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NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT
By Vijay Anand
Category : Graphics
Published by Vijay Anand on Wednesday, 14th September, 2005

The Second Salvo

Just days after the June 22nd launch, NVIDIA's spanking new GeForce 7800 GTX had reached mass availability by the end of the month. The impact of ready availability was a pleasant surprise to many people and had an impact just as strong as the card's extreme performance that we've seen over the many vendor graphics cards that we've reviewed over the last two months. To be capable of shipping out boards in healthy numbers at launch time, it's obvious that NVIDIA had been building up quantities over a period of weeks. They were fortunate to have had this head start since ATI was far from even giving a firm timeframe of their next generation R520 parts and derivatives at that time. Without competition, it goes without saying that the GeForce 7800 GTX became the enthusiast's choice for the fastest graphics cards almost instantaneously.

Though the GeForce 7800 GTX had a suggested retail price of US$559 at launch time, the retail cards themselves had fast dipped to below the US$520 mark. Given NVIDIA's direction to slowly phase out the GeForce 6800 Ultra SKU, that left a huge performance and price gap with the next mass available model being the GeForce 6800 GT. To plug this, NVIDIA had already pledged from the very beginning that it would eventually seed reduced versions of the GeForce 7800 GTX and this came true sooner than many had anticipated on August 11th. Adopting the mentality of striking while the iron is still hot, NVIDIA put forth the GeForce 7800 GT, which once again saw immediate availability.

The GeForce 7800 GT is every bit similar to the GTX variant as far as features and technologies are concerned. What differentiates the second entrant in the GeForce 7 family is its slightly reduced processing prowess. Operating at 400/1000 MHz for its core and memory respectively, it is equipped with 7 vertex engines and 20 pixel shader pipelines. Here's how it compares with its more established NVIDIA graphics card models:-

NVIDIA's High-End Graphics Card Positioning
Graphics Card Models Vertex / Pixel Pipelines Core / Memory Clock Speeds Frame Buffer Size Recommended Retail Price
NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GTX 8 / 24 430 / 1200 MHz 256MB DDR3 US$559
NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT 7 / 20 400 / 1000 MHz 256MB DDR3 US$449
NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra 6 / 16 400 / 1100 MHz 256MB DDR3 US$399
NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT 6 / 16 350 / 1000 MHz 256MB DDR3 US$299
NVIDIA GeForce 6800 5 / 12 325 / 700 MHz 128MB DDR1 US$199

With the entry of the GeForce 7800 GT, NVIDIA wisely repositioned the rest of its upper tier GeForce 6 series as can be noted from the readjusted suggested retail price. At only $50 more than the GeForce 6800 Ultra, the GeForce 7800 GT has a far more superior technical spec set to offer. There aren't too many GeForce 6800 Ultra cards floating around and as mentioned earlier, NVDIA is looking to gradually discontinue them; hence the close proximity in pricing isn't any issue. Of course our main aim in this article is to relay just how well the GeForce 7800 GT fares against the GTX counterpart given the reduced specification set. With a $150 differential between them, does the pricier GTX version still maintain a very strong lead or is it just a distinction in premium status or combination of both? Well, read on and we'll show you the full monty.

The GeForce 7800 GT looks similar to its GTX counterpart, but that's just skin deep. Next page, we detail the similarities and the differences, some of which you might not have noticed.

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