Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Summer 2006 GeForce 7 Graphics Gear

Last response: in Memory
Share
July 17, 2006 12:09:34 PM

GeForce it is, but which model should you choose? We put mainstream and high-end models to the test to find the best 7 seven series graphics boards for your summer gaming sessions.

Speak out in the Toms's Hardware reader survey!
July 17, 2006 12:59:38 PM

Quote:
GeForce it is, but which model should you choose? We put mainstream and high-end models to the test to find the best 7 seven series graphics boards for your summer gaming sessions.

Speak out in the Toms's Hardware reader survey!
Are you guys in the process of building a Conroe based test system, or do you:

1. Have to wait like the rest of us to build a system.

2. Not feel that it's worth upgrading at this point.
July 17, 2006 1:06:42 PM

Thank you for the benchmarks!! I've been eyeing a new card to replace my old Radeon 9800 Pro. This helps extremely.
Related resources
July 17, 2006 1:29:10 PM

It was a very good review but only proved what most of us already know, a 7600GT is good for mid, 7900GT is great for the price, and the 7900GTX is great but will set you back, and lastly thje 7950GX2 isn't worth the money, i'm not entirely sure why you would include the 7800 series, as you say their phasing out any you say
Quote:
A 7800GT can be purchased for about $330 to $360. The 7800GTX models are about $380 to $500. If you seek a solid performer without the added cost, the 7800GT is the card for you--as long as you find a good deal.


why would you even think of buying a more expensive, out dated 7800 series card when a new, better performer and cheaper 7900GT is out...

hell could have just linked this topic...The Short List: the Best Gaming Videocards for the money
July 17, 2006 1:39:57 PM

It would have been more helpful if they threw a couple ATI cards in the mix.
July 17, 2006 2:13:32 PM

Quote:
why would you even think of buying a more expensive, out dated 7800 series card when a new, better performer and cheaper 7900GT is out...


It boggles the mind to walk downt he graphics card aisle at CompUSA and see all the really old cards that are still being sold. I don't know who would buy one, but they're selling them anyways! They still have crap like Radeon 95somethings or crap I don't even know.
July 17, 2006 2:17:26 PM

Quote:

why would you even think of buying a more expensive, out dated 7800 series card when a new, better performer and cheaper 7900GT is out...


To SHOW what people think they already KNOW.

If they just said, bah, we're not going to put a GF7800 in it would diminish the review.

The inclusion of the GF7800 shows 2 things;

a) is it worth upgrading from a GF7800 to something more.

b) if you find a great deal on a GF7800 from someone getting rid of old stock, or eBay.

Without that information it's not a full review.

As for the ATi cards, it's better to divide them up for these buyer guides than to confuse the issue, since there's no way to pick a balancedset of benchmarks. These reviews should focus on each group individually and then the larger performance based reviews check the A vs B comparos.
July 17, 2006 2:17:35 PM

Good job guys, Just one question, when you ran the 3dmark bench's did you disable the cpu tests?
July 17, 2006 3:39:11 PM

One Question, Patrick:

Where'd the 7800GS go? TG included it in the feaure chart, but didn't put it through any of the benchmarks.
July 17, 2006 4:30:26 PM

Nice article.

Simply put to answer the title of the article - wouldn't think about getting a new card until a dual GPU such as the 7950 is offered with DX10 capabilities.
July 17, 2006 4:32:55 PM

Gee where has the time gone? It seems like only yesterday I bought a Ti4200 for $150.00 bucks and was pulling down decent FPS in most games. Now it looks like the 7600GT is the Ti4200 of today. Nice article. I imagine they will do ATI cards next.
July 17, 2006 4:47:00 PM

@ Tanker1

We could not do this on the Conroe as it was being used for the CPU tests which came out last week. Conroe will improve scores and frame rates dramatically. We will have to come back and revisit it. For now we will have to run the ATI side on the same platform so we give similar performance on a single card setup. Then when we do the comparative analysis we can talk apples to apples as much as it is possible.


@ IcY18

We are always glad to see the community helping each other with lists like that. However, we have been getting emails asking us to do it and we wanted to have a reference article like this for others who have not asked specifically for this. As for the "why was GeForce 7800 included" comment, I think Grape answered that the way I would have. People need to see what is there. You can still buy them new from vendors and people need information to make purchasing decisions. Zornundo makes a good point. If you walk into Fry’s, CompUSA, Best Buy, or whatever major store, you will see older hardware at high prices. That is the way of retail when it comes to component pricing. We need guides general consumers can reference before they hit the isles or after they get home (So they can return it).

