First of all, the performance of this card is outstanding, a single card was impressive, and a pair in SLI was pure heaven. I really like the fact that these XFX cards are overclocked out of the box. First, it allows anyone to slap these cards in a system and know they are getting the best possible performance for their money without having to worry about overclocking the cards themselves. The 50MHz core and memory bumps will take away some of the pain from not going all out on a 7800GTX. Second, that pain should be short lived when you factor in not only the performance of these cards, but the $150 you saved as well.
I honestly think that the 7800GTs are the “sweet spot” in the graphics field right now. While a pair of 7800GTX’s in SLI sounds great, a $1100 price tag and the fact that most current systems are going to bottleneck those cards performance should make the 7800GT much more attractive.
As far as cooling, these cards never broke 65C at any time during my testing, a testament to the quality of the 7800GT’s single slot cooling solution. As far as fan noise, the 7800GT’s cooling fan was inaudible during all of my testing within the Sonata II I have come to use and love.
The only fault I could find with these cards was the overclocking ability above and beyond the preset overclock implemented by XFX. The best I could achieve in a single card configuration was 479MHz on the core and 1110MHz on the memory. While some may feel this is a poor overclock, please keep in mind that these cards start out at 400MHz on the core and 500MHz on the memory, so in essence the actual overclock was 79MHz on the core and 110MHz on the memory, not too bad given the temperatures and the fact that the 7800GT uses a single slot cooling solution.
The Legit Bottom Line
While the 7800GT doesn’t have the all out bang of the 7800GTX, when you consider the whole package (the overclock out of the box, the “Double Lifetime Warranty, the bundle, and the price) the XFX 7800GT is definitely the sweet spot of video cards right now.