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I am looking at upgrading to a 7" screen..

My question is what are the main differences between the HDS series and the elite series.

I just don't know if I need the HDS for walleye and salmon fishing.

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main difference is networkability and features. The Elite does not have the Ethernet ports on the back so a bunch of the add ons wont work like structure scan, radar, networking multiple screens together. Need an HDS to do that.

Also take a look at the Garmin 740s. Price between the Elite and HDS, can still add radar, touchscreen, and one awesome unit and would be my choice for a 7" unit for trolling.

Both are available from Calumet Marine (site sponsor)


Don't see something on the store just let me know and ill get you a price.

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  • 1 month later...

From another forum and different posters:

The display of the HDS-7 Gen2 is 640 x480 pixels, a 4:3 aspect ratio, on a 6.4-inch diagonal with LED backlighting.

The display of the Elite 7 HDI is 800 x 480 pixels, a 15:9 aspect ratio, on a 7-inch diagonal with LED backlighting.

We compute the screen area (A) from the diagonal (d) and aspect ratio ® as

A = d^2/(r+1/r)

and find

HDS-7 Gen2 screen Area = 19.66-inch^2

ELITE 7 HDI screen Area = 21.68-inch^2

Dividing the screen area by the number of pixels gives the pixel density

HDS-7 Gen2 pixel density = 307200/19.66 = 15,625-pixel/inch^2

ELITE 7 HDI pixel density = 384000/21.68 = 17,712-pixel/inch^2

The ELITE 7 HDI has more screen area and has higher pixel density than an HDS-7 Gen2.

Some key differences between the two units:

- E7 screen is larger (true 7") than the HDS7 (6.5")

- HDS processing is FASTER than than the E7 by a large margin (little to no lag if doing multiple things)

- HDS can be networked to multiple units and sonars, as well as radar/music and now WIFI, includes both NEMA standards. This opens the door for internal mapping if combined with other modules, something not available to the E7. E7 has NEMA 2000, and can only share GPS info - no transducers at this time.

- The E7 HDI model includes Downimaging, the HDS7 G2 does not have this unless you purchase the SS2 module.

- IMO, the screen on the HDS7 G2 is better than the E7 - it's smoother for lack of better discription, likely due to the more powerful processor.

- The HDS7 G2 has access to 3D maps that may or may not be useful to you if purchasing a mapping card. E7 is flat mapping only (and slower on mapping refresh than the HDS G2 in my experience).

Surface temp is available for both units via the transducer.

Ultimately it comes down to what you want to use it for. If you were comparing the E7 to the Gen 1 HDS units, the processing power is closer, so it would come down to networking/integration vs screensize/integrated DSI. With the Gen2's there's a noticeable performance bump IMO, but again I consider the larger picture of how you want your system setup.

For a one and done, budget minded unit the E7 is incredibly hard to beat.

If you're looking to the future and more units, the HDS series.

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  • 1 month later...

i was between the 2 and just bought the elite 7 hdi. The down imaging doesnt do much for me for trolling, but i like having it for spring walleyes in shallow. I was originally leaning towards an HDS 5, but because im not linking it to my outboard or to another unit, i really didnt need the compatability. It does have the NMEA 2000 hookup and a NMEA 0183, but i believe they are the most basic, and not conmpatible with the high end HDS models. For a standalone unit, i paid a little more for the Elite7 than the HDS 5, but im happy with it for what i need it for..

BTW the screen is F'in huge for a 7

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