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Which is better 8800gts 320mb or 8800gts 640mb?

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October 5, 2007 10:06:20 PM

Hello All!

I want to get a new 8800 GTS and am wondering which would be better for my max resolution of 1280 x 1024?

Here is my rig:

M2N-SLI deluxe, bios 0609
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ (Zalman 9500 AM2) (am buying the 6400+ when I get the vid card)
Corsair XMS2 6400 c4 4,4,4,12, 2T, 2.1v
XFX 7900gs 256 extreme 550/770
mushkin 550 watt PSU
Coolermaster Centurion (120mm back, 120mm and 90mm front) qfan is off
idle 36^c cpu, 30^c mobo
Viewsonic VX922 - 19" LCD
October 5, 2007 10:08:48 PM

640 is better, but you probably won't notice the difference at that resolution.
October 5, 2007 10:39:05 PM

That is what I am thinking and for $75 more is the extra 320mb worth it.
Related resources
October 5, 2007 10:43:51 PM

either get the 320 version orrrr get the 2900 pro

those two are probably the best bang for the buck cards and at your resolution will work just fine. The 2900 pro overclocks like mad aswell, so if your into those stuff, you can get it quite high from the default stuff:

Hexus got the following from it

Default core/memory frequencies 600/1584
Overclocked core/memory frequencies 715.5/1818
October 5, 2007 10:50:13 PM

Unfortunately I have an SLI mobo and not a crossfire. Plus I am just an Nvidia fanboy, I admit it.
October 5, 2007 11:21:19 PM

I got an the Superclocked EVGA 8800GTS 320 ($5 more than stock) today over the pro because of it comes with Quake Wars, which I was planning on buying anyway. So that is like $50 off in my eyes, and EVGA has that step-up program in case I get a new monitor and find I need some juice, or if a lower power fast card comes out.
October 6, 2007 12:13:04 AM

It's kind of a push to me.... I've heard the extra memory is only beneficial if you game at extremely high reloslutions and that up to about 1600X1200 there's not much of a difference... However with Crysis coming and DX10 maturing ( YES IT WILL HAPPEN SOMEDAY.. ) It may very well be worthwhile to future-proof yourself a little and spring the extra$$$$ for the extra memory.. BTW G92 is around the corner, might want to wait ....
October 6, 2007 10:06:02 PM

I just got my 320MB XFX 8800GTS XXX Edition card and I have heard great things about it. It's too bad I can't give you an honest response about the performance though (at least not from experience) since the PSU I bought I had to RMA since it was faulty. -.- Oh well, it's only like another week or so before I get it back. Heh...

Anyway, I really don't see the need to buy the 640MB version because it's only about 3-4 fps better and the 1280 x 1024 resolution isn't that high. I've seen videos of people getting 100 fps or so in BF2 with max settings at that resolution with the 320MB version.

Also, the 640MB version was actually about $100 more (if you're going with XFX like me, it was), and I didn't have the money to upgrade since I had just bought my E6600, PSU, and now, the video card. But, I guess if you have the extra money, go for it. :) 
October 6, 2007 10:13:50 PM

I was playing oblivion today, with the LOD distant map replacement mod. I have the 320mb version, and it was using all its memory (308) and then 72 megs of virtual memory from the ram. The framerate was hanging around 40-50 in max settings, 720p bang in the middle of the forest. Quake wars uses 260-280 megs of VRAM max settings 720p.

I will do some detailed tests tommorow, with framerates ect.

About the SKU 8, would EVGA have any kind of free step up from a normal gts to that one?
October 7, 2007 12:58:54 AM

Off topic a little: how did you measure how much VRAM was being used by the game?
October 7, 2007 9:04:44 AM

Valtiel said:
Off topic a little: how did you measure how much VRAM was being used by the game?


Rivatuner:

Hardware monitering:

Setup:

Plugins:

Tick vidmen.dll
October 7, 2007 9:12:47 AM

MAgrippa said:
It may very well be worthwhile to future-proof yourself a little and spring the extra$$$$ for the extra memory.. BTW G92 is around the corner, might want to wait ....