@Gary_Busey

Same thing Grape said. This was a look at Nvidia cards. It would have been harder to talk about what each Nvidia card is doing compared to other Nvidia cards when ATI results are mixed in. When we come back and look at the cards when the ATI article is done for the X1000 series we will look at where each stacks up in a overall comparative article… or look at our latest graphics chart which we are working on.

@QBin

7800GS is an AGP solution. There are rumors of other cards going to AGP. For the scope of this article, that is one AGP card against PCIe cards. The PCIe cards were run on a socket 939 and the AGP would have been on a socket 754. There is no way to do the AGP cards justice in a PCIe world. We have shown their performance against other AGP cards in an article (http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/02/13/nvidias_geforce_...) but to put them in this review would have been a bit out of place. The same will apply when we do the ATI side. We will not include the Radeon X1600Pro AGP version.
July 17, 2006 5:12:14 PM

Great Article and for those looking for an ATI guide there was one created a few months ago. Here is the link:

ATI Buyer's Guide - Part III

Quote:

7800GS is an AGP solution


Actually I think the better one to include is the 7600GS. I have recommended this card to many people for low cost solution. Usually $50 less than the 7600GT.

Other
July 17, 2006 5:16:14 PM

You'd have to be crazy to invest in a new Geforce7 video card now, as the G80-based cards will be out around september:
http://theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=32385

They will have DirectX 10 (i.e. Windows Vista) support, which the current cards don't have.

Hey guys at tomshardware. When are you going to review the G80, or are you under an NDA?
July 17, 2006 5:24:41 PM

FYI there are 939 boards that will run the FX chips. The major draw back to getting an AGP card to me is not the difference in the performance (which seems to be rather small or none at all in the benchmarks I have seen) but the price they want to charge for the AGP cards. (of course you can't have SLI in AGP so that is a dissadvantage) And these AGP cards seem to be slower versions of their PCI counter parts. Is it more expensive to manufacture AGP cards VS a PCI express? My AsusRock board supports both AGP and PCI-E so I am not too concerned about getting all the use out of my AGP card that I can.
July 17, 2006 6:07:23 PM

Did Nvidia pay you people to keep ATI out of the picture.
July 17, 2006 6:12:07 PM

ATI Linux drivers suck big-time, thats why I'd never buy an ATI card.
July 17, 2006 6:16:42 PM

i have a 256mb 7800gtx. is it woth upgrading to a 7900gt, i mean considering the lower power consumption, and sometimes better performance. or should i just wait for seriers 8?
July 17, 2006 6:37:10 PM

Quote:
ATI Linux drivers suck big-time, thats why I'd never buy an ATI card.


I was only showing the link. I don't like the ATI cards either especially since most of the high end cards are dual slot cards. The 7900gt is a very good card specially since it only uses one slot. Right now Linux works on my laptop (ATI 9600Pro), but not on my desktop (ATI x600). I'm still debating if I want to upgrade to the 7900GT or just wait it out.

Quote:
i have a 256mb 7800gtx. is it woth upgrading to a 7900gt, i mean considering the lower power consumption, and sometimes better performance. or should i just wait for seriers 8?


I would wait. Performance is not that much better and overall your 7800gtx can play all the games that are out.

Other
July 17, 2006 6:42:22 PM

Quote:
Did Nvidia pay you people to keep ATI out of the picture.


I can only hope you're kidding, as they previously printed out a three part series about only ATI cards. In the threads following that, people accussed them of being bought off by ATI. In light of that, I hope you were being ironic, but be careful what you say or people might think you're serious.

Where is it said that the current line of cards won't support DX 10? Can anyone post a link? (not doubting the validity, just wondering).

Everyone should also be very aware of the huge differences between brands of cards. It's not just about warranty length, it's also about if a system comes with a different cooler or overclocked. For instance, it might be worth it to get a card that comes factory overclocked and with a better HS/fan. Although the OC won't be extreme, it will still be guaranteed to be on warranty.

Finally, to anyone who just wants to be able to run games and doesn't care about resolution, my FX 5200 AGP could run everything up to Oblivion on low resolution, just fyi.
July 17, 2006 6:46:13 PM

Dude, CompUSA is the king of pushing old crap at over-the-top prices. They don't even stock the most recent stuff for months after its available and even then they never stock the premium versions.

