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ECS GeForce 8800GT
The GeForce 8800GT has been supported by NVIDIA's proprietary Linux driver for many months now, which enables full 2D and 3D acceleration along with X-Video support, but no XvMC support. The obfuscated xf86-video-nv driver does support this card but only with 2D acceleration. Finally, there is support through the Nouveau driver but that is reverse-engineered and still very much under development. We had tested this card with the NVIDIA 173.14.09 display driver. Another note about the NVIDIA support under Linux is that their PureVideo and PureVideo HD technologies are sadly not available under this operating system.
While video card BIOS flashing isn't recommended for the inexperienced computer users, ECS does provide a BIOS update for this graphics card that enables the faster performance out of this 256MB graphics card. Prior to these tests we had flashed the BIOS. Once flashing the BIOS we had experienced on average a boost of two to six FPS under Linux with our OpenGL tests.
Our test system for this benchmarking was based around an Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 running at 4.00GHz, ASUS P5E3 Premium (Intel X48) motherboard, 2GB of OCZ DDR3-1333MHz memory, and a SilverStone Zeus ST75ZF power supply. The software side was made up of Ubuntu 8.04 LTS with the 32-bit Linux 2.6.24 kernel and X Server 1.4.1 pre-release.
Sadly, our overclocking experience wasn't that great. This graphics card has a factory set speed of 600MHz for the GPU core and 700MHz for the GDDR3 memory. We were only able to push the ECS 8800GT with CoolBits under Linux to 612MHz for the core and 735MHz for the memory. Compared to overclocks we have achieved with other graphics cards in the GeForce 8 and GeForce 9 series, this is quite a miniscule improvement. During testing, the GPU temperature would hover between 50 to 60 (°C), which is certainly an acceptable range for this graphics processor. The ECS cooler was also quiet during operation.
For our first set of tests, we had compared the performance of the ECS GeForce 8800GT 256MB to a NVIDIA GeForce 9800GTX 512MB, ATI Radeon HD 3870 512MB, and ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB. These results are largely as what we had published last month with our ATI Radeon HD 4850 Linux Performance Review. We had then also performed some anti-aliasing testing with a GeForce 8600GTS, the ECS GeForce 8800GT, and then a GeForce 9600GT.