The Card and The Test

As mentioned, we currently have both a 7800 GS from EVGA and the 7800 GS OC from BFG. Neither of these cards run at the default 375/1.2 clock speeds set forth by NVIDIA. For the purposes of these tests, we underclocked a card to the minimum speed that NVIDIA is endorsing. With the high clock speeds that we see from BFG and EVGA, we'd be willing to bet that even 7800 GS parts that don't come factory overclocked would have some head room. The EVGA card is clocked at core/mem clocks of 460/1.35, while the BFG part runs at 400/1.25. It is interesting to note that the BFG part makes a bigger deal out of being overclocked on the box than the EVGA card, but either way, the 7800 GS is no slouch.

Our test system is configured as follows:

Gigabyte K8U-939 ULi based motherboard
AMD Athlon 64 FX-57
2x 1GB OCZ PC4000 RAM @ 200MHz 2:3:3:8
160GB Seagate 7200.7 HD
OCZ 600W PowerStream PSU

For reference, we have included the 7800 GTX 512 and the X1900 XTX. This gives us a clear look at the highest end ATI and NVIDIA hardware available for both the AGP and PCIe platforms. The 7800 GT is also included in order to show us the performance of the next fastest NVIDIA part out there.

Here's a breakdown of the 7800 GS specifications as outlined by NVIDIA.

Comparing this to the 7800 GT indicates that we will have less fillrate potential. The 7800 GT has 20 pixel pipelines, while the 7800 GS has only 16. In addition, the 7800 GT has 16 ROPs while the 7800 GS has only 8. This is still efficient from a shading standpoint, but drawing more pixels on the screen should have a larger impact on the 7800 GS than on the GT. Features like stencil/z ops, fill rate, and antialiasing will show decreased performance. Likewise, the 7800 GS is more powerful than the 6800 GS, which only has 12 pixel pipelines and 8 ROPs.

Between a Rock and a Hard Launch Battlefield 2 Performance
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  • Jojo7 - Thursday, February 2, 2006 - link

    I agree.
    We need AGP 6800U thrown into the mix.
    Reply
  • fl0w - Thursday, February 2, 2006 - link

    did you compare SC with SM1.1 path or did you run it on 3.0 for the Geforce?
    Didn't see it written somewhere so I thought I ask, because it would make a big difference....
    Reply
  • RamarC - Thursday, February 2, 2006 - link

    "Our 7800 GS was tested with SM3.0 enabled and all the options while the X850 XT PE does not support these features.

    The price the 7800 GS pays for enabling HDR and other SM3.0 eye candy is that it is limited in playability to lower resolutions. Disabling the SM3.0 features would give performance quite a boost without AA (SM3.0 features are not available with AA enabled). "
    Reply
  • fl0w - Thursday, February 2, 2006 - link

    thanks didn't see that... still can't find it btw, but at least now I know ;) Reply
  • Cygni - Thursday, February 2, 2006 - link

    Im a little bit dissapointed, overall. While I guess the 850XTPE is a pretty lofty card to try to beat, i was hoping for a little more power from this piece, to keep my AGP rig alive a little longer. :D

    Might have been a good idea to compare AGP and PCI-Ex versions of this card on the same board with a ASRock 939Dual-SATA2. I know weve gone over that terriroty before, but it would have still been interesting to me to see it again using this higher end part that likely would take a little bigger hit going through the HSI bridge. Just an idea.
    Reply
  • DerekWilson - Thursday, February 2, 2006 - link

    To be very clear -- in case the title didn't sink in :-)

    The 7800 GS will not have a PCI Express counterpart. This is an AGP only card.

    The engineering sample we tested last year was simply that and will never be anything more. There are a few differences as well, so a direct comparison isn't really possible.

    Thanks,
    Derek Wilson
    Reply
  • Cygni - Thursday, February 2, 2006 - link

    Doh, didnt get that the PCI-Ex version was NEVER coming out. Just thought it was coming out later. I read the title more as "NVIDIA's AGP Only VERSION of the 6800 GS" Im a jerk-face. My bad. :D Reply
  • Cygni - Thursday, February 2, 2006 - link

    PS, throwing in the engineering sample would have still been pretty interesting, for me at least. :) Reply
  • gooser - Thursday, February 2, 2006 - link

    Or maybe, better yet....the 6800 GS agp? Those two would be the one of the top choices for an AGP upgrade. Reply
  • kalaap - Thursday, February 2, 2006 - link

    I think its great that nvidia and ati are still releasing AGP parts. I've beeen planning on replacing my 9700pro so I like having so choices even if its very limited. Reply

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