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Old Oct 29, 2005, 07:10 AM   #1
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Ratchet
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Rage3D BFG 7800 GT OC SLI Review

I've just completed my review of a pair of BFG GeForce 7800 GT OC video cards. Check it out here.
Another issue that some people have taken with SLI was the need for game profiles in the drivers. The problem is that any game without a profile in the drivers won't work with the performance enhancing modes of SLI (SLI AA should always work). This could certainly a big deal if you play a game that NVIDIA hasn't included a profile for (you can add game profiles yourself, but it requires registry editing and some knowledge of SLI. Certainly not a straight forward task for most people). The good news is that NVIDIA has been working with developers and has helped them get support for SLI right in the game, negating the need for NVIDIA to use game profiles in their drivers. F.E.A.R. and Call of Duty 2 are two such games that include SLI support out of the box with undoubtedly more to follow.
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Old Oct 29, 2005, 07:11 AM   #2
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This review also uses a new review template which I've been periodically working on over the last while. It works pretty well in the browsers I've tested it with (FireFox Beta 2, Internet Explorer 6, and Opera 8), but if you notice any problems with it post them here as well.
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Old Oct 29, 2005, 07:34 AM   #3
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Excellent review as usual (template worked fine for me). Just a couple points -

1. Will you update your conclusion on SLI-AA performance once you have access to a dual 16x board? It seems PCI-e bandwidth is the current bottleneck. Although I agree that 8xSLI AA and 16xSLI AA are a waste in comparison to the 8xS mode.

2. The X1800XT seemed to hand the GTX its ass in these benches. Did you use newer drivers or a different configuration this time around?
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Old Oct 29, 2005, 07:43 AM   #4
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1A. If I can get my hands on a new dual x16 board I will rerun the SLI AA benchmarks. I don't know when though.

2A. I used the 5.10a Hotfix drivers for the ATI cards and the 81.85 betas for the NVIDIA cards. Test setup details here.
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Old Oct 29, 2005, 08:01 AM   #5
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Great review Ratchet! This review and your X1800XT "Preview" were some of the best reviews yet.

BTW, have any fanATIc's sent you hatemail yet?

Keep 'em coming.
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Old Oct 29, 2005, 08:09 AM   #6
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I get hatemail from everyone, not just fanboys
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Old Oct 29, 2005, 08:30 AM   #7
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I won't be upgrading until SocketM2 but if I had to upgrade right now I would probably go with the 7800GT SLI setup. I could get 2 of the BFG OC GT's for $319.99 each which would still only be $90 over the MSRP of the X1800XT and who is to say the X1800XT will be avaialble at MSRP within the first month anyway. Oh well, thank God I don't have to worry about this stuff until 2006.
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Old Oct 29, 2005, 08:31 AM   #8
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Excellent review as always..... still the X1800XT produces the better IQ IMO...

On a side note.... apart from hatemail do you get marriage proposals too...??



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Old Oct 29, 2005, 08:32 AM   #9
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A solid review, and the template looks really nice

One thing I noticed though, many other reviewers put a significant weight on the software bundle, and probably would have rated this one sub-par, is that just a matter of personal choice?

Now we wait for ATi to send out some x1800 CF edition cards, so that the green lines are no longer at the top of the graph
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Old Oct 29, 2005, 08:46 AM   #10
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Well, I would have had something to say about the lack of games in the bundle if not for the recent announcement that Call of Duty 2 will be bundled with these cards.
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Old Oct 29, 2005, 10:48 AM   #11
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Outstanding review.

I just love the new template, it loads ultra fast here on my work system with sub Dialup speeds
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Old Oct 29, 2005, 10:57 AM   #12
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yeah it should load pretty fast. The code size was reduced a lot compared to the old template and the graphics aren't as big (filesize wise) as they might appear.

This new tempalte is also much more flexible than the old one, much easier to work with, and I can make it look a lot nicer.
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Old Oct 29, 2005, 11:56 AM   #13
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Old Oct 29, 2005, 12:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EagleClaw
Outstanding review.

I just love the new template, it loads ultra fast here on my work system with sub Dialup speeds
Yeah i noticed that too .. good work Ratchet!
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Old Oct 29, 2005, 01:23 PM   #15
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ratchet ... really well done ... and i like these new templates ... works flawlessly so far
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Old Oct 29, 2005, 03:22 PM   #16
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its great to see the X1800 dominate the GTX at 1280x1024 and above. Makes me feel good I bought the XL.
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Old Oct 29, 2005, 03:29 PM   #17
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tell me this, why does the 7800 GT OC @ 490/1.12 beat the GTX ever so slightly? Because even at those high overclocks the GTX still has more pixel fill rate and memory bandwidth.
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Old Oct 29, 2005, 04:03 PM   #18
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Nice review like always...Ratchet think you can throw in some COD2 benchies?
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Old Oct 29, 2005, 04:08 PM   #19
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oops, the overclocking charts are wrong. That should be 1.2GHz overclock for the memory as stated in the paragraph above, not 1.12.
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Old Oct 29, 2005, 04:09 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xplode
Nice review like always...Ratchet think you can throw in some COD2 benchies?
I will when I get the game (Tuesday, hopefully).
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Old Oct 29, 2005, 04:12 PM   #21
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Another issue that some people have taken with SLI was the need for game profiles in the drivers. The problem is that any game without a profile in the drivers won't work with the performance enhancing modes of SLI (SLI AA should always work). This could certainly a big deal if you play a game that NVIDIA hasn't included a profile for.




