The Card, Specs and Test

The basic setup of the GeForce 7800 GT is the same as the GTX. We still have one single and one dual-link DVI port and a 6-pin power connector on a x16 PCI Express card. The stock HSF solution is the same, and the silicon hasn't changed either. The GT is still based on the G70 with a few blocks disabled.

The G70 on the 7800 GT features 7 vertex pipelines, 20 pixel pipelines and lower clock speeds (400/500 core/mem) than the GTX. This still ends up putting the 7800 GT above the 6800 Ultra in terms of vertex and pixel performance even though it lags in core and mem speed. Here's a quick table of the differences between the current high end NVIDIA parts.

Card Comparison
6800 Ultra 7800 GT 7800 GTX
Vertex Pipes 6 7 8
Pixel Pipes 16 20 24
ROP Pipes 16 16 16
Core Clock 425 400 430
Mem Clock 550 500 600
MSRP $399 $449 $599


The 7800 GT comes in the lowest on clock speed and memory bandwidth, but the combination of pipelines and clock speed give the 7 series GT a definite theoretical advantage over the 6800 Ultra in the vertex and pixel processing department. Obviously, the GTX has all the rest beat, but the real question is: how much real world difference will it make? We've already seen that the 7800 GTX performs very well compared to the 6800 Ultra, and, ideally, we would like to see the GT split the numbers. That would leave all three cards with viable performance characteristics.

Price is a very important matter in viability as well, and it is very difficult to tell where the chips will fall. As we can already see with the 7800 GTX, a six hundred dollar suggested price has resulted in street prices mostly between five hundred and five hundred fifty dollars. We don't expect the price of the GT to fall one hundred dollars as quickly as the GTX, but the prices that we see on our Real Time Price Engine show GT products available starting around $400.

Even though NVIDIA haven't recently adjusted their suggested price on 6800 Ultra cards, if the prices don't fall, there will really be no reason to buy a 6800 Ultra (unless it's desperately needed for an SLI update). The suggested retail prices on the 6800 GT and vanilla 6800 have been changed to $299 and $199 respectively. The new pricing layout does give the 6800 Ultra some ability to move down in price a little, if the 7800 GT outperforms it as we expect. It is also possible that the similarity in the price between the 6800 Ultra and the 7800 GT could mean that the 6800 Ultra is being phased out.

Aside from the rather less than spectacular differences between the GT and GTX, we still need to learn about performance. Potentially, this card could be a good buy depending on the numbers that we see. If performance is near that of the GTX, we could save money and still have a very powerful card. If we see numbers near the 6800 Ultra, then we are likely looking at a simple replacement for the 6800 Ultra in NVIDIA's lineup.

The test setup that we used for these performance numbers is the same as the one used in the last few graphics performance articles that we've done:

MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum/SLI motherboard
AMD Athlon 64 FX-55 Processor
1 GB OCZ 2:2:2:6 DDR400 RAM
Seagate 7200.7 120 GB Hard Drive
OCZ 600 W PowerStream Power Supply


We used the NVIDIA 77.77 ForceWare beta driver running on Windows XP SP2.

Index Battlefield 2 Performance
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  • MemberSince97 - Thursday, August 11, 2005 - link

    I hear these OC pretty well, how about some comparisons. Reply
  • adonn78 - Thursday, August 11, 2005 - link

    First off, no gamer plays videogames at resolutions above 1600x1200! Most of us stick to 1024x768 so that we can get high framerates and enable akk thge features and play the game on the highest settings. In addition you did not show how the GT and GTX stacked up against the previous generation suchs as the 6800 ultra, GT and the 5950 ultra. And Where is the AGP version? My computer is 2 years old and I am upgrading my graphics card soon. I guess I'll wait to see if ATI makes AGP cards for their next generation. And where the heck is the R520? ATI is really lagging this time around. Hopefully we will get some AGP love. AGP still got a good 2 years of life left in it. Reply
  • Locut0s - Thursday, August 11, 2005 - link

    Speak for yourself but as an owner of a 21" CRT, and I know I'm not the only one, I can see using resolutions above 1600x1200 quiet easily. Reply
  • JNo - Thursday, August 11, 2005 - link

    "no gamer plays videogames at resolutions above 1600x1200!"

    Er, I have a Dell 2405 monitor running at 1920x1200 and I always run it native where possible (even with my 6600GT, many modern games are *playable* including CS Source, Far Cry) so this statement is complete balls. Obviously I would like a faster card to run games as smooth as possible so the tested resolutions are extremely pertinent to me.
    Reply
  • DrZoidberg - Thursday, August 11, 2005 - link

    The high resolutions are needed cause at 1024x768 there will hardly be any difference between 6800GT, 7800GT, x850xt, 7800GTX cause all these cards handle this resolution easily and they will give similar fps cause they will all be CPU limited. Reply
  • vijay333 - Thursday, August 11, 2005 - link

    I believe the higher resolutions are used because at the lower ones there really isn't much differentiation between the various cards. The article title is "Rounding Out The High End" so hopefully there'll be another comparing the performance against mid-range cards (high-end from previous generation). AGP is missing, but is there really that much difference between the AGP and PCIe versions of the same card?

    Reply
  • vijay333 - Thursday, August 11, 2005 - link

    Cool. very recently bought an eVGA 6800GT. given their step-up program, plan on paying the difference and getting the 7800 GT in 2-3 months when the price is bound to be lower. Reply
  • John - Thursday, August 11, 2005 - link

    Josh/Derek, please add 6800 Ultra benchmarks to this review for a comparison. Reply
  • GoatMonkey - Thursday, August 11, 2005 - link

    They at least have ATI 850 benchmarks on there. You can approximate where the 6800 series cards are going to be from that. It would be nice to see them on there also though if possible.

    Reply
  • Lonyo - Thursday, August 11, 2005 - link

    They have, just not for BF2. Reply

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