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Friday, 07 December 2007 14:50

Gainward 8800 GT GLH is the fastest GT

Written by Sanjin Rados

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Review: But can you actually buy one?

 

Gainward 8800 GT GLH is still the fastest 8800 GT (G92) card we tested so far. You could compare 700MHz core speed to a couple of other cards on the market, such as Zotac's 8800GT AMP and the EVGA 8800 GT SSC, but it is the memory that runs faster on Gainward GLH.

Memory speed is 1025MHz and it's faster than EVGA 8800 GT SSC or Zotac 8800 GT AMP by 25MHz. For their 8800 GT GLH card, Gainward opted for sa pecially designed dual-slot cooler, so they dared push the memory further.

Shaders run at 1750, identical to EVGA cards. Zotac is slower by 50MHz and their card's Shaders run at 1700MHz. All three cards are fast, and EVGA is the only one that kept the reference cooler. Zotac's cooler is based on the reference one, and you can check out the details here.

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The cooler on Gainward's 8800 GT GLH cooler is completely different and it has a much bigger fan which results in 10 degrees lower average temperatures. It's important that 8800 GT GLH stays quiet in 3D apps too, because that's when the chip gets really hot.

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The cooler covers the surface of the card, but it doesn't touch the memory which has passive blocks on it.

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The cooler looks good even when removed from the card, and it's easier to see the two heatpipes that run from the copper block on the chip.

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The fan is placed between the copper block and aluminum fins, and this is the only placement that will allow the fan to stay hidden in order not to affect the sleek cooler appearance. It's not common to see the fan placed behind aluminum bars, but this method allows for the fan to blow directly to the copper core and memory, and the cool air drawn in by the fan will cool the fins. This combination has proven to be extremely efficient here.

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8 memory modules are covered by a passive cooler, cooled by a nearby fan. The memory is Qimonda’s and it runs at 1GHz, but Gainward overclocked it by 25MHz. Now we clearly see that the power regulation circuitry layout, positioned at the right side of the card, is anything but standard.

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3-phase PWM powering system enables for better overclocking and temperature regulation. Powering the G92 graphics chip is a job for one PCIe 6 pin power connector. I/O side features two standard DVI ports (dual link DVI with HDTV-out and HDCP protection) and an S-video out.

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We found a DVI-to-HDMI dongle in the box, and of course, we gave it a try.

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HDMI picture quality is great, but unfortunately – there’s no audio. Nvidia left it up to their partners to decide on 8800GT’s audio support implementation, and we’ve already seen that Zotac has 8800 GT HDMI. We can expect this from Gainward too, but it’s still a matter of demand and manufacturing costs.

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Last modified on Monday, 10 December 2007 03:14
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