I agree with the "waiting" part. 8800 GTS 640 probably won't be any more future proof than the 320.
October 7, 2007 1:39:55 PM

I don't know why people confuse the amount of Vram with resolution or screen size, there are other rewards for having more Vram. Lets say that I have a 17 inch LCD and (A) I have an 8800GTS 320MB and I'm playing GRAW 1 & 2, guess what, I am lock out from choosing high quality textures because the game limits people with less than 512MB of Vram.

Were talking about texture quality here not screen resolution or size. Anyhow (B) I have a 17 inch LCD with an 8800GTS 640MB and now because I have enough Vram (more than 512MB) to go around I can now select high quality textures which makes it look awesome on any size screen.

Have a look at GRAW, the 320MB OC version is getting hammered by the 640MB version!

>> http://www.guru3d.com/article/Videocards/416/13
October 7, 2007 4:55:42 PM

Quote:
Hello All!

I want to get a new 8800 GTS and am wondering which would be better for my max resolution of 1280 x 1024?


If you max res is just going to be 1280 x 1024 then go for the 320mb. Anything higher than that go for the 640mb.
October 7, 2007 5:16:37 PM

I seldom play on anything higher than 1280x1024, as frame-rates to drop a bit more beyond that, and i can't tell much difference anyways. Personally, I'd get the HD2900 Pro or the 640MB 8800GTS. That extra VRAM will help out.
October 7, 2007 5:25:26 PM

Read my thread =/
October 7, 2007 5:42:46 PM

systemlord said:
I don't know why people confuse the amount of Vram with resolution or screen size, there are other rewards for having more Vram. Lets say that I have a 17 inch LCD and (A) I have an 8800GTS 320MB and I'm playing GRAW 1 & 2, guess what, I am lock out from choosing high quality textures because the game limits people with less than 512MB of Vram.

Were talking about texture quality here not screen resolution or size. Anyhow (B) I have a 17 inch LCD with an 8800GTS 640MB and now because I have enough Vram (more than 512MB) to go around I can now select high quality textures which makes it look awesome on any size screen.

Have a look at GRAW, the 320MB OC version is getting hammered by the 640MB version!

>> http://www.guru3d.com/article/Videocards/416/13


Finally someone who isn't a complete moron
October 8, 2007 1:20:21 AM

ShortRef said:
Rivatuner:

Hardware monitering:

Setup:

Plugins:

Tick vidmen.dll



Ah! Stupid vista! How can I monitor it under vista =(
October 10, 2007 12:31:51 AM

So now that I know I am going to get an 8800gts with 640mb what does waiting for the new skew model (16 more stream processors) give me. Hopefully one of you can explain to me the performance gaines by 16 more stream processors.

Thanks!
October 10, 2007 12:45:10 AM

chiptouz said:
So now that I know I am going to get an 8800gts with 640mb what does waiting for the new skew model (16 more stream processors) give me. Hopefully one of you can explain to me the performance gaines by 16 more stream processors.

Thanks!

How about purchase price/performance ratio?
Before:
8800 GTS (320/640MB): 90nm G80 with 96 scalar processors enabled.
8800 GTX/Ultra 768MB: 90nm G80 with 128 scalar processors enabled.


Now:
8800 GT (256/512MB): new 65nm G92 GPU with x scalar processors enabled.
8800 GTS (320/640MB) -presumably old stocks-: same as before.
"new" 8800 GTS 640MB: same as before, but with 112 scalar processors enabled on the same 90nm G80.
http://forum.beyond3d.com/showthread.php?t=43412&page=2...

If you wait-the price will go down? the newer one will show it's performance? the price may be the same as the older one and the older one is lower?

If I were you I would wait to see what transpires.
October 10, 2007 1:01:41 AM

chiptouz said:
So now that I know I am going to get an 8800gts with 640mb what does waiting for the new skew model (16 more stream processors) give me. Hopefully one of you can explain to me the performance gaines by 16 more stream processors.

Thanks!


