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Which 7800GS: BFG, XFX Extreme or Gainward? Please advise!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 27, 2006 5:49:09 PM

Hello!

I've read these forums quite a bit but this is my first post. I was hoping you kind people here could give me some advice...

I'm after a new video card for my system (upgrading from an ancient FX5600) and have been looking at three different 7800GS cards. I am limited to the AGP versions as upgrading to a PCIe motherboard is not an option for me. I need a relatively high performance card that will last me 12-18 months before buying a new system outright. From what I've read Gainward and BFG are well respected whilst XFX are reasonably well thought of. These are the cards I am considering:


BFG GeForce 7800 GS OC 256MB GDDR3 TV-Out/DVI (AGP)

- GeForce™ 7800 GS GPU running at 400MHz
- 256MB 1250MHz high speed GDDR3 memory
- Superscalar 16-Pipe GPU Architecture
- High-Speed DDR 256-bit Memory Interface
- Dual 400MHz RAMDACs
- 600 million Vertices/sec setup
- 40.0GB/second memory bandwidth

Approx £210 Sterling.
This card didn't really stand out as having any special features but I know BFG have a great rep and it also gets a lifetime warranty. Any good?


Gainward BLISS GeForce 7800 GS SILENT 512MB GDDR3 TV-Out/Dual DVI (AGP)

- GeForce™ 7800 GT GPU running at 425MHz
- 512MB 1200MHz high speed GDDR3 memory
- Superscalar 20-Pipe GPU Architecture
- SILENT Cooling solution
- High-Speed DDR 256-bit Memory Interface
- Dual 400MHz RAMDACs

Approx £280 Sterling.
I really liked the look of this card. I noted imparticular that is has some sort of special chip on it that allows it to use 20 pipelines with AGP which I haven't seen on any other AGP card. Gainward are good, yes? But is it worth the extra money?


XFX GeForce 7800 GS Extreme Edition 256MB GDDR3 TV-Out/DVI (AGP)

- GeForce™ 7800 GS GPU running at 440MHz
- 256MB 1300MHz high speed GDDR3 memory
- Superscalar 16-Pipe GPU Architecture
- High-Speed DDR 256-bit Memory Interface
- Dual 400MHz RAMDACs
- 600 million Vertices/sec setup
- 40.0GB/second memory bandwidth

Approx £220 Sterling.
This one seems to offer a lot of power for a small price. However, I am a bit worried that it will suffer from instability. Are XFX to be trusted?


So which should I go for? Are there other cards I should look at? I'm willing to spend quite a bit as long as the card is worth the money. Please bear in mind that I'm in the United Kingdom so my choices may be more limited than US buyers.

Thank you!
March 27, 2006 6:28:08 PM

Gainward BLISS GeForce 7800 GS Is Even Faster Than My OverClocked WinFast 7800GT ... I Saw Some Benchmark , An OverClocked Gainward BLISS GeForce 7800 GS Can Get Over 7800 Point In 3DMark 2005 !!
Dont Even Think About XFX , Gainward BLISS GeForce 7800 GS Has 7800GT Chip With A PCI-E To AGP Bridge ! 20 Pipeline , 512 Mb GDDR3 , OH , I Wish I Had One ... :twisted:
March 27, 2006 6:30:21 PM

Yeah I would go with the gainward card it is quieter than the other gs cards, has 512mb of memory and uses a gt core. Beats all the gs cards in benchmarks and that extra memory and better cooler will help in gaming.

I have the XFX card and it runs well but it gets quite noisey with the small fan I would watercool it but cant find a way to cool the HSI chip, looked for heatsinks but can't find any and don't have the ability to make one myself.

Anyway overclockers.co.uk dont have them in stock yet, but you can pre order them for £239.95 go for it and get one of these babies, would have got one myself if I hadn't just bought my XFX :roll: .
March 27, 2006 7:42:15 PM

The Gainward is more expensive, but definitely worth it; it's the fastest AGP card out.
March 27, 2006 9:55:31 PM

Gainward, gainward, gainward.

The only 20-pipeline 7800GS in AGP.

All other AGP 7800's are 16-pipe.
March 27, 2006 10:05:03 PM

Know any way to actually GET the gainward though? And how much it costs?
March 27, 2006 10:52:00 PM

I've heard that the only availability on the Gainward card, is in Europe. I wouldnt plan on seeing one in the wild in the U.S.
March 28, 2006 3:40:57 AM

Quote:

Anyway overclockers.co.uk dont have them in stock yet, but you can pre order them for £239.95 go for it and get one of these babies, would have got one myself if I hadn't just bought my XFX :roll: .


