The GeForce 7900 GT is one of NVIDIA’s
latest entries in the high-end gaming market. Utilizing the
revamped G71 architecture, this chip shares similar
specifications to the almighty GeForce 7800 GTX, while being
manufactured in a smaller micron process which translates in
lower manufacturing costs, less heat produces and potential
for higher clock frequencies.
At the time of its release the now older
7800 GTX quickly became the single most powerful graphics
card available. Speed was certainly not an issue for this
product, though the recommended retail price of $500 did
make this an option most of us could simply not afford.
There was also a slightly slower and cheaper version of the
7800 GTX, known simply as the GeForce 7800 GT. This card
although a bit cheaper at $400 it was easier to swallow but
still far from affordable to anyone.
Fast forward until today, a new GeForce
series is born, and while the new flagship GeForce 7900 GTX
still costs an insane $450+, the GT version has been
released at a more reasonable and affordable
$300 range. At
this price point the 7900 GT will quickly erase the 7800 GT
from our memories as it offers performance similar to that
of the faster 7800 GTX. In fact, specification-wise the 7900
GT and 7800 GTX (256MB) are almost identical with the
exception of the core and memory frequencies which are
actually higher on the 7900 GT.
Just like the much more expensive 7900
GTX version, the 7900 GT features 24 pixel shaders, 8 vertex
shaders, and 16 ROPs using the same 256-bit memory
interface. The memory bandwidth has been reduced from
51.2GB/s to 42.2GB/s, as the 7900 GTX sports a higher core
and memory clock but this was to be expected.
The 7900 GT features a core clock of
450MHz and a memory clock of 1.32GHz, versus the GTX’s
650MHz and 1.6GHz respectively. The total amount of memory
on board also changes from 256MB to 512MB GDDR3 in favor of
the more expensive GTX. Normally I would refer to products
such as the 7900 GT as cut down versions, though this time
round that’s not really the case.
With all the pixel shaders, vertex
shaders and ROPs intact the 7900 GT is in essence a GTX if
you were able to overclock it far enough. The GeForce 7900
GT is slightly faster than the 256MB 7800 GTX and in many
cases as fast as the Radeon X1800XT. But those are all
previous generation products so we are also throwing a last
generation Radeon X1900GT card to see how that goes
considering those two competing chips are evenly priced on
the market now.
Finally a last-generation 7600GT card is
also included in our performance comparisons so you can
decide whether spending less at the cost of performance is
worth your while. Read on for more details on how these
graphics chips stand up.