Articles: Graphics

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Performance-Mainstream Graphics Cards

  • ATI Radeon X1800 XL
  • ATI Radeon X1800 GTO
  • Nvidia GeForce 7600 GT

The arrival of the GeForce 7600 and 7900 cards made ATI reconsider its product line-up and release the Radeon X1900 GT and Radeon X1800 GTO based on the company’s high-end graphics processors. As a result, ATI’s opponent to the GeForce 7600 GT is a rather massive device with relatively high power consumption and appropriate chassis and power requirements.

The GeForce 7600 GT and the Radeon X1800 GTO/X1800 XL support dual-link DVI outputs (only one such output is available on the GeForce 7600 GT), so you can use your large monitor with any of them.

Power Consumption

Power Consumption Details (Click to enlarge):

Nvidia’s solution consists of only 177 million transistors whereas the Radeon X1800 GTO incorporates as many as 320 million, even though some of them are disabled. So, the results look quite logical. You should realize that a power consumption of 50W is not high nowadays, so the biggest problem with the Radeon X1800 GTO is its large dimensions due to the use of a 256-bit memory bus (but this same bus ensures high performance when full-screen antialiasing is enabled).

Noise Level

As opposed to the GeForce 7900 GT, the 7600 GT model has a fan that can change its speed depending on the GPU temperature, so the latter card is more comfortable to use.

However, the fan speed increases as soon as the GeForce 7600 GT chip reaches a certain temperature, and the noise level becomes higher than that of any opponent or even of the GeForce 7900 GT.

The cooling systems of the Radeon X1800 XL, Radeon X1800 GTO and Radeon X1900 GT are interchangeable and exist in two varieties:

  • A small-diameter blower that is rather loud when its speed is increased
  • A larger blower with a lower speed and a lower noise level

It is possible that even different batches of the same card from the same manufacturer will come with different coolers, so you may want to make sure which cooler the card is equipped with before the purchase. You can replace the cooler by yourself, too.

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