Think of the stream processers as pixel pipelines even though thats not right. The stream processers are unified meaning they can provide many different functions to aid in graphics performance, its ultimately up to the Dev's to decide what that function will be. I dought they have even been fully utilised as of yet.
a b U Graphics card
October 10, 2007 1:17:17 AM

What alot of people seem to forget is the impact of the texture memory problem on the GF8800 series. Any tests involving the GTSs should be done with the alt-tabbing to show the true impact of the memory size and not the impact of a glitch in the card.

That a feature is on offer doesn't mean it's a practical difference one way or the other. I'd prefer seeing a more up to date comparison even for GRAW, because memory size alone won't do it or else the 512MB X1300 or GF6200 should beat the GTS-320.
a b U Graphics card
October 10, 2007 1:22:46 AM

chiptouz said:
That is what I am thinking and for $75 more is the extra 320mb worth it.


On how much? $75 on $400 sure, but if you're in the US then $75 on $250 gets to be a tougher difference for value.

If you're looking to upgrade again by this time next year, then I'd say get the GTS-320, otherwise get the GTS-640; but if you can wait, then the new entrants (8800GT and GTSextra-640) should push prices of remaining GTSs down for both the 320 and 640 models whichever you decide on, and also by then Crysis should be properly tested and give good info on the differences in one of the more influential games.
October 10, 2007 2:10:14 AM

TheGreatGrapeApe said:
What alot of people seem to forget is the impact of the texture memory problem on the GF8800 series. Any tests involving the GTSs should be done with the alt-tabbing to show the true impact of the memory size and not the impact of a glitch in the card.


I thought Nvidia would have fix this by now, Nvidia hasn't fix the memory problem in the drivers yet? As I understand it the ones with the 8800GTS 320MB will notice it more so than the 8800GTX because of the memory size being bigger.
October 10, 2007 2:22:26 AM

I want to get a new 8800 GTS and am wondering which would be better for my max resolution of 1280 x 1024?

At that resolution the 320 MB version will be fine - if you want to go higher at some point say 1600 x 1200 then you'll be better with the 640 MB version
October 10, 2007 4:23:30 AM

Stevemeister said:
I want to get a new 8800 GTS and am wondering which would be better for my max resolution of 1280 x 1024?

At that resolution the 320 MB version will be fine - if you want to go higher at some point say 1600 x 1200 then you'll be better with the 640 MB version


Just know that in some games you will be unable to select high image quality because of the 320MB of Vram. Have a look at this, GRAW notice that the 640MB GTS is hammering the 320MB OC version. >> http://www.guru3d.com/article/Videocards/416/13/
October 10, 2007 10:11:30 AM

Im bias yes, but i don't think the extra 14 fps is worth the $75, since to me, 61 fps is enough.

Quote:
Just know that in some games you will be unable to select high image quality because of the 320MB of Vram. Have a look at this, GRAW notice that the 640MB GTS is hammering the 320MB OC version. >> http://www.guru3d.com/article/Videocards/416/13/


Oh and those $75 can be a good save now if you "need" another card in a month or two =)
October 10, 2007 1:56:18 PM

rosu9801 said:
Im bias yes, but i don't think the extra 14 fps is worth the $75, since to me, 61 fps is enough.

Quote:
Just know that in some games you will be unable to select high image quality because of the 320MB of Vram. Have a look at this, GRAW notice that the 640MB GTS is hammering the 320MB OC version. >> http://www.guru3d.com/article/Videocards/416/13/


Oh and those $75 can be a good save now if you "need" another card in a month or two =)


I'm not talking about fps here, I'm talking about storing high resolution textures in Vram. And if you think that has anything to do with screen size your wrong! But go ahead and try to play GRAW with high texture quality cause with 320MB you can't do it, the game locks you out from even chosing high quality. Also with the recommended PC spec's for Crysis are 640MB or more for the graphic card.
October 10, 2007 4:38:43 PM

systemlord said:
I'm not talking about fps here, I'm talking about storing high resolution textures in Vram. And if you think that has anything to do with screen size your wrong! But go ahead and try to play GRAW with high texture quality cause with 320MB you can't do it, the game locks you out from even chosing high quality. Also with the recommended PC spec's for Crysis are 640MB or more for the graphic card.


