Nvidia 7900 GT and GTX Card Mini Roundup Review
Published: 18th May 2006 | Source: XFX | Price: |Image Quality
For any current generation graphics card the issue HAS to be image quality. There is no doubt that all of the cards I have benchmarked in this review are fast, but how do they make the games look?
Nvidia and shimmering textures. Nvidia have had an issue for quite some time now with shimmering textures in games. This is due to poor implementation of anistropic filtering by nvidia. I have not talked too much about the "High Quality" driver settings in this review, as I did not feel that the 7900GT cards were quite fast enough to run this higher quality filtering well. But the GTX chip CAN run this level of driver setting. This does increase the quality of the scene overall, but the shimmering is still (barely) visible. I would not say that the shimmering issue would effect most people but it can become an issue if you are a bit of a quality nut. Here ATI excels and the High Quality AF and Adaptive AA are great features to have. Nvidia's Transparency AA is also an excellent feature, but again I feel the the GTX chip is the best chip to run the features on.
Having said that if you are running a CRT/TFT that is 1280 x 1024 then you will definately have the option of running these excellent features without slowing the performance down too much.
I have to say that the nvidia high-end card product lineup is very fast and performs very well in games. I am a fan of nvidia's drivers over the rather bloated .NET ATI drivers: but that's a great shame as the ATI cards are incredibly fast cards in the hardware as well.
The 7900GT lineup is a great lineup from both nvidia and its partners. Nvidia really stepped up its high-mid range performance with this card.
I was looking at the slightly pricier section of the 7900GT lineup and they did not fail to impress. XFX's card is a very fast card at stock and performs very well in all of the benchmarks. I was most impressed with the card but the cooling solution let it down a little. The Gainward card was a mixed bag. It performed well, but got beaten out by the XFX in most games. I feel that Gainward should perhaps think of upping the memory speed on the card to match the competition and then the card would be awesome. The cooling on the Gainward card is superior to the XFX card as far as sound is concerned and to many people this is a definite issue.
The Club3d 7900GTX is a very nice card. The reference cooling on the card is quiet and provides enough contact/airflow for a good overclock. While this card is a little more expensive than the XFX and the Gainward (around £25-40), perhaps it is worth the stretch. Would it be worth stretching even further to buy an X1900 series card? I'm not altogether convinced it would be.
Club3d 7900GTX 512mb
For Value for money the Club3d has it out of the three cards. At £299 from Ebuyer, this card is awesome value. Our value award goes to the Club3d.
Cheap for a top-line card
Gets outperformed by the X1900XTX in some games/benchmarks
Still expensive at £300
XFX 7900GT 256 "XXX" Edition
If you are looking for an Sli setup then I would definately reccomend the XFX card. The cooler is slightly noisy, but it is single slot and as such does not take up that valuable additional PCI slot. At £269 from SCAN and an even better £258 at Overclockers UK it is a little on the pricey side but a great investment. The XFX gets the recommended award.
Very fast 7900GT
Nice overclock at stock
Nice looking cooler
Loud whiney cooler
The Gainward card has better cooling than the XFX card, but if you are looking for silence you will want to go for a little extra and get the Club3d. I am hesitant to give this card a reward due to the problems I had overclocking it. The cooler is nice and the card looks great though: a definate plus for a windowed system. At £271 at SCAN and £270 at Overclockers UK, the card is a little on the pricey side.
Great looking card
512mb memory may be needed in future
**Slow memory** Please see note below
Gets outperformed by similarly priced XFX card
Reply From Gainward
We always ask the manufacturers to give us feedback. Gainward have been kind enough to get back to us on this card.
I have spoken to a technician at Gainward who was very suprised that I would not overclock the Bliss card past 1500Mhz on the memory. He said that whilst this is a Golden Sample Card and only guaranteed at the Golden Sample Pre-overclocked clocks: it SHOULD have overclocked much further. Gainward did offer to send a new retail card to prove that this was a one-off but we feel that this was correct. I am therefore asking the reader to temper the overclocking results with this in mind.
We now feel that the Gainward can be "recommended" and have a score of 8.
Our thanks to Gainward for the Feedback.
The most prestigeous of our awards: the Editors Choice Award goes to...
Club3d 7900GTX 512mb
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