My ageing 6800GT was starting to struggle so I decided it was about time to upgrade. The current choices of cards are bewildering but I finally decided upon a 8800GT cause the price mark is pretty cheap and they provide a decent frame-rate given the fairly old system it’s going into. However, there are two problems (for me) with the 8800GT; 1. Noisy 2. Pumps heat into the inside of the box. So after a bit of a search I discovered the Gainward GeForce Bliss 8800GT 512MB Golden Sample. It’s got a bit of factory overclocking (nice), it’s a dual slot (so pumps heat outside of the box) which is fine for me since I only have one 16x slot, and it’s got it’s own cooler which makes it very quiet. Installing it was pretty easy although the dual face plate was a little deeper than normal which caused it to hit my cases face-plate holder. Luckily as I was scratch my head wondering how to solve the problem it slipped into place. So how does it run?
Under Vista 32-bit it didn’t realise what the card was until I downloaded the latest nVidia drivers, restarted and all was fine. In fact the same thing happened on my XP boot as well. So the installation was pretty easy. Performance? Well I’m not one that’s bothered about playing things with every setting switched so UT2008 and COD4 looked better, UT had more fun bits enabled and was far less Lego like. The big difference was with Clive Barker’s Jericho which was an absolute one legged dog on the 6800 but fine on 8800, in fact there is so much graphic effects going on that I found it difficult to actually see what was going on!
So for £110 I can only recommend it for someone wanting to upgrade their medium gaming rig. Plus it comes with Lara Croft Anniversary…although she normally makes my blood boil…to quote Spaced, "can’t shoot straight you big t*tted b*tch".