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Zarich
05-09-07, 06:05 AM
I keep reading about stuttering problems and tons of people sending them back or upgrading instead to the 640. So is the 320 just a terrible card? Did nvidia really drop the ball here?

Redeemed
05-09-07, 06:18 AM
I keep reading about stuttering problems and tons of people sending them back or upgrading instead to the 640. So is the 320 just a terrible card? Did nvidia really drop the ball here?


If you are in the market for a new card you'd be better off with the 640MB GTS. DX10 titles will be needing more than just 320MB of frame buffer. Do yourself a favor and get the 640MB GTS.

Jon
05-09-07, 06:55 AM
I've got one and I love it... everything plays great for me at 1900x1200! They also overclock quite well. Mine is flashed to the speeds in my sig (not great by the standards here, but good enough for me).

There was a comparison posted here yesterday:

http://www.nvnews.net/reviews/msi_geforce_nx8800gts_320mb/index.shtml

Tr1cK
05-09-07, 08:20 AM
/asks his card if it sucks
/waits for response

I think you offended it.

HiCZoK4
05-09-07, 08:33 AM
the 8800320 is very good and very fast dx10 card . it score the same points in 3dmark and games as 640mb . I have asus 320 and play everygame maxed out.

Major and only problem is slowdowns occuring in several games .and have to alt-tab to make it refresh fps. otherwise EXCELLENT CARD FOR THE PRICE

superklye
05-09-07, 08:44 AM
I haven't had any problems with the one I reviewed for the site and it actually scored well and above the 640MB GTS I compared it to. Of course, it was overclocked 115/192 (core/memory) but still...great card.

Madpistol
05-09-07, 09:01 AM
The 8800 GTS 320mb card is a great card for games today, but once we get up to the big guns of DX10 like Crysis and Unreal Tournament 3, you're going to see that 320mb of memory isn't enough of a frame buffer to play it at highest settings.

If I were you, I'd get the 8800 GTS 640mb. The 320mb version is nice, but you get what you pay for. ;)

Tr1cK
05-09-07, 09:07 AM
The 8800 GTS 320mb card is a great card for games today, but once we get up to the big guns of DX10 like Crysis and Unreal Tournament 3, you're going to see that 320mb of memory isn't enough of a frame buffer to play it at highest settings.

If I were you, I'd get the 8800 GTS 640mb. The 320mb version is nice, but you get what you pay for. ;)

This may be true, but it's worthless info unless you plan on not upgrading your card again in the next year. I'd say for most users, the 320 will be enough to run what you want in this product cycle and probably the next as well. I bought my 320 because I was one of those who got burned on my 7800. A few weeks later they debuted the 7900s, which I was unaware of at the time. I see the 320 as the best buy you can make until competition between AMD and Nvidia gets going again and we see better cards come out for better pricing than $800 for the Ultra.

DMA
05-09-07, 10:36 AM
I keep reading about stuttering problems and tons of people sending them back or upgrading instead to the 640. So is the 320 just a terrible card? Did nvidia really drop the ball here?

I thought you had one already? Why ask us? :)

Zarich
05-09-07, 12:41 PM
I do have one. But everytime I go to a forum someone is complaining about it. I do get some slow down in titan quest. I stepped up from a 7950gt 256 cause I got lucky and got some extra dough. Couldn't afford the 640 (I got the SC though).

I am currently running vista 64 and everything I have runs, albeit I took a 10fps hit in games like company of heroes.

Anyway.. I guess I am worried that my card will be total crap. I only game at 1440x900, but I keep reading people are having trouble even with that. Plus everyone says don't use AA/AF on this card.

I guess I am having a bit of buyers remorse (of course if I hadn't done it I would be on a 7950 still) due to the lack of negativity I see.

Tr1cK
05-09-07, 12:44 PM
Well I haven't been able to play much since I got it, but I game at 1680x1050 4x/8x minimal on everything with no problems.

Jon
05-09-07, 02:03 PM
I guess I am having a bit of buyers remorse (of course if I hadn't done it I would be on a 7950 still) due to the lack of negativity I see.

I rushed out to get my 8800 320mb on release day. I couldn't afford the 640mb at the time... then I got a bonus from work. I almost ebayed my 320mb to get the 640mb... but a friend of mine talked me out of it.

Now I have seen sense, there is very little difference between the 2 cards for the current generation of games. In fact, the higher clock speeds of the 320 compared to some of the 640 cards give it an advantage.

Nobody knows how well the next gen games will run on any card yet anyway. So for the moment I am happy playing R6 Vegas at 1900x1200 at 60fps!

As for Titan Quest... I get a bit of slow down in Vista, but it is noticeably faster in XP and I get no slow down at all. So I believe its the drivers not the card.

Tuork
05-09-07, 02:41 PM
As far as I know, the 320mb card is a damn good bang for buck today, but Im guessing it will come just a wee bit shorthanded when it comes to games we expect to come out throughout fall, namely Crysis, UT3 (so I've heard), alan wake (probably later on).

