Both are made by XFX but the boards look a little different and have different fans. My question is, is the extra $15 worth it for the added clock speed, and is there something else better with the $160 card I should be aware of? Thanks.
get the cheaper card. The 7900GS is a great OCer. You can easily OC the card to 580 on the GPU and about 1600 on the memory. Well that's how far i got my PNY 7900GS to OC. You could evenm go with a cheaper brand. It dosn't really matter they are all about the same. For best OCing though you will want to get a good GPU cooler like Zailmans VF-900. Let me tell you it's a great cooler too. Took my idle temps fron about 52C to 38C.
I love it when people say , get the cheaper model and OC but you need to spend $x on a new cooler which means you end up spending more than the higher clocked version. LOL
Either way it dosn't matter. Besides after buying the card and the cooler you have spent as much as you would have with the more exspencive card. Yet after OCing you have a better card then the more exspencive one.
Slightly faster perhaps but I doubt it will last as long and you've probably invalidated the warranty.
Well it seems like you've already made up your mind, but here is my input anyway.
Yes 7900s are good OC'ers and I would advise you to buy the more expensive one since it already has an aftermarket cooler on it. This will allow lower load temps, although I am not sure if this will help with more overclocking. Still, it is better to have your card running at a lower temp. Since you are considering a new card at this time, I assume you, like me, won't be buying a DX10 card for the next couple of months. I would imagine that you would want to get the most out of your card. To me the extra $15 is worth it in the long run, but that's just my opinion. Anyway,whichever one you buy, it's still a good buy. Anandtech did a review on 7900 GS's and the XFX and eVGA cards performed the best and were also the most overclockable. Good luck with your new card.
BTW if power is such a decisive factor in this purchase I would advise you upgrade you PS soon.
I assume you want me to post a score to justify why I recommend the 7900GS over your suggestion. Well I wasn't recommending the GS over the 1900, I was only responding to the part about which GS from his links that he should get. I know nothing about the 1900 performance, and I am not discouraging him from getting that card - I was just saying that if he was getting the GS, he should buy the more expensive one. My '05 score is a lot worse than yours, but I don't know if I am testing correctly (I mean closing off all running apps, antivirus, etc). Once again, I am not dismissing your suggestion, I was responding to only part of his question.
*edit* BTW I thought your score was @ 1280 x 1024, I only checked the link after I posted. I can't remember what my score was or if I tested at that reso.