For example, the GeForce 7950 has been out since April but its still not even listed on their website.
July 17, 2006 7:02:45 PM

I have been a fan of Tom's since its inception. This review was very helpful! Why complain about ATI being included when this was clearly designed as an NVidia test from the outset? Why complain about older cards seeing value when you've already made up your mind one way or another?

Here is a valid technical question: Which would providesbetter performance, with all other things being equal? Two (2) 7600GT cards run in SLI for $140 each, or one 7800GT for $250-$280? I have set a budget of $275 to $300 for my new card(s) and hope to get the best I can afford right now. I do not intend to upgrade within the next 90 days after my initial purchase. With comparable prices, I'm curious to know the benchmarks considering the differences in memory (2x128bit vs 256bit, 2x256Mb vs 256Mb) et al.

Any chance you'd report on that considering your findings from the summer 7 test?

And, while it doesn't help NVidia move items through the channel, is it honest to advise a wait until a September release of a brand new chip set? Would my $275 or $300 be MUCH better spent in 45-60 days?
July 17, 2006 7:06:45 PM

I remember when ATI was king. Where are all the ATI fans who owned the 9700pro series? I have mainly used Nvidia cards because over all they seem to be easier to use (driver support) and also seem to be cheaper. Of course I never over look a deal. I picked up an ATI X800GTO 256 mb AGP card for $100.00 and I love it. So far no problems. Ya gotta do what works for you. In regards to CompUsa wait for their sale the day after Thanksgiving. You need to get there at 6am and wait in line but they do have some good deals. I picked up a 6800 vanilla two years ago for $200.00 and it was going for $250-300 on New Egg. So you can get deals there every once in a while. Got my Super Lan Boy there too and after rebates it was $30.00 :!: I am gonna wait at least another year before upgrading my video card. And then I will probably get a 7950X2 for half of what it is going for now :D  (one can dream) :wink:
July 17, 2006 7:19:36 PM

good article... my only complaint is the listing of the 7950 as having a 1 gig frame buffer. This is misleading as it is really 2 512 meg buffers, and in sli each buffer holds the same info. Thus it is never able to use anything more than 512. A simple caveat statement next to the couple of 1 gig references would clear it up, or listing it as "2x512" w/ a description... or something.

Many ppl just don't realize how sli uses memory, and if they see "1 gig" many out there will start thinking "if 512 is good, 1 gig must be better!" and in this case it is not better, but the same.

otherwise, it is a good review. Looking forward to the combination overview after the x1000 tests and when the gpu charts are refreshed. rock on.
July 17, 2006 8:35:52 PM

Quote:
in sli each buffer holds the same info.

Umm.. I don't think you're right there dude. The RAM of each GPU only holds the input data for the stuff its rendering (i.e approximately half the screen). The driver takes care of that.
July 17, 2006 8:49:38 PM

Quote:
Many ppl just don't realize how sli uses memory, and if they see "1 gig" many out there will start thinking "if 512 is good, 1 gig must be better!" and in this case it is not better, but the same.


Quote:
Umm.. I don't think you're right there dude. The RAM of each GPU only holds the input data for the stuff its rendering (i.e approximately half the screen). The driver takes care of that.


...and the prosecution rests.
July 17, 2006 11:03:45 PM

Quote:
Dude, CompUSA is the king of pushing old crap at over-the-top prices. They don't even stock the most recent stuff for months after its available and even then they never stock the premium versions.


Thats just basic retail practices. CompUSA and Fry's were able to beat others sometimes on price by buying up lots of these cards, and with the new version out they are stuck with stacks and stacks of product they have to sell below cost in order to keep from getting stuck with them.

One way to encourage the sale of these old video cards is to not have the new models as available.

Its just basic retail.
July 18, 2006 12:06:52 AM

[RANT]
what i don't understand is why THW used a diffrent system (AMD) in this round up when in the ATI review they used an INTEL based system.
Why can't they be consistant!!!
Almost like they went out of their way to make sure the ATI benchmarks could not be compared to NVIDIA GPU benchmarks.

Their older interactive VGA charts don't have the new videocards and it is imposible to do a direct comparison :!::!::!::!:
[/RANT]
July 18, 2006 3:43:47 AM

it was already stated that there was a forthcoming ati review to directly correspond to this Nv article. Chill out and get a grip man, all will level out in time... ;) 
July 18, 2006 6:01:16 AM

"Summer 2006 GeForce 7 Graphics Gear"

What? Why has it taken 6 months to write this review?

