GeForce 7800 GT Triple (SLI) Round Up
Posted by Hilbert Hagedoorn on: 08/10/2005 06:00 AM [ 0 comment(s) ]
Well now, a new range of products has gotten even completer. If you are that high end slash enthusiast gamer that needs an astonishing solution in your gaming rig (Ed: And who isn't? Where did I leave my wallet... ?) yet you simply refuse to spend more than 450 bucks then hey, stop and look no further as this is the series of graphics cards that you want. The GeForce 7800 GT is packed with the latest features and offers extreme gaming performance. As with most recent high-end graphics card you need to understand that you will notice that true power once you play your games in the highest resolution with the most extreme image quality settings like anisotropic filtering and antialiasing set at high. Next to that the 7800 GT seems to be quite a capable overclocker as well, you can squeeze out a few more frames per second out of the latest games yet that is a bit of a paradox as almost any card can be overclocked. Next to that, NVIDIA's drivers continuously are developed and mostly offer performance increases with each build that passes by, this is the reputation that NVIDIA has. So if this was not enough for you then it is safe to say that I expect overall performance will increase with newer driver builds. A good example is the upcoming ForceWare 80 driver as it should offer you 12-13% more performance compared to the previous Series 75 if we can believe NVIDIA's claims.
Where I called the GeForce 7800 GTX a powerhouse, I name the series 7800 GT cards an inspiration as it offers more performance over the past high-end Series 6 product yet is really close to the performance of the 7800 GTX. Shader performance was increased in a very sizable amount due to some new GPU optimizations, it has four more pixel pipelines and one additional vertex unit. Can you guess what I'm comparing against right now? That's right, the GeForce 6800 Ultra.
Also allow me to give a round of applause for keeping the single slot design cooling which was reintroduced with the GTX, it is silent and working efficiently. Other rather important items. We've had absolutely no stability issues or incompatibility with any of the cards. All cards work straight out of the box, yet offers you a ton of performance and the possibility to play your games in extremely high quality. Although primary considered to be a gaming card, graphics cards these days are getting more functionality. Think of media playback, video acceleration, HDTV connectivity and a lot of other features that make modern graphics cards really important. This card for example would make a lovely solution in a Home Theater PC connected to a true HDTV screen. You'd get all the high-resolution advantages while being able to play a fragolicious game at very nice framerates. Although a rather expensive solution, the Series 7 in combination with PureVideo can do some really awesome things like Hi-Def ATSC and MPEG2 transport streams, which can now be accelerated by the graphics core and thus offload the CPU giving it room to do other tasks. Next to that 2:2 pull down correction has been added to the existing 3:2 pulldown correction and only the Series 7 product can manage adaptive de-interlacing of high definition content. In the coming months PureVideo will incorporate H.264 acceleration as well. We also played some games on the HDTV, one word... brilliant. Games do need to get a bit more standard support for HDTV though. Resolutions with most of the games we tried had to be modified, as you need to add a custom resolution of 1280x720. it's really something else though, HDTV is the future and NVIDIA is picking up on that.
Just like the 7800 GTX the GT will need a pretty spiffy CPU. 3.4 GHz Pentium 4 or a rather sizable AMD64 Athlon 3400+ to get the most out of it's capacity, such a processor at minumum I really must recommend. Even with our Athlon 4000+ testing rig we ran into CPU limitation here and there. That's does not mean games run like rubbish though, oh of course not. They are way up there in the highest ranking scores and performance. Yet the graphics card can go faster then it's allowed by the CPU. The CPU simply isn't presenting data fast enough to the graphics card driver. Even a game like Half-Life 2 will run into that limitation if you turn off stuff like AA and AF and then measure in 1024x768. Of course you'll have incredible framerates and let me emphasize this again, at blazing speeds.
So what's it gonna be, the Point of View version or the eVGA ? Hey that's totally up to you. POV has a really fantastic game bundle that offers heaps of value and hey .. an awesome three years warranty. But eVGA offers some nice editing software plus the uber-cool BattleField 2 and get this... a life-time warrantee. Not so bad either way huh? Overclocking wise both cards go to similar heights, the eVGA however offers the consumer an option to buy a way faster clocked (core/memory) card, which quite honestly is a welcome factor. Point of View's product does have a slightly faster clocked memory compared to the reference 1 GHz. My bet is that geotargeting is the biggest factor in your choice though as eVGA primarily sells in the USA and Point of View in Europe.
Both cards are really excellent and there just is nothing really negative about them.
We've had absolutely no stability issues or incompatibility with all three cards. Although 449 USD is still a little hard to gobble up it is without doubt a more economical price. But hey, you will be able to play future titles like F.E.A.R (did everyone love the demo as much as I did?), Unreal Engine 3 based games or hey, how about Age of Empires 3. Or what about the fact that Chronicles of Riddick with Shader Mode: 2.0++ (Soft Shadows, Model Shadows enabled) is actually playable in 10x7... nice!
My friends, availability is as we speak.
- For delivering a valuable bundle with the card and in combo with three years warrantee Point of View is entitled to receive an editors choice.
- For delivering a really nice bundle with the card and that fantastic lifetime warrantee eVGA is entitled to receive an editors choice.
Two thumbs up to NVIDIA, this certainly is a lovely product with a price much more to my liking. A fantastic product series.
Personal thanks go out to Adam, Jurgen and Wade for their support and enduring my patience.
** Update - The first e-tailers are already offering their 7800 GT products for a fantastic 399 USD !!
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