ATI RADEON X1800 XT 512MB didn’t last long in the position of the 3D graphics king: NVIDIA’s response was very simple, logical and efficient. Due to the availability of the new G70 revision, the company increased the nominal GPU frequency from 430MHz to 550MHz and provided the newcomer with high-performance memory. As a result, the new GeForce 7800 512 graphics adapter, the second incarnation of the GeForce 7800 GTX turned out to be a real monster with unprecedented performance.
NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GTX 512 outperformed RADEON X1800 XT 512MB even in those tasks where its predecessor, GeForce 7800 GTX failed: I am talking about the games with numerous complex shaders and about the gaming modes with full-screen anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering. The only exception appeared Colin McRae Rally05 race simulator, although ATI solution won in only one resolution there. In all other gaming tests, including 3DMark05, GeForce 7800 GTX 512 proved to be an undefeated leader. Moreover, the performance growth we have just seen allows playing games in 1600x1200 resolution with HDR color representation mode.
Besides the superior performance improvement, the newcomer from NVIDIA appeared quite modest in terms of power consumption, especially if we compare it against RADEON X1800 XT 512MB. Moreover, it is also almost completely noiseless. All in all, the new NVIDIA’s cooling system that has only been used for NVIDIA Quadro FX 4500 turned out practically silent but at the same time efficient enough to ensure proper cooling of the GeForce 7800 GTX 512 working at higher clock rates. Moreover, 550MHz turned out to be far below the actual frequency limit for this G70 revision: the chip is capable of working fine at 600MHz and up. Some NVIDIA’s partners have already taken advantage of this attractive frequency potential. In particular, XFX has already announced their GeForce 7800 GTX 512 model with the GPU working at 580MHz. and this is not the unique case, I should say: ASUSTeK Computer, BFG Technologies, and other VGA cards manufacturers also offer their faster modifications of the new GeForce 7800 GTX 512 at this time already.
The price of GeForce 7800 512 is set at $649, which is $100 more than the recommended price of the ATI RADEON X1800 XT 512MB. It is quite logical, as the new NVIDIA graphics accelerator should sell at a higher price as it is the today’s fastest graphics consumer solution. Moreover, it is a purely image product targeted for those users who do not care about the price when it comes to getting the best and the fastest. All the other users should be pretty happy with the GeForce 7800 GTX equipped with 256MB of graphics memory. It also offers high performance, is quite overclockable and costs considerably less than the newcomer.
Anyway, NVIDIA has just struck back and regained the technological leadership. How long will it last? Time will show, but for sure they will stay on top of the hill for at least a quarter. ATI Technologies, doesn’t keep its hands in pockets either and is busy testing their new R580 GPU at this time and considers the possibility of equipping their current RADEON X1800 XT GPU family with faster memory. Especially, since there is always an opportunity to release a Platinum Edition modification. It would seem more logical though to bet on the new R580 GPU than to speed up the current RADEON X1800 XT line-up.