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-- XFX 7900GS Video Card
-- Category: Review
-- Posted by: dave303
-- Posted on: 2006-11-12
-- Price: ~ $209.87 USD
-- Pages: 1 [ 2 ]
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In order to make these benchmarks valid, I made sure to set up the same test conditions for this card as I used to test the BFG 7900GT I reviewed earlier this year. I have tested the temperatures of the DDR RAM after the card was idle for 24 hours and they hover around 100F (Temp. taken with a digital laser thermometer).

I'm using the same version of 3DMark06 for the testing. For those of you who didn't read my previous review, here are the scores for the BFG 7900GT.

Now, here is the score for today's subject, the XFX 7900GS.

The GS line of cards is close to its older brother the GT with a difference of 487 points. This card offers quite an impressive score considering it is priced in the low $200 range.

Both of the above scores were tested on my Opteron 175 System using a DFI nForce4 Ultra-D motherboard with 2GB of RAM.

Since this card is going into a test machine, I need to get the baseline benchmarks for all of the 3DMark applications. When we got the GT card we received the professional version of 3DMark for reviewing purposes, a big thumbs up to Futuremark!

Now, here are the scores I got on my second test machine:

First, 3DMark03

Next, 3DMark05

And finally, 3DMark06.

The only difference here is that the new machine has a slightly better processor despite being clocked at the same speed, and this has given the XFX 7900GS a 69 point bump in score.

Running Quake 4 with Fraps taking screenshots and getting some benchmark scores:

Fraps 60 Sec benchmark

Frames

Time (ms)

Min

Max

Avg

3567

60000

45

62

59.450

 

Me about to snipe one of the bad guys.

Here are a couple images taken in the same area with different lighting.

After a while running the default settings, I decided to use coolbit to kick things up a notch and overclock the card. The default settings were 450MHz core and 660MHz memory. Moving in 5MHz steps and testing each time for stability with 3DMark03, I was able to go to 485MHz core without any trouble. Out of curiosity, I checked the RAM temperature again with the laser thermometer; it had creeped up slightly to 122F.

Default OC Screen

Screen after a few tests with the core at 485MHz:

25MHz and I was able to get another 233 points for the system. This halves the difference between the 7900GS and the 7900GT. I still have not touched the memory or seen any problems running at these higher speeds.

Now that I have been playing with this card for over a month, it has proven to be quite decent and holds its own against its older brother the GT. The difference, while visible in benchmarks, is practically invisible in games, even when you turn on the visual effects. Still, I think they should have used a heatsink which cools the DDR3 RAM.

Since this card comes out ~$100 cheaper than the GT it is a good bang for your buck, especially as it is SLI compatable. In the Coolbits folder they have a small PDF which gives you an explanation of how to get the overclocking features, but they call the register file by the wrong name.



Pros:

  • Impressive Performance/Value ratio
  • SLI Compatable (requires two cards)
  • Steady frame rates during mdern games
  • Comes with power adapter
  • Coolbit’s for the overclocker


Cons:

  • Only one DVI to VGA connector
  • No passive cooling for memory
  • Not a lot of information about the card on the box
  • Documentation with bad information re: Coolbits

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