Cards like the GeForce 7800 GTX and Radeon X1900 XT-X may be getting a lot of press lately, and while these cards are impressive to say the least, they don't represent what the majority of users are buying for their PC gaming systems. Gamers on a budget are always interested in advancements in the mid and lower price-range of graphics cards, and efficiency is generally more desirable to users than sheer power when looking for an upgrade. An example of this would be the popularity that we've seen of quality mid-range cards like the X800 GTO and 6800 GS, given their performance and reasonable price tags. Thankfully, NVIDIA has been continuing to make advancements on the budget side of things as well, and one such advancement is their recently released GeForce 7300 GS.

The 7300 GS is graphics card in the $100 or less price range, which offers a lot of the same features available in much more expensive parts for a fraction of the cost. This is a budget card, however, so it will see gaming performance similar to parts like NVIDIA's 6200 and ATI's X300. The 7300 GS that we have for this review is made by EVGA, a company with a good reputation for providing quality graphics hardware at competitive prices.

We've been looking at high end cards quite a bit lately, and it's easy to overlook some of the more humble graphics solutions available from ATI and NVIDIA as such powerful cards take center stage. Most PC users don't need the kind of performance that a card like the X1900 provides, and depending on the types of applications that different users are running, a far less powerful (and thus, inexpensive) card may be the wiser choice. Office computers and home theater systems might only require the most basic hardware acceleration, which is why this category of video cards exist.

Of course, for an avid gamer, a card like the 7300 GS might not cut it, but for those on a budget, this card is worth a look. Today, we take a look at EVGA's version of the 7300 GS and we will talk about the performance and features of this newest budget card from NVIDIA.

The Card
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  • agent2099 - Monday, February 20, 2006 - link

    Fanless heatsinks should be the standard for these budget cards.
  • Egglick - Monday, February 20, 2006 - link

    The 7300 is supposed to have all the same video features that the 7800 series has, so it should perform in the same way that a 7800 would to a X1900.

    The 7300GS is certainly a decent card for the price, but the X1300 is a better card. ATI has better video playback quality right now, and many of the X1300's are available with fanless heatsinks. Add to that that the X1300 has slightly better gaming performance and is available for the same price, and it's a no brainer.
  • Patrese - Monday, February 20, 2006 - link

    The X300 is on the top of the chart on the Quake 4 graphic ate 1024x768 High Quality... it is a mistake, isn't it?
    BTW, could you post a picture of the card? It's kinda useless, but still I'd like to see it! :)
  • Josh Venning - Monday, February 20, 2006 - link

    Thanks for pointing out the mistake, we're fixing it now. We've also added a picture, as per your request. :-)
  • peldor - Monday, February 20, 2006 - link

    The memory on the X1300 is also listed as 500GHz. I need me some of that!
  • kalaap - Monday, February 20, 2006 - link

    Why did you guyz take down the ASUS RD580 review?
  • cpeter38 - Tuesday, February 21, 2006 - link

    That has been HUGELY frustrating for me - both times they have taken it down WHILE I WAS READING IT!!!

    For a while, I thought I was having some weird computer issues - I actually rebooted twice. GRRRR!!!
  • brownba - Monday, February 20, 2006 - link

    Why test an low-end $80 video card that utilizies system ram in a high-end system with 1GB of ram?
  • Googer - Monday, February 20, 2006 - link


    Why test an low-end $80 video card that utilizies system ram in a high-end system with 1GB of ram?

    Because that is the same test system used for all benchmarks. If you changed it then the results would not be compairable to what a faster graphics card would do. The idea is to keep all variables the same except for the one that you are working on, it's all fundimental to the scientific method.">">">
  • artifex - Tuesday, February 21, 2006 - link

    I think it should have been tested both ways: once for the database entry, where the testbed needs to be the same, but also once in a system budget gamers actually have.

    By not also testing on a lower end platform, you miss the opportunity to discover that maybe system bottlenecks make it so that all of these cards seem to have identical performance.

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