Every gamer wants the best frame rate at the highest resolution possible with as many bells and whistles enabled as their video card can handle. However, not every gamer has an unlimited budget with which they can buy a 7900GTX, let alone two. So what is the budget-minded gamer to do? Why, turn to a graphics card like Inno3D's GeForce 7600GST.
Sitting right between the low mid-range 7600GS and the high mid-range 7600GT, the 7600GST is a deceptive beast of a card. Clocked at 500MHz/1400MHz (core/memory respectively), it is nothing to balk at. Featuring 256MB DDR3 RAM on a 128-bit memory bus with 12 pixel pipelines, the GST seems very similar to the recently released 6800GS, barring the 256-bit memory bus that card sports.
Would this seeming mid-range card be impressive enough to convince me to finally chuck my trusty pair of 6800GTs? You'll have to read on to find out...
Inno3D knows how to take care of their customers and I would like to take a moment to personally thank Caroline. She sent the card for me to review along with an awesome Inno3D t-shirt and lanyard. The unexpected goodies were a very nice surprise and I appreciate them. Thank you!
As for the rest of the package, included was a well-written instruction manual, HD-in cables, a driver CD, that also includes WinDVD, and the standard S-Video cable and DVI-to-VGA converter. Considering the power this card wields, I was a little surprised that no game was included, but that is far from a big deal. Inno3D provides a nice standard package, with excellent fringe additions.
One note, this card comes in a 7600GS box with an orange sticker explaining that it is actually a GST. Do not be alarmed if you see the GS box!
7600GST Box Contents
INSTALLATION AND TEST SYSTEM
Installation went off without a hitch. It took less than a minute to get the card in and set. It was rather pleasant to not have to plug in additional power to the card and upon powering up my machine, my ears were greeted with greatly reduced noise. Speaking of the noise, the cooler on the GST is fantastic.
The card idles at around 48°C and never got above 65°C during the most intense gaming. It should be mentioned that I live on the third floor of a three-story apartment building and my unit is substantially warmer than most. The card may very well run cooler in a different environment.
Before continuing, let's take a closer look at just how the 7600GST stacks up to the rest of the 7600 line of cards, as well as the previous generation eVGA 6800GT I used to compare performance.
GeForce 7600 Series and 6800GT Comparison
Looking at the 7600GS, the 7600GST is an enormous step up. For all intents and purposes, Inno3D's 7600GST is a slightly underclocked 7600GT; the memory is the same, both in type and speed. Comparing it to the eVGA GeForce 6800GT, the 7600GST is a formidable opponent indeed. The 7600GST, which is a mid mid-range part, compared to a mid high-end part from the previous generation of graphics cards!