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Athlon 64 Dual-Core Upgrade and NVIDIA's GeForce 7800 GTX 512MB SLI - Page 3 of 9

THE GEFORCE 7800 GTX 512MB

NVIDIA's GeForce 7800 GTX 512MB debuted on November 14 with a suggested retail price of $649. The GeForce 7800 GTX 512MB is paired with Samsung 900MHz GDDR3 memory, which provides a peak memory bandwidth of 57.6GB/sec. The GPU core operates at a frequency of 550MHz and is cooled with an advanced dual-slot design. The large fan is effective and generates less noise than expected while the integrated heat pipes contain distilled water that circulates through the system.

GeForce 7800 GTX 512MB
Click Image to Enlarge

Demand was extremely high following the announcement of the GeForce 7800 GTX 512MB. Hardcore gamers who frequent nV News managed to get their hands on one, or even two, as the GeForce 7800 GTX 512MB is SLI ready. However, availability was limited and as supply began to decline, the price of a single GeForce 7800 GTX 512MB increased to $749.00 by the evening of the launch. Most on-line retailers were out of stock the next day.

GeForce 7800 GTX 512MB
Click Image to Enlarge

Online retailers continue to receive periodic shipments of the GeForce 7800 GTX 512MB, but quantities are limited and most of the units are being allocated to waiting list orders. More units may become available in the near future as Samsung recently announced that its 900MHz GDDR3 memory was in mass production. However, most of that memory will likely be allocated to the next-generation GPU from NVIDIA. The G71 could be announced in March at CeBIT 2006 and is expected to be NVIDIA's first 90nm fabricated GPU.

GeForce 7800 GTX 512MB in SLI
Click Image to Enlarge

TEST SYSTEM

Benchmark and gameplay performance tests were conducted with the upgraded system using ForceWare driver version 81.98, which continues to build upon previous dual-core performance enhancements.

Specifications

  • AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ Processor
  • ASUS A8N-SLI Premium Motherboard
  • Corsair CMX1024-3500LLPRO Memory - (2) 1GB DIMMs - 2GB Total
  • Western Digital Raptor 74GB HDD (2), 10000RPM, 4.5ms Avg Seek, 8MB Buffer, SATA
  • Western Digital Caviar 80GB HDD (2), 7200RPM, 8.9ms Avg Seek, 8MB Buffer, ATA-100
  • Enermax EG701AX-VE 600W Power Supply
  • Sony Multiscan E540 21-Inch CRT Monitor
  • Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Soundcard
  • NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GTX 512MB Graphics Card - 512MB - 550MHz/1.70GHz
  • NVIDIA ForceWare Graphics Driver Version 81.98 (WHQL)
  • NVIDIA nForce4 AMD Driver Package Version 6.53.02
  • Vsync Disabled / 75Hz Refresh Rate / 70Hz at 1920x1440 / 60Hz at 2048x1536
  • Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2 / DirectX 9.0c

Game Benchmarks

  • Doom 3 - v1.0.1261
  • Far Cry - v1.33 Build 1395
  • F.E.A.R. - v1.02
  • Guild Wars - v14,789
  • Half-Life 2: Lost Coast - v1.0.1.0 Build 2596
  • Splinter Cell Chaos Theory - v1.05
  • Quake 4 - v1.0.4.0 Build 2147

Notes

  • The graphics image setting was set to high quality (no optimizations) for all tests.
  • Antialiasing and anisotropic filtering were set to application controlled, with the exception of 8XS antialiasing.
  • Gamma correct antialiasing and supersampling transparency antialiasing were always enabled.

SINGLE vs. DUAL-CORE PERFORMANCE

Game performance is initially examined with the test system running on a single-core CPU (Athlon 64 4000+) and a dual-core CPU (Athlon 64 X2 4800+). Note that the results are based on the highest quality in-game graphics settings using the GeForce 7800 GTX 512MB in SLI.

At a resolution of 1024x768, the dual-core Athlon 64 X2 4800+ outperformed the single-core 4000+ by an average of 14% in the seven games tested. The increased performance is likely attributed to the dual-core optimizations that NVIDIA's software engineers have been adding since ForceWare Release 75.

Single vs. Dual-Core CPU Game Performance

Dual-core optimizations can also provide greater performance at higher resolutions such as the 10% increase that occurred in both Doom 3 and Guild Wars at a resolution of 1600x1200 with 4X antialiasing enabled.

Next Page: F.E.A.R. Performance Test

Last Updated on January 21, 2006


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