Thats pretty stupid really, 308 megs of ram, what about virtual ram? Theres around 100-200 megs of virtual ram in default settings, = more than 512.

(stupid as in the graw makers, not you :) )
a b U Graphics card
October 10, 2007 6:57:07 PM

systemlord said:
I thought Nvidia would have fix this by now, Nvidia hasn't fix the memory problem in the drivers yet? As I understand it the ones with the 8800GTS 320MB will notice it more so than the 8800GTX because of the memory size being bigger.


It is fixed now for some situations, but supposedly still an issue for others (I believe now mainly limited to DX10).

For any older examples it was definitely still in place, and it is a case where the GTS-320 would notice it more than the GTS-640, so any tests would need to be re-run for any current comparo. Without a hystogram of performance, there's little way of knowing the impact on older tests, on current tests you'd want to be sure that they aren't affected by this still today.
October 11, 2007 5:44:45 AM

ShortRef said:
Thats pretty stupid really, 308 megs of ram, what about virtual ram? Theres around 100-200 megs of virtual ram in default settings, = more than 512.

(stupid as in the graw makers, not you :) )


I agree with you about Grin, the makers of GRAW. The graphics aren't the best I have seen, I think GRAW 1 has much better graphics than GRAW 2. GRAW 2 for PC in mostly a port from XBOX 360, at least for the maps. My little brother has GRAW 1 for XBOX 360 and he has the same maps I do in GRAW 2.
October 11, 2007 10:14:29 AM

systemlord said:
I'm not talking about fps here, I'm talking about storing high resolution textures in Vram. And if you think that has anything to do with screen size your wrong! But go ahead and try to play GRAW with high texture quality cause with 320MB you can't do it, the game locks you out from even chosing high quality. Also with the recommended PC spec's for Crysis are 640MB or more for the graphic card.


I chose that res cause thats what the OP used.
And in a month or two the 640 could prove to be a real bad buy, so i still think the 320 for the next couple of months is a wiser buy then the 640.
Better still, wait until newer and proved DX10 cards are available, both the 320 and 640 can be useless soon.
But atleast the 320 is ~$75 cheaper ie a less bad buy, hehe.

Oh and btw the benchies you provided are both using high texture quality?
So then the 320 can use it?
The 640 is "hammering" the 320 in a test that the 320 isn't supposed to run in?
Or is it if the test is in medium detail settings (which the 320 SHOULD handle) i wonder why the 640 still is faster, shouldn't they be almost the same since now less vram is used?

So medium detail seems to be the 320s total vram + vitual ram (giving the 640 a well deserved lead) and high detail is 512 + virtual (making the 320 not even able to use the setting)?
I need a little help straightening this out, im more then a little confused now. =)
October 11, 2007 11:34:54 AM

Do remember you aren't just purchasing it to play the games that are out now, but you are also purchasing it to play the games that will come out presumably over the next 2-3 years.

The quality (and possibly size) of the textures will increase as new technologies evolve and future game engines will try and push your video card more and more. The fewer times you card has to grab stuff that it couldn't hold in its ram the better.

Right now that resolution won't strain either card, but the amount of detail that future game engines will bring is another matter entirely. Think of spending the extra money on the 640 as a bit of future proofing.

I have never regretted getting more power than I needed at the time of the purchase because inevitably I will keep it long past its prime and the better it is initially the longer it is useful to me.
October 11, 2007 1:32:56 PM

Say im playing a game and im using 640 megs of video memory

on the 320 card, 308 megs of video memory, and the other 332 megs come from the RAM.

On the 640 card, all the texture are stored on the video memory.

And on another 320, 308 megs of video memory are being used, 0 meges come from the ram..

Id guess the ratios would go like this:

320 with virtual ram, 7/8

640 8/8

320 with no virtual ram 2/8

The 640 would never use virtual ram, it dosent need to, unless games start to actaully use more than that

October 11, 2007 2:43:08 PM

rosu9801 said:
Oh and btw the benchies you provided are both using high texture quality? Or is it if the test is in medium detail settings (which the 320 SHOULD handle) i wonder why the 640 still is faster, shouldn't they be almost the same since now less vram is used?


