People these days talk about how great 512 mb is on a gfx card...but all the benchmarks i see comparing 256mb and 512mb show the 256mb performance just as well (maybe 1% less on my resolution) unless you are using some crazy resolution (the benchmarks I am referring to are NOT for the 8800GT but just tests I have seen used on recent games with recent graphic cards). Can someone discuss the true noticeable differences between the 2 versions and which version of 8800GT will truly be worth it for me - I plays max settings on 1280x1024. Thanks.
I don't think it would make too much of a difference at your resolution with the games that we have currently, but I think when we start getting some more demanding games, the lack of VRAM might start to show a bit.
some cards with lower amounts of ram of ram actully preform better than the same card with higher amounts of ram, due to the ram filling up slower. An example would be the frames would look slightly better but you would have a loss in performance. This applies to some, not all cards and the difference verys.
Wait for the launch and some real 8800GT reviews to see how similar the two versions are in specs and performance. If we say the two cards are identical except the amount of RAM, well it looks like the 8800GT is a beast of a card, powerful enough to remain playable with settings that will need more than 256MB. I wouldn't be suprised if crysis at 12x10 could chew up more than 256MB. But available 256MB versions may end up being lower clocked (at least the RAM) than the 512MB versions and costing quite a bit less.
YES, without a doubt get at least 512meg. And even at 1280x1024 it matters. Take the Crysis demo for example. I am running an 8800gts with 320meg, and I can't turn everything on high and run with more than 2xAA because of video memory limitations. It wont even let me choose higher and even at those settings I get alot of memory hashing and swapping. (hense the random quick pausing in the game occasionally).
Another example is World in Conflict, I've only played the demo but with all settings on high with AA enabled 1280x1024 and you get alot of excessive hashing and it even tells you "Video memory overload"
This site gives some specs on how much memory is used with Crysis.