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8800 GTS- 320MB vs 640MB- No difference?

post #1 of 19
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8800 GTS 320MB or 640MB?

For awhile I heard constantly from all reviews that the cards are exactly the same, and you should only get the 640MB if you run at resolutions 1600x1200 or higher.
I've checked many bechmarks, and they are all reporting that the 640 is significantly better.............except for Tomshardware.com!

Out of all the places I've been to, I trust tomshardware the best, as they seem to be the most professional and their website is built better than many of the other's.

At tomshardware, out of all the benchmarks they did for the Summer 2007 VGA charts, the 320MB 8800 GTS and the 640MB are practically IDENTICAL in every single way.

BF2142, frame difference of 4.
3dMark06 2.0SM, 25 point difference.
3dMark06 3.0SM, 200 point difference.
Doom 3, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Oblivion, Prey, Warhammer- All of these have 0.4 to 1 frame difference. Practically nothing!!!
Overall Game Frames- Only a difference of 54 points out of 1880.
Whether it's 1920x1200 or 1024x768, the difference is nothing.

....But with Dark Messiah of Might & Magic, the difference is absolutely absurd...33 frames (640) vs 9 frames (320).
In every single other benchmark, regardless of resolution, there is little to no difference between the two, except on this ONE game.

I check other websites though... and the difference is A LOT more than 1 frame, especially at 1600x1200. What gives? Why are these benchmarks so different from others? Newer drivers?

I am upgrading my graphics card from a 7950 GT 512MB, to the 8800 GTS series. I run at a resolution of 1920x1080, which is slightly higher than 1600x1200. I primarily play Company of Heroes & Everquest 2, which is why I want to upgrade, as well as investment in future games and DirectX 10. The 7950 GT is amazing, and I can run most games on max settings at my resolution, but some of the more intense games I cannot, and I really want to get my hands on a DirectX 10 card.

My question is.... is there even a difference? Tomshardware.com says there isn't any difference at all in some games, and only a small difference in 3dmark 3.0SM. I'm never going past 1920x1080 resolution, so would it be stupid of me to fork out $100 extra for the 640MB when I can just get the 320MB with the same performance?

One last thing... I am very interested in overclocking my new 8800 GTS (whether 320 or 640). I have looked around online and have found some websites selling Factory Overclocked GTS's for the same price as regular GTS's.
If I get a graphics card cooler, such as the Thermalright HR-03, would that be worth the $50 for the performance boost if my card is already factory overclocked? I don't want to spend $50 on something I don't really need. What is better to overclock, an already factory overclocked GTS or a regular one?

The only factory overclocked 320MB 8800GTS's I can find are the FOXCOON and the eVGA SuperClocked. What is the best factory overclocked 8800GTS 320MB for someone who doesn't want to go through the trouble to overclock it anymore? What is the best 8800GTS 320MB for someone who wants to overclock to the max possible?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 19
If you're running at that high a resolution, you're going to want more video RAM. The GTS with 320MB might struggle at 1920x1080, whereas its 640MB brother shouldn't.

A good rule of thumb is the higher the resolution you game at, the more video RAM you need.
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post #3 of 19
Wow, I didn't think that would be true but I'm looking at the benchmarks myself and there appears to be little to no difference in frames even in 1920x1200.

Weird, maybe it'll make a difference in DX10? I don't know.
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post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElMikeTheMike View Post
If you're running at that high a resolution, you're going to want more video RAM. The GTS with 320MB might struggle at 1920x1080, whereas its 640MB brother shouldn't.

A good rule of thumb is the higher the resolution you game at, the more video RAM you need.
But the benchmarks at Tomshardware.com says otherwise. Why? This is so confusing because everyone has always said what you are saying, but now tomshardware is saying there is no difference, even at 1920x1200!!!!
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post #5 of 19
Hmmm lets investigate further if we could have people who have 320mb GTS and 640 GTS run some demo's we could see.
post #6 of 19
Quote:
Keeping this in mind, I was shocked to find that the average performance difference between these two graphics cards rose from just 15% with AA/AF disabled to 40% with AA 4x + AF 8x enabled! This now makes the 640MB card the better value option. Games such as Company of Heroes saw an 85% performance gain at 1920x1200 with AA/AF enabled. So when it boils down to it both graphics cards can potentially be very good value options, depending on your needs.
(source)

When you start cranking up the settings, that extra RAM matters. Tom's Harware is a great site. They take a middle of the road, realistic approach to benchmarks. However, I think they can be deceiving.
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post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElMikeTheMike View Post
(source)

When you start cranking up the settings, that extra RAM matters. Tom's Harware is a great site. They take a middle of the road, realistic approach to benchmarks. However, I think they can be deceiving.
Thanks for the source!

I found another source that agrees (mostly) that there's no difference between the 320 and 640 on most games, even at high resolutions 1920x1200 and AA on.

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2953&p=11

In Rainbow Six Vegas 1920x1200, Prey 1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF, Oblivion 1920x1200, and Battlefield 2 1920x1200, there is no difference.

But in Battlefield 2 1920x1200 4xAA the difference is 69 vs 105 frames.


This is so confusing! One website says there's a huge difference, then two others say there's no difference EXCEPT in a few SPECIFIC games with SPECIFIC settings (BF2 with 4xAA and Dark Messiah)



*CONFUSED!!!!!!!!!*
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post #8 of 19
Check this benchmark out because they have a 320mb version beating a 640 one. The single GTX beats all but only by 2-3 fps. Going SLI on the 320 mb version only gained 5 fps. This game has some of the highest textures I have seen compared to even Oblivion or any other game.

http://www.vr-zone.com/?i=4716&s=6
    
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post #9 of 19
Also don't forgot about games that use a crap load of texture memory.

If you want high quality textures.. say Oblivion + Qarl's Texture Pack, you're gonna ideally want at least 512mb video memory
    
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post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElMikeTheMike View Post
(source)

When you start cranking up the settings, that extra RAM matters. Tom's Harware is a great site. They take a middle of the road, realistic approach to benchmarks. However, I think they can be deceiving.
This is a very good article, and it explains a lot. So the resolution doesn't matter with the 320/640, it's the AA and AF that makes the difference (although apparently only in SOME games)

Hmm...now to find out if I want AA and AF... OI!
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