NVIDIA's GeForce 7 Update: Introducing the 7900 GTX, 7900 GT & 7600 GT

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Shadermark v2.1 - GeForce 7900 Series

From this point forward in this article, we'll be focusing on the performance of NVIDIA's new GeForce 7900 GTX and 7900 GT versus ATI's Radeon X1900 XTX, in both single card and SLI or CrossFire configurations.  As with any new GPU architecture, we like to take a quick look at Shader engine performance with ShaderMark before dig into more serious benchmaking.

Performance Comparisons with ShaderMark v2.1 (Build 130a)
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 overall 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.

ShaderMark shows these two flagship cards in a virtual dead-heat with the GeForce 7900 GTX taking the lead ever so slightly pulling down 13 victories to the Radeon X1900 XTX's 12 (highest scores are listed in BOLD print).  Each GPU seems to have its strong points, however, with ATI seemingly more adept at HDR Shader operations as well as Edge Detection and Hatching, while the GeForce 7900 GTX excels in Shadow Mapping, Lighting and Bump Mapping, at least as far as this test is concerned.

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