The 7950 GT, for those of you wondering, is the successor to NVIDIA’s now discontinued 7900 GT. It, like the 7900, features 24 fragment shaders, 8 vertex shaders, and 16 ROPs (render output units). Unlike the 7900 GT, the 7950 GT has 512MB memory and… well, that’s about it… it’s a 512MB 7900 GT with higher core and memory clocks. Should your attention span be on par with mine you probably need a visualization aid, so here’s a nice chart I made just for you:
You can see that the line has blurred significantly between NVIDIA’s enthusiast and performance products. Now, with 512MB memory onboard, the only thing separating the 7950 GT and the enthusiast level 7900 GTX above it is clock speeds and price. Price, being the key factor in any product purchasing decision (for most of use plebs, anyhow), is what defines a graphics cards market segment. So, at $299, the 7950 GT goes toe-to-toe with ATI’s recently announced $279 X1900 XT 256MB. NVIDIA would like for it to go up against ATI’s X1900 GT, but that’s just not the reality of the market right now. We’ll still throw an X1900 GT in the mix as a comparison point, but the real decision should you find yourself with around $300 in your pocket is between NVIDIA's 7950 GT and ATI's X1900 XT 256MB.
Let’s get started.