Seven of NVIDIA's Latest and Greatest Cards Tested

EVGA GeForce 7800 GTX Black Pearl

eVGA with water cooling

The Black Pearl edition of the 7800GTX is the fastest GeForce 7 chip in this roundup. eVGA's Black Pearl series uses water cooling, allowing the card to reach a core clock speed of 600 MHz and a memory speed of 1800 MHz. The flat but very large heatsink cools the memory modules as well. The Eheim water pump draws its power directly from the system's power supply through a standard 12V cable. If you have a CRT monitor, you should ensure that the display and the pump are at least 20" (50 cm) apart, as the pump's motor can cause image distortions.

The radiator of this cooling solution comes with a 120 mm fan. We were pleased to note that eVGA also includes an adapter for the quieter 7 V operation mode. The equalizing reservoir is mounted directly on the pump, and in the case of our review sample, consisted of transparent red plastic, enabling a quick visual check of the fluid level at any time. Assembling the water cooling set is a very simple matter and should not take more than 15 minutes. The hoses can be cut to the right length using scissors, and connecting and securing them to the components does not require much force at all. While our review sample still used a water block of unvarnished aluminum, the final version will be black, in keeping with the Black Pearl theme.

The system consisting of graphics card, water pump, and radiator

Back of graphics card