Summary & Conclusion
Performance Summary: The only video card we tested to have a clear performance advantage over the new GeForce 7800 GT was NVIDIA's own flagship GeForce 7800 GTX. ATI's current top-of-the-line Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition ran right alongside the GeForce 7800 GT in a handful of tests, like FarCry and Half Life 2 for example, but in games like Doom 3 and The Chronicles of Riddick the 7800 GT had a huge advantage in performance over the Radeons.
When the G70 GPU was officially unveiled, and the GeForce 7800 GTX was announced back in late June, we all knew that less expensive GeForce 7 Series cards were right on the horizon. NVIDIA has been touting the scalability of their GPUs for a couple of years now and historically, their M.O. has been to release a whole line of products at virtually every price point based on their latest architecture. The GeForce 7800 GT is NVIDIA's second high-performance product in what will no doubt be an entire line of GeForce 7 Series cards.
With its 20 pixel pipelines, 7 vertex units, and 256MB of 1GHz RAM, the GeForce 7800 GT performed very well throughout our entire battery of benchmarks. And with its support for Shader Model 3.0, and excellent anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering quality / performance, the GeForce 7800 GT also has superior in-game image quality. Its relatively quiet single-slot cooler is another plus, as it the 7800 GT's full support for NVIDIA's SLI multi-GPU technology.
NVIDIA has set the MSRP for the GeForce 7800 GT at $449, and because this is yet another hard-launch you'll be able to buy cards immediately. But considering that GeForce 7800 GTX cards are available for under $500 and that a multitude of partners will be releasing 7800 GT cards, expect street prices to fall sharply in the coming days / weeks. One thing to watch out for should you decide to purchase a new GeForce 7800 GT is clock speed. The XFX card we tested here arrived with its core clocked 50MHz higher than NVIDIA's reference spec, and we've already received word from a couple of other NVIDIA partners who have mentioned a 400MHz core clock speed. Should they be priced similarly, make sure to grab the card with the higher clock speeds. As our benchmarks have shown, there is a measurable impact on performance. The higher clocks of the XFX card we tested occasionally meant the different between "winning" and "losing" to a Radeon X850 XT.
To coincide with the release of the GeForce 7800 GT, NVIDIA is also slashing prices on the GeForce 6800 GT and the GeForce 6800. The new MSRPs for the 6800 GT and plain 6800 are $299 and $199, respectively, but as usual expect street prices to be lower.
|•_Less Expensive GeForce 7 Series Card
•_Shader Model 3.0 Support
•_Single Slot Cooler
|•_Clock Speed Confusion?
* Check product specs before you buy