I've been waiting for a while to speak freely about NVIDIA's G70, or the GeForce 7800 GTX as it is now called. The GPU itself represents a major turning point in NVIDIA's history, it marks the end of NVIDIA's shader replacement in drivers introduced in the NV3x days. With the G70 generation, I think NVIDIA will finally be able to leave the dark days of the GeForce FX behind them; they had a very successful run with the GeForce 6, and all indications are pointing to something similar with the G70 line.

This card isn't for everyone, obviously it is priced at $600 and these days you can build a pretty decent system for that price. But at the $600 price point, there are some users who are willing to shell out that sort of cash - believe it or not. The 7800 GTX is a high resolution performer, if you were going to buy the highest end card out today and money is no object, this is the one to get.

A year from now it will be trounced once more, by something faster, and probably more expensive - but that's how the story goes at this price segment.

Quite possibly the most impressive part of it all is the availability of cards today. As I mentioned while I was at Computex, the first board shipments were ready by June 10th. And not just to OEMs and system builders, but to the channel too; you can go out and buy this card on the day it launched, amazing, it's like I've almost forgotten what that feels like. I remember when more products were launched that way; although NVIDIA has definitely paper launched a fair amount in the past, if they keep on top of this sort of launch schedule kudos to them.

The H.264 "support" has me a bit worried; I hope this isn't another PureVideo. ATI was able to demo hardware accelerated H.264 decoding on R520 at Computex, and they aren't even shipping the GPU. NVIDIA not only launched G70 but also has it in mass production and widely available, yet we have to wait until the end of the year for H.264 decode acceleration? Even for just a demo? Some proof that it works? Hmm...

Other than that, I think NVIDIA has done a great job this time around if you look at the segment they are targeting. Obviously the real question will be, who is more competitive at the lower price points and that remains to be seen. It's a good first blow by NVIDIA; R520 will have to be pretty strong to compete, but also keep in mind that ATI has a little more work to do this generation as they move to PS 3.0 support. NVIDIA took the hit on their transistor budget back with NV4x; ATI waited, so they will have to take that hit now, which may make the competition pretty close.

Just some thoughts, now it's time to fly - more later.


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  • JuanFlaiter - Friday, June 24, 2005 - link

    Anand, at nVidia's Editor's Day on June 22 we saw H.264 working live. Derek saw it too, unless he was in the bathroom xD.

  • jtntwozz - Friday, June 24, 2005 - link


    how did u know it is anand's b'day??
  • kleinwl - Thursday, June 23, 2005 - link

    Anand have you thought about doing some CFD on ATX mid towers? It would be interesting to know where are all the hot spots, and if moding the box with upteen fans really help. Reply
  • Brian - Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - link

    #3 comment is the most ignorant comment I've ever read. There is no bias here. "R520 will have to be pretty strong to compete, but also keep in mind that ATI has a little more work to do this generation "

    What do you want it to say? "oh, but not to worry. With the extra time ATI has to develope the R520, there is a very good chance that the R520 will out-perform the G70."

    Hahaha, you stupid ati fanboy!

  • ksherman - Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - link

    Posts like the above remind me why I dont like to bother reading stuff from people who post Anonymously...

    Feliz Cumple anos Anand! Have fun with the house, I am sure it will be very exciting to see your house under construction... I remember the feeling!

    What I like the most about G70 is that it consumes about the same or less power than the 6800Ultra, and also often outperforms 2 6800Ultra's! I am glad to see that nVidia is putting out a good product, and that it is availible. But even more so, I look forward to ATI's offering, as it promises to be pretty sweet... Kudos to nVidia!
  • Anonymous - Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - link

    If R520 launched before G70 and you got to review it first, you would have concluded by writing something like, "R520 is an improvement but nVidia has G70 waiting in the wings to challenge the crown." I love how there is no mention of R520 in the conclusion of this pReview. And of course your bashing of ATI continues in your commentary here. Thanks for the bias! Reply
  • TheChefO - Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - link

    Any chance we can get the ps3/x360 article tonight? Reply
  • Houdani - Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - link

    Happy Birthday, Anand! Have a great trip to NC.

    In keeping with your recent 'Requests' theme -- if you hit a slow spot and you're looking for something to do, how about a "QUIET" roundup. Specifically, I'd like to read about passively cooled video cards, but I wouldn't be adverse to learning more about non-noise-polluting (smart fan, no fan, whatever) PSUs, video cards, cases, et al.
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