Inno3D GeForce 7800 GT review

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The 7800 GTX is undoubtedly the fastest graphics card around at the moment, and it’s the star of this month’s Labs. The GT variant is very similar to its big brother, with the same core GPU, but set to 400MHz, while the RAM is clocked to 500MHz; this compares to 430MHz and 600MHz respectively on the GTX. Four of the GTX’s 24 pipelines are also closed off.

Inno3D GeForce 7800 GT review

Nonetheless, our benchmark tests revealed the GT to be a gaming monster. In Far Cry at 1,280 x 1,024 with HDR rendering on, anisotropic filtering set to 16x and supersampling transparency anti-aliasing, the GT scored an astounding 52fps – about 3fps slower than the GTX. 1,600 x 1,200 at the same settings produced a more significant difference: 40fps for the GT is 5fps slower than a reference GTX board. At our standard benchmark settings of 4x anti-aliasing and 8x anisotropic filtering, the GT scored 55fps at 1,280 x 1,024 and 41fps at 1,600 x 1,200.

In Half-Life 2, 47fps at 1,280 x 1,024, with 16x anisotropic filtering and 8xS (supersampling) anti-aliasing, is around 7fps slower than the GTX. At 1,600 x 1,200, the score was 33fps – about a 5fps drop-off from the GTX.

Doom 3 remains one the hardest tests you can throw at a graphics card, and the GT scored 22fps at 1,600 x 1,200 with 8x anti-aliasing, 16x anisotropic filtering and supersampling transparency anti-aliasing. This is hot on the heels of the 25fps scored by GTX cards. Dropping the resolution to 1,280 x 1,024 resulted in a score of 34fps, and changing the settings to the standard 4x anti-aliasing and 8x anisotropic filtering resulted in scores of 59fps and 44fps at 1,280 x 1,024 and 1,600 x 1,200 respectively. It’s impressive stuff.

As with the 7800 GTX, the first batch of cards will share identical GPUs and cooling solutions. As such, a buying decision will be based on either the price of the card or the bundle that comes with it – in this case, the excellent Colin McRae’s Rally 2004.

At this price, it’s more than £80 cheaper than the cheapest GTX cards, and the price will likely drop when more GTs hit the shelves. Our benchmark results suggest that the extra money for a GTX doesn’t buy a proportional performance increase; given all that, the GT compares very favourably with the GTX, and is the best graphics bargain this summer.

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