Final Words

It's taken three generations of revisions, augmentation, and massaging to get where we are, but the G70 is a testament to the potential the original NV30 design possessed. Using the knowledge gained from their experiences with NV3x and NV4x, the G70 is a very refined implementation of a well designed part.

With a max of three times the MADD throughput, 50% more pixel pipes, and 33% more vertex power than 6800 Ultra, the GeForce 7800 GTX is a force with which to be reckoned. Putting this much processing power into a package that pulls less juice from the wall than a 6800 Ultra is quite a feat as well. The 300+ million transistors fabbed on a 110 nm process are quite capable, and NVIDIA's compiler technology is finally mature to the point of handling all games with no shader replacement.

Adding transparency AA and further enhancing the efficiency of their PureVideo hardware will be the most tangible feature additions of the GeForce 7800 GTX. The tweaks in the pipeline really only come in performance numbers rather than feature enhancements. As there has been no DirectX update since the last part, NVIDIA has opted not to introduce any extra features. Their reasoning is that developers are slow enough to adopt DirectX changes, let alone a feature that would only run using OpenGL extensions.

Even though features haven't been added to the vertex and pixel shaders directly, the increased power will allow game developers more freedom to generate more incredible and amazing experiences. Though not seen in any game out now or coming out in the near term, the 7800 GTX does offer the ability to render nearly "Sprits Within" quality graphics in real-time. Games that live up to this example (such as Unreal Tournament 2007) still have quite a ways to go before they make it into our hands and onto our hardware, but it is nice to know the 7800 GTX has the power to run these applications when they do come along.

It is quite difficult to sum up this launch. From what is essentially a very thorough refresh of NV4x, we've got something that is more than the sum of its parts. The GeForce 7800 GTX is capable of smooth frame rates at incredibly high resolutions. Succeeding in bringing hardware and compiler together for a solution that does a better job of keeping the hardware busy than previous generations is definitely one of the most important aspects of this part. Eliminating shader replacement and performing this well is no feat to be underestimated.

Aside from the well executed hardware, NVIDIA has pulled off an incredible launch with availability right now. A quick look in our RealTime Price Engine shows several brands already available as low as $569. We can't stress enough how happy we are with NVIDIA's push to provide product in the retail market on the same day the product is announced. ATI really needs to follow suit on this one with their upcoming Crossfire launches.

For $600 we would like to see 512MB onboard, but with the current gaming landscape we certainly agree that more than 256MB is not an absolute necessity. But the GeForce 7800 GTX would have no reason to exist right now if not to accommodate future titles that will be more taxing than current games.

Overall, we consider this a successful launch. Aside from the performance of the 7800 GTX, we can infer that the PS3's RSX will be even more powerful than the G70. As RSX will be a 90nm part and will still have some time to develop further, the design will likely be even easier to program, faster, and full of more new features.

Power Consumption
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  • Alx - Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - link

    Face it, this launch isn't gonna hurt anyone except people with minds too small to accept that there is simply one more option than there was before. If you liked pc gaming yesterday, then there is no reason why this launch should make you stop liking it today. Unless you're a retarded buttbaby who can't handle choices. In that case please get a console and stop coming to this site. Reply
  • mlittl3 - Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - link

    #82, Wesley

    Well that sucks that ya'll have lost your web editor for awhile. Especially when there is so much cool hardware coming out around now. In our research lab, we pass around our publications and conference posters to others in the group so that a fresh pair of eyes see them before they go live or to the journal editor. But of course, everyone else at AT is also busy so oh well.

    Good work guys and I look forward to the "new CPU speed bump" article (or FX-57 for those not under NDAs).

    Mark

    PS. If ya'll have an opening for another web editor, you should hire #84 (ironchefmorimoto). I hear he can cook really well.
    Reply
  • AtaStrumf - Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - link

    Nicely corrected Derek, I think there are just a few typos left, like this one (**):

    Page 20
    Power Consumption
    We measured power consumption between the power supply and the wall. This multiplies essentially amplifies any differences in power draw because the powersupply is not 100% efficient. Ideally we would measure power draw of the card, but it is very difficult **determine** to determine the power draw from both the PCIe bus and the 12V molex connector.

    AND a few double "Performances" in the title (Performance Performance) starting with page 10.

