I was expecting a decent core overclock with our 8800 GT but wasn’t too sure about the memory. How did we do?
Our overclocking efforts paid off with a full 100MHz overclock on the core and 100MHz on the memory. Pretty impressive stuff!
Just a couple of weeks ago ECS approached with a novel idea for a review. In the next few weeks they were planning to launch a new video card based on the 8800 GT 256MB. While obviously the 8800 GT 256MB has been out for quite some time now the great idea was that the user would be able to “upgrade” the memory to 512MB. Puzzled, we inquired further as this is actually our first time reviewing a video card from ECS. After talking with ECS further we were told that a BIOS update would allow the user to unlock an extra 256MB of memory for a total of 512MB. At first I was extremely confused why a company would do this…then the light went on and it made perfect sense. The way we figure it is that NVIDIA has a minimum price point that the 8800 GT 512MB can sell for, and ECS being a “value” manufacturer has found a way to get below that but in doing so would create tension between themselves and NVIDIA. The solution is the video card that we’ve just show you, as it’s sold as a 256MB card. Keep in mind that flashing your BIOS should only be done at your own risk and that your warranty would be void after doing so.After taking the heat sink off and inspecting the card I was a little concerned about the memory speed possibly causing performance issues but as you can see, the card is still performing very well.
Speaking of performing well, the heat sink/fan combo rocked! I was impressed with how quiet it was at idle and full load, never getting above a whisper. The cooling provided at these low noise levels was stellar, keeping load temperatures below 60c which is a task the reference heatsink is not up to.
Finally we come to pricing, and this is where the card blows you away. It was recently available at Newegg for $170 and had a $40 rebate available, making the final price of the card $130! It seems the rebate ended this month, but it wouldn’t surprise us if it has a rebate again. At the price and performance this card has there isn’t anything that can touch it and is a shoo-in choice for the Legit Value Award! I’m not usually one to promote SLI or CrossFire but if you’ve got a motherboard that can support SLI then a pair of these pushing high resolutions and extreme detail are going to provide an incredible gaming experience for relatively little coin.
Legit Bottom Line: The ECS N8800GT 256MB packs in double the memory with an available BIOS update giving you the performance of a true 8800 GT 512MB. The extra memory along with a nearly silent heat sink/fan combo and a $169 price tag assures it to be a great success!