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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  • BenSkywalker - Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - link

    Derek-

    I wanted to offer my utmost thanks for the inclusion of 2048x1536 numbers. As one of the fairly sizeable group of owners of a 2070/2141 these numbers are enormously appreciated. As everyone can see 1600x1200x4x16 really doesn't give you an idea of what high resolution performance will be like. As far as the benches getting a bit messed up- it happens. You moved quickly to rectify the situation and all is well now. Thanks again for taking the time to show us how these parts perform at real high end settings.
    Reply
  • blckgrffn - Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - link

    You're forgiven, by me anyway :) It is also the great editorial staff that makes Anandtech my homepage on every browser on all of my boxes!

    Nat
    Reply
  • yacoub - Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - link

    #72 - Totally agree. Some Rome: Total War benchs are much needed - but primarily to see how the game's battle performance with large numbers of troops varies between AMD and Intel more so than NVidia and ATi, considering the game is highly CPU-limited currently in my understanding. Reply
  • DerekWilson - Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - link

    Hi everyone,

    Thank you for your comments and feedback.

    I would like to personally apologize for the issues that we had with our benchmarks today. It wasn't just one link in the chain that caused the problems we had, but there were many factors that lead to the results we had here today.

    For those who would like an explanation of what happened to cause certain benchmark numbers not to reflect reality, we offer you the following. Some of our SLI testing was done forcing multi-GPU rendering on for tests where there was no profile. In these cases, the default mutli-GPU mode caused a performance hit rather than the increase we are used to seeing. The issue was especially bad in Guild Wars and the SLI numbers have been removed from offending graphs. Also, on one or two titles our ATI display settings were improperly configured. Our windows monitor properties, ATI "Display" tab properties, and refresh rate override settings were mismatched. This caused the card to render. Rather than push the display at a the pixel clock we expected, ATI defaulted to a "safe" mode where the game is run at the resolution requested, but only part of the display is output to the screen. This resulted in abnormally high numbers in some cases at resolutions above 1600x1200.

    For those of you who don't care about why the numbers ran the way they did, please understand we are NOT trying to hide behind our explanation as an excuse.

    We agree completely that the more important issue is not why bad numbers popped up, but that bad numbers made it into a live article. For this I can only offer my sincerest of apologies. We consider it our utmost responsibility to produce quality work on which people may rely with confidence.

    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.

    Again, I do apologize for the erroneous benchmark results that went live this morning. And thank you for requiring that we maintain the utmost integrity.

    Thanks,
    Derek Wilson
    Senior CPU & Graphics Editor
    AnandTech.com
    Reply
  • Dmitheon - Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - link

    I have to say, while I'm am extremely pleased with nVidia doing a real launch, the product leaves me scratching my head. 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. Reply
  • OrSin - Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - link

    I not tring to be a buthole but can we get a benchmark thats a RTS game. I see 10+ games benchmarks and most are FPS, the few that are not might as well be. Those RPG seems to use a silimar type engine. Reply
  • stmok - Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - link

    To CtK's question : Nope, SLI doesn't work with dual-display. (Last I checked, Nvidia got 2D working, but NO 3D)...Rumours say its a driver issue, and Nvidia is working on it.

    I don't know any more than that. I think I'd rather wait until Nvidia are actually demonstrating SLI with dual or more displays, before I lay down any money.
    Reply
  • yacoub - Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - link

    #60 - it's already to the point where it's turning people off to PC gaming, thus damaging the company's own market of buyers. It's just going to move more people to consoles, because even though PC games are often better games and much more customizable and editable, that only means so much and the trade-off versus price to play starts to become too imbalanced to ignore. Reply
  • jojo4u - Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - link

    What was regarding the AF setting? I understand that it was set to 8x when AA was set to 4x? Reply
  • Rand - Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - link

    I have to say I'm rather disappointed in the quality of the article. A number of apparently nonsensical benchmark results, with little to no analysis of most of the results.

    A complete lack of any low level theoretical performance results, no attempts to measure any improvements in efficiency of what may have caused such improvements.

    Temporal AA is only tested on one game with image quality examined in only one scene. Given how dramatically different games and genres utilize alpha textures your providing us with an awfully limited perspective of it's impact.

    Reply

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