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eVGA GeForce

7600 GS

 

Two Birds, one Thrown Video Card

 

by Josh Walrath

 

            Lately I have had the chance to review quite a few eVGA cards, and I must admit that I am impressed where the company is going.  eVGA used to be somewhat of an afterthought in the North American market, well behind the previous NVIDIA partner giant, VisionTek.  Since VT went down in flames due to some poor business practices, eVGA has really stepped up to the plate in serving the North American market.  Service and support became top priorities there, and they have developed a thriving community of users who frequently post on the eVGA forums.  Add in a very good warranty, as well as the Step Up Program, and eVGA is really starting to be viewed as a very consumer-centric company.

            On March 9th I reviewed the eVGA GeForce 7600 GT CO Superclocked, and I came away very impressed by what NVIDIA and its partner eVGA were able to do with that product.  The 7600 GT is really the new midrange champ, and since its release prices for this product have gone down into the $170 US range.  NVIDIA bundled a lot of performance, plus the updated G7x features into this very important new product.  Companies such as eVGA are now offering several versions of this product at different clockspeeds, with the highest performing part the CO Superclocked version running at 600 MHz core and 780 MHz DDR (1560 MHz effective) memory.  This is a fine performing part, but one of the big downsides is the pretty loud fan.  While sitting next to it in a closed case, the fan is noticeable, but not particularly annoying in 2D applications.  When running 3D applications, the fan does spin up and has caused some people to be very unhappy with it.  It is definitely not a quiet solution.

Nothing fancy, but well protected in a sturdy box with surrounding bubblewrap.

            While the $170 price tag of the 7600 GT parts is quite a bit lower than the top end products in the graphics industry, it is still higher than the sub $149 market the dominates the retail charts.  Previously the GeForce 6600 series of cards had more than adequately addressed this market, but the 6600 is coming up on being two years old and there really needed to be an updated product that would address several performance and price aspects.  Not only that, but there was a very large demand for a product that was absolutely silent (both for office work and the HTPC, not to mention people who are sensitive to fan noise).

The contents, while meager compared to other products, does offer the user everything they need to get the card running in multiple applications.

            To kill off these multiple birds with one stone, NVIDIA and its partners have released the GeForce 7600 GS.  This is a fully working G73 chip (8 ROPS, 12 pixel shader pipelines, 12 texture address units, and 5 vertex shaders), but it is clocked down to 400 MHz core, uses cheaper 400 MHz G-DDR-2 memory, and utilizes a passive heatsink.  Some time ago I had also reviewed what was once the killer product at the $100 range, the GeForce 6600 DDR-2.  It also was clocked at 400 MHz core with 400 MHz G-DDR-2.  The combination of price/performance for the 6600 DDR-2 was pretty phenomenal at the time.  Now we have an updated chip that is a lot more beefy than the 6600, and it is close to hitting the $100 price point.  Now, not every 7600 GS comes with a passive cooler, but it is an option.  The product I am reviewing here today does feature the passive cooler, though an active cooler on a 7600 GS would probably make for a much higher overclock than what we see here.

 

Next: The eVGA 7600 GS

 

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