During the testing phase of the review, a new set of beta drivers were released on nzone. Version 78.03 of the ForceWare drivers fix a serious shimmering issue experienced by users on the 7 Series of cards. Chris Ray performs his usual great examination of the issue in the forums here. As such, I won't delve too deep into the issue, but will include a round of benchmarks examining the performance difference, if any, attributed to utilizing the new drivers.
As previously stated, Far Cry's lush foliage is an ideal stress situation of transparent antialiasing modes.
The new anti-aliasing modes were activated by setting the appropriate AA setting within the application, and by activating the desired transparent AA setting from within the NVIDIA control panel.
Far Cry Test Settings
Far Cry Test Results
Far Cry Test Results
Across the board, performance has increased slightly except when Super-sampling anti-aliasing is in effect. It's trivial to see which of the two transparent AA modes produces the best image quality, but under the most intense situations the performance dropped extremely low.
The NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT is an extremely worthy successor to the venerable 6800 GT as it combines superior performance along with additional image-enhancing technologies. The 7800 GT will keep up with its bigger brother the 7800 GTX in all but the most intense conditions.
As is often the case with the release of a new generation of video cards, they must be paired with equally powerful systems in order to extract every ounce of performance that they are capable of providing, especially when a pair of 7 Series cards are bundled within an SLI-equipped system. With the price of most single GeForce 7800 GT's already more than $50 below the MSRP, an SLI-equipped system with the latest NVIDIA graphic goodness doesn't seem as over-the-top as it once did.
The GeForce 7800 GT will be the more popular of the current 7 Series models due to its more affordable price point while still providing almost GTX-like performance. Another winner from NVIDIA.