I was stunned in disbeif when my 7900GT wouldn't run NFS:C at about 30 FPS on max settings 1280x1024... but I soon forgot.. disabled speed blurrrr... just beat carbon took me 7 hours for the career mode.... less than 2 days.... UT 2007 will be dx10.. will it not? maybe dx9 compatablility... some full system specs would be helpfull...
comparing clocks and pipes outside a family is not very usefull.... I mean.. a 7900GT vs a 7950GT you can clearly see the winner in the specs.. more ram higher clock.. more pipes if i remember correctly... and not to mention the name is a higher number... but if you took a 7950GT and compared it to a x1950XT... yes you would see higher clocks... but you might get thrown by 24 pixel pipelines vs, 16.. but what might not be mentioned maybe the 48 Pixel shader processor... the x1950XT wins hands down.. sry if that was extremely confusing.. but comparing clocks and such isn't the most useful way to tell across different series and gpu makers...
so within a family the higher number card usually wins... with little discrepancies about GT/GS and such but to compare cross family I just type the the following into google... **Card I look at* vs. 8O
for example.. if u want to find out what a 7300GT compares to.. type
and google will fill in the rest with articles that pop up..
maybe a lame way to find out.. but once you get your bearings you don't really have to do it anymore..
Unfortunately for you, the GF7's are pretty lousy at NFS:Carbon. The 3:1 architecture of the X19xx series cards helps it do way better than the GF7's or even the X1800XT. Just look how the X1950 pro licks the X1800XT and 7950GT that can easily run with it in other games.
I was amazed that my X1800XT did as poorly as it does in carbon. Basically needs motion blur disabled to play at 12x10 max. The X1950XT 256MB has no problem playing 12x10 max with motion blur. And my 7800GT...forget about it. It's way behind the X1800XT.
You are not giving us much to go by. An X1950 pro is a decent priced card that does well in NFS titles including Carbon. Above that would be the X1950XT and the GF8800's. If the X1950 pro is too expensive for you, the X1650XT does pretty well in Carbon when compared to cards that cost about the same.
With a X1650XT, I found Carbon playable at 1024x768 4xAA/Aniso with max details except no motion blur. At 1280x1024 you'll have to reduce settings or turn off FSAA.