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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  • Cerb - Tuesday, February 21, 2006 - link


    So what is the x1300 performs better and costs less? I can get a 6200 for $50 or so, and will be able to do this with the 7300 in a few months (maybe sooner). Current buyers pay early adoption fees. It is, and always has been, this way.

    Also, other reviews are showing it competitive with the x1300...
  • MrKaz - Tuesday, February 21, 2006 - link

    X1300 killed it with no problem.

    X1300 Pro would have even rise the difference.

    Maybe the 7300GS is the slowest of all the 7300 models?

    “Now that we've talked about the card, let's look at the performance. We've included a few other budget cards for comparison to get an idea of how the 7800 GS fits into the market”

  • A554SS1N - Tuesday, February 21, 2006 - link

    "Maybe the 7300GS is the slowest of all the 7300 models? "

    Yeah, it is - GS is the same as vanilla, so 7300GS is supposed to fight X1300 vanilla not the pro - add to that the fact that this EVGA card may have slower memory than the reference, and it makes the 7300GS look bad, when it shouldn't. If it had the reference memory speeds, I'd expected a big leap in performance. At the speeds in this review, it is definately poor.
  • A554SS1N - Tuesday, February 21, 2006 - link

    Is it possible to force card to use only it's own memory? I mean, if it were to have 128mb for example (I know this has 256mb), which is usually Ok, would it help performance if it was just set to use it's own memory (without the latencies of going out to system RAM) - and is it possible to manually set this?
  • A554SS1N - Tuesday, February 21, 2006 - link

    I noticed that the memory speed given in the review was 350Mhz (700Mhz effective) rather than the reference 405Mhz (810Mhz effective), and the previous comment made about the EVGA card only being 533Mhz seems to back up the reason why the performance figures are lower than expected compared to other reviews I have seen - I mean, the card doesn;t really perform a great deal faster than the 6200TC for some strange reason, yet I've seen otehr reviews where a 7300GS is alot faster than the 6500 (which is in turn quite a bit faster than 6200TC), and equal with X1300...

    So the question is:- Is this partiuclar EVGA card a cheaper version with much lower memory than reference, and thus cards going at proper reference memory frequencies will be much more competetive. It's just that, with these performance figures, I wouldn't choose this card at all for a budget system, whereas something on par or better than X1300, which I was expecting, would have just about been Ok.
  • A554SS1N - Tuesday, February 21, 2006 - link


    From what I've found, the card with the cooler design on EVGA's site that is in Anandtech's review is the 533Mhz one (256mb). The other 256mb card is 650Mhz effective. Only the 128mb HDTV version has 810Mhz DDR2">Link

    So, yeah, of course the card tested will be alot slower!!!! Can Anandtech include a full speed card in their review please! :)
  • coldpower27 - Tuesday, February 21, 2006 - link

    Yes, that's why led me to beleive it's the model that I posted the link of, was the cooler design. I would like Anandtech's confirmation on this though.
  • Rampage - Wednesday, February 22, 2006 - link

    i agree this is an unfair review.

    and IMO, it read sloppy from the get go.. this isnt what I expect from Anandtech.
  • coldpower27 - Monday, February 20, 2006 - link

    What model of eVGA 7300 GS did you test, could you please give the model number.

    Because it looks like you tested with this one:">

    Which has memory clocked at a pathetic 533MHZ, it's not a wonder that the X1300 defeat it so easily.

    You are aware that the reference 128MB 7300GS has memory clocked at ~800MHZ/810MHZ which would easily help even the odds, given that on budget cards >128MB doesn't seem to do much if at all for performance.

  • DigitalDivine - Monday, February 20, 2006 - link

    this review left a hole... for instance... the specification of the x1300...

    is it the hyper memory version or not?
    if it isn't then the review isn't quite fair.

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