This card should have gotten a different name. With hugely increased clock speeds, more memory, a beefy heatsink (the one used on the Quadro FX 4500), and a new board layout, the GeForce 7800 GTX 512 is one very powerful card. Oh yeah, and it's got more RAM too.

Earlier this month we started seeing ATI's new Radeon X1800 XT show up for sale. Today, ATI's high end part gets some revamped competition from NVIDIA's new offering. And even though we don't like the name, the 7800 GTX 512 is an excellent performer. Will the increased core and memory clock speed be enough for NVIDIA to topple ATI's high end monster? Will the additional memory make a tangible difference? The answers may not be as straight forward as they could be, but we were certainly excited to get our testing done and find out.

As we can see, the heatsink has had quite a change and the new card is now a two slot design. This is a small price to pay for the performance boost we see with the new GTX, as most people who will be shelling out the money for this card will likely want to drop it in very performance oriented systems (which usually throw space restrictions out the window). The competition (the Radeon X1800 XT) is also a two slot solution, so neither camp has the advantage on this point.

Before we get into the thick of it, it is important to note that ATI released drivers last week that greatly improve OpenGL performance with 4xAA. One of the suprises we will see from this new ATI creation is that the X1800 XT actually bests the current 7800 GTX in Doom 3 when 4xAA is enabled. This driver is a welcome development from ATI (whose OpenGL drivers have been somewhat lacking for quite some time), but with the new 7800 GTX 512 coming up to bat, it may be too little too late.

In any case, this is the second card in as many weeks that NVIDIA has brought out in response to new ATI parts. We found the 6800 GS to be quite a good fit for it's price point, and the 7800 GTX 512 is no slouch either. But with our price engine showing a $700 barrier to entry at the time of publication, we aren't quite as excited about price/performance ratio potential. Of course, the Radeon X1800 XT is still running between 600 and 700 at the moment, so the competition is still in the same ball park price wise.

Let's take a look at what we actually get for all that cash before we decide whether it's worth it or not.

The Card, The Test, and Power


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  • viciousvee - Monday, November 14, 2005 - link

    Might want to read the Review again (just a thought) but the GT SLI pretty much beats the GTX 512mb ("NON SLI") by a few FPS... So I stand by what I said, Get "TWO" GT's (7800) and Call it a day.... Reply
  • viciousvee - Monday, November 14, 2005 - link

    [Q=Spoonbender]As for the rest, well, why is it relevant? AT is a hardware site, reviewing hardware. They're not benchmarking games to find "the best WoW card", they're benchmarking to find the best card overall. As for the CPU's, what would it add to a review of a card like this? Again, the purpose isn't to tell you "how many fps would you gain if you upgraded your CPU to a FX57?". It's to test this card versus the competition.

    As for the rest....

    You might not understand by what I said... unlike my self and the Millions that play WOW, the game can give your GPU a run for your money, especially when you are in an Instance or even In IF, so It would be nice to see how the nVidia/Ati GPU performs. Not everyone has an FX57 so I was just thinking that it would be cool to see how "well" the GPU's perform with a HIGHEnd Cpu vs a MIDRange CPU is all... don't like it... well then keep it moving.
  • NullSubroutine - Monday, November 14, 2005 - link

    Im honestly sick of ATi and Nvidia producing equipment like this, at very low volume, and very high prices. It is not the fault of anandtech, but this review is like a review of two 50 million dollar cars, and finding out which one goes faster or is quicker.

    I honestly dont care if people are willing to pay $700 for a video card, these products have become something for only the rich and glamorous of the computing world. I dont see a point in producing and selling these products but simply show "who is better".

    I had been more impressed with Nvidia because of thier ability to sell thier GTX in volume, from the day they were released, and always gave ATi crap because they have had problems with this as of late. However, both card companies seem to have monopolized the very super uber top end of video cards, and use each others' product pricing/superiority to justifiy their pricing, and its rediculous.

    Next generation, there will be new super king, worth 800 dollars, have only 15 produced and trump anything out there. The generation after that, 900, and so on and so on.

  • SimonNZ - Monday, November 14, 2005 - link

    Your entire arguement is wrong, If people are willing to pay for that kind of performance then why shouldnt there be a product for them? Yes the pricing is very high but so are some peoples incomes(or parents) It is only for the rich and glamorous of the computing world, so what so are the two 50 million dollar cars your describe

    Im sick of people getting all hyped about high end hardware, chances are your just jealous that you dont or cant have it. Get over it,
  • bob661 - Tuesday, November 15, 2005 - link


    It is only for the rich and glamorous of the computing world,
    You don't have to be rich to afford a $700 video card. You just have to have $700. :) I've spent FAR more than that on things around the house that I consider to be of less value to me than a sparkly new kick ass video card.
  • NullSubroutine - Monday, November 14, 2005 - link

    Why should the products be only for the rich and glamorous of the computing world? Do these cards cost any more to produce than other cards such as the GTX or the GT? Even if they justify a small % increase in cost, does this equal 40 to 50 percent increase in price?

    If you dont have a problem with such monopolization of a market, then I'm sure you dont have a problem unecessiarily paying extra for things you dont need? Your movie tickets are now not $10 dollars, they are now $15, why? Because they can and people will buy it. You gas prices are now $3.50 a gallon, why? Because people will pay it. Price of fast food is now not $5 dollars per meal, but 7.50, why? Not because there is any reason or increase in cost, but simply because people will pay it.

    They have no right to complain, they have a choice and the industry has no responsibility to give fairness to the consumer, because this is America, we can exploit whomever we want.
  • xsilver - Tuesday, November 15, 2005 - link

    I think the essence of what you're trying to say is not that you're comparing the few % difference between $500+ cards but rather the amount of media exposure that they get relative to the amount of sales they generate. That is, if nvidia sells 10,000 of these cards they would be laughing, and there are a whole boatload of reviews priasing nvidia for their prowess. Meanwhile the larger population that are buying 6800gs cards and below; which may generate more than 100,000 sales may have a less informed choice.

    this is actually a strategy based on nvidia and ati's part that dates way back and also expands into all sectors of the economy. The thinking behind it is that if you have a class leading product, then the few buyers of such product will priase it so much that people who may not be able to afford the uber expensive product will still buy a cheaper product from the same brand. cant afford a 7800gtx? the 6600gt will be better than the x800xl though because the 7800gtx is best right? - that's what they want you to think.
    /end repeating drivel ;)
  • smitty3268 - Monday, November 14, 2005 - link

    What are you talking about? It's not like these are the only options. You can still buy cheap cards if you want to, so your examples are completely ridiculous. An accurate example would be cars - do you think it costs millions of dollars to make top of the line sports cars? No, but they cost that much because people are willing to pay for them. Still, not everyone can afford that so there are plenty of 10-20K cars for the masses.

    And yes, these cards do cost significantly more to produce, because there will be a large number of defective parts when manufacturing a top of the line product. The cost of a card isn't how much silicon is in it, it's how much silicon was used to produce it.
  • nullpointerus - Monday, November 14, 2005 - link

    Getting offended at others for simply being different is pointless and counterproductive. Reply
  • Nighteye2 - Monday, November 14, 2005 - link

    Looks good, but why test only 4xAA? I'd expect people who are interested in those cards will want to set all graphics quality options as high as possible - at least 8xAA and 16xAF or something.

    Pity that wasn't tested, but other than that a good review.

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