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7900GTO or 7950Gt superclocked??

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December 3, 2006 2:56:32 PM

Hi, i really need some help. I have a Dell E520, and am looking to upgrade the graphics card at a budget of around £200...
i've read good reviews for both the MSI 7900GTO and the evga 7950GT KO Superclocked, but which do you reccomend? I'm only looking to play at about 1024x resolution, so which is the best??
thanks, Raph
December 3, 2006 3:02:12 PM

It would be a minor miracle if you can find the 7900GTO in stock anywhere. It's better than the 7950 but production has been stopped AFAIK. If you can't find any around, the 7950 will do fine @ 1024 rez for almost all games.
December 3, 2006 3:14:36 PM

don't touch the 7900GTO.

Its a 7900GTX with crap RAM. The RAM on the 7950GT is faster (especially the "superclocked" versions) and the GPU will overclock to 650+ with the right voltage.

The 7900GTO has little or no overclocking left on the GPU and because the RAM is crap, none there either.
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a b U Graphics card
December 3, 2006 3:15:57 PM

Agreed, 7900GTO is better than the 7950GT. But really if all you run is 10x7 res, then you may be able to save alot of money going for a 7900GS or X1900GT. Today over here in the USA I can get a 7900GS for $150 or a X1900GT for $160. The 7950GT is about $250 and not worth that much over those other two cards. The 7900GTO is rare around here. The X1950XT 256MB is around $250 now and is an even better card.

Anyway, my point being IF your savings is similar to ours over here, then one of those cheaper cards is IMO better bang for the buck, especially in 10x7 gaming.
December 3, 2006 3:28:53 PM

I have an EVGA 7900GTO and it's certainly not a "Crap GTX". At stock it's slightly slower, but even at stock speeds it beats the 7950.

This is not even to mention that the cooler on the GTO is the same as the GTX (read : whisper quiet), while the 7950 uses the 7900GT cooler (read : wind tunnel). And there's the fact that my GTO easily overclocks to 1600Mhz on the memory side (although I run it at stock since it satisfies me for now), which puts it very close to GTX performance.

Read some 7900GTO reviews, where they usually compare it to a x1900xt, a 7950GT and a 7900GTX and judge by yourself.
And like someone here mentionned, I'm very surprised you managed to find one... it was a limited production card and sold out literally in 2 weeks. Most consider it a GTX at half price.

THe only possible advantage a 7950GT can have, is that some of them support HDCP (for HD DVD and other protected content later one). I'm not sure if this one does though.
December 3, 2006 6:35:05 PM

Ya, this is all moot points anyways cuz he's not gonna find a GTO I'm willing to bet...........they're extinct.
a c 272 U Graphics card
December 3, 2006 6:46:09 PM

Yeah thats what I thought at first but have you checked the linky I put up? :wink:
December 3, 2006 6:49:36 PM

Oh, is the OP in the UK? :oops: 

Can't find em here in North America.....although, if you walk into the Tigerdirect by my house, they have a few in stock.......online shows none, but they have a few ;) 
a c 272 U Graphics card
December 3, 2006 6:58:17 PM

Quote:
I have a Dell E520, and am looking to upgrade the graphics card at a budget of around £200...


I'm assuming so, and the reason some people can't find any is because YoYo has most of them it seems :) 
December 3, 2006 7:56:21 PM

I suppose I should have put some Caveats on my post:

1. I don't care about stock cooling as I have a habit of replacing them with waterblocks or better heatsinks anyway :p  Having said that getting a WB for the 8800GTX is not easy yet...

2. I don't care about stock speeds I care about how far it will overclock. The two cards both use a G71 with all pipes enabled, and as such should hit the same speed with the same vGPU. My 7900GT used to hit 740MHz for example. The 7900GTO may have a faster stock speed (and higher stock voltage) but it doesn't have a higher ceiling there.

3. While the GPU is the same the RAM can and is different from card to card. Its not hard to find 7900GTs and 7950GTs with 1.2ns and 1.1ns RAM, this is not the case with the 7900GTO.

Assuming those three, the 7950GT is the better choice. If you want everything to be fast at stock with no overclocking and no effort on your part buy an Alienware, overclocking is part of the fun for me :p 

Looking at UK sites:
MSI 7900GTO 512MB, 650/1320, £234.99

Leadtek 7950GT 512MB, 600/1430, £217.36

Like I say, imho the 50MHz on the core is easy to make up. The 7950GT has faster RAM and will save you £15 ($30) towards a nice aftermarket cooler :) 

Still, a much better idea is to live off baked beans for a couple of weeks (Tesco Value ones are like 5p per tin) and save the extra £65 for An 8800GTS @ £299
a c 272 U Graphics card
December 3, 2006 9:15:17 PM

:lol:  Mate, I've not had the chance to try one of those 7950's but a few weeks back I picked up an MSI 7900GTO because I couldn't find a 7900GT, the only reason for that was my best friend is a bit of an MSI fanboy and I wanted the XFX 7900GT OC that he had in his rig (Sli purposes) and it seemed like a fair swap to me, now he has the card running at GTX clock speeds and fingers crossed it lasts for bit of time.

