nVidia's GeForce 8800 cards only seem to have one disadvantage at the moment: their price, which tends to be too high for anyone par die hard gamers. Dispite its price card the GeForce 8800 has proven to be quite a success: the card is the only one that fully supports Direct X 10 and therefore is a good investment for the near future. However, nVidia will be releasing a card for the masses with the new 8800 GTS variety, sporting 320 instead of 640 MB GDDR memory. This obviously will make the price of this card a lot more attractive.
To cut the spec story short: besides the smaller amount of physical RAM the cards are identical. There are no differences whatsoever in clock frequencies, shader units and also the PCB-design is identical to that of its bigger brother. The new card offers the same features as the standard GTS, but will be a little bit smaller because of the smaller amount of memory onboard. Major features that remain are HDCP compatibility, two dual-link DVI connectors and the need for an additional PEG connector. The following table shows the specifications for the GTS 320 MB, GTS 640 MB and GTX flavours.
So how about the prices of the cards? The GTS 640 MB sells for $ 430 at the moment, according to our Price comparison. nVidia states the new 320 MB variety will be priced at the $299-$329 segment: about $ 100 cheaper!
The question remains what will be the impact of 320 instead of 640 MB memory. Our benchmarks point out the difference between the cards with recent games is as good as zero and for the moment we cannot name any game that demands over 320 MB memory for its textures and effects. It's hard to predict how this will be in the future. Games get more and more complicated, so it's not impossible that one day there will be games released which demand over 320 MB graphics memory. However, for the near future a 320 MB card will do just as fine as the 640 MB card.