|ZOTAC GeForce 8800 GT 512MB Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Sunday, 30 December 2007|
Page 11 of 11
ZT-88TES2P-FSP Final Thoughts
Since the days of Battlefield 2 there haven't been very many games to seriously stress mid and high-performance video cards. The Battlefield 2142 was more of a lukewarm please-all with nearly no landscape to speak of, and until EA and Crytek GmbH came along with Crysis there hadn't been any major milestones to speak of for almost three years. Company of Heroes was (and to some players it still is) one of the most popular games of 2006, but its scalable Havok game engine allowed just about anyone with a personal computer to play the game. World in Conflict could very well be characterized as the CoH for 2007, especially since CoH: Opposing Fronts offered almost nothing new to gamers in regards to performance. WiC is equally scalable, but the large world-scape can have a greater impact on frame rate. When it comes down to PC video games, there are only a handful of titles that stand out more than those which I have tested here in this review. The important message is that the ZOTAC GeForce 8800 GT 512MB Video Card ZT-88TES2P-FSP PN:151-01080-076VU can handle them all at nearly their highest settings without dropping below the acceptable 30 FPS level.
Since the GeForce 8800 GT is presently third in line for the NVIDIA throne, the series is squarely aimed at the upper middle-end performance segment. Some (but not many) gamers have stepped up to the overpriced GeForce 8800 Ultra, and only a few more went as far as the GTX. For over a year now the GeForce 8800 GTS has been the best selling card within the 8 Series lineup, and now it has been replaced by the GeForce 8800 GT. Unlike the GeForce 7900 GT of the past generation, the new 8800 GT offers tremendous performance and power efficiency with a slight reduction in cooling fan noise.
ZOTAC GeForce 8800 GT Conclusion
Like nearly all GeForce 8 series of graphics cards, the product presentation is inviting and informative to the consumer. Plainly stated on the retail box is everything from the basic features to the advanced details and specifications. ZOTAC has done a great job of packaging the ZT-88TES2P-FSP (PN:151-01080-076VU), and the colorful design add to the excitement.
I consider the entire pre-G92 GeForce 8800 series to be very attractive as a whole, primarily because of the double-height heatpipe cooling. While the general appearance of the ZOTAC GeForce 8800 GT 512MB video card is attractive, the plastic shell covering the heatsink gives this product too much of a plastic look... very similar to what NVIDIA did with the 8800 Ultra's cover. Overall I think the look will work, but it's tough going from a high-tech middle-end product to a rather low-tech looking middle-end product; even if it is much better on the inside.
Unlike the higher-end 8800 series GeForce products, the 8800 GT does not expose any electronic components. I once owned the GeForce 8800 GTX, but after a errant SATA cable swiped off one of the capacitors, I learned that perhaps I was better off with a graphics card using a smaller footprint. ZOTAC has constructed the ZT-88TES2P-FSP to sustain above-average abuse, and since there are no exposed components there is very little chance that you'll have to RMA a product that falls apart on you. The fully covered 8800 GT will work very well in cramped environments where the video card will be in contact with cables and components.
In regards to performance and functionality, the praise due to the ZOTAC GeForce 8800 GT ZT-88TES2P-FSP is well earned. Almost half the size and power consumption, and at a third the cost, ZOTAC offers a product that easily out-performs an extremely overclocked GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB version graphics card. If that wasn't enough, this video card comes factory overclocked with additional headroom to exert more performance (which we have done in a follow-up article).
Presently ZOTAC is an just beginning to enter the US marketplace after a successful introduction at CES'07 and brand name launch at Cebit 2007. Pricing is expected within the $250~$260 range, which is very similar to industry-wide pricing of the GeForce 8800 GT. When you consider that the entire 8800 GTS series still sales for more the $360, the value becomes clear in a product like ZOTAC's GeForce 8800 GT 512MB Video Card ZT-88TES2P-FSP. I suspect this will be the next video card of choice, and the constant product shortages with most retailers appear to confirm my suspicion. Presently the ZOTAC 8800 GT is available at NewEgg for $234.99.
In conclusion, my recommendation is to get your own ZOTAC GeForce 8800 GT 512MB video card as soon as you can. I don't mean that statement to be an advertisement for ZOTAC, not that they'll mind it, but quite frankly I am so impressed with the mighty little ZT-88TES2P-FSP that I am already planning on purchasing another for an SLi set (and some extreme overclocking). With performance on par with the GeForce 8800 GTX, and exceeding the 8800 GTS, you can imagine how popular this model will be to enthusiasts and gamers looking for solid performance at a value-based price. I completely endorse the GeForce 8800 GT!
+ Excellent value for performance-minded gamers
- Limited early availability
Final Score: 9.0 out of 10.
Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.
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