The most noticeable addition to the 512MB version of the 7800GTX is the absolutely huge cooler that comes with it. With the increased core and memory speed that is carried with the 512MB card, a bigger cooler is needed and we finally see nVidia having to utilize a dual slot design for the latest addition to the 7800 family.
The 512MB version of the 7800GTX is quite a bit more powerful than the older 256MB version. For starters, the reference 512MB version has a core clock speed of 550MHz and memory clock speed of 850MHz (a whooping 1700MHz DDR) and the 256MB has a core clock speed of 430MHz and quite a slower memory clock speed of 600MHz (1200MHz DDR).
The vertex units and pixel pipes are the same on both cards but the increased clock speeds make a big difference. If you're a numbers person, the 512MB GTX can transfer up to 54.4GB/s and the 256MB GTX only 38.4GB/s.
Moving around to the back of the card we can see that the heatsink covers majority of the card with only a little being left uncovered. Here we can also see our normal 6 pin PCI Express power connector that provides all the juice that the 512MB GTX requires. As far as power requirements go, nVidia are recommending at least a 350 watt PSU and at least a 500 watt PSU for an SLI setup.
The top of the card shows the heat pipes leaving the core area of the cooler and going out to the side where they can be cooled down. Heat pipe technology is becoming extremely common amongst higher end coolers since the cooler unit doesn't have to be so large and they still maintain cooling effectiveness.
The front of the card has two DVI ports along with an S-Video port which lets you use VIVO and HDTV out. We also have the grill that helps dissipate hot air out of the case which will help keep the inside of your case as cool as possible.
Turning the card over there isn't anything too exciting at all with just a large amount of screws to help keep the heatsink attached firmly and evenly.
XFX have got two versions of the 7800GTX 512MB, the one we are looking at today which runs at the default core and memory speed of 550MHz and 1.7GHz DDR, respectively. They have a version labeled as the XXX Edition which comes with a slightly higher core of 580MHz and a slight increase in memory speed of 1.73GHz DDR.