Oh... I see, it's summer in the Northern Hemisphere now, just not the *other half of the World*... :wink:
July 18, 2006 3:50:56 PM

Quote:
One Question, Patrick:

Where'd the 7800GS go? TG included it in the feaure chart, but didn't put it through any of the benchmarks.


Tom's included a lot of other processors in their new Core review but didn't include any benchmarks. I realize 7800 GS is agp, but it would be nice to see it included. It wouldn't directly stack up (different mobo) but it would give a nice comparison.

It would be really nice to see a comprehensive list with a lot of older cards. I bet there are a lot people sitting on older cards that would love to compare the benchmarks. Futuremark's ORB gives a nice comparison, but that is only 3d mark stuff. I think Tom's could do a nice job.
July 18, 2006 4:53:27 PM

Summer at Xmas time is just plain *wrong* :-)
July 18, 2006 4:55:51 PM

Anyway another benefit of having separate ram for each GPU is that you don't get access contention, which directly translates into better perfrmance. What is actually held in the ram is somewhat irrelevant if you still get performance gains from having more.
July 18, 2006 5:16:37 PM

A real review site would point out that with 10 minutes and $12 you can buy a circuit writer pen at RadioShack and volt-mod your $250 7900GT to GTX speeds. I'm running mine at 650MHZ!!!! (buy better cooling though).
July 18, 2006 5:24:25 PM

yes, performance gains are still gains no matter how small. My point is that the frame buffer is taxed hard as textures and detail become greater. GhostRecon: AW is a fine example. firingsquad did a test that showed that it uses ~430 megs of ram on the highest detail settings. This means that if you bypass their check and force that high setting on a 256meg card it will run horribly slow compared to a 512 meg card (all else being equal). This would then bring the correlation that if textures got big enough to max out a 512 meg card that a 1 gig card would perform and handle it better. (again, all else equal)

With that in mind, the "1 gig" touted on that 7950 is not the same memory size as a "single" 7900gtx w/ 1 gig of memory. (if there was such a thing) even w/ a downclocked gpu the single card 1 gigger would outperform the sli w/ 1 gig in terms of buffer usage. (texture sizes etc...) That is my only point, that sli memory cannot be counted in a linear fashion. It is parallell, not serial.
July 18, 2006 10:23:05 PM

8) It was a great review. I have built a few systems with the 7900 GT lately. Great price and performance. The problem is heat and noise. I am going to buy the same XFX card with VIVO you reviewed for myself, (I currently am using an overclocked 6800GT with a 4400 X2) but I am going to add an aftermarket cooler to quiet it down and get it clocked even higher. This is a great card for its price ! I would be interested to see a review of the 7900 GT with the different core and memory clocks benchmarked.
July 18, 2006 11:17:38 PM

Quote:
A real review site would point out that with 10 minutes and $12 you can buy a circuit writer pen at RadioShack and volt-mod your $250 7900GT to GTX speeds. I'm running mine at 650MHZ!!!! (buy better cooling though).


You can also void your warranty and if you ever have any of the problems related to the 7000 series end up paying more than you would for a single 7900GTX. Hope you never have to RMA it...
July 19, 2006 1:05:58 AM

not to mention the fact that this isnt THOG (Toms Home Overclocking Guide)

i have one of the earliest versions of the XFX 7900GT (one of the few that actually made it into NZ around release), standard not factory overclocked, and i must say that i dont notice the fan noise much, definately not as much as is claimed (though they could have made it worse on the newer versions), but overall i am very impressed with this card

its overclocked just a bit higher than the one used in the test but only gained about 5 - 10 degrees under load in 3D mode
July 19, 2006 6:53:37 AM

Quote:
Summer at Xmas time is just plain *wrong* :-)


It's especially weird watching all the traditional Christmas movies about snow, while sitting next to the tree with fake snow, with a hot 35c summer day outside... :) 

'Christmas in July' is a pretty big thing here to make up for it... :D 
July 19, 2006 11:21:53 AM

Quote:
Great Article and for those looking for an ATI guide there was one created a few months ago. Here is the link:

ATI Buyer's Guide - Part III


7800GS is an AGP solution


Actually I think the better one to include is the 7600GS. I have recommended this card to many people for low cost solution. Usually $50 less than the 7600GT.

