GeForce 7800 GT:
GeForce 7800 GT is built on the same GPU as the GeForce 7800 GTX - you can read a bit more about that GPU in our G70 architecture overview
Unlike the GeForce 6-series - where the GeForce 6800 GT was simply just a slower clocked GPU with the same number of pipelines as the then flagship GeForce 6800 Ultra - NVIDIA have opted to equip the GeForce 7800 GT with fewer pixel pipelines and vertex shaders. GeForce 7800 GT contains the same pixel output engine configuration - there are a total of sixteen, but have reduced the pixel pipeline count to twenty, while the vertex shader count has reduced from eight to seven.
This means that there is slightly less power inside the GPU, but it can still write the same number of pixels to memory per clock cycle. If we translate this in to the real world, the GeForce 7800 GT will shine in games that are fill rate limited and it'll perform very closely to the GeForce 7800 GTX. However, it will begin to suffer (in comparison to the flagship GTX) in newer games that are shader intensive and rely on multiple passes through the pixel shader, or in games that are heavily geometry bound.
The power requirements for GeForce 7800 GT are the same as GeForce 7800 GTX. That means you're going to require a 350W power supply unit for powering a single card, and a 500W power supply unit for powering a pair of them in SLI. As always, we recommend that you factor the price of a good power supply unit in to the cost of your system, otherwise you will find that you'll come unstuck at a later date when you want to upgrade parts of your rig.
Pricing, and Price Drops (!):
NVIDIA have said that GeForce 7800 GT will retail at $449 or £300, depending on which side of the pond you are on - that's $150/£100 cheaper than the GeForce 7800 GTX was at launch. Of course, there are some GeForce 7800 GTX's on special offer as low as $480 in the USA and just under £350 last week at Overclockers.
The launch of GeForce 7800 GT means that there are price drops for the GeForce 6-series cards that would otherwise be overpriced following this launch. The ever popular GeForce 6800 GT, which has been the choice of many gamers over the past twelve to fourteen months and represented excellent bang for buck with the chance of being able to overclock it past the default clock speeds of GeForce 6800 Ultra for three quarters of the price.
Today, the price has dropped down to $299, which we expect to be around £200-210 here in the UK. Some board partners may be able to offer it for less than that and at £200-210, it brings it right in to line with the Radeon X800 XL. The feature advantage would probably tip the scales in favour of the GeForce 6800 GT in that battle now that the prices are equal.
GeForce 6800 Standard has also received a price drop too. It is now priced at the $200 mark, meaning that it should be for sale at around £130-140 in the UK. As many of you will know, ATI announced the launch of Radeon X800 GT earlier this week
, it's likely to be priced around £130 for the higher-clocked 256MB version. That card was designed to compete against NVIDIA's GeForce 6600 GT, but it already looks like it will be competing with the GeForce 6800 Standard with 128MB of frame buffer - it'll be interesting to see who wins that battle.
We also expect the GeForce 6600 GT to drop in price as a result of this launch - we're guessing that it'll hit the £100 price point. That's pretty fantastic value for a card as capable as the GeForce 6600 GT. So, what can ATI do? Well, it is pretty obvious that they've got to lower their prices in order to reflect NVIDIA's price drops and we could go on forever about this. Let's just hope that they do
drop their prices - competition for price, performance and features always makes for interesting press.