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NVIDIA GeForce 7950 GT Preview - Page 1 of 2

INTRODUCTION

Today, NVIDIA is announcing the availability of graphics cards based on their recently announced GeForce 7950 GT Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). To commemorate the announcement, XFX provided us with their model PV-T71J-YHE9 XT Edition (570MHz/1.46MHz), which will be carrying a retail price tag of $329. The lower priced PV-T71J-YHF9 model (550MHz/1.40MHz) will be going for $299.

XFX GeForce 7950 GT XT Edition
Click Image to Enlarge - 899x660

Last week we examined the GeForce 7900 GS, which is becoming firmly positioned as the new mainstream GPU featured in graphics cards ranging in price from $199-$229. Today marks the debut of the GeForce 7950 GT, which is replacing the GeForce 7900 GT.

While the GeForce 7900 GT was initially featured in graphics cards that ranged in price from $299-$349, the GeForce 7950 GT is equipped with an additional 256MB of graphics memory. And believe it or not, but both models from XFX are passively cooled!

XFX GeForce 7950 GT XT Edition
Click Image to Enlarge - 994x722

This came as a total surprise and I immediately became interested in the effectiveness of the cooling mechanism. With a closed case, at idle, the GPU registered temperatures around 60° C, but as expected, reached temperatures in excess of 90° under load.

A peak temperature of 97° C was recorded in the Titan Quest demo. My concerns with the excessive GPU temperature were somewhat diminished after discovering that the GPU on the Radeon X1900 XT reached a peak temperature of 91° C in the same system.

XFX GeForce 7950 GT XT Edition
Click Image to Enlarge - 1024x768

A more powerful case intake fan could have helped in lowering the GPU temperature, although no heat-related issues occurred during testing. In fact, the XFX GeForce 7950 GT XT Edition performed flawlessly as did the Core 2 Duo, which continues to impress.

TEST SYSTEM

  • Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 - 2.40GHz Conroe Core - 4MB L2 Cache
  • Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 Motherboard - Intel P965 Express Chipset
  • 2GB Corsair CM2X1024-8500C5 XMS PC8500 DDR2 SDRAM 5-5-5-18-2T @ 400MHz
  • Western Digital Raptor 74GB HDD (1), 10000RPM, 4.5ms Avg Seek, 8MB Buffer, SATA
  • Western Digital Caviar SE16 250GB HDD (2), 7200RPM, 8.9ms Avg Seek, 16MB Buffer, SATA 2
  • Realtek ALC883 8 Channel Onboard Audio
  • Enermax EG565P-VE Power Supply
  • Sony E540 21-Inch CRT Monitor
  • 32-Bit Color / Vsync Disabled / 75Hz Refresh Rate
  • Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2 / DirectX 9.0c

Graphics Cards, Drivers, and Settings

  • XFX GeForce 7950 GT XT Edition - 570MHz Core/730MHz Memory
  • XFX GeForce 7900 GTX - 650MHz Core/800MHz Memory
  • ATI Radeon X1900XT - 625MHz Core/725MHz Memory
  • ForceWare 91.47 - High Quality Image Setting, Optimizations Disabled
  • Catalyst 6.8 - Catalyst A.I. Standard, High Quality Filtering On

Test Applications

  • Doom 3 - v1.3.1302
  • F.E.A.R. - v1.07
  • Quake 4 - v1.3.0.2393
  • Half-Life 2: Lost Coast - v1.0.1.0
  • Company of Heroes Demo - v1.0
  • Titan Quest Demo - v1.0

Notes

  • Antialiasing and anisotropic filtering were application controlled unless otherwise noted.
  • In-game graphics settings were configured to their highest quality, with the exception of Company of Heroes, which was configured to the default setting.
  • Quake 4 performance is based on a gameplay walkthrough - video clip here ~ 22MB.

Next Page: The Contenders, Performance and Conclusion

Last Updated on September 14, 2006


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