Still saving for that GeForce 7800 GTX graphics card upgrade? Not any more you won't be. Launched just minutes ago is the new king of the NVIDIA family, the GeForce 7900 GTX.
The new GPU, formerly codenamed G71, is a revised GeForce 7800 GTX (G70) that is now 90nm, down from 110nm. This brings the benefits of a smaller die-size for higher yields, lower power, as well as less heat (and therefore noise). NVIDIA insist the internal changes also yield greater efficiency - "this is more than just a straight die-shrink" a company representative told us.
As it does with every new launch NVIDIA has produced a reference design, which utilises the same heatsink & fan from the GeForce 7800 GTX 512MB
. The 7900 GTX also sports 512MB of RAM, clocked at 1600MHz, and the core is clocked at a lofty 650MHz.
Several board partners have base models that adhere to this specification, including ASUS, Leadtek and MSI. Naturally, there is also a range of pre-overclocked cards from more daring partners such as BFG Tech and XFX. For example, the BFG Tech GeForce 7900 GTX is clocked at 670 / 1640MHz, while those crazy guys at XFX have several models all the way up to an eye-watering 700 / 1800MHz - the GeForce 7900GTX 512MB DDR3 XXX Edition.
It is still early days on pricing, but far from the insane pricing of the 7800 GTX 512MB (£500-600), it looks like a stock-clocked 7900 GTX can be yours for around £380 inc vat. Pricing on the overclocked models varies according to speed, from £410 to around £480 initially.
If all that is a bit rich for you, £250-300 will secure you a GeForce 7900 GT 256MB. This is a single-slot card that has been billed to give you 7800 GTX 256-like performance for less cash and lower power / heat. Again, there are numerous 7900 GT variants from all NVIDIA partners, from 450 / 1320MHz stock to 560 / 1650MHz.
Also launched today is the GeForce 7600 GT 256MB, which slots into the £150-200 price bracket. It features a cut-down 12-pipeline design, with reference speeds of 560 / 1400MHz. All three new cards support SLI
From left to right: GeForce 7900 GTX; GeForce 7900 GT; GeForce 7600 GT
We have been furiously testing all these new cards recently, using our bespoke real-world gaming tests across a wide spectrum of titles; you won't find any copies of 3DMark running here. You can look forward to reading Tim Smalley's expert thoughts very soon.