The GeForce 7800 GTX 512MB is something of a misnomer. While it is true that it does have 256MB more memory than the original GeForce 7800 GTX and the core and architecture used are identical, it should deserve a more fitting name, like the 'Ultra' moniker being bandied around by the rumor mills a while back. After all, the extra memory is now aided by significant clock speeds improvements over the original GeForce 7800 GTX 256MB. Instead of the staid (by comparison) 430MHz core frequency of the 256MB version, the 512MB is clocked at 550MHz and the memory has gone from 1.2GHz DDR to 1.7GHz DDR, a whopping increase that makes the GeForce 7800 GTX 512MB much more than its name suggests.
The XFX GeForce 7800 GTX 512MB is effectively a reference card, with no visible sign of any XFX logo or branding other than a tiny sticker. Therefore, the clock speeds are also similar to what we have just mentioned. XFX actually has an overclocked version of the GeForce 7800 GTX 512MB – the XXX Edition – that is clocked at a slightly higher speeds of 580MHz and 1730MHz DDR, so be sure not to confuse the two. Given the specifications, the XFX card should perform similarly to any other reference card, though coming from XFX, we do hope that it has more leeway for overclocking, something that we would find out later.
The distinctive cooler found on the XFX GeForce 7800 GTX 512MB is one of the largest that we have seen from NVIDIA and in fact, is also found on the Extreme, overclocked version of the GeForce 7800 GTX 256MB from Leadtek. While the size of the cooler could be daunting and adds significantly to the weight and size of the card (it takes up two-slots, like the Radeon X1800 XT), it spins rather slowly, so the noise level seems lower than the 256MB version with its single slot cooler.
XFX's focus on the gaming enthusiasts is evident as more often than not, its graphics cards lineup include overclocked versions that promise better performance. This approach is also reflected in the software that we found in the package. Three games of different genres are included so gamers should find the XFX GeForce 7800 GTX 512MB to their liking. The usual accessories like cables and DVI-to-VGA adaptors are also included for an overall satisfactory bundle. Here are the detailed contents of the package: