From these two synthetic and four "real world" game engines you can see that ATI has taken the 16 pixel shader and 8 vertex shader pipelines from the X850 generation and massively overhauled them into a highly efficient system. In many of the tests at 10x7 and 16x12 resolutions, the 24 and eight pipelines of the NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GTX could not keep up with the ATI X1800XT.
One of the most drastic leaps was in 3DMark 2005 where the 16x12 4xAA 8xAF score lead the NVIDIA 7800 GTX by over 1,100 marks.
Unreal Tournament is a CPU-limited game that has many games based on its core graphics engine. The 10x7 figures are all limited by the CPU, even an AMD FX-57. However, while running at the 16x12 with high image quality, the X1800XT pulls away from the 7800GTX.
Far Cry gives another picture of the cards. The 7800 GTX does very well at the basic resolutions without high quality filtering and sampling turned on. When image quality is set higher, the X1800XT takes the lead again.
Doom 3 is and has been an NVIDIA game. Again, NVIDIA holds the crown in Doom 3 and it wouldn't be surprising if it holds the crown with Quake 4 when it launches.
Like Doom 3 is the NVIDIA trump card, Half-Life 2 is the ATI trump card. At lower resolutions and no image quality, even the X1300Pro beats the 7800 GTX. With quality turned back on and at higher resolutions the NVIDIA card still lags behind the ATI cards. However, this is what we have come to expect with HL2.