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NVIDIA GeForce 7800GTX Linux Preview

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Late last month, NVIDIA unveiled their new GeForce 7XXX series by releasing the 7800GTX (codename: G70). As of yet NVIDIA hasn't populated the GeForce 7 series with any other graphics cards except for the 7800GTX, but it's only a matter of time before the new series becomes proliferated with such cards as the 7800GT and 7800 Ultra. We expect these new cards to be released similar to what had happened with the GeForce 6XXX series where the 6800 Ultra was released first followed by the 6800GT, 6800, 6600GT, 6600, 6200, and the 6200 Turbo Cache. Of course, we suspect NVIDIA will hold off on releasing any of these faster cards, with the possible addition of 512MB video memory, until the ATI R520 VPU is released. As the NVIDIA GeForce 7 series aggregates over the next few months, we'll definitely have some more in-depth coverage of the different VPUs, but today we're having a look at NVIDIA's current flagship solution, the 7800GTX. In this article, we'll be sharing some of our initial Linux experiences with the NVIDIA GeForce 7800GTX 256MB. Although many other publications have found the 7800GTX to perform magnificently, we actually found some dissenting results in our Linux testing.

Unlike past NVIDIA cards, along with other ATI and XGI graphics cards, where Linux users had to wait weeks for 3D support, the same wasn't true for the 7800GTX. On June 22, 2005, the day of the public 7800GTX launch, Linux users were fortunate enough to receive the new NVIDIA 1.0-7667 driver set. Although we didn't see much frame-rate improvement from these new drivers, when we posted our 1.0-7667 results that day, we were informed of the immediate support for the 7800GTX. This support was definitely welcomed by the Linux community, and we hope this trend can definitely continue with future NVIDIA releases. Although these drivers do support the 7800GTX, as displayed later on in this article, it's performance may share a different story.

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