eVGA Geforce 7800 GTX KO Review

Videocards/VGA Reviews by jmke @ 2006-03-02

The reference 7800GTX 256Mb from nVidia comes with 430Mhz GPU and 1.2Ghz memory clock. EVGA?s 7800GTX KO version has 490Mhz GPU and 1.3Ghz memory clocks; nVidia?s 7800GTX 512Mb does better with 550mhz GPU and 1.7ghz memory, the KO version of EVGA sits in the middle GPU clock wise.

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Test Setup & Benchmarks

Test Setup:

JMke’s Opteron Test Setup
CPU Opteron 144 @ 2.7Ghz
Cooling Arctic Cooling Freezer 64
Mainboard Asus A8N-SLI Premium
Memory 2 * 512Mb PC3200 OCZ Platinum Rev2
  • Global Win SAF520 520Watt PSU
  • 200Gb Maxtor SATA HDD
  • Plextor 12x DVDWriter
  • 18.1” Xenon LCD

  • The CPU was overclocked to 2.7ghz, this was done by increasing the HTT to 300Mhz, the memory was kept near PC3200 speeds using divider settings.
  • I used Windows XP SP2 and the latest nVidia drivers at the time of testing (81.98)

    Benchmarks and Test Methodology:

    When Kyle Bennett from HardOCP announced in June of 2003 that they would no longer play the benchmarking game and instead offer gameplay evaluations using real games and recording the in-game FPS with FRAPS many people doubted their change. However we are now almost 3 years later and their method has proven its worth as it gives an honest performance evaluation of a video card, without certain benchmarking optimizations ruining the results.

    With the abundance of high quality LCD monitors at affordable prices many people have replaced their trusty CRT monitor – in this test I’m using a 18.1” LCD monitor which has a native resolution of 1280x1024, while this does limit the maximum resolution at which I can run games (and benchmarks) you'll be surprised how demanding games can be when you turn up the eye candy. Unless otherwise stated, every game was run with maximum quality settings, but control of Anti-Aliasing (AA) and Anisotropic filtering (AF) was through the video driver config panel.

    The benchmarks:
  • Battlefield 2
  • Call of Duty
  • Call of Duty 2
  • Far Cry
  • FEAR
  • Flatout
  • Battle for Middle Earth 2 (demo)

    For comparison I included the cheaper 7800GT from nVidia, since the EVGA 7800GTX KO is running overclocked I also pushed the 7800GT beyond the stock speed. Overclocked it ran flawless at 460Mhz on GPU (400Mhz stock) and 1.05Ghz Memory (1Ghz stock). The EVGA was rock solid at its “default” overclocked speed of 490Mhz on the core and 1.3Ghz Memory.

    I went through each game several times to find a section which I could repeat without too many variations so I would get repeatable FPS values. That section was re-run 3 times and the results averaged. The best possible quality settings were configured for each game without sacrificing on playability. Some game genres are perfectly playable at 20fps while others crave for 60+.

    I’ve recorded small in-game movies of the sections I ran through – these were recorded with FRAPS, small hick-ups and/or frame loss in these movies are due to playing and recording at the same time, these issues are not present when you play the game normally. The movies were uploaded to Google Video which makes use of Macromedia Flash to stream them.

    Let’s see how the EVGA can boost your gameplay experience in older and newer games ->
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