Come on, I all ready said where you can get it from and the cost, did you read my post :evil:  ?
March 28, 2006 4:09:26 PM

Ok, thank you very much for your suggestions. I'll probably spend a little more and get the gainward card when it becomes available.
March 29, 2006 3:50:56 AM

I hope it comes to the US soon. I might upgrade if that's the case. :p 
April 2, 2006 9:15:52 PM

Go for the Gainward deffinitely!!! 8)

It's the fastest AGP card in the world atm!

I phoned Overclockers.co.uk on Friday and they told me that only a Thousand of these will ever be made and only be available from them as there brought all of them from Gainward, so these babies are going to be Limited! :) 
April 2, 2006 10:07:12 PM

Quote:
Go for the Gainward deffinitely!!! 8)

It's the fastest AGP card in the world atm!

I phoned Overclockers.co.uk on Friday and they told me that only a Thousand of these will ever be made and only be available from them as there brought all of them from Gainward, so these babies are going to be Limited! :) 


Overclockers always gets limited editions in the uk its the best place for graphics card, tho Im suprised they answered the phone they never did when my friend rang up to find out where his sli 6600s were last year.
April 3, 2006 3:50:36 AM

Quote:
Go for the Gainward deffinitely!!! 8)

It's the fastest AGP card in the world atm!

I phoned Overclockers.co.uk on Friday and they told me that only a Thousand of these will ever be made and only be available from them as there brought all of them from Gainward, so these babies are going to be Limited! :) 


Overclockers always gets limited editions in the uk its the best place for graphics card, tho Im suprised they answered the phone they never did when my friend rang up to find out where his sli 6600s were last year.

Yeah their customer support service is shocking but they have got a lot of good stuff on their site. It's just not so good when you have to return something. Athough saying that, when I bought my Creative Gigaworks speakers from them (£200+) they sent me an extra one when the first one went "missing" in the post, so I ended up with two sets and sold one to my brother :lol:  :twisted: :lol:  (It arrived late)
April 6, 2006 10:23:15 PM

Well I bought the XFX GeForce 7800 GS Extreme Edition 256MB GDDR3 TV-Out/DVI (AGP) last week from overclockers and had to return it. Turns out they overclocked it without fully knowing what they were doing. Keeps crashing to a black screen all the time. Lots of people with the issue. Check the XFX forums to see.

So I sent it back and my Gainward BLISS GeForce 7800 GS SILENT 512MB GDDR3 TV-Out/Dual DVI (AGP) arrives later today (Yay!) £50 more the the XFX disaster but reviews are saying it's a mighty fine card and Gainward have a pretty good rep.

The XFX performed well to be honest but the crashes were too much. Ranged from 5 mins to an hour. Even crashed playing Dawn of War which is not really graphically taxing.

So XFX=Boooo Gainward=Yay!
April 6, 2006 11:02:09 PM

I disagree I have the XFX GeForce 7800 GS Extreme Edition 256MB GDDR3 TV-Out/DVI (AGP) from overclockers and I have it overclocked to 480 core : 1350 memory (could go higher but don't want to kill it) and it works a treat if not a bit noisy.

But these cores are basically just 7800 GTX cores that didn't make the mark so there might be some cards out there that aren't that great and have to be returned.

That Bliss card is nice though, I ordered one and going to sell my gs to my brother :twisted: . XFX are a good company; there are gs cards from all companys that have to be returned.
April 6, 2006 11:41:19 PM

Aye, some are XFX cards are fine but the XFX 7800GS EE version 1.0 to 1.2 cards have a high probability to throw up the black screen crashes. The 1.3 cards appear to be fine apart from the "overcooling" issue which is pretty rare.

Here's the link to the thread on the XFX official forums. Lots of pages as you'll see.

http://www.xfxforce.com/forums/thread.jspa?threadID=360...
April 6, 2006 11:50:22 PM

Wow, I'm jealous. One of you guys from the UK wanna buy the Gainward card for me and ship it to the US? :D 
April 7, 2006 12:08:28 AM

Send me your money and your .... don't need your address actually :lol: .
April 7, 2006 12:19:46 AM

Quote:
Gainward, gainward, gainward.

The only 20-pipeline 7800GS in AGP.

All other AGP 7800's are 16-pipe.
April 7, 2006 12:56:46 AM

Quote:
Send me your money and your .... don't need your address actually :lol: .