That overclockers site is too expensive though £235 is too much, YoYo has the same card for £195

And Tesco Value beans are yuk, Heinz beanz meanz fartz :oops:  :lol: 
December 4, 2006 5:36:03 AM

OcUK are expensive for everything tbh, but they get things first and always have stock.

Thats why I showed both prices from them however, on the theory that they would both be expensive by the same sort of margin, if you see what I mean.

Who are "yoyo"? I've never heard of them, and living in the UK I thought I was aware of most of the vendors!
a c 272 U Graphics card
December 4, 2006 6:39:45 AM

YoYo are just off the tottenham court rd on the W1 side and also in the Uni on the WC1 side in London about 5 mins from the tube, check them out if you are in the area.
December 4, 2006 8:05:39 AM

I dont think that the GTO is worth it because they apparently have a high failure rate due to inferior samsung memory.

skip the risk get a 7950 GT superclocked

oh and yep they're hard to find (GTO)
December 4, 2006 12:24:56 PM

No offense man, but just admit that one came out of nowhere.
High failure rate of Samsung memory? Come on.

Besides that's irrelevant since these cards have a warranty. EVGA (and other brands) have a lifetime warranty.
I dont see why everyone around is pissing fire because of the 7950GT, which is simply an overclocked 7900GT, and grimacing at the sight of a 7900GTO - an underclocked GTX.

In any case, chances are in a few weeks you wont find a GTO anyway (I'm surprised to see some of them still in stock), so then the decision will be easy for this price point - the 7950 or equivalently priced ATI cards :) 
December 4, 2006 2:08:14 PM

Quote:
YoYo are just off the tottenham court rd on the W1 side and also in the Uni on the WC1 side in London about 5 mins from the tube, check them out if you are in the area.


Bah I live in Bristol :( 
a c 272 U Graphics card
December 4, 2006 3:05:54 PM

Nice bit of the west country that but a bit of a trek to the capitol, but if you are in the area it's worth a browse.
December 4, 2006 7:16:21 PM

Quote:
No offense man, but just admit that one came out of nowhere.
High failure rate of Samsung memory? Come on.




bah maybe I got wrong info but I heard that the GTO was made with underclocked or defective memory (it was from a newegg review -go figure)
December 4, 2006 7:17:57 PM

Quote:
Nice bit of the west country that but a bit of a trek to the capitol, but if you are in the area it's worth a browse.


Heh nice... riiight.... bear in mind I said "live in" and not "come from" :p 

I heard the defective memory rumour too, not sure how accurate it is however.

My vote is still on the +£70 for an 8800GTS :) 
a c 272 U Graphics card
December 4, 2006 7:50:41 PM

I thought Bristol was ok for the couple of hours that I was there but then I left and came home :lol:  , as for the defective memory issue I was under the impression that there were a s**t load of GTX's that had dodgy memory put on (Samsung I think) and when the cards crapped out and got RMA'd Nvidia ended up with a rather large pile of NQN merchandise that for the sake of some different RAM (Infinion?) and BIOS rewrite would still make them some money and hey presto a 'new' card is born, well that's my theory anyway.
a b U Graphics card
December 4, 2006 10:40:09 PM

Quote:
No offense man, but just admit that one came out of nowhere.
High failure rate of Samsung memory? Come on.




bah maybe I got wrong info but I heard that the GTO was made with underclocked or defective memory (it was from a newegg review -go figure)
There is truth to what you heard. The 7900GTO is a great card at it's stock settings, and many can reach high speeds, but those who buy it and expect it WILL without doubt reach 7900GTX speeds, may find themselves dissapointed.

I won't get too into this again, but will provide enough links to keep you busy for a while. The "reloaded" fixed 7900GTX's came with Infinion memory. The old problamatic 7900GTX's came with samsung memory and very often were stable cards if the memory was underclocked. It's believed by many that the 7900GTO is leftover old 7900GTX's that were not sold do to all the issues, and instead replaced with the fixed reloaded versions. Then rebranded, the GTO's ram is downclocked to where it is trouble free.

Here are hundreds of bad 7900GT and GTX's on evga forums. Note the answer many people had to #6, does underclocking help. Often yes, underclocking the RAM helped.
http://www.evga.com/community/messageboard/topic.asp?TO...

Here people start to question their 7900GTO's as some die right away and often the GTO on the box was a sticker covering over GTX.
http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=11...

Talks on evGA forums about is the 7900GTO a refurbed 7900GTX?
http://www.evga.com/community/messageboard/topic.asp?TO...

Talks at Anand's forums:
http://forums.anandtech.com/messageview.aspx?catid=31&t...

Talks at our forums:
http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/modules.php?nam...