Other

Agreed, the 7600GS is a great gfx card for the price, i have one in my gaming rig, completly silient, plays FEAR and bf2 on medium settings with acceptable frame rates.

TO the above poster: IS christmas in july big? I hadn't noticed to be honest. I wouldnt make such a broad sweeping statement about an entire country without something to back it up.
July 19, 2006 1:30:27 PM

Quote:
TO the above poster: IS christmas in july big? I hadn't noticed to be honest. I wouldnt make such a broad sweeping statement about an entire country without something to back it up.


Bah... Wasn't trying to infer that I was speaking on behalf of all of Australia... After all, you're from Queensland where it's always hot.. :-)

I know my mate in Brissy goes to a CIJ function up there so you do have it as well, but come down south in winter.. Big! okay, not as big as the normal Christmas, but big none the less... :wink:

A couple of quick google examples:

http://www.bluemts.com.au/yulefest/
http://www.snowymountains.com.au/Beaufort_Guest_House_C...
July 19, 2006 3:26:15 PM

That will be answered in the VGA charts we have coming up.

We are getting everything set and the German labs will begin their testing shortly. Once all the data is together we will release the latest charts.
July 20, 2006 8:01:15 AM

To get completly off topic, it is a little nippy this time of year, negatives inland a little and hitting 7 degrees or lower most mornings in brisvegas.
July 20, 2006 1:52:24 PM

lol, hitting 105 F here in the states up in the mountains.
July 24, 2006 4:19:51 PM

"As a note of concern, there have been reports of higher levels of return material authorizations (RMAs) in various forums, and we have gotten reports from readers. However, the card manufacturers have not confirmed this. Two Nvidia-powered card makers told us that their RMA figures for GeForce 7900GT cards are normal. We will continue to look into this, but we have nothing to report conclusively at this time."

Thats a load of crap. that issue was on going for months. almost everyone one of the first released 7900gt video cards that was manufactured by flextronics. which is almost all the companies except a certain few. Where having problems. Nvidia wanted to blame the companies for Over clocking. But even the stock cards were failing. if ther wasnt a problem then why have they revised the card and stoped using samsung memory? (hidden recalle) the culprit was not over clocking it was cheap samsung memory that could not handle even stock clock speeds. the memory would over heat and die. causing artifacts, lockups, BSOD. Also people noticed ICS on the back of the card were reaching 100+ degrees. Where was tomhardware in all this? All they did was glorify these cards and they still do. after being many people who have gone threw at least 4 or 5 RMA's its crazy to think toms hardware would make that statement and not investagate. Seems as though they havent even investigated this issue. and if they have they are probably scared of loosing sponsorship or something to that effect. As far as im concerned there reviews are 1 sided. and to me now mean nothing. Almost every other benchmark site had reported this issue except tom. it sad that we do not have the means to find out the truth and those that do dont care anymore.
July 24, 2006 5:23:53 PM

Umm evga came forward and told there customers that there was an issue with the samsung memory. Im not asking them to make any claims im wondering why they didnt buy retail cards and run test to help people understand on what was going on. they didnt even make any mention of this issue. how would this make them libel? Thats just a lame excuse. they can run there own tests and make there own conclusions based on there own research. Isnt that why they benchmark? cant be found libel if they say that certain cards give certain results based on there research right? what is ati going to sue them because there benchmark scored lower? of course not. can nvidia sue them if there researched discovered that there was a fault in the 7900 series of cards? of course not. can a car company sue a testing facility if it said the car is unsafe? unless they attack nvidia and claim it was done on purpose or cant backup there findings. they have nothing to fear except loosing sponsorship. When the pentium first came out there was a flaw if im correct on every 1millionenth process yet it was blown out of the water and the consumer was told the truth not by intel but buy people like tomshardware.

Consumer reports would of went out of buisness a long time ago if they were to be found "libel" for all there research.

what im saying is after 5 or 6 months if this issue being around. after multiple complaints after a Revised versions of the cards are now released. having Evga and some other companies coming forward and admitting to a defect in the 7900gt series of cards. all they can say is we have reports of normal rma? XFX shutdown there forums because of this issue. This is not a minor issue and should of been made light of.

Look up the law on libel the defence of libel is truth and if you make it clear that your just reporting your findings and that other peoples findings might be differnt they can not be sued.
!