The XFX 7800GT is a very good card, with a great design and high quality. Its stock cooling system differs from NVidia's default cooler for 7800GT cards, which according to our tests seems to be more efficient at keeping the temperatures low, approximately 46°C at idle and 66°C while running 3DMark05. With NVidia's stock cooling system, the temperatures are approximately 50°C and 65°C for idle and 3DMark05 load respectively. The best thing here is that even when we increased the clock frequencies for the GPU and memory, the temperature didn't increase by much, only 47 °C for idle and 70°C with 3DMark05.
The retail package is great and includes two DVI to VGA adapters, one VIVO and one power cable. What we mostly liked is the presence of the FarCry game in the software bundle. Even better, by the time this review was written, XFX decided to offer the brand new long expected Call of Duty 2 game in the retail package, making it the most attractive buy, concerning bundled games. Not many cards include such games so we believe the unique design of the retail box along with everything it includes, deserves our 5 stars ranking.
The XFX 7800GT reported good overall performance with all tests, in most cases much better than the X850XT or 6800Ultra, but not as good as the 7800GTX. In other words, there is no game that you cannot play at high resolutions and with AA and AF enabled. The reported 119fps in HL2, the 50fps in Doom 3, the 67.8fps in FarCry, the 65fps in Colin McRae etc., at 1600X1200 with 4XAA and 8XAF confirm this.
The XFX 7800GT comes with higher clock frequencies from the manufacturer, 450MHz for the Core Clock Frequency and 1.05GHz for the Memory Clock Frequency instead of the default 400MHz and 1.0GHz than a normal 7800GT has. There is still the ability to go higher, as we did, but don't expect too much improvement, especially in games. Although at 489/1180, 3DMark scores were higher, 600 3DMarks in 3DM05 and 1000 3DMarks in 3DM03, in games however, the best you can get is 2~5fps with AA and AF disabled and 5~8fps with AA and AF enabled. Moreover, with the clocks set so high, we got artifacts in HL2 although in Doom 3, 3DMark03 and 05 there were no problems. So, we believe any overclocking will only reduce the stability and therefore isn't recommended.
Performance was rather good but what about the price? At the time of this review, the price of the overclocked XFX 7800GT was US$375 at newegg.com. At the same time, the Sapphire X850XT PE costs US$399 and the AOpen 6800Ultra up to US$465. Just for comparison, a 7800GTX from XFX costs US$468 while the great ASUS N7800GTX TOP, US$579. With such prices, we highly believe that the XFX 7800GT is an excellent purchase that combines high performance at an affordable price.
- Good performance in all tests
- Good cooling system
- Low noise levels
- Great nVidia features for unique image quality
- Very good retail package
- Reasonable price for such performance
- Priced on the high side
Value for money: