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GeForce 7800 GTX shootout

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A GeForce 7800 GTX is a GeForce 7800 is a GeForce 7800 GTX, right? Well, all retail cards are based on the same core architecture, which features 24 juicy rendering pipelines, 8 vertex shaders, 16 raster operators, and increased efficiency in memory bandwidth utilisation. There's also greater vector-processing power, on a clock-for-clock basis, when compared with the GeForce 6800 Ultra. What all this gobbledegook boils down to is the fact that the GeForce 7800 GTX is a helluva fast card, obviously even more so when two are run in SLI mode. We took an in-depth technical look at the G70 architecture right over here, so head on over for a refresher on what makes NVIDIA's latest and greatest tick.

There's fast and there's always faster. It seems as if NVIDIA has given its partners some license to set GeForce 7800 GTX clock and memory speeds at their discretion. Our reference card was clocked in at 430MHz core and 1200MHz memory, so each and every retail 7800 GTX will be running at that speed.

We've been fortunate enough to get our hands on three retail GeForce 7800 GTX cards from XFX, Leadtek and BFG, respectively, and without letting the cat out of the bag, two are shipped with BIOSes that push cards' GPU and memory speeds way above default. £350-£400 is a whole bunch of money to spend on a single graphics card. Follow us as we try to establish which of our trio offers the best value.

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