It really is going to be an exciting six months for people with large monitors and even larger wallets. It is clear to see why this current generation of GX2 cards are not going to hit the whole market; it is obvious to see that the 7900GX2 was introduced just to test the waters. It is also obvious that nVidia got the response they wanted from these cards though as the 7950GX2 cards (as we mentioned, which are due out soon) will be improved in most ways.
When it comes to buying these cards for your own Quad SLI system, you really would be stupid to purchase them if you're using anything less than a 30" LCD monitor. We can see that even then we aren't unlocking the full potential. The other thing to remember - Gigabyte mentioned to us is that the next system that they build, it is going to revolve around Intel Conroe and AMD AM2 processors. While initial benchmarks for AM2 don't look all that exciting, Conroe on the other hand looks like it's going to be the next "in" chip for enthusiast PC users with up to 40% increases in performance. This will go along way to improve the CPU limitation factor which we're starting to see so much these days.
There is a market for these cards but there is no denying that it's going to be a small one. While we have heard that a few companies are going to be doing the 7950GX2 cards, it will be interesting to see if someone like BFG Tech put their "pre-overclocking" hands to work so they can edge out the competition.
There are flaws in the current setup at the moment but since no one is really going to be picking up these cards, we won't go into too much detail as it isn't important. Though we will say this - even as intensive as games like F.E.A.R. and Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter are, you would think that with this kind of GPU power you would be able to max out ALL settings including AA and AF but at times we couldn't.
There are a lot of questions that we have at the moment:
- Are the drivers just not ready?
- Is the CPU limiting us?
- Is something else limiting us?
- Do we need an X16 chipset for maximum performance?
- Do games need to be coded better for this kind of technology?
It is safe to say that most of these questions and more will be answered once we see Conroe, AM2, new nVidia chipsets and newer games/patches hit the market. For now we are impressed with what the future holds for what nVidia call "extreme HD gaming" - the future definitely looks good for PC gamers, that is, gamers who have lots of money to spend!
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- Page 1 [Introduction]
- Page 2 [The System]
- Page 3 [The Cards]
- Page 4 [Screenshots - 3DMark05 and 06]
- Page 5 [Screenshots - Gaming in BF2]
- Page 6 [Screenshots - Gaming in F.E.A.R.]
- Page 7 [Screenshots - Gaming in GRAW]
- Page 8 [Screenshots - Gaming in Half Life 2]
- Page 9 [Benchmarks - Test System Setup and 3DMark05]
- Page 10 [Benchmarks - 3DMark06]
- Page 11 [Benchmarks - Half Life 2]
- Page 12 [Benchmarks - F.E.A.R.]
- Page 13 [Final Thoughts]
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