The graphics processor G71 announced by Nvidia some time ago proved to be good in terms of core area (it incorporates fewer transistors than the G70) and frequency potential. Although its technical characteristics are the same as the G70’s, the G71 can readily work at frequencies of 650MHz and higher as it actually does in some pre-overclocked versions of GeForce 7900 GTX.
But as we wrote in our article called Quadtet: Nvidia GeForce 7900 Quad SLI Performance Unveiled, there are but very few PC enthusiasts who purchase expensive top-end graphics hardware. Most of them seek for their graphics card in a price range of $299-399. This money can buy you the performance necessary to play modern games if you don’t turn on extreme full-screen antialiasing modes or display resolutions higher than 1600x1200. From this point of view, GeForce 7900 GT, the junior model in the GeForce 7900 series, looks more interesting than the flagship GeForce 7900 GTX because it comes at an official price of only $299. What’s curious, it has better parameters than the GeForce 7800 GTX which came at an impressive $599 at the time of its last-year release!
The standard GeForce 7900 GT is equipped with 256 megabytes of graphics memory clocked at 660 (1320) MHz and its graphics core is clocked at 450MHz (470MHz for the vertex processors). Although this card is made out of chips that hadn’t passed a frequency check to be installed on GeForce 7900 GTX, it can often work at much higher clock rates than the mentioned 450/470MHz. That’s why a release of pre-overclocked versions of GeForce 7900 GT was inevitable. This method of distinguishing a product from the competitors’ solutions is as popular among the graphics card manufacturers today as installing an original cooling system. Well, these are actually the only opportunities for creativity when it comes to top-end graphics cards. Developing an original PCB design is too difficult and costly a business and is actually not permitted by ATI and Nvidia (the latter sometimes leaves its closest partners, like ASUS, the choice of the color of the card’s PCB, too).
So, the first pre-overclocked GeForce 7900 GT that we could get into our hands is e-GeForce 7900 GT SO SuperClocked from EVGA. The frequencies of this card are much higher than the standard ones at 550MHz GPU and 790 (1580) MHz memory. It looks like a promise of a nice performance boost to us. You’ll see how the card performs in gaming tests shortly. Right now let’s have a closer look at its package and design.