Introduction

Last week saw NVIDIA's introduction of the 7900 GS and the announcement of the 7950 GT. Availability of the 7900 GS has been good since launch, and quite a few manufacturers have released cards above stock clock speeds. We've been able to get ahold of a few of these cards, so we will be able to explore 7900 GS SLI performance. We will also be publishing a 7900 GS mini roundup up in the very near future. For now, here's a list of the cards we have and are currently testing, along with their core/memory clock speeds (though there are more out there).

Albatron GeForce 7900 GS 450/660
EVGA e-GeForce 7900 GS KO 500/690
Leadtek WinFast PX7900GS TDH Extreme 520/700
XFX GeForce 7900 GS 480/700
BFG GeForce 7900 GS OC 540/660

Today also marks the day that ATI slated for the availability of their X1300 XT, X1650 Pro, X1900 XT 256MB, and X1950 series. We currently see very limited availability of the X1950 XTX, X1900 XT 256MB and X1300 XT cards, but the X1950 CrossFire and X1650 Pro are still not to be found. This is certainly one of the major downsides of a paper launch: we don't know when we will see product available. Right now, the products ATI has announced appear very competitive. Their performance looks good, and the ATI stated MSRP is right on target. Unfortunately, both of these aspects could change between now and when we actually see high availability of product on the shelves. Currently, X1950 XTX cards are about $50-$100 higher than expected, as well as being mostly on back order. Some of the X1300 XT cards we've seen are hitting over $100: a price point not even the X1650 Pro is supposed to break. All of this will absolutely factor into our recommendations today.

Aside from all of this, our focus with this second and final part of our NVIDIA GPU refresh series is on the GeForce 7950 GT. We covered the specifications in our previous article, but for a quick and dirty recap, the 7950 GT is essentially an overclocked 7900 GT with 512MB of RAM as opposed to 256MB. The 7950 GT could also be viewed as an underclocked 7900 GTX. All of these cards have the same number of vertex, pixel, and raster pipes, and some 7900 GT cards can even overclock higher than stock 7950 GT speeds. At this level of performance, NVIDIA is targeting a $300 to $350 USD price range. This puts it in competition with the higher priced overclocked 7900 GT cards, as well as the X1900 XT from ATI. To bring it all home, here are our tables of GPU specifications and prices.

NVIDIA Graphics Card Specifications
Vert Pipes
Pixel Pipes
Raster Pipes
Core Clock
Mem Clock
Mem Size (MB)
Mem Bus (bits)
Price
GeForce 7950 GX2
8x2
24x2
16x2
500x2
600x2
512x2
256x2
$600
GeForce 7900 GTX
8
24
16
650
800
512
256
$450
GeForce 7950 GT
8
24
16
550
700
512
256
$300-$350
GeForce 7900 GT
8
24
16
450
660
256
256
$280
GeForce 7900 GS
7
20
16
450
660
256
256
$200-$250
GeForce 7600 GT
5
12
8
560
700
256
128
$160
GeForce 7600 GS
5
12
8
400
400
256
128
$120
GeForce 7300 GT
4
8
2
350
667
128
128
$100
GeForce 7300 GS
3
4
2
550
400
128
64
$65


ATI Graphics Card Specifications
Vert Pipes
Pixel Pipes
Raster Pipes
Core Clock
Mem Clock
Mem Size (MB)
Mem Bus (bits)
Price
Radeon X1950 XTX
8
48
16
650
1000
512
256
$450
Radeon X1900 XTX
8
48
16
650
775
512
256
$375
Radeon X1900 XT
8
48
16
625
725
256/512
256
$280/$350
Radeon X1900 GT
8
36
12
525
600
256
256
$230
Radeon X1650 Pro
5
12
4
600
700
256
128
$99
Radeon X1600 XT
5
12
4
590
690
256
128
$150
Radeon X1600 Pro
5
12
4
500
400
256
128
$100
Radeon X1300 XT
5
12
4
500
400
256
128
$89
Radeon X1300 Pro
2
4
4
450
250
256
128
$79


Before we take a look at performance numbers, we've got a couple retail versions of the 7950 GT in house already. Both EVGA and XFX have sent us cards, and we were quite happy to learn that the XFX card is passively cooled. Up first is a brief look at what we can expect to see from manufacturers on the 7950 GT front.

Retail 7950 GT Cards: EVGA and XFX
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  • pmcguire - Thursday, September 21, 2006 - link

    Anyone tried the XFX card in a Zalman HD160 case?
    I have ordered one but now I am getting nervous that the heatsink is too high.

    Reply
  • zemane - Saturday, September 16, 2006 - link


    quote:

    Today also marks the day that ATI slated for the availability of their X1300 XT, X1650 Pro, X1900 XT 256MB, and X1950 series. We currently see very limited availability of the X1950 XTX, X1900 XT 256MB and X1300 XT cards, ...


    Reply
  • marine73 - Friday, September 15, 2006 - link

    With some versions of the 7900GT costing $280, you'd have to be nuts not to spend the xtra $20 bucks to get the additional 256Mb of ram. The performance increase is obvious from the charts, and since most Nvidia cores do OC fairly well (my BFG is running 580/800) you could most likely get the 7950GT to peform like a 7900GTX, for about 150-200 bucks less. Now if only they can get them to be DirectX 10 compliant... Reply
  • Pastuch - Thursday, September 14, 2006 - link

    In Canada you can buy an ATI/Saphire X1900xt 512mb for $299. A 7950GT goes for $350. These prices are pulled from this weeks flyer at NCIX.com, the Canadian Newegg.

    As always, Nvidia screws over Canadian customers.
    Reply
  • yyrkoon - Monday, September 18, 2006 - link

    Gee, lets see, I wonder if buying a graphics card that is currently based in my home country is cheaper than one that has to be imported . . .

    Wait until ATI moves to the US . . .
    Reply
  • Pastuch - Thursday, September 14, 2006 - link

    THe lowest price I can find in Canada on a 7900GT is $290.

    ROFL at Nvidia.

    P.S. I actually would rather buy Nvidia but the prices up here are so out of whack I can't justify it.
    Reply
  • coldpower27 - Friday, September 15, 2006 - link

    Yeh, Nvidia currently is expensive in Canada, until prices normalize the X1900 XT 512 is a pretty good deal, as long as it remains in supply. Reply
  • xsilver - Thursday, September 14, 2006 - link

    funny,
    down here in australia - its the other way around
    nvidia is cheaper
    7900gt = 374au ($280US approx
    x1900xt = 410AU (308US approx)

    ati is still the better buy because its faster.
    it actually gets worse in the lower price bracket of x1900gt as they are quite hard to find and really expensive
    Reply
  • xsilver - Thursday, September 14, 2006 - link

    oh wait - just looked again
    that x1900xt is the 256mb model
    if u want the 512mb model
    = 525au (395US)

    7950gt 512mb = $430au = 325us

    big difference!
    Reply
  • splines - Friday, September 15, 2006 - link

    Same with all electronics, pretty much. Everything from mobile phones up to the AUD$1000 PS3 - and Americans complain about $600?

    The really odd thing is we have the second highest standard of living in the world, yet our currency is also one of the most undervalued amongst western industrialised nations. Granted, our market is small, but 20-odd million people still have a lot of purchasing power.

    *sighs* Maybe one day they'll take us seriously.
    Reply

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