ECS is one company that's not known for video cards yet but they've made a few in their lifetime. I decided to take a look at one of the new GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB The GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB is a card produced to be a more affordable high end card so we'll see how well it stacks up against a GeForce 8800 GTX and a GeForce 8800 GTS that comes overclocked out of the box.
The specifications of the GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB is the same as the original GeForce 8800 GTS that was initially released. That means the card's clocked at 500MHz for the GPU, 1600MHz for the memory, and 1200MHz for the shaders. There are 96 unified shaders on the card, 32 less than the GTX version. As the title of the card states, there are 320MB of memory which is half of the original GeForce 8800 GTS cards. The reduction in memory really helps cut down the costs so it makes the card a lot more affordable.
ECS's bundle is pretty barren though and that's something I think they can improve on. Included are two DVI to VGA adapters, an S-Video cable, a component out cable, and a driver disc. There's no game nor utilities iincluded though and other companies are including games or controllers. When you are fighting a few companies to get consumers to purchase your card you need something to distinguish yourself from the rest and one of the ways is to offer a good bundle. ECS doesn't do a good job here so let's hope they can offer something more in their future offerings if you are going to just bring out a reference card design.
For testing, I decided to show the speed differences between this card and the GeForce 8800 GTX card from Foxconn as well as the overclocked version of the GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB from Foxconn. Drivers used were version 91.47.The test setup also includes:
- AMD64 X2 3800+
- abit NF-M2 nView
- 2 GIG Crucial Ballistix PC2-6400 (2 sticks of 1GB each)
- Seagate 160GIG 7200RPM HDD
- Windows XP w/ Service Pack 2
First up is Futuremark's 3D Mark 06
is the worldwide standard in advanced 3D game performance benchmarking. A fundamental tool for every company in the PC industry as well as PC users and gamers, 3DMark06 uses advanced real-time 3D game workloads to measure PC performance using a suite of DirectX 9 3D graphics tests, CPU tests, and 3D feature tests. 3DMark06 tests include all new HDR/SM3.0 graphics tests, SM2.0 graphics tests, AI and physics driven single and multiple cores or processor CPU tests and a collection of comprehensive feature tests to reliably measure next generation gaming performance today. We tested at the standard 1280x1024 resolution.
is Raven Software's true sequel to the id classic. The game uses an improved Doom 3
engine for some great graphics. For the test we ran a demo featuring a few enemies and some squad mates. We set the graphics qualities at maximum and ran it on three different resolutions. A new demo was used over my previous tests that feature a more intensive battle. All of the options were set to maximum for the run.
One of the surprise hits out of Monolith was F.E.A.R.
This supernatural FPS looks incredible and really pushes a video card to its limits. For the benchmark, we ran three resolutions using the in game benchmark with all the settings set at max.
has been in development for many years but the folks at Human Head finally released the game this year. The game utilizes the Doom 3
engine like Quake 4
and features the really cool Portal technology to garner some interesting game play aspects. All settings were set to maximum and three resolutions were chosen for the test.
Company of Heroes
is an RTS that really pushes video cards. The game by the fine folks at Relic Entertainment is set in WWII and features deformable terrain as well as great physics. The level of detail in the game for an RTS is amazing. For the tests, we set everything at maximum or ultra to ensure that the card was taxed as much as possible.
is Valve's sequel to the mega hit that just keeps on going. The game features incredible physics and highly detailed graphics. A scene near the beach with attacking ant lions was used to test this card along with setting the graphics at maximum.
While there's still the traditional anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering modes, the GeForce 8800 introduces CSAA. We'll test the regular modes first and then I'll show you how NVIDIA's CSAA doesn't bog the card down as much while offering some very nice anti-aliasing quality. The first row will be the normal benchmark. The second row is the benchmark that's run at 4xAA and 8xAF while the third row is the game running with 16xAA and 16xAF.
The performance is what I expected from a card that's clocked lower than the two Foxconn cards. With that the card still offers great performance and with the lesser price from the omission of some ram, the GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB card is a great value. ECS follows the reference design and specifications so you won't get anything special here. The bundle lacks anything unique or fun to play with so all you are left with is a pretty generic package. The card itself though is great and that's all you can ask for. For those looking at a great priced high end card, the GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB fits the bill and ECS's offering falls in that line.
For the price you get some great performance and DX10 support. ECS does need to do some things to distinguish themselves and the subpar bundle doesn't make this card stand out among the rest.