ASUS GeForce EN8800GTX/HTDP/768M Video Card Review :: Introduction

11-09-2006 · Category: Hardware - Video Cards

By Benjamin Sun

I've been reviewing NVIDIA video cards since 1999 with the launch of the GeForce DDR video card. 7 years is a short time in history but an extremely long time in computer terms. Since 2000 we've seen the launch of the Athlon 64 CPU, the Core 2 series of CPUs and memory has moved from SDRAM to DDR2 memory on the system. Video cards have evolved from the GeForce DDR to the launch of today's 8800GTX.

The real revolution in computing is about to begin with the release of Microsoft's Vista OS. No longer will computers be content to run 2D and a half-hearted list of 3D features like the SIS Mirage 3 or the Intel 915G graphics. Hardware Pixel and Vertex shaders will be required to run the Vista Aero Glass interface, and today's cheap integrated graphics will be barely adequate to run the OS, much less DirectX 10 games. Along with Vista, comes the launch of DirectX 10 and Shader Model 4.0.

The last two years have seen a wide range of video cards based upon Shader Model 3.0 (Pixel Shader 3.0 and Vertex Shader 3.0). The first SM 3.0 video card was the GeForce 6800 Ultra that was launched in April of 2004 at GeForceLAN. The 79xx series was launched in June of 2005 at GeForceLAN 2. Today NVIDIA is holding their third annual GeForceLAN and it heralds the launch of the GeForce 8800GTX card. ASUS has kindly provided a card for launch review.