XFX GeForce 7800 GTX Graphics Card - XFX GeForce 7800 GTX



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Since I had a GeForce 7800 GTX SLi setup, I thought I might as well have a little play with the HDR lighting on Far Cry. Even pushing the resolution all the way up and setting the HDR at level seven produced a smooth enough frame rate for play. It has to be said that there are instances where the HDR effects are stunning, particularly the bits that nVidia likes to show off – looking up through a hole in the roof while underground for example. However, I do find the effects – in Far Cry at least – somewhat flawed. The idea that I would get some kind of over saturated white out from the reflection of light on a wall seems a little unlikely to me. Also, although the idea of an image coming into focus as your eyes get used to the light is pretty cool, taking two steps backward shouldn’t then white it out again.

To be fair though, HDR in Far Cry was bolted on after the coding had been finished and the game released, so it’s probably not a perfect implementation. It does give you an idea of how good the lighting effects could be in future titles though. It also gives you something to do with cards like this if you don’t want to, or can’t push up to the silly resolutions that I’ve been testing with.

When nVidia released information to the Press before the launch of the 7800 GTX, it included some benchmark results that had been run in house. Of course I always take benchmark results provided by the manufacturer with a pinch of salt, but in this case I’ve seen faster results than those supplied by nVidia, despite using a very similar SLi test rig. For instance, nVidia claims a 3DMark05 result of 8645 at 1,600 x 1,200 with 4x FSAA and 8x AF, while I managed 9121. Likewise, nVidia posted 85.6fps in Far Cry at the same settings, but I managed 91.6fps. Of course the extra performance is probably due to the slightly higher clock speeds sported by the XFX cards, but it’s always good when independent tests outstrip the manufacturer’s own numbers.

The XFX GeForce 7800 GTX is a fully ViVo compliant card, so you’ll be able to output and import video/audio signals. This is particularly important when you want to watch some HD video content on your large screen TV. The card will output either an S-Video signal, or the far preferable Component Video. However, the best way of outputting HD content will be over DVI, to a suitably equipped large screen LCD TV, but at least you’ve got all the bases covered.