Hahaha. :lol: 
April 7, 2006 1:49:05 AM

I think that European exclusivity of the Gainward "Bliss" 7800GS (7800GT in a flimsy disguise) would perhaps be reason to petition President Bush to threaten Europe, until Gainward agrees to make more of the card, and sell it in the United States and Canada. It's pretty much stupidly fast compared to eVGA's "superclock" 7800GS, and everything else is pathetic compared to those two. (even XFX's best OC cards)
April 7, 2006 2:41:26 PM

Well the Gainward "Bliss" 7800GS arrived and is installed.
It's a pretty big card but went in fine with no probs.

Not really had a chance to push it yet but it was running FEAR and Oblivion with everything maxed out at 1240 x 960 and was running super smooth.

System I'm running it on is..
Abit IC7 MAX3 board
P4 3.2GHz chip
2x Twinmos paired 512MB sticks (1g total)
Enermax noisetaker 550W

No issues on conflictions.
April 7, 2006 3:26:57 PM

Have to go with the Gainward, it's the best AGP out there at the moment and should prolong the life of your system.

I was wondering can Gainward do the same with the 7900GT core and that same bridge to convert PCIe to AGP? Now that would be some animal if it's possible!
April 9, 2006 1:17:55 PM

Quote:
Well the Gainward "Bliss" 7800GS arrived and is installed.
It's a pretty big card but went in fine with no probs.

Not really had a chance to push it yet but it was running FEAR and Oblivion with everything maxed out at 1240 x 960 and was running super smooth.

System I'm running it on is..
Abit IC7 MAX3 board
P4 3.2GHz chip
2x Twinmos paired 512MB sticks (1g total)
Enermax noisetaker 550W

No issues on conflictions.


Hi,
Just wondered how quiet this card is? Do you have anything to compare it to? Thinking of buying one and if it's alot quiete rthan the other 7800GS cards I might be tempted.
Thanks for any info,
Danny.
April 9, 2006 1:51:24 PM

EVGA has a lifetime warranty!
April 9, 2006 4:23:46 PM

Yes it is a lot quieter as it uses the artic cooling silencer just repackaged in a black coating
April 9, 2006 4:55:49 PM

The fans on all of the XFX's that I've owned (6600 GT PCI-E and 6800 GT AGP) have both been a little louder than other cards I've owned. Based on that soley I'd concur with the majority of posts here.....

GAINWARD!

Broom broom!!!
April 10, 2006 3:33:29 PM

Gainward BLISS seems to be the absolute top of the line AGP solution. That is if you want to pony up the cash for a legacy bus and then it becomes an issue of finding one that is available.

I have the BFG card and am happy with it. When the new AM2 chips drive the 939 prices down and all the other components to a respectable level then I will step into the PCI-E world. I think my BFG will last me another 12-18 months.
April 10, 2006 4:17:58 PM

Thanks for the info guys. Only other thing that concerns me with this card is that I assume it is not Nvidia 'textbook', and as such I am concerned with heatpower issues.
April 10, 2006 7:59:57 PM

I have a question about this card and my rig...

I have an Abit NF7-S 2.0 running a Athlon 2800 XP-M @ between 2400-2600Mhz, stable.

I have 2x512MB Crucial Ballistix RAM sticks.

Would my rig be able to handle this card? What I mean is would my processor be a bottle neck or not?

There is no point upgrading the card if the CPU can't handle it...

Thoughts?

Thanks!
Mark
April 10, 2006 9:44:24 PM

I think the real question is how much of an upgrade will the 7800GS card be to your system.

It has been said in serveral threads that the price to upgrade from an AMD standpoint is minor if you already have a socket 939 processor and PC3200 RAM. You would be better served upgrading to an entry level PCI-E board and getting a PCI-E 7800GT card for about $50 more. Let us face the simple facts, if you are going to spend $350 for a new graphics card then $400 for a "system upgrade with grpahics card" isnt that much of a big deal.

I have a socket A processer and back in 02 my system was top of the line but now it is just returning my initial investment.

However I will say that the difference between my 9800Pro AIW 128 and my BFG 7800GS OC is night and day.

To answer your question CMark: My 3200+ is not OC'd and is stock 2.2GHz. I use 1GB of Kingston Value RAM on a A7N8X-E deluxe motherboard which historically is not the most stable board and I have an X-Connect 500W PS which is pretty bargin basement and I have had zero problems using the latest nV drivers from the website.
April 10, 2006 10:08:02 PM

All very true words.

I have a socket A board/cpu so I would need a board/cpu/graphics card and I guess I don't really want an entry level rig but you can't have everything.

I was just running the thoughts to the "Geeks" out there :) 

At least I know that my stuff will run fine with a newer card. I guess I need to decide how much / badly I want it.

If I ask the question, "Do I need it?", then the answer is "No". But that's always the case isn't it?

Thanks for your help!
!