If you're on a budget, great choice. If you have the cash, why not be more future-proof?

Zarich
05-09-07, 02:47 PM
atually rainbow 6 vegas does not seem hampered by the loss of ram and it is built of UT3 engine. I didn't have the cash so I had no choice at the time.. I was lucky to even be able to afford the 8800 320 upgrade.

Redeemed
05-09-07, 03:33 PM
I rushed out to get my 8800 320mb on release day. I couldn't afford the 640mb at the time... then I got a bonus from work. I almost ebayed my 320mb to get the 640mb... but a friend of mine talked me out of it.

Now I have seen sense, there is very little difference between the 2 cards for the current generation of games. In fact, the higher clock speeds of the 320 compared to some of the 640 cards give it an advantage.

Nobody knows how well the next gen games will run on any card yet anyway. So for the moment I am happy playing R6 Vegas at 1900x1200 at 60fps!

As for Titan Quest... I get a bit of slow down in Vista, but it is noticeably faster in XP and I get no slow down at all. So I believe its the drivers not the card.

:wtf: If you even think that you're gonna' be able to play Crysis at those settings with that card while achieve 60fps- you're an extreme optimist. I'm hoping to be fortunate enough to play Crysis at 1600x1200 with 4xAA/16xAF and all in-game options maxed- and I have two 640MB GTSs.

Framebuffer is important, and 320MB isn't going to last you all that long.

Though, I do agree that for "bang-for-the-buck" the 320MB GTS is hard to beat. But this time next year when you are dropping another $250 for the 9800GTS (or whatever it'll be) I'll be quite happy with my two 640MB GTSs. That I'm quite confident of. ;)

Jon
05-09-07, 04:04 PM
If you even think that you're gonna' be able to play Crysis at those settings with that card while achieve 60fps- you're an extreme optimist. I'm hoping to be fortunate enough to play Crysis at 1600x1200 with 4xAA/16xAF and all in-game options maxed- and I have two 640MB GTSs.

All I said was, nobody knows how Crysis is going to play at the moment. But logically, if an 8800GTS with 320mb can't handle crysis, an extra 320mb of ram isn't going to double my frame rates. Hopefully you'll be ok with 2xgts's. But I believe it'll come down more to gpu power than memory.

Redeemed
05-09-07, 04:09 PM
All I said was, nobody knows how Crysis is going to play at the moment. But logically, if an 8800GTS with 320mb can't handle crysis, an extra 320mb of ram isn't going to double my frame rates. Hopefully you'll be ok with 2xgts's. But I believe it'll come down more to gpu power than memory.

Um, actually it might. The framebuffer is where all the texture memory is stored. That includes all of your AA and AF data. If you do not have a large enough frame buffer then the data gets stored in your system RAM which is significantly slower than the frame buffer. This will impact performance negatively. The more texture data you can keep in the frame buffer, the faster your performance will be. If Crysis eats up 512MB+ in frame buffer memory, then you will see a noticable performance hit with the 320MB GTS. I'm no Oblivion fan, but I've heard of many mods for it that are already using up all the memory available on the GTX. Now, trying running such a mod on your GTS, then on a 640MB GTS- you'll drop your jaw when you see the difference.

Yes, believe it or not, the size of your frame buffer can actually effect your performance dramatically. If you have Oblivion try out some of the mods. PM Xion for the precise mod I was referring to as I cannot recall its name- though he knows of it and uses it regularly.

Jon
05-09-07, 04:18 PM
Um, actually it might. The framebuffer is where all the texture memory is stored. That includes all of your AA and AF data. If you do not have a large enough frame buffer then the data gets stored in your system RAM which is significantly slower than the frame buffer. This will impact performance negatively.

Fair comment. All I can go on is past experience of games where developers have used very efficient texture compression algorithms. This has usually resulted in reasonable size textures with no noticable difference in quality. Keeping in mind that the majority of cards have <320mb anyway, they will have to use some kind of compression. Whether the loss in quality makes me cry or not is another thing.

Redeemed
05-09-07, 04:27 PM
Fair comment. All I can go on is past experience of games where developers have used very efficient texture compression algorithms. This has usually resulted in reasonable size textures with no noticable difference in quality. Keeping in mind that the majority of cards have <320mb anyway, they will have to use some kind of compression. Whether the loss in quality makes me cry or not is another thing.

Crysis is expected to play extremely well on older hardware- so I'm very confident that they are using extremely efficient compression algorithms. But, at higher graphical settings the compression should be lessened. And if you are gaming at a higher resolution with any decent level of AA that also adds onto the size of the textures stored in the framebuffer.

Understand that you will be able to play Crysis without a problem, but more than likely you will either have to sacrifice some AA, lower your resolution, or drop some of the detail settings to compensate for your lack of a larger framebuffer.

