Greetings and salutations my hardware lovin' friends. Yes yes yes, silly season is near. It's getting closer to Christmas and manufacturers are refreshing their product line-ups from top to bottom with new products. ATI recently released their all new XK1 series of graphics cards and NVIDIA.. well NVIDIA just waited to see how ATI's products would perform. NVIDIA figured hah .. we have, performance wise, an answer for any of ATI's new products, so they released a GeForce 6600 256 MB gDDR2 to match ATI's x1300 cards, then they released the magnificent GeForce 6800 GS to match their top mid-range products, and with great success. And today, the answer to ATI's x1800 XT is presented, the GeForce 7800 Ultra GTX 512 MB.
As you can probably understand since it's not that difficult to comprehend, NVIDIA has been observing the competition closely. Today's products will agitate the competition, as it's not "just" an upgrade to 512 MB memory. No .. NVIDIA made the graphics core run so fast it'll make your eyebrows frown. Then, they decided, hmm, what's the absolutely fastest memory we can get ? NVIDIA decided to get the fastest stuff available and implemented it onto that 512MB version. The result? A graphics card that is simply shocking!
This is the fastest graphics card that has ever entered our labs, and it will surely take a while before anyone will beat the performance it is offering. You will see all that today.
So what we are going to do today is have a look at not just one but two GeForce 7800 GTX 512MB cards. One is a reference design from NVIDIA themselves, the other one is a manufacturer (Point of View) release. We (of course) test both cards individually, but also together in SLI mode. Next to that we are going to have a look at how the cards perform on the more affordable AMD 64 Athlon 4000 processor and then replace that processor with a way too expensive Athlon FX-57 processor. By doing this, we will bring you an overview of how important high-end processors are for high-end graphics cards these days. It's actually a necessity if you are opting for SLI. For those that don't know it, with SLI functionality you can bridge two graphics cards in your system and effectively almost double your performance. Two cards render one game.
All in all this should be a very interesting read. My apologies in advance for the length BTW. As usual, we'll really want to show it all to you. This new card is designed primarily with performance in mind, and it makes a well-mannered job of exactly that. Since it's about performance, we'll show you performance in every aspect.
The article will cover the magic, science and figures that the 7800 GTX 512 MB offers both technologically and in terms of features. We'll look at it's specifications, photo's, in-game screenshots, power consumption, HDTV output and decoding performance, overclocking, noise levels, SLI performance and results on two CPU's. Oh and of course we'll run an uberload of generic benchmarks to satisfy your need for performance results.
We have the right to tease and please, right? Let's fire up this fellowship of the cards, and send them into Mordor.
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