NVIDIA 7900 GT VGA Card Roundup

Videocards/VGA Reviews by jmke @ 2006-07-23

We compare four 7900 GT video cards ranging from the price competitive Club 3D to the outrageously overclocked EVGA version; between those two extremes there are interesting products from Sparkle and MSI which also sport factory overclocked speeds. Read on to find out how they perform in games, how high they overclock and if their cooling is effective and quiet.

  • prev
  • next

Test Setup and Benchmarks

Test Setup

JMke's Test Setup
CPU Opteron 144 @ 2.25Ghz
Cooling Scythe Mine with stock fan @ 12v
Mainboard Asus A8N SLI Premium
Memory 2 * 512Mb PC3200 OCZ
  • Antec Lanboy with 2x80mm fans
  • GlobalWin 520W Silent PSU
  • Maxtor 200GB IDE HDD

  • nVIDIA Drive used: ForceWare 84.21
  • Windows XP SP2
  • Room temperature was 27?C during testing
  • Ambient noise (without VGA card ? system only) at ~37.5dBA

    Test Methodology and Benchmarks

    Our last group test consisted of mid range to low range VGA cards, which meant that higher resolutions resulted in unplayable frame rates with most of the newer games. The 7900 GT is not considered to be mid range and its performance is a noticeable step up allowing higher resolutions and details in modern games.

    1280x1024 and 1600x1200 with anti aliasing and anisotropic filtering enabled becomes possible even with the most taxing games, and this with a VGA which is closer by a ?250 price tag than a ?500 one. This is encouraging as the trend the last years for being able to play the latest games at high detail involved ?500+ graphic cards.

    The Club 3D 7900 GT was overclocked to 500(GPU)/700(MEM) to reflect the speeds of the Sparkle Calibre in order to check up on the effect of the 256Mb vs 512Mb performance difference. At lower resolutions the extra memory does not play a noticeable role, so the extra test was only included at 1600x1200.

    We used the following games for our gameplay evaluation:

  • Call of Duty 2
  • Quake 4
  • F.E.A.R.
  • Oblivion

    While some games allow time demo?s to be used, we choose to do manual run-throughs using FRAPS to record minimum and maximum FPS. In game settings were turned up to see if we could get playable frame rates at high detail with the 7900 GT.

    Let?s start off with Call of Duty 2 and Quake 4 ->
    • prev
    • next