Finding itself no opponents after the release of the GeForce 7800 series, which offered a much higher performance than the Radeon X850, Nvidia could go setting prices for its top-end graphics cards just it wanted, putting a $599 tag on the flagship product, and a $499 tag on the less advanced model. That was about $50 more expensive than the earlier price records for graphics cards targeted at performance-conscious users.
The high prices were due not only to the lack of worthy alternatives on the market but also to the relatively high manufacturing cost of the 110nm G70 chip which was the heart of all GeForce 7800 series graphics cards. However, Nvidia had to reconsider the pricing after the arrival of the Radeon X1800 and to do it once again after the Radeon X1900 had been released. But Nvidia wasn’t just idly enjoying it success – it was moving forward. Shortly afterwards – in about half a year since the commercial release of the GeForce 7800 – the company got its thinner, 90nm tech process with low-k dielectrics (not used by Nvidia previously) up and running.
The new tech process ensured a considerable increase in the frequency potential of the GeForce 7900 GTX in comparison with its predecessors and helped make the chip smaller. The overall GPU design had also been optimized and the total number of chip transistors had been reduced in comparison with the GeForce 7800. All this means that Nvidia can now sell its top-end products for less money but earn the same profits, on a condition that the chip yield is as high as it has been with the older chips.
It is noteworthy fact that, though not much faster than the GeForce 7800 GTX 512, the GeForce 7900 GTX costs $150 less. Even more impressive is the GeForce 7900 GT, a card with a recommended price of $299, yet with better characteristics than the GeForce 7800 GTX that used to come for as much as $599 only 10 months ago!
This time Nvidia didn’t disable any execution units in the GT-suffixed product, so frequency is the single difference between the GeForce 7900 GT and the more expensive GTX. The GeForce 7900 GT features 24 pixel processors, 24 texture-mapping units (TMUs), 8 vertex processors, and 16 raster operators (ROPs). The developer recommends 450MHz GPU and 1320MHz memory frequencies for this product which, again, are higher than the frequencies of the company’s best product of less than a year ago.