Summer 2006 GeForce 7 Graphics Gear

Sorry, No GeForce 7300 Here

One card we left out of the test group is the GeForce 7300, as we do not consider it a gaming graphics card. It only has four pixel pipelines on the GS model and eight on the GT. Clearly, the eight pipeline card is capable of some gaming, but not under the stress of current and future titles. You cannot, for example, play at higher resolutions or enable image quality settings with the eight pipeline card. The four-pipeline card is out of the question, but another limitation is that not all of the GeForce 7300 models have a 128 bit wide memory interface. GS model cards only have a 64 bit wide bus, while only some of the GT cards have a 128 bit interface

Lastly, this card can also come with TurboCache, which might only have 32 MB of physical graphics memory while sectioning off a portion of your system memory for its needs. That is not a performance proposition as graphics data has to run across a slower bus and wait for slower RAM. We feel that these cards are best suited for an entry level gaming system for older titles, a multimedia PC or a home theater PC. One point of concern is that when Vista debuts, TurboCache may or may not work. Currently, it doesn't work with Vista as is the fate of ATI's HyperMemory. SLI and CrossFire do not run either, but both companies plan to have this resolved in future Vista beta releases and expect to have these issues resolved when Vista rolls out in retail.

We will proceed in numerical order and not in the order in which the cards became available on the market. In our previous buyer's guide we had received some cards that were not available in the Untied States, so we focused on models that are available: BFG, EGVA, PNY and XFX submitted their products for review, while the motherboard makers Asus, MSI, Gigabyte and others usually have similar products.

GeForce 7 Series Feature Table

GeForce Model 7950 GX2 7900 GTX 7900 GT 7800 GTX 512 7800 GTX 7800 GT 7800 GS AGP 7600 GT
Process Tech 90nm 90nm 90nm 110nm 110nm 110nm 110nm 90nm
Number of Tran-
556M 278M 278M 302M 302M 302M 302M 178M
Core Clocks (Vertex, Core) in MHz 500/500 700/650 470/450 550/550 470/430 440/400 375/375 560/560
Memory Clock (MHz / data rate) 600/1200 800/1600 660/1320 850/1700 600/1200 500/1000 600/1200 700/1400
Vertex Shaders (#) 16 8 8 8 8 7 6 5
Pixel Shaders (#) 48 24 24 24 24 20 16 12
ROPs (#) 32 16 16 16 16 16 8 8
Memory Interface 256 bit 256 bit 256 bit 256 bit 256 bit 256 bit 256 bit 128 bit
Frame Buffer Size 1 GB 512 MB 256 MB 512 MB 256 MB 256 MB 256 MB 256 MB
Memory Band-
width (GB/sec)
76.8 51.2 42.2 54.4 38.4 32 38.4 22.4
Vertices /Second (Millions) 2000 1400 940 1100 940 770 562.5 700
Pixel Fill Rate (# ROPs x clk) in Billions /sec 16 10.4 7.2 8.8 6.88 6.4 3 4.48
Texture Fill Rate (# pixel pipes x clk) in Billions /sec 24 15.6 10.8 13.2 10.32 8 6 6.72
RAMDACs 400 MHz 400 MHz 400 MHz 400 MHz 400 MHz 400 MHz 400 MHz 400 MHz
Bus Tech PCI Express PCI Express PCI Express PCI Express PCI Express PCI Express AGP 8X PCI Express
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