I'm curious, I've recently bought a nice new Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L mobo, 4 gigs of Black Dragon RAM, and an Intel q6600 Quadcore CPU. I'm now looking to buy my graphics card, i used to be quite hot on what was a good card to buy, but with all this next-gen tech like PCI-e and DX10, i'm a bit thrown as the current Gfx card i have is an AGP 6800GT, it's pretty outdated now and is all last-gen technology.
As you can see, they both have various pro's, and each one has something better or higher than the other. But looking at the main specs, the former has a slightly better core-speed than the latter, but the latter has more onboard RAM. Yet the former's onboard RAM is at a higher clock speed than the latter. So i ask, which matters most? Which is the better card?
Well, the GT would be the better buy honestly. It's PCI-e 2.0 compliant (which doesn't mean much now, but if something ever wanted that extra bandwidth, it would be there.) It's also a newer revision of the G90 chip AKA G92. Smaller process, should consume less power and give better performance all around. The 512MB on the GT is more than enough to handle what you could throw at it.
No one in their right mind would suggest the older GTS over the GT. The only drawback of the GT is the single slot cooler design. It will run a little warm due to this fact, but all you have to do is set the fan speed to 60% from the jump and you'll be fine. Then again, you can always replace the cooler if you so choose.
I understand that aftermarket coolers invalidate your warranty.
If I needed a new video card these days I'd get the 8800GTS G92 512 MB.
(or the eVGA version, or the Gigabyte, whatever). This is not the old GTS, it's the new one with 128 stream processors and it competes very well with the 8800GTX. It beats both the 8800GT 512MB and the 8800GTS 640MB, and it doesn't have cooler problems.
With regards to the aftermarket cooler, why not just get a 8800GT that comes with one? I've just bought a Leadtek PX8800GT ZL last week, the card never gets too hot and I hardly notice the noise from the fan, plus I get to keep the warranty. So all is good.
Well, like I said. Heat on the GT is not an issue if you set the fan properly. I have mine set to 60% and never have heat issues. It's only mildly audible in an Antec 900 with Tri-Cools on medium.
Also, about the GTS G92, yes it is a faster card, has a better cooler and will out perform the GT. However, it's also almost $100 or more extra, and the performance over the GT is negligible in most instances. If money isn't an issue, the GTS G92 would be your best bet. Best bang for the buck is the GT though. Don't spend the extra money for the factory OC cards either. Get the base model EVGA direct from EVGA's website. You can clock it pretty high yourself, and it won't void your warranty. Then you also have the step up program and a nice warranty.
You won't be dissapointed with the GT. Mine is at 675 core on the base model EVGA, and the fan at 60% keeps it nice and relatively cool.
If there happens to be a new GPU release within 90 days of your purchase, then you can get the newest card for the cost of the new card - cost of your old card. Ends up being a pretty good deal IF anything new happens to come out.