NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GS: AGP, Alive and Kicking

Article Index:   

Introduction, Specifications & The Card

AGP was supposed to fade away after the insurgence of PCI Express, wasn't it? Well yes, it was and it will in time, but as we're showing you today you can still breathe some new life into an aging AGP based system, thanks to NVIDIA. While PCI Express is the current interface of choice for new graphics products, the existing installed base of AGP equipped systems is huge. And many of these users would like to upgrade their video cards, but simply don't have the funds, or choose not to, upgrade their motherboards and perhaps processors as well. Upgrading to a PCIe based video card these days would mean getting a whole new motherboard, if you're still using a motherboard with an AGP slot. For the sake of providing a solid upgrade from existing AGP solutions, without having to break your bank account, NVIDIA is announcing their fastest AGP card yet, the GeForce 7800GS AGP.

The reference clock speeds for the GeForce 7800 GS are 375MHz for the core, with a 1.2GHz memory speed. As is the case with many of NVIDIA's current offerings though, they've given some flexibility with the clock speeds to their partners. Today we'll be looking at XFX's version of the GeForce 7800 GS, which boasts a 440MHz core speed, and 256MB of 1.3GHz DDR3 memory.

   

 

NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GS
The Newest AGP Card From NVIDIA
NVIDIA CineFX 4.0 Shading Architecture
_Vertex Shaders
·
_Support for Microsoft DirectX 9.0 Vertex Shader 3.0
·
_Displacement mapping
·
_Geometry instancing
·
_Infinite length vertex programs
_Pixel Shaders
·
_Support for DirectX 9.0 Pixel Shader 3.0
·
_Full pixel branching support
·
_Support for Multiple Render Targets (MRTs)
·
_Infinite length pixel programs
_Next-Generation Texture Engine
·
_Accelerated texture access
·
_Up to 16 textures per rendering pass
·
_Support for 16-bit floating point format and 32-bit floating point format
·
_Support for non-power of two textures
·
_Support for sRGB texture format for gamma textures
·
_DirectX and S3TC texture compression
_Full 128-bit studio-quality floating point precision through the entire rendering pipeline with native hardware support for 32bpp, 64bpp, and 128bpp rendering modes


API Support
• Complete DirectX support, including the latest version of Microsoft DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 3.0
_Full OpenGL support, including OpenGL 2.0


64-Bit Texture Filtering and Blending
_Full floating point support throughout entire pipeline
_Floating point filtering improves the quality of images in motion
_Floating point texturing drives new levels of clarity and image detail
_Floating point frame buffer blending gives detail to special effects like motion blur and explosions


NVIDIA Intellisample 4.0 Technology
_Advanced 16x anisotropic filtering (with up to 128 Taps)
_Blistering- fast antialiasing and compression performance
_Gamma-adjusted rotated-grid antialiasing removes jagged edges for incredible image quality
_Transparent multisampling and transparent supersampling modes boost antialiasing quality to new levels
_Support for normal map compression
_Support for advanced lossless compression algorithms for color, texture, and z-data at even higher resolutions and frame rates
_Fast z-clear


NVIDIA UltraShadow II Technology
_Designed to enhance the performance of shadow-intensive games


NVIDIA Digital Vibrance Control (DVC) 3.0 Technology
_DVC color controls
_DVC image sharpening controls
NVIDIA PureVideo Technology
_Adaptable programmable video processor
_High-definition MPEG-2 and WMV9 hardware acceleration
_Spatial-temporal de-interlacing
_Inverse 2:2 and 3:2 pull-down (Inverse Telecine)
_4-tap horizontal, 5-tap vertical scaling
_Overlay color temperature correction
_Microsoft Video Mixing Renderer (VMR) supports multiple video windows with full video quality and features in each window
_Integrated HDTV output


Composited Desktop Hardware Engine
_Video post-processing
_Real-time desktop compositing
_Accelerated antialiased text rendering
_Pixel shader-driven special effects and animation


Advanced Display Functionality
_Dual integrated 400MHz RAMDACs for display resolutions up to and including 2048x1536 at 85Hz
_Dual DVO ports for interfacing to external TMDS transmitters and external TV encoders
_Full NVIDIA nView multi-display technology capability


Advanced Engineering
_Designed for AGP*
_Designed for high-speed GDDR3 memory


Operating Systems
_Windows XP/XP 64/ME/2000
_Linux
_Macintosh OS X



The GeForce 7800 GS GPU:
Front View





The GeForce 7800 GS GPU:
Underside View


Due to the fact that the new NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GS GPU is based upon the same core architecture as the GeForce 7800 GTX, it shares essentially the same feature set as its higher-powered counterpart. We've detailed NVIDIA's latest architecture in-depth in our original coverage of the GeForce 7800 GTX launch back in June, so we'd recommend perusing that article if you're not familiar with what the GTX brings the table.

On top of everything offered by NVIDIA's previous flagship AGP card, the GeForce 6800 Ultra, the GeForce 7800 GS GPU incorporates new anti-aliasing modes in the Intellisample 4.0 engine that improve the appearance of partially transparent textures, such as those used in many outdoor scenes for foliage. The GeForce 7800 GS also has an updated PureVideo processor, with more features than its predecessor. And of course, the GeForce 7800 GS has enhancements to its pixel and vertex shader pipelines for increased performance, as well.

The GeForce 7800 GS is a 16-pixel pipeline part, with 6 vertex shaders, 8 ROPs, and a 256-bit memory interface. Other than these specifications, the GS shares essentially the same feature set with other products in the GeForce 7 family.

    

    

    

Pictured Here: The XFX GeForce 7800 GS
Core Clock: 440MHz
Memory Clock:
1.3GHz
Frame Buffer:
256MB

Their GeForce 7800 GS shipped in XFX's signature "X" shape box. Inside you'll find a molex connector splitter, DVI to VGA converter, S-Video cable, a users manual and a quick installation guide. It's a fairly spartan bundle with no games to show off the technology. The card itself is fairly large, about the size of a 6800 Ultra, but with a much smaller cooler. The fan does a good job of keeping things cool, and isn't at all that loud. One problem we ran into with our sample though, was that the shroud was making contact with the fan's blades, causing the fan to spin incorrectly. We feel this is an isolated incident, and we don't expect it to be a wide spread problem.

Tags:  Nvidia, GeForce, live, KIN, force, alive, Ive, AG, 7800, 780, id, King, and, K

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