NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GTX

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Our Test System & ShaderMark v2.1

HOW WE CONFIGURED THE TEST SYSTEM: We tested our pair of GeForce 7800 GTX cards on a Gigabyte K8NXP-SLI nForce 4 SLI chipset based motherboard, powered by an AMD Athlon 64 FX55 processor and 1GB of low-latency Corsair XMS RAM. The first thing we did when configuring this test system was enter the BIOS and loaded the "High Performance Defaults."  The hard drive was then formatted, and Windows XP Professional with SP2 was installed. When the installation was complete, we installed the latest nForce 4 chipset drivers, installed all of the other necessary drivers for the rest of our components, and removed Windows Messenger from the system. Auto-Updating and System Restore were then disabled, the hard drive was defragmented, and a 768MB permanent page file was created on the same partition as the Windows installation. Lastly, we set Windows XP's Visual Effects to "best performance," installed all of the benchmarking software, and ran the tests.

The HotHardware Test System
AMD Athlon 64 FX Powered

Processor -

Motherboard -

Video Cards -

Memory -

Audio -

Hard Driv
e -


Hardware Used:
AMD Athlon 64 FX-55 (2.6GHz)

Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-SLI
nForce4 SLI chipset

GeForce 7800 GTX (x2)
GeForce 6800 Ultra (x2)
GeForce 6800 GT
ATI Radeon X850XT PE
ATI Radeon X800 XL 512MB

1024MB Corsair XMS PC3200 RAM

Integrated on board (ALC850)

Western Digital "Raptor"

36GB - 10,000RPM - SATA

Operating System -
Chipset Drivers -
DirectX -

Video Drivers

Synthetic (DX) -
Synthetic (DX) -
DirectX -
DirectX -

DirectX -
DirectX -
OpenGL -
OpenGL -
Relevant Software:
Windows XP Professional SP2 (Patched)
nForce Drivers v7.12
DirectX 9.0c

NVIDIA Forceware v77.62

ATI Catalyst v5.6

Benchmarks Used:
ShaderMark v2.1
3DMark05 v1.2.0
Halo v1.06
Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory v1.03
FarCry v1.31*
Half Life 2*
Doom 3 v1.3 (Single & Multi-Player)*
Chronicles of Riddick v1.1*

* - Custom Test (HH Exclusive demo)
Performance Comparisons with ShaderMark v2.1 (Build 129)
Strict High-Level Shading Language

Shadermark v2.1
For most of our recent video card-related articles, we've stuck to using games, or benchmarks based on actual game engines, to gauge performance. The problem with using this approach exclusively is that some advanced 3D features may not be fully tested, because the game engines currently in use tend not to use the absolute latest features available within cutting-edge graphics hardware. In an effort to reveal raw shader performance, which is nearly impossible to do using only the games on the market today, we've incorporated ToMMTi-System's ShaderMark v2.1 into our benchmarking suite for this article. ShaderMark is a Direct 9.0 pixel shader benchmark that exclusively uses code written in Microsoft's High Level Shading Language (HLSL) to produce its imagery.

We ran ShaderMark v2.1 at a resolution of 1,600 x 1,200 to generate all of the results listed above. Although the results in some of the tests seem extremely high, they are actually reported in "frames per second."  As you can see, a single GeForce 7800 GTX is between 15% and 122% faster than a GeForce 6800 Ultra in this benchmark.  The X850 XT fares just a bit better, but it is still outpaced by at least 17% and by as much as 106% by the 7800 GTX.  Also notice that the Radeon X850 XT is unable to complete some of the tests. This is a direct result of the card not having Shader Model 3.0 support.

Tags:  Nvidia, GeForce, GTX, force, GT, 7800, 780, id

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