%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 40.79 21.21%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 35.83 37.98%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 33.15 49.14%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 31.42 57.35%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 26.54 86.28%

[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]

GeForce 8800 GTS with 320 MB provides a terrific cost/benefit ratio for those users wanting to buy a very high-end video card but not willing to pay an exorbitant price.

This model from MSI is quoted on the USD 300-330 range (at Newegg.com you can find it at USD 290 after a USD 20 mail-in rebate), what makes it the best video card if you have USD 300 to spend on a video card. And you get a model that is 10% faster, on average, than models from other manufacturers, as it comes factory-overclocked.

This video card makes an even more terrific buy if you put into perspective that the 640 MB model was sold by USD 500 when it was released.

Compared to GeForce 7950 GT – which is a terrific card for the USD 250 range –, this GeForce 8800 GTS from MSI simply smoked it: MSI overclocked model was 11%-23% faster on 3DMark03, 75%-84% faster on 3DMark06, 25%-55% faster on Quake 4, 17%-46% faster on F.E.A.R., 16%-34% faster on Far Cry (with no image quality settings enabled, see below) and 40%-50% faster on Battlefield 2142.

On 3DMark06 it scored higher than GeForce 7950 GX2, due to its better high dynamic range (HDR) – GeForce 8800 GTS uses a 128-bit precision HDR, while chips from the 6 and 7 series like GeForce 7950 GX2 uses 64-bit precision –, but on other programs GeForce 7950 GX2 was faster. On the other hand it is hard to find GeForce 7950 GX2 on the market today and if you are lucky to find one it will cost you at least USD 470. Ouch.

The only problem we saw was on Far Cry with image quality settings maxed out. Maybe this happened because we were using a different driver (drivers for GeForce 8800 series are different than for other GeForce models).

The bottom line: MSI NX8800GTS-T2D320E-HD OC is the best video card if you have USD 300 to spend on a video card.