We benchmarked Gigabyte's 7600 GT Silent-Pipe II against two cards for comparative purposes. Firstly, we tested Gigabyte's own X1600 XT Silent-Pipe II card, as it was formerly the fastest silent card they offered. Secondly, we benchmarked the Radeon X1800 XL, which is admittedly in a slightly higher price league than Gigabyte's silent 7600 GT card, but will give us an idea how well the 7600 GT fares compared to higher-end cards. It also will show just how much the 7600 GT's 128-bit memory interface handicaps it.
Since the 7600 GT comes bundled with Serious Sam II, we benchmarked it first:
Very strong results were achieved with the 7600 GT! The card easily surpasses its X1600 Silent-Pipe II cousin, and even edges out the X1800 XL at a 1024x768 resolution. At the higher 1280x1024 resolution, the 7600 GT is right on par with the X1800 XL. Serious Sam II was benchmarked with OpenEXR High Dynamic Range (HDR) lighting, which is usually very stressful on the video card, but the 7600 GT handles it with ease.
Meanwhile, the 6x00 and 7x00 series of Geforce cards are unable to run anti-aliasing and OpenEXR HDR at the same time, so this benchmark was performed without it, even though the Radeon cards are capable of using this feature. Still, the 7600 GT makes a strong showing and is probably powerful enough to do the job if the Geforce hardware supported it.
Another strong showing for the 7600 GT was with Far Cry, which is another title with OpenEXR HDR. The 7600 GT is only eight to 10 frames slower than the X1800 XL in this case, which is still very good.
The silent X1600 is playable at 1024x768 with HDR enabled, but at higher resolutions it's not quite up to snuff.
In Quake 4, we see that the 7600 GT surpass the X1800 XL at a resolution of 1024x768 again, as Geforce hardware has always worked very well with OpenGL games. However, the X1600 XT even makes a decent showing here.