As pipelines are laid out in quads the fact that four are disabled and that one vertex shader is missing strongly hints that the GTs are in fact attempted GTX cards that haven’t make the grade. Speaking to a contact at nVidia we confirmed that this is the case. We saw this for ourselves when we installed RivaTuner, which duly recognised the four disabled pipelines and the single disabled vertex shader. The next move, clearly, was to try and enable them, which we did, but when we ran a benchmark the score had not changed indicating that the pipelines and vertex shader are disabled for the reason that they simply don’t work – so don’t get your hopes up in that regard.
Then again, this card still has more pipelines and more power than any other card, save for the 7800 GTX and, of course, is fully SLI capable.
Pricing wise you’ll find the GT cards starting at £299 with more for overclocked cards and big bundle boxes ”’(Update -prices have already dropped below £299 within the first hour)”’. nVidia also confirmed that in response to the launch of the 7800 GT, the GeForce 6800 GT would drop to £210 – with online prices again likely to be lower than this. As for the 6800 Ultra, this will pretty much fade away with not surprisingly no real interest. After all, there’s little point now that the 7800 is here.
The 7800 series certainly seems to have made a big impact, with Dell’s new XPS desktop now based around a pair of custom engineered 7800 GTX cards with an Intel CPU supporting nForce 4 chipset. With the previous XPS desktop based around ATI’s high end card of the time, the switch to nVidia by the world’s leading PC company has to be seen as a round winning double-whammy for the greens and a body blow to the reds.
In the graphs we put the card up against the retail XFX card and the scores are in line with what you’d expect with no major surprises. We ran the tests using the latest drivers. Our test bed consists of an AMD Athlon FX-55, 2 x 512MB of Crucial Ballistix PC3200 and an MSI K8N Platinum SLI motherboard. Our current tests show that at 1,600 x 1,200 with 4x FSAA and 8x AF, the 7800 GT is very comfortable producing an average score of 53.3fps in Far Cry, 46.9fps in Doom 3 and 73.4fps in Half-Life 2.