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ASUS EN7600GT review

ASUS EN7600GT (GeForce 7600 GT 256MB)

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NVIDIA's Midrange gets a Boost

NVIDIA's Midrange gets a Boost

Barely four months ago, NVIDIA stirred up their upper midrange segment (and that of their competitor's) with the GeForce 6800 GS, which single-handedly managed to 'obsolete' the rest of the GeForce 6800 series, namely the vanilla, GT and Ultra versions. While it did not literally obsolete those older GeForce 6800 variants and NVIDIA staying mum about the possibility, we have all witnessed the excellent price-to-performance ratio of the GeForce 6800 GS that has quietly retired the rest of the lot in terms of consumer buying appeal. After all, why settle for a plain GeForce 6800 when the GS version costs just a little more and performs just as well as the expensive GT incarnation. When overclocked, it can easily outclass the once awesome GeForce 6800 Ultra. As you can see, the once US$249 graphics card had so much going for it and has since spiraled down to the US$199 price rung, making it even more appetizing - at least until CeBIT 2006 came along.

CeBIT 2006 was NVIDIA's springboard for this year's initial salvo as it refreshed the GeForce 7 series in every segment. With updated high-end parts by the way of the GeForce 7900 GT and GeForce 7900 GTX (which we've very recently covered) and most importantly the entry of their new midrange part, the GeForce 7600 GT, the nearly two-year run of the GeForce 6 era has finally come to an end. The GeForce 7600 GT has been pegged with a suggested retail price of US$199 and this effectively takes over the position of the GeForce 6800 GS. But exactly how well does this newcomer fare in comparison to the infamous GeForce 6600 GT and would it better the GeForce 6800 GS? To answer that and other queries, we have with us the ASUS EN7600GT, the first GeForce 7600 GT to hit our labs. We'll take a close look at it in the following page, but first, it would be beneficial if you take a close look at the specs of the typical GeForce 7600 GT and how it compares to existing graphics card models:-

The NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT Compared
GPU/VPU NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT 256MB NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT 256MB NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GS 256MB NVIDIA GT 128MB ATI Radeon X1600 XT 256MB
Core Code G73 G70 NV42 NV43 RV530
Transistor Count 177 million 302 million ~190 million ~145 million 157 million
Manufacturing Process (microns) 0.09 0.11 0.11 0.11 0.09
Core Clock 560 MHz 400 MHz 425MHz 500MHz 590MHz
Vertex Shader Pipelines 5 7 5 3 5
Rendering (Pixel) Pipelines 12 20 12 8 12
Texture Mapping Units (TMU) 12 20 12 8 4
Raster Operator units (ROP) 8 16 12 8 4
Z Compare Units 16 32 12 8 8
Memory Clock 700MHz (1400MHz DDR3) 500MHz (1000MHz DDR3) 500MHz (1000MHz DDR3) 500MHz (1000MHz DDR3) 690MHz (1380MHz DDR3)
DDR Memory Bus 128-bit 256-bit 256-bit 128-bit 128-bit
Memory Bandwidth 22.4GB/s 32.0GB/s 32.0GB/s 16.0GB/s 22.1GB/s
Ring Bus Memory Controller - - - - 256-bit (for memory reads only)
PCIe Interface x16 x16 x16 x16 x16
Molex Power Connectors NIL Yes Yes NIL NIL
Multi GPU Technology Yes (SLI) Yes (SLI) Yes (SLI) Yes (SLI) Yes (CrossFire)
DVI Output Support 1x Dual-Link 1x Single-Link 1x Dual-Link 1x Single-Link 2x Single-Link 2x Single-Link 1x Dual-Link 1x Single-Link
Street Price US$199 ~ US$300 ~ US$199 ~ US$140 ~ US$180