MSI GeForce 7800 GTX Review

Introduction

GeForce 7800 GTX is the latest graphics chip released by NVIDIA and it is the fastest chip provided by this company nowadays. We have already explained in detail how this new chip works and the difference between it and GeForce 6800 series. So read this article if you want to know more about the GeForce 7800 GTX.

MSI GeForce 7800 GTXFigure 1: MSI GeForce 7800 GTX box.

This chip officially runs at 430 MHz with 256 MB 256-bit GDDR3 memory running at 1.2 GHz, but MSI model has a feature called D.O.T. (Dynamic Overclocking Technology) that allows you to easily overclock this card by simply checking a box on the video driver properties. We’ll talk more about this feature later.

You can see in our tutorial “NVIDIA Chips Comparison Table” the difference between this new chip and the other chips from NVIDIA, while on our tutorial “ATI Chips Comparison table” you can compare it to its competitors from ATI. It is very important to keep in mind that NVIDIA chips from series 6 and 7 use a Shader 3.0 engine (DirectX 9.0c), while ATI chips still use Shader 2.0 (DirectX 9.0).

It is always important to remember that the “memory clock” column from these tables informs the chip manufacturer (ATI or NVIDIA) recommended clock. In some cases, specially on cheaper video cards, the card manufacturer uses simpler memory chips (in order to cut the board price) and lower memory clocks (compatible with the memory chip used), making the board to achieve a lower performance compared to boards that use the same graphics chip but with their memory chips running at the chip manufacturer recommended clock. Because of that, we always run PowerStrip software in order to check if the video card memory is running at the standard clock set by the chip manufacturer or running at a lower clock rate.

The reviewed GeForce 7800 GTX model from MSI runs overclocked, at 430 MHz for the chip and 1.20 GHz for the memory.

This video card is targeted to the PCI Express bus, so in our review we will compare it only to other PCI Express video cards, in special Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition, which is the fastest ATI chip available today. As far as we know, NVIDIA doesn’t plan to release an AGP version of GeForce 7800 GTX.

We’ll also compare MSI model to GeForce 7800 GTX from XFX. This model from XFX comes overclocked (450 MHz for the chip and 1.25 GHz for the memory), so it will be a very interesting comparison: which is better, a factory-overclocked card or a card with Dynamic Overclocking Technology?

This video card also has video capture (VIVO) function. Let’s talk about the MSI model in details.

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Author: Gabriel Torres

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.

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