Having a good quantity of fast system RAM will help- definitely, but it won't be a complete cure. Unless you want to shell out another $250 this time next year to be able to play Crysis and that gen's future games at the settings you are currently playing- you have to pay more for a video card now with a larger framebuffer. That's why I got two 640MB GTSs. I knew one would not be sufficient for Crysis at the settings I want to play at- but two should be plenty. Each card has 640MB of framebuffer which should be sufficient for most of the "higher" graphical setting in Crysis. Now, add 4xAA to that with 16xAF, Gamma Corrected AA, and Transparency Multisampling AA at a resolution of say 1600x1200- I just might run out of framebuffer. Thus, hopefully, having my ram running at DDR2 1333 (assuming such ram is out by say Feburary next year when I build my new rig) amd 4GB pf RAM (the amound I'm hoping to be able to purchase) might just compensate- as 1333 is not much slower than the ram on the GTS. Only time will tell.

Zarich
05-09-07, 04:36 PM
I am sure i will be fine. I only run at 1440x900 and frankly having to turn AA to 2x or set texture resolution to medium wont really get me that upset.

Redeemed
05-09-07, 04:37 PM
I am sure i will be fine. I only run at 1440x900 and frankly having to turn AA to 2x or set texture resolution to medium wont really get me that upset.

Then you have no need to worry. ;)

Jon
05-09-07, 04:38 PM
Understand that you will be able to play Crysis without a problem, but more than likely you will either have to sacrifice some AA, lower your resolution, or drop some of the detail settings to compensate for your lack of a larger framebuffer.

I read a lot of reviews of the 320mb GTS. And I bought it on the understanding that I would be able to play at 1900x1200... BUT... for some games this would mean that I would have to sacrifice AA/AF. I thought about it and I can live with it.

Each card has 640MB of framebuffer which should be sufficient for most of the "higher" graphical setting in Crysis.

I haven't done my homework on this... but I thought last I read that games can only access 640mb of ram total anyway because they have to mirror the textures on both cards. So what I mean is, its not like having 1280mb of vram

as 1333 is not much slower than the ram on the GTS.

That is interesting, I didn't realise that... it would be great having system ram as fast as vram... but wouldn't it still be slower anyway because the vram is directly on the card as opposed to accessed through the system bus?

Redeemed
05-09-07, 04:46 PM
I read a lot of reviews of the 320mb GTS. And I bought it on the understanding that I would be able to play at 1900x1200... BUT... for some games this would mean that I would have to sacrifice AA/AF. I thought about it and I can live with it.

Then, as I said to the OP, you have nothing to worry about. ;)


I haven't done my homework on this... but I thought last I read that games can only access 640mb of ram total anyway because they have to mirror the textures on both cards. So what I mean is, its not like having 1280mb of vram

That is essentially what I meant. Both cards will have a total of 640MB to utilize. Not 1280, but 640MB. So in that regard it'd be just like having only one 640MB GTS. Framebuffer size does not get doubled. Though, rumor has it, with SLi2 the frame buffer just might get doubled. Again, that is yet to be proven.


That is interesting, I didn't realise that... it would be great having system ram as fast as vram... but wouldn't it still be slower anyway because the vram is directly on the card as opposed to accessed through the system bus?

That also depends. With AMD based setups the memory controller is on the processor, and this greatly cuts back on the latency issue you'd have if the memory controller were on the Northbridge. So, I guess, theoretically speaking in this scenerio people with an AMD based setup very well could benefit since the memory controller is on-die. Also, with AM2+ bring HT3.0 speeds of 3+Ghz, there shouldn't be any discernable lag when sending texture data to the system RAM. And if the RAM is atleast running at 1066MHz it shouldn't perform too much slower than the RAM on the video cards. Me, I'm hoping to be able to pick up some system RAM rated at 1333 as that is even closer to the speed of the RAM on my video cards. And I'm holding off to build a new rig untill AMD releases the Phenom x4 line-up. At that point I'll invest in a solid AM2+ SLi mobo and a top of the line Phenomx4 CPU with 4GB of atleast DDR2 1066 RAM. That should compensate for any lack of framebuffer I might encounter. ;) Atleast, I'd hope it would, and theoretically it should.

Madpistol
05-09-07, 07:19 PM
Vram is very important for games, just like system ram is important for programs.

Example: I did an experiment to see how important ram was in BF2142. So I have 2 sticks of PC 6400 DDR2 (2 x 1GB). So I got over 60fps on a 32man conquest server no matter what the settings of my current rig. Well, next I removed 1 stick, so I was down to 1 GB of Ram. Guess what happened... The framerate plummeted to around 5-10fps and stayed there. The HDD was being accessed continually because the system didn't have enough RAM to support the game. This caused massive framerate lag.

If you don't believe me, take any ram intensive game and take some of the ram out and see what kind of performance you get. It really is that important. ;)

Dreamingawake
05-09-07, 07:22 PM
i think bandwidth is what really matters for video cards.

sure if you have 2 gb of system ram thats obviously going to make a world of difference.. but uh, the bandwidth for the 8800 320mb and 640mb is roughly the same..