|ZOTAC GeForce 8800 GT 512MB Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Saturday, 29 December 2007|
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ZT-88TES2P-FSP Detailed Features
So now that you're up to speed with the GeForce 8800 GT, it's time to take a closer look into the inner-workings. ZOTAC designs their ZT-88TES2P-FSP from the reference NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 512MB video card, and aside from colorful decals the entire ZOTAC series looks identical.
Ever since the GeForce 8800 GTX and GTS were first released the double-size graphics card became a standard for design by both NVIDIA and ATI/AMD. Very few enthusiasts ignored the potential at the time, and many were quick to put the new G80 GPU into action. ZOTAC changes the landscape with their new GeForce 8800 GT 512MB ZT-88TES2P-FSP graphics card which is based on the more efficient G92 GPU and fits into a single slot expansion footprint. The efficient G92 GPU allows manufacturers to utilize a single expansion-unit height heatsink, which in turn takes away the ability to exhaust heated air outside of the case.
The underside of nearly every GeForce 8800 video card I have seen look identical. With the exception of a few manufacturer decals, the ZOTAC ZT-88TES2P-FSP is very much the same as NVIDIA's reference design. Once you remove the collection of twelve fine-threaded screws the heatsink portion of the graphics card can be separated from the PCB.
By design, the cast-aluminum heatsink is complimented with a copper insert where the base and G92 GPU mate together. Additional thermal conductive pads are strategically placed between key components such as DDR3 vRAM modules and the heatsink. ZOTAC also uses a pre-applied thermal interface material (TIM) between the GPU and the copper base inset into the heatsink. Considering that NVIDIA incorporated heatpipes in their last mid and high-end cooler designs, it comes as a surprise to me that something more exotic wasn't used to cool the GeForce 8800 GT series.
After a nice cleaning, the bare GeForce 8800 GT 512MB video card was a lot more photogenic. Since the circuit board design offers such an ergonomic layout, aftermarket coolers have already become more available than the actual graphics card. Digressing for just a moment, I really want to see Arctic Cooling offer a rear-exhausting cooler for the GeForce 8800 GT. There are at least ten aftermarket cooling solutions for the GT after only two months past the launch date, and not one of them removes the heat from inside the case.
ZOTAC makes good use of the hardware NVIDIA offers them. In the image below you get a good (clean) look at the 65nm process G92 GPU, which in my opinion is as much an improvement to the industry as the 90nm process G80 was when the GeForce 8800 series launched. Offering 112 Stream processors, the ZOTAC factory overclocked G92 GPU operates at 660MHz.
A 256-bit memory bus allows the GeForce 8800 GT to offer 512MB in the ZOTAC ZT-88TES2P-FSP version. Qimonda supplies the DDR3 vRAM modules; a part that looks very similar to the Aeneon PC3-10666 we recently reviewed as part of our High-Speed DDR3 Overclocking and Review Series. ZOTAC did not overclock this portion of the product, which could indicate that it's already running near the maximum stable range of 1800MHz. However this could be great news for gamers and hardware enthusiasts wanting to get more out of their purchase, and Benchmark Reviews even has a step-by-step How-To Guide for such a project.
In our next section, Benchmark Reviews begins testing on the ZOTAC GeForce 8800 GT 512MB video card after we explain how it's all done here in our lab.