Do-it-yourself computer building used to be about getting comparable or more computing power for fewer bucks than you would find at the local computer shop, or the big box stores like Best Buy and Circuit City. Nowadays it is all about the bang for the buck. Sure we can pump out articles all day long about Triple-SLI and the latest QX processor from Intel to get “ooh’s and ah’s” but what most of you readers really want to see is what piece of hardware is going to perform closest to a high-end solution without draining your wallet as said high-end solution would. This is the market that ECS is reaching for and today’s review is a great example of that.
ECS was kind enough to send along one of their latest and greatest pieces of hardware, the N8800GT-256MX. As you may have noticed from the product name this is an 8800 GT with 256MB of ram. Legit Reviews covered the launch of the 8800 GT with a preview, a follow up performance review, a preview of the 256MB version and then a performance review of that card. Needless to say we are very well aware of how great the 8800 GT is as it earned the Editors Choice Award. The 8800 GT is priced pretty reasonably at around $175 and some carrying a small rebate, but what if you could buy something less expensive and get nearly identical performance? Sounds good eh?
You are going to want to keep this part number in mind, as the ECS N8800GT-256MX is a perfect card for those looking at bang for the buck. At first glance, it would appear to be a reference 8800 GT with a different heat sink.
It is only after you look at the memory configuration does it finally strike you, this card is a 256MB card by name (and BIOS) only! Yep, this card comes packed with 512MB of memory, half of which is disabled in the shipping BIOS. It just so happens that we have a copy of a 512MB BIOS that we can flash to the card and unlock the full potential!
Our ECS 8800 GT comes at the standard core speed of 600MHz and the memory is clocked at 700MHz (1.4GHz effective) while the shader is clocked at 1.5GHz. Looking at the G92 core, it’s the same used in the other 8800 GT’s we have reviewed