Because of the release of the X1950 XTX and ATI's significant price cuts, NVIDIA has decided to release two new graphic cards. The first one, the GeForce 7900 GS, is a GeForce 7900 GT with only 20 pixels shading pipelines (instead of 24) and 7 vertex shading units (instead of 8). It is available from today at 200€.
The GeForce 7900 GT, 7900 GS and 7950 GT have the same design and the same cooling system.
The second one, the GeForce 7950 GT is a boosted GeForce 7900 GT with 512MB of memory. The card frequencies increase from 450/660 MHz to 550/700 MHz. The price is unchanged. It will be available from the 4th of September at 300€ and will be HDCP compliant. These two releases logically lead to the death of the GeForce 7900 GT.
Here are the specifications of the graphic cards currently available:
While waiting for a more complete test of the GeForce 7900 GS that will be made at the same time as the GeForce 7950 GT, here is a glimpse of the performances of the cards on the market with Splinter Cell CT. We have chosen this game because it is relatively well balanced between ATI and NVIDIA:
The GeForce 7900 GT and Radeon X1900 GT are relatively close. The first one is faster without FSAA and the second one is when it is activated. Logically, the GeForce 7900 GS will end up right behind the current direct competitor. The performance gap is around 10% and you have to add the support of antialiasing coupled to HDR and a better filtering quality for ATI. The Radeon X1900 GT use however a software multi-GPU mode that we do not recommend. If you want to use two graphic cards, the SLI of the 7900 GS is what you need.
ATI's current strength is the price policy that doesn't only concern the X1900 GT but also the X1900 XT 256 MB sold at 250 €. In the bottom of the table, even if it is clearly cheaper than the 7600 GT, the X1650 Pro provides much lower performances. To finish, it is important to note that the Radeon X1950 XTX isn't sold 400€ as announced by ATI, but 450€.
The cut throat competition between ATI and NVIDIA for the last DirectX9 GPUs is clearly beneficial for the consumer. The price/performance ratio is constantly increasing especially thanks to the new position of high end GPUs as middle range. Of course, the multiplication of the number of product with almost similar names and performances makes the product lines more complex, but if you look at the prices, it is hard to complain about that.