A battle is being waged between ATI (AMD's graphics division) and Nvidia for the working man's hard earned cash. Looking at the landscape as things stand today, Nvidia has the best DX10 hardware, simply because Nvidia has the only DX10 hardware on the market. Let's face it; the launch of the 8600 and 8500 parts was less than stellar. The price of a card based on the GeForce 8800 GTS is less than $100 more after rebates than that of an 8600 GTS. Why wouldn't you want to save one more paycheck to buy a card that can deliver over 50 frames per second in F.E.A.R. with a resolution of 1600x1200 and the image quality turned up? Your games should play well while they look good. After a hard day you should look forward to relaxing, and your games should play as hard as you do when taking out your frustrations.
Many were waiting for the 8600 series to deliver something more but walked away from the reviews feeling a little short changed. While the 8600 has a new H.264 video decoding engine for HD content, most gamers were looking for improvements like this coupled with more performance, like we have become accustomed to in the GeForce 7600 and 6600 cards.
A few weeks back, we ran a story showing the performance boost from factory overclocked graphics cards. After that story posted, we received a 320 MB overclocked version of the Foxconn GeForce 8800GTS. The card has features similar to those of the high end cards, but with a sticker price of $300 dollars or less.
In terms of performance and price for DX10 hardware there is nothing that touches the GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB. It has the horsepower to play both today's games and the titles we are really waiting to play. It probably should have been adorned with the 8600 name, as it fits the role of performance value, but Nvidia did not see it that way on the roadmap. We took the Foxconn card out for a spin and it came back with very nice scores. That, coupled with price tags of a little as $260 after rebate for an 88000GTS 320, makes it the best DX10 card for the money.