Well, we have completed our extensive testing of the new Nvidia GeForce 7950 GX2 graphics accelerator. It is time for us to make some conclusions. Did Nvidia manage to win back the leader’s laurels? Has the newcomer become the world’s fastest single graphics card for $649?
GeForce 7950 GX2: Winners Come in Pairs
The results obtained during our test session let us answer “yes” to both these questions. It is true, in most cases GeForce 7950 GX2 managed to outpace its main rival, ATI Radeon X1900 XTX, that costs about $100-$150 less. The newcomer won a convincing victory in 15 benchmarks out of 20, and in two tests it performed equally fast with ATI Radeon X1900 XTX. It is quite logical: contemporary gaming performance doesn’t depend only on the pixel shader processing speed. There are some other factors involved, such as texturing speed, for example.
Although the rivals feature the same amount of units responsible for pixel shader processing – both ATI Radeon X1900 XTX and Nvidia GeForce 7950 GX2 have 48 units like that – the Nvidia solution is quite far ahead of the ATI one when it comes to TMUs and rasterizing units. GeForce 7950 GX2 has 48 TMUs and 32 ROPs, which eliminates all potential bottlenecks typical of Radeon X1900 XTX with its 16 TMUs and 16 ROPs. As a result, with the joint power and resources of two G71 GPUs, GeForce 7950 GX2 won even those battles where GeForce 7900 GTX capitulated.
Thanks to the new ForceWare driver series, GeForce 7950 GX2 managed to compete on almost equal terms with such expensive solutions as GeForce 7900 GTX SLI and even Radeon X1900 XT CrossFire. However, when the new ForceWare driver for the rest of the GeForce 7 graphics card family comes out, their performance will grow up as well. Besides, ATI Catalyst developers may also do something with their software to speed up Radeon based solutions.
Besides that, the newcomer performed very well in higher-quality full-screen anti-aliasing modes than the standard FSAA 4x, which used to be the privilege of the expensive SLI and CrossFire tandem owners. The new Nvidia graphics accelerator is beyond any competition here because none of the currently available single-chip cards supports high-quality anti-aliasing. Those of you who have a Radeon X1900 XTX may get close to the anti-aliasing quality provided by the new GeForce 7950 GX2 by using FSAA 6x and Temporal Antialiasing supported by ATI Technologies’ cards.