Graphics Cards Guide

Gigabyte GV-3D1-7950-RH review

Gigabyte GV-3D1-7950-RH (GeForce 7950 GX2)

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Multiplicity

Multiplicity

While computer chips continue to shrink and become cheaper roughly in line with Moore's Law, there's also this new trend of throwing more and more processors at this age-old quest for greater processing speed and power. Dual cores and soon, quad and multi-cores are the new arms race between the Intel and AMD. The idea of the network computer never took off despite the buzz and leaps in broadband speeds. Instead, we saw the reverse - personal computers are concentrating more silicon and becoming more powerful. This also applies for the graphics industry - both ATI and NVIDIA have ramped up the transistor counts on their GPUs (graphics processing units), so much so that they now rival CPUs. Hence it was perhaps inevitable that NVIDIA finally hit on the bright idea of reviving multi-GPU configurations with its Scalable Link Interface (SLI) technology.

SLI technology has come a long way since NVIDIA's interpretation hit the market more than two years ago. Industry support has gradually built up together with the maturing of the technology and now it is rightly so, the more established multi-GPU graphics technology compared to ATI's CrossFire. The introduction of the GeForce 7950 GX2 is another step forward for this technology and while Quad SLI may not yet be ready for retail consumers, it seems certain that we'll see Quad SLI in some form sooner than later. As a sign of their confidence in the design and marketability, the top tier vendors have quickly jumped onto the GeForce 7950 GX2 bandwagon despite a considerable recommended retail price of US$599.

So far, we have already seen two GeForce 7950 GX2 cards in our labs, with a reference board from NVIDIA and a retail version from MSI. Both have performed well enough to justify its existence as opposed to a standard GeForce 7900 GT SLI setup, which the GeForce 7950 GX2 most closely resembles. The next GeForce 7950 GX2 we have to show you is from Gigabyte and like most of the ones available now, the GV-3D1-7950-RH, is thoroughly reference from top to bottom.