Nvidia 7900 GT and GTX Card Mini Roundup Review

Overclocking

Overclocking

As stated before all of the overclocking was done inside coolbits for the nvidia cards. For the XTX I used the ATI overdrive overclocking facility. Please note that all overclocks were done with stock voltages and were what I call "Quick overclocks". That is: I overclocked, ascertained stability, then benchmarked. Any unstable overclocks will be talked about below.

XFX

The XFX is a very fast card at stock. Using Coolbits I was able to get an overclock of:

XFX overlcock

The card got up to a very nice memory speed of 873 before I had to clock down due to artifacts. The core speed did not get as high (594) but this is still a good OC at stock cooling with temps no higher than 72°C. I think putting this card under water and adding some RAM sinks would get you a huge OC. Definately a good card if that is your kind of thing.

Gainward

I had some issues with the Gainward card which I am curently speaking to Gainward about at the moment. I could get a nice OC on the card with coolbits recognising the below speeds. However, as soon as I fired up 3dMark06 I got wavey artifacts on the screen and had to cold reboot. This was very frustrating and the fault was almost certainly with the memory speed as the core clocked nicely. In the end I ended up using the settings 611/745. The problems were not due to high temperatures either.

Gainward OC

I have a feeling that the above overclock would have made the Gainward card very fast indeed. Unfortunately running the card at 611/745 could only just not keep up with the XFX at very high memory speeds. As I mentioned above: Gainward are looking into this issue and I will edit this article accordingly if they reply with information.

Club3d

The Club3d overclocked very well, and managed an impressive 710Mhz stable overlcock. The memory also overclocked nicely. This speed means that the Club3d 7900GTX can score quite a bit more than the XTX running at 690/800. I got to 710/865.

club3d overclock

This improves the cards performance by quite a bit: going from a fast card to a very very fast card. The 7900GTX cooler is no doubt an excellent one.

Results

Here are the results for the 3dMark 06 run when all of the cards were overclocked:

3dmark 06 overclocked


Overclocking Summary


Although not included in the stock game benches, these overclocks improve game performance quite a bit. The best thing is that this costs no extra, does not ruin the card and does not require any volt modding at all. I think that the XFX card performed pretty well, with a great memory overclock, but if the issues with the Gainward get ironed out: that card will be very fast and have an extra 256mb of video memory to boot.


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Most Recent Comments

20-05-2006, 07:17:01

FarFarAway
We take a look at a couple of nvida's high-end cards

Click Here for the goodness

20-05-2006, 07:27:48

Hyper
Excellent Review Kemp, keep it up

Sam

20-05-2006, 07:42:45

dave87
Yup, nice work

20-05-2006, 07:47:16

MonkeyMeow
Lovely, now i'm dying for my Asus 7900 512MB GTX

20-05-2006, 08:26:24

FarFarAway
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='MonkeyMeow'
Lovely, now i'm dying for my Asus 7900 512MB GTX
Yep anyone wanting a new card - those are 300ish if you use the SpecialTech Offer

20-05-2006, 08:41:02

limqareb
the problem of the gainward is the same i have on my 7800 so that happend after i overclocked it and i think i f**ked the ram, btw great review all the text must have taken you ages to write

20-05-2006, 09:33:00

FarFarAway
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='limqareb'
the problem of the gainward is the same i have on my 7800 so that happend after i overclocked it and i think i f**ked the ram, btw great review all the text must have taken you ages to write
Yep the review took a while

Thanks guys - glad you like it

20-05-2006, 13:20:27

Eguy
Nice job as always kemp, I just got a XFX 7900GT for a customer, they are very pleased with it

20-05-2006, 19:46:45

PV5150
Awesome review mate

21-05-2006, 10:27:56

twisted5
Nice review Kemp One question...did you notice any kind of high pitch whine coming from any of the cards at any time? There is a thread going over at XS about this and apparently there are some cards that have an IC that gets VERY hot and starts to whine. The thread can be found HERE. Anyone else with a 7900 series card noticed this? It took a little listening to find it on mine since it is already loud in the room that my comp is in but it is there. I ended up just putting a memory heatsink on it and the 120mm fan in the side of my case takes care of the cooling on it.

21-05-2006, 11:44:54

FarFarAway
Hmm I have been noticing a loud pitched whine coming out of this one yes. didn't notice it during the review though

21-05-2006, 15:44:23

Ham
Just me or is there 2 page 6s? :s

And 10 and 11. May be my browzer...

21-05-2006, 16:11:51

Raven
Ham, your not alone

21-05-2006, 16:52:55

JN
Fixed, just Kemp accidentally re-submitting the same pages after checking them due to a PM from a spelling whore no doubt.

21-05-2006, 16:53:52

FarFarAway
We'll get it sorted. This is due to WC making me go through the entire review. If I submit a page without making changes another page

21-05-2006, 17:35:10

jiffz
I don't read loads of reviews on any site tbh, however I do think that is the best review/comparison I have read. I enjoy a good comparison and all cards are well described, analysed, well pictured with easy to follow results. It's all very well laid out and this must have taken a lot of time. Fair doos mate

21-05-2006, 17:42:11

FarFarAway
Thanks mate that's really appreciated. It did take up quite a fair amount of my spare time but hopefully it'll help out a few people who are wanting to make a decision on what to buy.

21-05-2006, 18:02:08

twisted5
Kemp: Could you look and see if you can find where the whining is coming from?

21-05-2006, 18:05:51

FarFarAway
I aint getting any right now plus i have to go to bed but I will do tomorrow mate ok

21-05-2006, 21:21:31

jiffz
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kempez
Thanks mate that's really appreciated. It did take up quite a fair amount of my spare time but hopefully it'll help out a few people who are wanting to make a decision on what to buy.

I'd deffinately have that Club 3D one. Now it's just a case of finding the cash for one of 'em!!!

21-05-2006, 21:56:43

twisted5
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Kempez'
I aint getting any right now plus i have to go to bed but I will do tomorrow mate ok
I hope I didn't come across as wanting you to do it right then and there, just whenever you get a chance and remember it. I know both of my 7900GTX cards do it when transfering from 2d to 3d things and for awhile after that. It is actually starting to get kind of annoying now that I have noticed it.

22-05-2006, 05:22:22

WC Annihilus
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Kempez'
We'll get it sorted. This is due to WC making me go through the entire review. If I submit a page without making changes another page
Yes, I do seem to have become the unofficial review checker. And I prolly bug the frick out of those 2 with it.

Anyways, nice review man

22-05-2006, 06:17:32

FragTek
Awesome, awesome review!

Good job Kemp!

14-06-2006, 05:39:03

FarFarAway
Please note that I have amended this review conclusion after discussion with Gainward.

Thanks

14-06-2006, 05:49:18

twisted5
What was changed? I didn't notice anything or did I just miss it?

EDIT: NM I found it...I am just blind

14-06-2006, 09:32:36

jmke
good review; solid testing method, I like it, thumbs up.

would have loved to see 7900GT 256Mb vs 512Mb shoot-out between XFX and Gainward with both memory/GPU speeds the same; interesting to see how they stack up.

guess that I'll have to check myself Sparkle 512Mb vs Club3D 256Mb
Reply
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