    Nice card nVidia!!! I hope ATi isn't too far behind though. Crossfire --> cheap SLi ;-) I need a nice midrange product out by September when it'll be time to upgrade to a nice E6 stepping S939 A64 and something to take the place of my sweet old GF2 MX (I'm not kidding, I sold my 6600GT AGP, and now I'm waiting for the right time to move to PCIe).
    Reply
  • IronChefMoto - Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - link

    Amen -- you guys work hard on your articles. Keep up the great work. And don't f*cking bother the web editor. We...er...they don't get enough vacation as it is.

    IronChefMorimoto
    (another web editor who needs a break)
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - link

    Derek was too modest to mention this in his comments, but I think you should know all the facts. Our Web Editor is on vacation and we are all doing our own HTML and editing for the next 10 days. In our usual process, the article goes from an Editor to the Web Editor who codes the article, checks the grammar, and checks for obvious content errors. Those steps are not in the loop right now.

    The next thing is NDA's and launches. We are always under the gun for launches, and lead times seem to get shorter and shorter. Derek was floating questions and graphs last night at 3 to 4 AM with an NDA of 9AM. Doing 21 pages of meaningful commentary in a short time frame, then having to code it in HTML (when someone else normally handles that task), is not as easy as it might appear.

    I do know Derek as a very conscientious Editor and I would ask that you please give him, and the rest of us, a little slack this next week and a half. If you see errors please email the Editor of the article instead of making it the end of the world in these comments. I assure you we will fix what is wrong. That approach, given the short staff, would be a help to all of us. We all want to bring you the information and quality reviews you want and expect from AnandTech.
    Reply
  • IronChefMoto - Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - link

    #79 -- But why wouldn't it be a high quality article, mlittl3? I thought you told me that AT was infallible? Hmmm? ;-) Reply
  • Houdani - Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - link

    Thanks for the refresh, Derek. I went back and took a peek at the revised graphs. I have a couple of comments on this article before you move on to the next project.

    >> When the Splinter Cell page was refreshed, the graph for 20x15x4 apparently disappeared.

    >> When you removed the SLI's from the Guild War page, it looks like the 7800GTX changed from 50.5 to 55.1 (which is the score previously given to the 6800 Ultra SLI).

    >> Several of the pages have scores for no AA benches listed first, while other pages have scores for the 4xAA listed first. While the titles for the graphs are correct, it's a little easier to read when you stay consistent in the ordering. This is a pretty minor nit-pick, though.

    >> Thanks for updating the transparency images to include mouseover switches ... quite handy.
    Reply
  • fishbits - Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - link

    "They priced themselves into an extremely small market, and effectively made their 6800 series the second tier performance cards without really dropping the price on them. I'm not going to get one, but I do wonder how this will affect the company's bottom line."

    The 6800s were "priced into an extremely small market." How'd that line turn out? I don't imagine they've released this product with the intention of losing money overall. Why do you think retailers bought them? Because they know the cards won't sell and they're happy to take the loss? It's already been proven that people will pay for you to develop and sell a $300, wait $400, wait $500 video card. It's already been proven that people will pay a $100+ premium for cards that are incrementally better, not just a generation better. Sounds like this target is a natural, especially knowing it'll eventually fall into everyone else's purchasing ability.

    Being able to say you have the bar-none best card out there by leaps and bounds is certainly worth something. Look at all the fanboys that are out there. Every week or month you're able to stay on top of the benches means you get more people who'll swear by your products no matter what for years to come. Everyone you can entice into buying your card who sees it as a good product will buy your brand in the future as a preference, all other options being equal. I could be wrong, but suspect Nvidia's going to make money off this just fine.
    -----------------------
    "I am proud that our readership demands a quality above and beyond the norm, and I hope that that never changes. Everything in our power will be done to assure that events like this will not happen again."

    See... that's why I'm a big fan of the site.

    Reply
  • mlittl3 - Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - link

    #78, I bet you didn't even read the article. How do you know it demonstrated editoral integrity? Reply
  • IronChefMoto - Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - link

    #23 (mlittl3) still can't pronounce "Penske" and "terran" right, regardless of the great editorial integrity demonstrated by the AT team today. Thanks! Reply

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