The only difference between the 640 & 320 is the extra Vram, other than that they have the same GPU. I know of a way to force high texture quality, tried it on my 7800GTX 256MB and it shuttered very badly. So theres only one reason why the 640 beat the 320 and thats the extra Vram, GRAW can require a big frame buffer on medium and high texture quality.
October 11, 2007 3:01:51 PM

Well heres an answer:

Whats better?

640mb by an un-noticible difference


Which card do you get the more fps for your buck?

320mb
October 11, 2007 11:33:02 PM

ShortRef said:
Well heres an answer:

Whats better?

640mb by an un-noticible difference


Which card do you get the more fps for your buck?

320mb


And Crysis recommended spec's for the graphics card is 8800GTS 640mb or better. Sure right now the 320mb GTS looks good but you have to open your eyes to the future (next few months) and then you'll see what I am trying to say. You have to start thinking ahead and not just the hear and now, you have to prepare yourself for what lies ahead. To see a big noticable difference between the 320 v.s the 640 in GRAW have a look for yourself, more games (Crysis) will come out that rely on big frame buffers and even the 8800GT comes with 512mb of Vram. >>>http://www.guru3d.com/article/Videocards/416/13


Now this game is as far as I'm concerned a typical next-gen game, it relies heavily on large and high-quality textures and the fact that we have only 320 MB is hurting performance heavily.

This is a massive drawback that you need to consider. I honest to God wish that the cards tested today would have had 512MB at default. Compare the results with the 640 MB version of the GTS. That's how important having enough memory is with titles like these.
a b U Graphics card
October 12, 2007 4:50:07 AM

Well it depends on if you think the future is more like GRAW (which I don't) or Oblivion and Bioshock (which I do). GRAW does seem to be pretty dependant on texture space regardless of resolution or AA setting, however games like Oblivion and Bioshock which they do show a great difference are pretty much bound by AA being the biggest impact on performance vis-a-vis VRAM size.

http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/bioshock_directx10_performance/page5.asp

http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/bioshock_aa_performance/page3.asp

I'd say while I appreciate the argument and the potential benefits of additional VRAM, I don't put is as as high a priority for that resolution as saving that money and using it in other areas. Although even then it depends a bit on the relative diff in price.

I've stated my 2 part opinion above... but to each their own, I don't think anyone is going to convince the other of which is 'better' because there's obvious benefits to both paths.

Although sometimes it's hard to decide where to put that extra money if even the GTS-640 wouldn't take much advantage of the diff between an 4300 and E6800 the way the GTX would in some games;

http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/geforce_8800_gtx_gts_core_2_performance/page6.asp
October 12, 2007 12:03:05 PM

I believe that Crysis will use up a lot of Vram.
October 12, 2007 4:54:09 PM

systemlord said:
I believe that Crysis will use up a lot of Vram.


Have you heard of that chip in the 8 series of card that can use the system ram in real time and use it as vram? Not all games use this, I doubt Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter uses it, but im just being extremely optimistic. Ive said before somewhere, having 308 megs (ok 320) 320 megs of vram, and the graphics card is ONLY using 320megs of vram, that will SERIOUSLY hurt the performence. Having 320megs of vram, and borrowing 200 megs from the system ram, will only hurt the performence a bit.....im spectulating btw.


a b U Graphics card
October 12, 2007 5:11:03 PM

It'll also depend on how it uses that VRAM, some things have a great immediate need for RAM and they would be greatly affected by latency, whereas swapping textures may be improved by newer PCIe2.0 and better compression and texture algos.

The limitations may change, and efficiencies may change where you don't need as many textures, you can simply do a materials calculation and apply it on the fly from smaller base textures.
October 12, 2007 5:30:58 PM

although, its an almost incontrovertable fact, Video ram is faster than system ram, and it will hurt your performance using it for textures
October 12, 2007 5:34:19 PM

You need to liston to these guy's I just built a upgraded game sysem and because the 8800GTS had better scores than the 640 I went ahead and got a evga 8800gts and am extremely happy with it so far except I just took the Crysis test and on Recomended hardware I failed on the Video card. I could have spent the extra buck]s to get a 640 or a cheapeer GTX for that matter.

