by Rob Williams on August 22, 2005 in NVIDIA-Based GPU
If you are looking for a killer gaming card, but find the 7800GTX too expensive, then you will want to check out the recently released 7800GT. It’s been scaled down to 20 Pipes and 7 Vertex Units but it still packs a massive punch. We are taking a look at the eVGA version, which comes pre-overclocked! Time to see what this beast can do.
Whew, that was quite the lengthy test session. As we have seen in the tests, this card obviously kicks ass. Of course, the GTX is better, but it costs near $150 more. As we proved on page 6 with our 3D Mark ’05 benches, we successfully reached GTX speeds with our simple overclock of 470/1.12. Thing is.. many people have clocked their cards much higher than this, and I believe it’s my ambient room temp that could be holding me back. Equipped with an after market cooler or water-cooling, this card could easily beat the pants off of a stock GTX.
When compared to it’s little brother, the 6800GT/Ultra, the 7800GT definitely shows the 6 series who’s boss. In our benches, the 7800GT proved to be between 20% – 30% faster than the 6800GT. This is not bad, since just months ago, the 6800GT cost more than the card we reviewed today. Surprisingly, at the time of writing, most 6800GT’s still cost near or more than the 7800GT.
The common question going around is, whether it’s a worthy upgrade to go from a 6800GT to the new 7800GT. As with most things, this is up to your wants or needs. The new cards handle HDR much better than the 6 series for instance, and many people are looking forward to that tech. Multi-Sampling and Super-Sampling are new to the 7 series as well, but for use with very high resolutions (1600*1200+), you will likely want to consider an SLi set-up. Even still, I didn’t find SS to bog down any games to an unplayable state. The closest I got to that point was in the scenes from page 5, which explains the TR tech. If these features don’t interest you, the performance results should tell you whether you want the new card or not.
If you own anything smaller than a 6800GT/Ultra/X850, you may want to seriously consider a 7800GT. If you currently use a 6600GT for instance, the increase in performance will be an easy 150%, depending on the rest of your setup. No doubt, this is a kick ass card, and should not be overlooked. Only absolute hardcore gamers/enthusiast would want a GTX.
I should mention that the 7800GT, like the GTX, excels as well at higher resolutions, meaning 1600×1200. Sadly, I could not include any benchmarks with that resolution, due to the fact that my monitor doesn’t support anything higher than 1280*1024. To me, this is fine, because that resolution is perfect all around, but I will likely get me a capable monitor in the coming weeks, so that the next GPU review will include those benchmarks. Either way though, the benchmarks we do have should give you a clear idea of whether this card is for you or not.
Overall, this card is kickass and receives a 9/10 and an Editors Choice award. I should also note that eVGA recently announced that all their cards now come with Lifetime Warranties. If you do not overclock, you may want to consider the eVGA over the BFG because it comes clocked higher. If you do plan to overclock though, from what I see so far, the BFG seems to overclock slightly higher.
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