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NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT Review - Page 2 of 8

CARD SPECIFICATIONS

The GPU of the 7800 GT weighs in at 302 million transistors, earning it the title of the largest and thus most elaborate graphics chip yet. It is manufactured by TSMC and utilizes their 110 nm manufacturing process. Although the 7800 GT and the 7800 GTX share the exact same core, there are a number of differences separating the two graphics cards.

GeForce 7800 GT Chip

GeForce 7 Series Comparison

The 7800 GT has a pipeline quad, a 2x2 pixel grouping, disabled which reduces its pixel pipelines to 20, compared to the 7800 GTX's 24. By disabling the various pipelines, NVIDIA has eliminated the possibility of users purchasing the GT and overclocking it to GTX speeds, thereby attaining the same performance with a less expensive card. While this can be seen as a rather negative move on NVIDIA's part, one must remember that there a delta must exists between the two different cards in order to warrant the purchase of the GTX.

Reference GeForce 7800 GT - 3/4 View
Click Image to Enlarge

Quad-disabling is nothing new. As most of you may remember, the GeForce 6800 had 12 pipelines, compared to the 16 of the 6800 GT and Ultra. Some lucky GeForce 6800 owners were able to unlock their disabled pipelines, thus gaining a nice performance boost. However, the 7 Series GPU is a very different beast and it seems that finding a manner of unlocking the 7800 GT's disabled pipelines is inherently more difficult.

Reference GeForce 7800 GT - Bracket
Click Image to Enlarge

Apart from the advanced functionality and performance included in the 7 Series chips is yet another feature many gamers have been clamoring for; cooler chips. The 7 Series delivers on both counts, as the 7800 GT and GTX are both cooled by single-slot solutions, garnering praise from SFF and SLI enthusiasts alike.

Reference GeForce 7800 GT - Back View
Click Image to Enlarge

The heatsink design is based loosely on the heatsink of previous generation cards but provides a more uniform look as both the GPU and RAM coolers have been unified. The amount of cooling fins present within the heatsink has increased in order to accommodate the added load of cooling both components in one unit.

Reference GeForce 7800 GT - In Action
Click Image to Enlarge

Next Page: Test System and Benchmarks

Last Updated on September 13, 2005


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