HEY KIDS AND CHIEVES: PAY ATTENTION

You do NOT need nVidia to support a game to play it in any SLI mode you want --- it is easy to create profiles for yourself and it works. I know because I create SLI profiles (AFR, SFR, whatever) for games I write myself which nVidia is definitely not supporting and it most certainly improves performance. If you are unable to use Google here is a link to the pertinent info:

http://www.slizone.com/object/slizon...le_howto1.html
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Old Oct 29, 2005, 04:37 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratchet
oops, the overclocking charts are wrong. That should be 1.2GHz overclock for the memory as stated in the paragraph above, not 1.12.

even still, at 490 core the GT has still has less fill rate than the GTX @ 430. any ideas why GT is leading slightly?
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Old Oct 29, 2005, 08:28 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x800guy
even still, at 490 core the GT has still has less fill rate than the GTX @ 430. any ideas why GT is leading slightly?
The GTX has a texel fillrate advantage but the GT has a pixel fillrate advantage and they both have the same bandwidth.
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Old Oct 29, 2005, 09:53 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratchet
The GTX has a texel fillrate advantage but the GT has a pixel fillrate advantage and they both have the same bandwidth.
Why would the GT have pixel fill rate advantege? GT @ 490 = 9,800 MP/sec, GTX @ stock = 10,320 MP/sec.
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Old Oct 29, 2005, 09:56 PM   #25
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Another issue that some people have taken with SLI was the need for game profiles in the drivers. The problem is that any game without a profile in the drivers won't work with the performance enhancing modes of SLI (SLI AA should always work). This could certainly a big deal if you play a game that NVIDIA hasn't included a profile for.


Ratchet, I don't get you, dude. Do you really believe you have to wait on the green men for SLI support for a game?

I understand that I am truly obnoxious, but this is info splayed out on your front page...
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Old Oct 30, 2005, 04:27 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x800guy
Why would the GT have pixel fill rate advantege? GT @ 490 = 9,800 MP/sec, GTX @ stock = 10,320 MP/sec.
The GTX architecture isn't that simple. The easiest way to think of it for these types of theoretical performance comparisons is as a 16x1.5 setup, that is 16 pipelines with 1.5 TMUs per pipe. The GT could be thought of as 16x1.25.
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Old Oct 30, 2005, 04:42 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windy_noise
Another issue that some people have taken with SLI was the need for game profiles in the drivers. The problem is that any game without a profile in the drivers won't work with the performance enhancing modes of SLI (SLI AA should always work). This could certainly a big deal if you play a game that NVIDIA hasn't included a profile for.


Ratchet, I don't get you, dude. Do you really believe you have to wait on the green men for SLI support for a game?

I understand that I am truly obnoxious, but this is info splayed out on your front page...
I updated it a little, though my point is still valid (that of game devs putting support in the games is the best way to do it)
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Old Oct 30, 2005, 04:49 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratchet
The GTX architecture isn't that simple. The easiest way to think of it for these types of theoretical performance comparisons is as a 16x1.5 setup, that is 16 pipelines with 1.5 TMUs per pipe. The GT could be thought of as 16x1.25.

Well ok, thats exactly what I just said. 16x1.25 = 20, 20x490 = 9,800 MP/sec.
The GT is slower mhz per mhz. I get that.

Then WHY in the Fear benches the GT @ 490 core beats the GTX? Why? Its ok if you dont know, I wont hold it against you.
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Old Oct 30, 2005, 05:05 AM   #29
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I dunno, I guess because the GT at those clocks has a pixel fillrate advantage and closes the gap significantly for texture fillrate.

GTX
Pixel Fill-rate 6880M Pixels/sec
Texture Fill-rate 10320M Texels/sec

GT
Pixel Fill-rate 6400M Pixels/sec
Texture Fill-rate 8000M Texels/sec

GT @ 490/1.2
Pixel Fill-rate 7840M Pixels/sec
Texture Fill-rate 9800M Texels/sec
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Old Oct 31, 2005, 11:19 PM   #30
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The article is excellent Ratchet. Just a couple of details i would like to comment. First, i think you should use a smaller font for the text and bigger thumbnails for the linkable pics. Second, try not to use the sentences like "I benchmarked game X", use instead "The game X was benchmarked", at this point, the reader must concentrate on the message, not the messenger. Try to leave most "I"'s to the conclusion of each section.

Anyway this are just details, the truth is you're getting better on each new article you make . Keep up the good work !

My 2 cents.
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