Top end graphics cards are the supercars of the PC industry: that blend of utterly compelling yet completely unrealistic. Personally speaking, the only jealous pleasure I can gain from them, is smirking at those who paid top whack for one just before a replacement is announced.
Well it is Gordon Giggle Time again, so don’t get caught out. The nVidia card previously known at the G70 is beginning to emerge from the shadows. The official name is the GeForce 7800GTX and frighteningly enough it apparently takes its name from the 3DMark 2005 score it garnered in nVidia labs.
No word on exactly what settings were used to get this monstrous result (resolution? FSAA? AF?), but even on 3DMark 2005’s lowest setting, the fastest 6800 Ultra card we have clocked (the £354 WinFast PX6800 Ultra TDH above) scored 5,239. So it looks a safe bet that the 7800GTX will at least equal a 6800 Ultra SLI arrangement.
So what are those leaked specs? They’re as follows:
*0.11 micron process TSMC
*430Mhz core / 1.2GHz 256MB GDDR3 memory
*256-bit memory interface
*38.4GB/s memory bandwidth
*24 pixels per clock
*10.32Bps Fill Rate
*8 Vertex Pipes
*NVIDIA CineFX 4.0 engine
*Intellisample 4.0 technology
*64-bit FP texture filtering & blending
*NVIDIA SLI Ready (7800GTX only)
*DX 9.0 / SM 3.0 & OpenGL 2.0 supported
*3 versions: GTX, GT and Standard
*Single card requires 400W PSU with 12V rating of 26A
*SLI configuration requires 500W PSU with 12V rating of 34A
Things to point out: we’re surprised the 7800GTX looks like it will initially come with 256MB onboard memory, not 512MB and we thought it might be nVidia’s first 90nm card, but it still appears to be fabbed at 110nm (0.11 micron). A tentative release date of 22 June was also given, but nVidia tends to shift dates if they come out in the open.
So to anyone who just spent £700 on a 6800 Ultra SLI combo, our commiserations. On second thoughts, if you can afford £700 on a 6800 Ultra SLI combo we hate you and you don’t deserve any sympathy.
In related news, nVidia is about to flex its muscles in the mobile world as well after news slipped that it is preparing SLI solutions for laptops. Yes, we agree, it is nuts.
Just how big are laptops based on SLI solutions going to be? Will the battery last more than 15 minutes? A desktop replacement in every sense of the word, given that most of us will not get half the power out of our desktops that these machines will deliver. They’ll most likely remain portable only in the sense that you’ll need a trailer and a JCB tractor to move them from room to room… Expect to see Dell all over this.