does not require any more power than the 6800Ultra, at least according to nVidia.
The minimum required power supply wattage for a 7800GTX system
is 350Watts, same as the the 6800Ultra.
How is this possible? NVidia has used a combination
of the lower power requirements of the 110nm process and a clock gating
mechanism (clock gating involves turning off or slowing the clock signal to
certain units of an integrated circuit when they are not being used), to achieve
a notable milestone: higher performance at slightly lower power
This means that nVidia
was able to make its reference 7800GTX card without using an enormous
heatsink, so it will not dominate the empty slot next to it on your
motherboard. The 7800 GPU might have a bright future with
nVidia's mobile line of graphics products too.
Short end of LongHorn?
Geforce 7800GTX also integrates support for the new graphical features that will
be introduced with Windows Longhorn and its Windows Graphics Foundation API,
including the off loading of the desktop rendering load to the GPU and the
(potential) ability to page 3D graphics into the system's virtual memory. Obviously, these features are only really going to be
useful with the 3D desktops that Longhorn is supposed to make routine, but
equally obviously the 7800GTX graphics processor is going to be mostly obsolete
by the time Microsoft gets around to releasing Longhorn, so we won't put much
more effort into describing the ways they could work together.
The 7800GTX is the new fastest videocard available, both on paper and in
benchmarks from reviews on the web. It's got a price to
match, but ATI will have to drop its prices some as
the X850XT PE is not significantly cheaper.
Of course, the 7800GTX represents only the
first salvo in this year's version of the video card wars, and we will be
waiting with baited breathe for ATI's response and benchmarks from its
CrossFire dual-card technology. As summer 2005 moves on, things should be
heating up in more ways than one!
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