Normally I save overclocking results for the end of the review and re-run a few benchmarks to show the improvement in performance. However, upon reading a report about an XFX GeForce 7900 GS that reached a core speed of 657MHz, I had to check the overclocking capabilities immediately to determine what I could squeeze out of Inno3D's model.
The overclocking results were so spectacular that I had to make them the focus of this review. Starting with the stock speed of 450MHz core/1320MHz memory, an optimal speed of 557MHz/1568MHz was achieved with the overclocking applet in the new ForceWare control panel! With RivaTuner, I was able to push the memory up to 1600MHz for a 24% increase on the core and 21% increase in the memory clock speeds!
Optimal + Overclocked Speeds
Click Image to Enlarge - 596x283 (31KB)
The Inno3D GeForce 7900 GS reached 574MHz/1650MHz with RivaTuner, but 3DMark06 kept locking up until the frequencies were lowered to 567MHz/1612MHz. Even then, 3DMark06 had all sorts of graphical corruption. However, the graphics card was artifact-free at 557MHz/1600MHz, which is nothing to be disappointed about!
Because these results were so impressive, I decided to make this review a comparison between the MSI NX7900GT and the Inno3D GeForce 7900 GS at stock speeds and overclocked speeds as though the overclocked card is its own separate entity. This isn't to show which brand is better since that is a moot point: both MSI and Inno3D are great companies and both are for different markets.
The graphics cards being compared in the following benchmarks are:
Of course there is only one GS, but for shortness' sake, I'll label the overclocked graphics card as a GS OC.
The GeForce 7900 GS OC has a substantial edge over the GeForce 7900 GT in terms of raw clock speeds, but I was unsure as to how much the missing 4 pixel-pipelines would hinder performance. Looking forward to see how much this insane overclock would own gaming, and perhaps even the GeForce 7900 GT, I fired up 3DMark06.
MSI NX7900GT 3DMark06 Score
Inno3D 7900 GS (Stock) 3DMark06 Score
Inno3D 7900 GS OC 3DMark06 Score
Not surprisingly, at stock speeds, the GeForce 7900 GS was well below the GeForce 7900 GT. Overclocked, however, the GeForce GS showed all the power just waiting to be tapped! With its massive speed bump, the GeForce 7900 GS OC returned with a score 749 points higher than the graphics card at stock speeds and 200 points higher than the GeForce 7900 GT!
Now, let's find out how Inno3D's GeForce 7900 GS stacks up in real-world gaming performance.