Nvidia 7900 GT and GTX Card Mini Roundup Review

Test Setup

How we tested

With the pure speed of cards out on the market at the moment I tend to focus on gameplay in my reviews. I will play each of the test suite games on as high settings as I could possibly play them at while maintaining a frame rate that is enjoyable to play at. If the quality of the gaming looks the same at different settings then I will choose the setting with the best FPS. This differs from game to game and person to person but I play a lot of games and have played with a lot of graphics cards so I hope that I can impart a decent opinion.

To offset this angle I also run a test suite of 3dMark03, 05 and 06. These will give you some numbers on what the cards perform like at stock speeds, for comparison. I also ran 3dMark06 after overclocking the cards - to see how much of an effect the overclocking will make. Overclocking was performed using the coolbits registry hack and done as in This Thread from the OC3D forums.

Test Setup

For these high-end cards I am using an overclocked Dual Core Opteron 175. Running at speeds exceeding an FX-60 at 2.8GHz, this will hopefully allow the cards to perform up to their fastest.

AMD Opteron 175 @ 2.8GHz (watercooled)
DFI LANPARTY UT Sli-D motherboard
Mushkin Redline PC4000 running at 255 x 11 1:1 3-3-2-5
HDD: OS - 160gb Hitachi Deskstar SATA II
HDD: Gaming - 2 x 40gb Hitachi Deskstars in RAID 0
Sound: SoundBlaster Audigy 2 ZS
Power: PCP&C 510 SLi
Case: Coolermaster stacker with a lot of additional cooling

For installation I have installed the card as usual with the normal PCI-E power dongle. Checked that the card is seated correctly and powered on. I am using a clean install of Windows XP Professional SP2 with all the latest patches. I am using nvidia's latest official forceware drivers - 84.21.

 

For reference I will also be using a Sapphire X1900XTX 512mb. The ATI card was run through on Catalyst 6.3 as I had some issues with 6.4.


Cards:

Gainward Bliss 7900GT 512mb Golden Sample.
Clock speed: 550. Memory speed: 1400 (700)

XFX 7900GT 256mb "XXX" Edition. Clock Speed: 560. Memory Speed: 1650 (825)

Club3d 7900GTX 512mb. Clock Speed: 650. Memory Speed: 1600 (800)

Sapphire X1900XTX 512mb. Clock Speed: 650. Memory Speed: 1550 (775).

All game tests were run on stock speeds. Initial benchmarks were run stock speeds apart from the overclocked 3dMark06 run. All benchmarks were performed three times on each card.

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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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