For testing power consumption, we took our test system and plugged it into a Seasonic Power Angel. For idle numbers, we allowed the system to idle on the desktop for 15 minutes and took the reading. For load numbers, we measured the peak wattage used by the system while running the game World in Conflict at 1600×1200 with medium graphics quality.
Power Consumption Results: Our big power consumption chart was getting hard to read, so we graphed just the two GeForce 8800 GT 512MB cards for this review. The power consumption numbers are nearly the same with just an additional 2W being consumed by the XFX card. With a 25MHz higher core clock and a different cooling fan a bigger difference was expected, but it wasn’t.
The XFX GeForce 8800 GT 512MB Alpha Dog performed just slighty faster than the reference GeForce 8800 GT that we previously reviewed a couple weeks ago thanks to the 25MHz higher core clock frequency. The XFX GeForce 8800 GT 512MB graphics card was also able to drop the temperatures across the board thanks to the improvements to the cooling fan and fan cover. It’s hard to say anything bad about the GeForce 8800 GT in general other than the supply is limited and that they are hard to find. If you can find the XFX GeForce 8800 GT 512MB Alpha Dog series in stock you should seriously consider it.
The bundle of the Alpha Dog comes with Company of Heroes, which is a fun game if RTS games are your thing. If not, you have a game title you can give to a friend or use as a coaster. It would be nice if companies included a game for each genre, but that would likely add to the cost of the bundle. The GeForce 8800 GT 512MB Alpha Dog video cards ranges in price from $269.99 to $289.99 with the price difference being which frequency you want to get. The card we reviewed today is the 625MHz core clock and 1.8GHz memory clock version, but they have two faster if you want a little extra performance boost.
Bottom Line: The XFX GeForce 8800 GT 512MB video card improves on the NVIDIA reference design card by improving the cooling and increasing the core clock frequency.