Gigabyte GV-NX73T256P-RH (GeForce 7300 GT 256MB DDR2)

Gigabyte's GeForce 7300 GT 256MB DDR2

Gigabyte's GeForce 7300 GT 256MB DDR2

Like many low-end graphics products, Gigabyte's version features a passive cooler. While NVIDIA may not have issued any edict regarding the kind of cooling on the GeForce 7300 GT, the trend does appear to favor the silent type. Such a design would emphasize the suitability of the GeForce 7300 GT in HTPC setups and make it more attractive to budding HTPC enthusiasts. The cooler on the Gigabyte utilizes heat pipe technology to transfer the heat to a special section of cooling fins, which should dissipate heat faster than the conventional chunk of aluminum heatsink.

The passive heatsink is not any simple slab of aluminum. A heat pipe mechanism is embedded to spread the heat to the fins. Overall, it looks rather like a padlock.

Gigabyte's idea of TurboForce is to clock the core of its GeForce 7300 GT to 450MHz. As the lower limits of the range specified by NVIDIA for this SKU is 350MHz, the Gigabyte GV-NX73T256P-RH should be faster than some of the slower and cheaper GeForce 7300 GT products out there. In that sense, the Gigabyte probably holds up to its claims of being 15.1% faster than the competition. The DDR2 memory chips are rated at 2.5ns and clocked at 800MHz DDR, which is quite tame compared to the DDR3 memory clocks on the Gainward. So the jaw dropping performance of the Gainward is unlikely to be repeated. However, the modest clock speeds mean that the price of the Gigabyte would probably be more in tune with its low-end image.

A closer look at the heatsink. While some of the memory chips are beneath the silvery fins, there is no contact so they won't help cool the chips.

Other features for the GeForce 7300 GT include its dual-link DVI output, something that had been previously found on the GeForce 7600 series. The presence of this output means that it can support displays sizes of 30-inch and larger. PureVideo HD is also supported for the GeForce 7300 GT though you would need the latest 91.31 drivers for that to work properly. Unfortunately, for the price that you pay for the Gigabyte, one DVI output is all you'll get; the other output is the usual analog VGA.

It's a low-end card so the analog VGA output is found instead of the two DVI outputs as most users would have preferred. However, the single DVI is a dual-link output, so that may alleviate some of your disappointment.

Serious Sam II, the sequel to a first person shooter game, which was a sleeper hit, has many colorful environments that should show off the capabilities of the card. Gigabyte obviously knows the desirability of its bundled game and the packaging is hence unabashed in its Serious Sam imagery. Non-gamers have not been forgotten, as a copy of CyberLink Power DVD 6.0 is also included. While this is not the latest version, it is still a very decent application for DVD playback. Gigabyte's own overclocking tool, V-Tuner 2 Plus completes the bundle for those who hope to get a bit more performance from their cards. Here's an inventory list of the items:

  • 1 x DVI-to-VGA adaptor
  • 9-pin mini-DIN to Component/S-Video dongle
  • User Manual
  • Quick Installation Guide
  • Driver CD (including Gigabyte V-Tuner 2 Plus)
  • CyberLink Power DVD 6.0
  • Serious Sam II (full game)

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