It would be an understatement to say the GeForce 7800GTX has been a massive success. In both our single card and SLI reviews the thing chewed up and spat out every benchmark going. Still, at over £400, it is pie in the sky for most people so nVidia is about to unleash its little brother.
Due on the 11 August, the 7800GT will be a slimmed down version of the GTX (below) with a retail price touted around the $400 mark. It will receive the same high volume launch at the GTX, meaning stores and e-tailers will be fully stocked ahead of time with masses of cards ready to meet heavy demand.
So what will you get for your money? Well, many details still remain sketchy (conservative industry speculation about the card’s number of pipelines is between 24 and 20, the more radical infer less than 20). We do know the GPU itself is clocked at 400MHz (down 30/50MHz on the GTX, depending on manufacturer), there will be support for Shader Model 3.0, HDR and the now prerequisite SLI compatibility.
Clearly the pressure is now firmly on ATI to get its R520 out the door. When your rival beats you to the market with its next generation card it sucks, but when your rival debuts its second next gen part before the public has gotten a glimpse of your first offering some lab rats are likely to be sent straight to bed without any supper.
What’s more, GTX prices are already falling like a stone with cards spotted on the web (dollar currency, of course) for sub $550. ATI really doesn’t want to be bringing a comparable part to market two months later with an RRP of around $600. Do the Canadians have something special up their sleeves? They want to hope so.