So hear I am wishing I had spent a little more money on my video card and not being able to do anything else about it now. My system
ASUS P5K van P-35
C2Q6600 Quad Core at 3.3 Gig on Air
ArticCooling 7 92mm cooler.
4X1Gig of Cruciall Balsistic pc6400 DDR-2 800 at about 912mhz
EVGA 8800GTS at 575/1800 OC 3DMark06-10,453
OCZ GameXStreme 700wat osu
10,000rpm Raptor C/drive
250Gig WD for storage.

As you can see I spent over a grand putting this upgrade togeather over the space of about 3 month's and the only thing I really think I did wrong is the video card but who know's mabey the gts might play the game ok on reduced setting's. Im hoping so anyway. But if I had it to do over I would have bought a better video card. BadArthur
October 12, 2007 6:23:12 PM

Badarthur said:
You need to liston to these guy's I just built a upgraded game sysem and because the 8800GTS had better scores than the 640 I went ahead and got a evga 8800gts and am extremely happy with it so far except I just took the Crysis test and on Recomended hardware I failed on the Video card. I could have spent the extra buck]s to get a 640 or a cheapeer GTX for that matter.

So hear I am wishing I had spent a little more money on my video card and not being able to do anything else about it now. My system
ASUS P5K van P-35
C2Q6600 Quad Core at 3.3 Gig on Air
ArticCooling 7 92mm cooler.
4X1Gig of Cruciall Balsistic pc6400 DDR-2 800 at about 912mhz
EVGA 8800GTS at 575/1800 OC 3DMark06-10,453
OCZ GameXStreme 700wat osu
10,000rpm Raptor C/drive
250Gig WD for storage.

As you can see I spent over a grand putting this upgrade togeather over the space of about 3 month's and the only thing I really think I did wrong is the video card but who know's mabey the gts might play the game ok on reduced setting's. Im hoping so anyway. But if I had it to do over I would have bought a better video card. BadArthur


You really cant base if you can run crysis on a hardware test. The 8800 GTS can and WILL play crysis on high/very high settings with more than 30-40 fps.
October 13, 2007 2:44:20 AM

ShortRef said:
You really cant base if you can run crysis on a hardware test. The 8800 GTS can and WILL play crysis on high/very high settings with more than 30-40 fps.


From where did you hear that the 8800 GTS card can play Crysis on high or very high with 30-40 FPS?
a b U Graphics card
October 13, 2007 3:43:07 AM

spuddyt said:
although, its an almost incontrovertable fact, Video ram is faster than system ram, and it will hurt your performance using it for textures


Depends on the card and the system memory involved but in this case, yes by a factor of 3-5X.

However it's doesn't need to be as fast, it just needs to be fast enough not to notice when it's loading.

October 13, 2007 10:19:49 AM

systemlord said:
From where did you hear that the 8800 GTS card can play Crysis on high or very high with 30-40 FPS?


If it dosent ill excrete bricks and eat my mouse.
October 13, 2007 12:27:07 PM

The 320MB version is EOL soon. I would grab the 640 to have a shot at playing Crysis well. The texture budgets games use now are greater than 512MB on High Texture Settings.

Save the 50$ difference (I have seen the cards the same price in August at Tigerdirect.ca, only difference is the 320MB had a minor OC and the 640 was stock) by waiting for some of the games at the bottom of your list to fall to 30$, so 2 games would make up the difference anyway when they hit the bargain bin. I waited for Oblivion to fall to 30$ for example, so I don't mind paying a bit more on the hardware.

I will still get Crysis full price tho, and it would help take the edge off waiting for other games to fall. Paying 60-70$ for a game is a waste unless it is AAA.

Well, that is how I balance out entertainment spending. I regret not getting the GTX, but was too worried about fitting it into my case and cooling, not to mention AMP requirements. A game is so much easier to be "good" at when it is silky at 60-70 fps. I am sick of playing FPS shooters with low frames, makes it frustrating to hit anything.
!