NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT
NVIDIA is firing on all cylinders right now, so it's not hard to be impressed with their recent accomplishments. High profile deals with Intel, allowing them to produce nForce4 chipsets for the Intel platform, and Sony, which makes them graphics wheelhouse for the PlayStation 3, have done nothing to detract from their core business of creating some of the best and most innovative 3D graphics products on the planet.
A few months ago they dropped a bomb on the graphics industry when they released the GeForce 7800 GTX. Everyone, from industry analysts and hardware reviewers to customers and everyone else in between found a lot to like with the new king of the hill. NVIDIA could barely have pulled off a better release; the card is extremely fast, it has a lot of really cool features, and it was immediately available for purchase. The only thing that people took issue with was the price tag; with a MSRP of US$599 it is still the most expensive consumer 3D graphics card on the market.
Thankfully, two weeks ago at Quakecon NVIDIA sought to rectify that. To round out their high-end offering lineup and make the 7-series approachable to more people they announced the GeForce 7800 GT, a slightly slower 7800 with a significantly lower MSRP of $449.
In this review I'll be looking at a reference 7800 GT from NVIDIA and comparing it to a reference 7800 GTX, also from NVIDIA, and a retail boxed Radeon X850XT Platinum Edition from HIS. All three cards represent the current pinnacle of performance offered from both ATI and NVIDIA, so direct comparisons between them should make for an interesting article.