Anyway, there is plenty of info out there to support the 7900GTO = 7900GTX with crap memory theory. Fine at it's stock speeds, but it's not a $250 GTX like many people spewed on about.
December 4, 2006 10:59:33 PM

Even if the GTOs are binned GTXs, you get performance within 8% for approximately 40% less money.

Binned or not, you simply can't quarrel with that price-to-performance, it's unbeatable.

The GTOs are quite simply, astounding cards for the price. As long as people don't expect high overclocks, they are amazing. Even at stock speeds. They make buying a GTX look like a cardinal sin ;) 
a b U Graphics card
December 4, 2006 11:27:58 PM

Quote:
Even if the GTOs are binned GTXs, you get performance within 8% for approximately 40% less money.

Binned or not, you simply can't quarrel with that price-to-performance, it's unbeatable.

The GTOs are quite simply, astounding cards for the price. As long as people don't expect high overclocks, they are amazing. Even at stock speeds. They make buying a GTX look like a cardinal sin

Actually, I do agree with you that taking it for what it is at stock speeds, the GTO is a very nice card for the money. But I disagree on a couple points. It's not unbeatable. The X1900XT 256MB easily matches the 7900GTO and was available cheaper at the time the GTO launched. And now, even if you find a GTO, the X1950XT is faster and only $250.

Next looking over this review, at some settings the 7900GTX was up to 20% ahead of the GTO, not 8%.
http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/evga_e-geforce_7900...
Whereas the $250 X1950XT would be up equal to the X1900XT 512MB or 7900GTX.

Lastly, while 7900GTO supply has dried up, we have seen the 7900GTX for $300 a few times. So the GTO is no longer really the clear NV performance bargain.

I only have two issues surrounding talks of the 7900GTO: 1) too many people here on THGC treated and recommended the card as a guaranteed $250 GTX, which to me was just plain bad advice. 2) I think between the X1900XT 256MB, X1900XT 512MB, and the X1950XT, there has always been a slightly better card for the money if you don't mind going red. As far as a Geforce, then yeah it's the best $250 Geforce to date.
December 5, 2006 2:07:40 AM

I had a GTO, and was easily able to get it to run within 12 ticks of the GTX speeds.

The GTO memory was set up with tighter timings than the GTX, but lacked the voltage to stay there at the GTX speeds.

See this thread for accurate info.- http://www.mvktech.net/index.php?option=com_joomlaboard...

Pictures detailing the changes, bios, memory timings, etc.


I even flashed the GTX bios to try higher headroom, but got better OC results with the stock bios.

OC'd the card posted better 3dmark06 scores than my stock x1900xtx, and within 30 of it OC'd as far as it would go.

GREAT card for the money.
December 5, 2006 2:13:19 AM

Good points. A few things for people to keep in mind though are that prices and availability of vid cards are always in flux. Getting a GTX for $300 US can be a good deal, but it probably won't last long. Regular price is a rip-off. A GTO is (WAS) a great deal, but availability is virtually non-existent. So they WERE a great deal, but they were pretty much a very limited time thing.

As for the X1900XT, I do agree. I've owned one of those as well. VERY good performance, and the price was amazing as well. But myself, I don't base my purchases strictly on framerates, especially if it's less than 10% difference for example. I found the X1900 to be loud, hot, and power-hungry. By contrast, the GTO is cooler, silent, and less consumptive. And I won't even get into the ATI drivers and Control Panel.......LOL. Honestly, I've owned NV and ATI over the years, I'm no fanboy either way. But those negatives on the 1900 were too much to overlook and so I went with a GTO. It handles most games with ease at 1280 rez and I got it at $260 ;)  Can't go wrong. Very happy with it, and was fortunately able to OC it as well! But not for everyone ;) 

The GTO and X1900 "were" both amazing cards for the price. Simply amazing, each for ATI and NV.

So good in fact, they're hard to find.......a testament to their success I would say.


But now I'm gonna move onto an 8800 with my new 22" monitor ;)  LOL
December 5, 2006 2:53:13 AM

Well said, and almost exactly my points.

Added it up the other day, 11 video cards over the past 10 years ( 64 mb or larger) for my personal machine, 5 ATI's, 4 nVidia's, and one off brand early on. ( not counting an x800 to put in a sold machine)

Some really stick out for whatever reason, the first HOT card for me was the 6600 GT, and the x800xl, both HUGE bang for the buck cards, one ati, one nVidia. Neither the BEST,m but best for the buck.

This is where I see the GTO, Huge performance, low price, hence the gone in 20 days scenario for most stock.
December 7, 2006 11:00:29 AM

My 7900GTO is fine at GTX speeds...........

However I spent £165 inc vat + p+p. So was an easy pick over the 7950.

I'm not sure where I'd put my money at todays prices but I'd suggest waitng for the midrange Directx 10 cards if you can. 8800GTX is such a preformance leap.
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