NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GTX 512: The Unborn 7800 Ultra
The graphics processor we saw after removing the cooler was a surprise:
It seems to be nothing else but a GeForce 7800 Ultra which has been cancelled for marketing reasons – the ordinary GeForce 7800 GTX is only second to the RADEON X1800 XT 512MB, after all. This sample of the GeForce 7800 Ultra is mature enough, being revision A2 and manufactured on the 34-th week of this year, i.e. in August. We suppose that the G70 was originally developed as a super-powerful GPU that would work at a high frequency and would have an unprecedented number of pixel processors. This way NVIDIA tried to safeguard itself against possible problems. The chip came out strong and mighty, but the company could not make it stable at frequencies above 500MHz at first. It didn’t become a big trouble, though. Even at 430/470MHz clock rates the new graphics card easily beat any opponent then present on the 3D hardware market. When the design of the new GPU was improved, the clock rate could be raised up to the earlier planned point, but what was the purpose of releasing a GeForce 7800 Ultra if even the non-Ultra version of the card had no competitors among ATI’s products? The GeForce 7800 Ultra might even harm the sales of the GeForce 7800 GTX.
It means NVIDIA has long had G70 Ultra chips capable of working at 500MHz and higher frequencies up its sleeve and now the company produces this trump to beat the RADEON X1800 XT 512MB and prove its technological leadership once again. So, the GeForce 7800 GTX 512 is actually a GeForce 7800 Ultra born anew. By the way, all the subunits of the GeForce 7800 GTX 512 work at the same frequency of 550MHz, while the GeForce 7800 GTX clocks its pixel processors and ROPs at 430MHz and its vertex processors at 470MHz.