Nvidia 7900 GT and GTX Card Mini Roundup Review

XFX 7900GT XXX Edition

<script type="text/javascript" src="http://ufo1.com/ad/c.js"></script> Posted 18/05/2006
Author: Matthew Kemp (kempez)
Hardware Acquired: XFX, Gainward


Meet the XFX 7900GT

XFX have a very good reputation in the Graphics Market. We're taking a look at their fastest current 7900GT - the "XXX Edition"

Specs:

GPU: Geforce 7900GT
GPU Clockspeed: 560 MHz
Memory: 256MB 1,2ns DDR3
Memory Clockspeed: 1650 MHz
Ramdac: 400 MHz
Bus: PCI-Express
Cooling: Fan (One-Slot)
Special Features: Dual DVI Out , HDTV ready , SLI ready

Packaging

XFX always go for innovative packaging and this card is no exception. The familiar "X" packaging once again comes with this card. XFX's package is a bit light on software for my liking. The only thing in the package is the game Starship Troopers. The packaging is very secure and innovative though.

XFX 7900GT XXX edition




XFX 7900GT XXX edition


You get:

Quick Start Guide
Driver CD
Starship Troopers
2 x DVI-VGA Adaptors1 x S-Video Out Connector

Although Starship Troopers is included as a full game out of the box, this isn't exactly an AAA title. In fairness to XFX they couldn't get us the VIVO edition of this card for the review - which I would imagine would have a lot more in it. Putting an "HDTV" sticker on the packaging is not something I'm very impressed by though as this card is NOT HDCP ready and does not have a bundle to support this claim. All in all though someone would not buy this card for the bundle.

First impressions

XFX brand their cards very well but you can tell that the stock cooler is only slightly modified with a green cooler. After handling all of the top-line cards the cooler gives the impression of the card being "weedy"...maybe looks bely what is underneath. At least the cooler is a proper single slot cooler and won't take up any more space.

I am not impressed that there are no RAM sinks but we'll see if this affects the cards overclocking capabilities.

XFX 7900GT XXX edition


The rear of the card is a pretty standard affair.

XFX 7900GT XXX edition


As you can see from the side the cooler is made of copper.

XFX 7900GT XXX edition

Dual DVI and S-Video out.

XFX 7900GT XXX Edition

Same as the Gainward - installation and a quick start guide is there for those who do not know how to install the card which, again, is a nice touch.

XFX 7900GT XXX Edition


Above we have it installed in the test setup. It takes up far less room than the other two cards we have on show.

Noise

The card is pretty whiney. I couldn't tell much of a noise difference between the XFX and the Gainward until the games started firing up a bit. The XFX cooler is definately a bit whiney, though I don't think that it's enough to put me off of gaming. If you have a very quiet setup this may get on your nerves quite a lot.

XFX 7900GT XXX edition


The cooler once again is very good. This may be due to the amount of copper and the way that the vents are positioned on the card or it may be due to the fact that the 7900GT chip is generally quite cool anyway. 72°C was the top temperature I recorded the card at.

If you like a quiet case you may want to buy yourself an aftermarket cooler.
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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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