NVIDIA 7950 GT Roundup - Speedbump to High End

Videocards/VGA Reviews by geoffrey @ 2006-12-03

At the beginning of September NVIDIA released their reincarnation of the G71 based GeForce 7900 GT. As midrange card the 7900GT seem to be the best buy for a big group of gamers in the first half of 2006. This time around they’ve given the mid-range card a speed boost to high end! With world leading VGA partners offering their version right away let´s see which can give us the best 7950 GT.

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nVidia's reborn 7900GT & 7950GT specifications

nVidia's reborn 7900GT

Madshrimps (c)

Past year, I'm speaking of the year 2005 AD, nVidia released their newest DirectX 9 video accelerator cards based on their G70 GPU. The 7th generation nVidia gpu was first thought to be not a big jump forward regarding the architecture, but the final results spoke for themselves. The 7800GTX came back early 2006 with a fresh new name and a more efficient/smaller core. The 7900GT was born offering 7800GTX processing power for less money. NVidia's newest king of the hill, the GeForce 7900GTX, used the same core and rolled out of the factory at much higher frequencies... the G71 is a successful die shrink. The release of the 7950 GT prove this, here are some specs:

GeForce 7800GTX
GeForce 7900GT
GeForce 7950GT
GeForce 7900GTX
Pixel pipelines
Vertex pipelines
GPU core clock
430 MHz
450 MHz
550 MHz
650 MHz
Memory clock
1200 MHz
1320 MHz
1400 MHz
1600 MHz
Amount of memory
Memory bus width
256 bit
256 bit
256 bit
256 bit

Between the launch of the 7800GTX past year and now nVidia has made a significant upgrade on the core clock as well as for the memory clock. As the other main parts did not change you will see that the 7950 GT gained a big performance boost over the original 7800GTX. The best thing is that the 79x0 GT is a mid-end product, where the 7800 GTX was meant for high-end users. Another good thing is that nVidia kept a single slot cooler and that it might be possible that the 7950 GT is less power hungry due to the 90nm process (even with the higher core/memory clocks applied).

7950GT specifications

Madshrimps (c)

NVIDIA® CineFX® 4.0 Shading Architecture
  • Vertex Shaders
    - Support for Microsoft DirectX 9.0 Vertex Shader 3.0
    - Displacement mapping
    - Geometry instancing
    - Infinite length vertex programs
  • Pixel Shaders
    - Support for DirectX 9.0 Pixel Shader 3.0
    - Full pixel branching support
    - Support for Multiple Render Targets (MRTs)
    - Infinite length pixel programs
  • Next-Generation Texture Engine
    - Accelerated texture access
    - Up to 16 textures per rendering pass
    - Support for 16-bit floating point format and 32-bit floating point format
    - Support for non-power of two textures
    - Support for sRGB texture format for gamma textures
    - DirectX and S3TC texture compression
  • Full 128-bit studio-quality floating point precision through the entire rendering pipeline with native hardware support for 32bpp, 64bpp, and 128bpp rendering modes

    64-Bit Texture Filtering and Blending
  • Delivers true high dynamic-range (HDR) lighting support
  • Full floating point support throughout entire pipeline
  • Floating point filtering improves the quality of images in motion
  • Floating point texturing drives new levels of clarity and image detail
  • Floating point frame buffer blending gives detail to special effects like motion blur and explosions

    NVIDIA® Intellisample™ 4.0 Technology
  • Advanced 16x anisotropic filtering (with up to 128 taps)
  • Blistering-fast antialiasing and compression performance
  • Gamma-adjusted rotated-grid antialiasing removes jagged edges for incredible image quality
  • Transparent multisampling and transparent supersampling modes boost antialiasing quality to new levels
  • Support for normal map compression
  • Support for advanced lossless compression algorithms for color, texture, and z-data at even higher resolutions and frame rates
  • Fast z-clear

    NVIDIA® UltraShadow™ II Technology
  • Designed to enhance the performance of shadow-intensive games

    NVIDIA® SLI™ Technology1
  • Patented hardware and software technology allows two GeForce-based graphics cards to run in parallel to scale performance and enhance image quality on today's top titles.

    NVIDIA® PureVideo™ Technology
  • Dedicated on-chip video processor
  • High-definition H.264, MPEG2 and WMV9 decode acceleration
  • Advanced spatial-temporal de-interlacing
  • Inverse telecine (2:2 and 3:2 pull-down correction)
  • High-quality video scaling
  • Video color correction
  • Microsoft® Video Mixing Renderer (VMR) supports multiple video windows with full video quality and features in each window

    Advanced Display Functionality
  • Dual integrated 400MHz RAMDACs for analog display resolutions up to and including 2048x1536 at 85Hz
  • Dual-link DVI capability to drive the industry's largest and highest resolution digital flat panel displays up to 2560x16001
  • Integrated HDTV encoder provides analog TV-output (Component/Composite/S-Video) up to 1080i resolution
  • Full NVIDIA® nView® multi-display technology capability

    High Speed Interfaces
  • Designed for PCI Express x16
  • Designed for high-speed GDDR3 memory

    NVIDIA® Digital Vibrance Control® (DVC) 3.0 Technology
  • DVC color controls
  • DVC image sharpening controls

    Operating Systems
  • Windows XP/Windows XP 64
  • Built for Microsoft Windows Vista
  • Windows 2000
  • Linux
  • Macintosh OS X

    API Support
  • Complete DirectX support, including the latest version of Microsoft DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 3.0
  • Full OpenGL support, including OpenGL 2.0

    Let's have a closer look at our participants ->
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